Thanks to my friend Beth I have learned to admire the work of the Portuguese street artist Vhils and searched out his work when I was in Lisbon – there is not much as they keep pulling down the buildings he uses!
This artist started by etching into the external walls of large commercial buildings and creating giant faces in the process. No idea how he does that especially given the size of the works. So I was very pleased to find five new works of his at Wynyard Walls which he did for the 2018 Art Basel event and equally pleased to find a solo exhibition of his work on different media including paper and incredibly polystyrene!!
His original works in a nearby Carpark that I saw last year.
These are the new faces on the wall plus faces using the medium of paper.
And finally, who knew you could create with polystyrene?
Always exciting to visit a new country and even better when you are getting together with old friends – Marjory from Vancouver Island and our hosts Beth and John who I last say 7 years ago.
Bermuda is a charming place to visit – although pricey since everything is imported. First day was a Sunday so the lovely Coral Beach was a must – and it has been ages since I’ve had a beachy lazy day. The weather and sea colours were glorious
Then a visit to St Georges – on another side of the island (which is about 21 square miles). It was the old capital so lots of nice buildings and churches. Also a chance to view some of the pastel coloured houses that are all over the island.
A glass bottom boat tour is a must – we ended up on a huge boat with just six of us – it is the end of the season although the weather was still warm. Shipwrecks and feeding fish were fun – apparently there are a lot of shipwrecks around Bermuda (that triangle had a lot to answer for)
Time in the capital Hamilton enabled us to visit the Hamilton Princess Hotel which has a superb collection of contemporary art – and a chance to see a Kusama pumpkin in a neutral colour.
And then to the Arts Centre which had a Sheridan Fairley exhibit – I have seen some of his street art around the world (Obey campaign) so was thrilled to see this and a very good video with him discussing his art.
And all good vacations include wonderful friends and good food and drinks by the sea – this was no exception. Thanks to Beth John and Marjory for making it extra special.
I jumped on a bus and rattled into the pretty countryside outside of Bilbao heading for Vitoria-Gasteiz – which I had never heard of although it is the capital of the Basque Country in Spain.
It was full of surprises. Not too many people. Lovely old alleyways but also splashes of fabulous street art which I always love especially when it is in places that are very old. The pinxtos were pretty good too.
My time in Lisbon is coming to an end so I managed to squeeze in a street art tour that took us all over the city – Lisbon is right up there with Melbourne, London and NYC as a street art venue. Although it helps to have someone take you around to find the art.
These are from the Bairro Alto district and include one by Obey (who designed the Obama poster used during the first election campaign)
The first picture depicts the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974 when the dictatorship started by Salazar after the war was overthrown. A very important period for the Portuguese people. The madonna depicts a struggle which has also been a key part of Portugal’s history – the separation of religion and the secular world.
These almost photo quality artworks are of Amalia Rodrigues and a chap whose name I don’t remember – they were both idolized Fado singers (I have become a bit of a fan of Fado while here) and they lived in the Graca area where these are. The one on the bottom right is about the boat refugees (check the image in her glasses). And I love the unknown fado singer in red with her classic lace shawl.
Now here is a brilliant idea. Give good street artists access to a floor in a parking garage and let them do their thing. It makes the place so much more interesting and far less menacing than most car parks and there are plenty of white walls for them to work on – obviously at night only when the cars are gone.
The one at the bottom is another well known street artist from Portugal – Vhils – whose work I saw at Wynwood Walls in Miami earlier this year. This work is done with tiles rather than the etching he is famous for.
Farewell Lisbon, I’m going to miss you.
Next stop Crete.
In an 8 block location that used to house “Little Haiti” you can now find the Miami Design District. Almost complete it is a shopping experience a little akin to Rodeo Drive with many flagship designer stores in impressive surroundings.
First thing to enjoy are the windows – I was especially excited to see Louis Vuitton and Yanoi Kusama artwork in the same location. As for the orange corridor running along The Fendi store – well that took me right back to the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto last year.
As you wander around the Design District there is plenty of street art to look at too as well as the latest in cool -and easily accessible – hammocks,
Of course in such a swanky area even the car parkades need to be special and different – and as you can see they are that.
Also enjoyed a visit with a my NYC friend Lisa who now lives in Fort Lauderdale so she, Beth and I had a great catch up.
All these impressive works were in one tiny lane in the Melbourne CBD