Rumor has it that Porto’s street art scene is thriving, and it is home to many works by well-known names like Hazul, MrDheo and Nuno Costah, to name a few. A street art aficionado would have a jolly good time in vibrant neighborhoods along the banks of the mighty Douro River.
I kept this bit of information on the back of my mind until, finally, we found time to visit Porto. One day in an unfamiliar city is challenging enough by itself. Serious graffiti hunt, as exciting as it sounds, simply could not fit into this tight schedule. Alas, our street art sleuthing would have to coincide with our Porto walkabout.
We spent the whole day navigating the maze of narrow passages, well-worn steps and twisty medieval streets. With no particular plans and no desire to hit the tourist sights, it was an amazing adventure of taking sudden turns, going up and down, from a tiny square to a formidable palace. We had just enough time to zigzag through back streets of Vitória, Miragaia and Ribeira.
We stumbled upon some memorable street art pieces in these older parts of Porto. Was it our luck or pure accident, but the area looked like an open air gallery of Hazul’s works.
His style, heavily influenced by calligraphy and oriental cultures, is so unique that even without signature his pieces are easily identifiable. Also, he signs his works. I see it as a huge advantage given that sometimes it is so difficult or impossible to properly credit an unsigned artwork.
Though Hazul’s pieces were prevalent, other artists left their works there too.
Unfortunately, I could not identify quite a few pieces. For now, I attribute them all to an unknown artist. However, I would love to give proper credit to every artwork. If anyone knows anything about authors of the pieces below, please leave a comment so that I can give them the proper credit. Thanks!
When I was doing research about Porto street art, I was surprised how little information is available online. There are numerous blog posts with very generic content (i.e. Porto Street Art is great) and photos that do not even credit the artists. I did find some informative articles that I want to share here in case you are curious about Porto street artists and what they are up to there.
- Hazul on Instagram
- Traços de Hazul no Porto (in Portuguese)
- Interview with Portuguese artist Hazul Luzah in Paris
- Godmess on Facebook
- Godmess on Instagram
- Aiem on Instagram
- The Incidental Pleasures of Street Art by Rick Poynor (article is fairly long; scroll down to find Porto-relevant section)
- Indoor and Outdoor Street Art in Porto by Julie from Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal
Gail Aguiar wrote some of informative articles about Porto street art on her personal blog Gail at Large:
- Porto, City of Murals (2014)
- Porto Street Art On Rua Das Flores (2014)
- A Mélange Of Street Art In Porto (2016)