Street art has emerged as a way for cities to revive and rejuvenate neighborhoods, a means for artists to express themselves in the public sphere, a platform for activists to broadcast their message, and a medium for brands to fly their colours. From Miami to Lisbon, Melbourne, and everywhere in between, the world has become a giant canvas to discover.
MURAL Blog introduces #TravelTuesday, a street art destination content series, where each piece will explore an city’s unique street art culture.
On the cover: “Technicolor Dream” by Lonac & Chez 186
Nicknamed a city of museums, Zagreb has one of the highest number of museums per square capita. With so much art to discover, its unofficial open air street art museum is one of the most interesting in the world. A few weeks ago, our team had the opportunity to tap into Zagreb’s vibrant street art scene and its major players thanks to Zagrebee and our guide Vedran.
What differentiates the Croatian capital from other street art destinations is its impressive amount of small interventions and the great variety of mediums on which these appear. From stairs to water pumps, tunnels, walls and sidewalks, stay on guard as you might be passing fascinating work of original art.
Artwork by Oakoak.
Artwork by Julien De Casabianca.
Artwork by Domingo Modul & Bare.
One of the best examples of this is Boris Bare’s body of work. Known as one of the most active street artists in Zagreb, Bare is found everywhere including recognizable collectives and projects such as Pimp my pump, Okolo and the Art Park.
Founded by a group of urban artists, including Boris Bare, Pimp my pump is an urban art collective with the goal of restoring water pumps and give them a second life. After the Second World War, water pumps became a meeting point for those who didn’t have access to water. As it is part of the city’s history the collective believes “Having new things isn’t always the best solution”, prominently quoted on their Facebook page.
During the month of July, Okolo, another project to which artist Boris Bare lends his name inviting artists to leave their mark in the Upper Town, Zagreb. As part of the project, Bare created two lovely pieces incorporating traditional Croatian patterns.
In the same vein, two years ago, the Pimp my pump crew turned this abandoned city park into a unique open air art gallery. Every year, a mix of local and international artists come to give a little colour to the park and add their unique touch. The park hosts concerts, workshops, screenings, ping pong tournaments and more. The Art Park is truly a magical atmosphere, at its prime during the summer months, Vedran explains.
Artworks by Zgubjien & Trash Will Smash.
According to Vedran, Zagreb’s street art scene has thrived over the last 8 years. It all started in the 90’s with artists like Lunar, who was one of the first to be able to live off his art in the city, and as such, became a legend. Still quite active, Lunar and his trademark catty characters can be seen all around town, like this one he did for the Art Park in 2018.
While small artistic interventions are covering the city, large-scale murals are also becoming more and more common in the Croatian capital. One of the most prolific large-scale muralist in Croatia is Lonac. Known for his photorealistic work, the internationally renowned artist has delighted the citizens of Zagreb with numerous public artworks.
For more on Zagreb’s unique street art scene, book your spot on one of Zagrebee’s tours.