Stockholm Street Art

Stockholm was not in a hurry to show us any street art.

Stockholm street art
Artist Hop Louie

Granted, coming to the city for business, we moved around a relatively contained area roughly within the 5km radius from Gamla Stan. Adding to the disappointment, 2017 Stockholm Street Festival, including Stockholm Urban Art event totally devoted to street art/graffiti scene, was scheduled on the same weekend we were leaving Sweden. Talking about bad luck, huh?

They Call Her One Eye
They Call Her One Eye by artist @wilkenklant. There is an interesting story behind this stencil: thriller “A Cruel Picture”(aka “They Call Her One Eye”) (1973) is the Swedish grindhouse movie that inspired Tarantino to film “Kill Bill”.

In a month we found just a few memorable pieces.

Stockholm street art
Artist Asvillain

The troubled history of Stockholm Street Art

It seemed that unlike Montevideo or Sofia, Swedish capital is still in the process of building a relationship with street art. Perhaps, it’s not entirely unexpected since the city of Stockholm introduced a zero-tolerance policy against graffiti in 2007, a move that was harshly criticized and was called an attack on an art form and freedom of expression.

Legal walls were prohibited, along with any activity that could encourage illegal painting or “vandalism.” Moreover, even art with a graffiti aesthetic was not allowed to be displayed in any public space.

Stockholm Street Art is getting better deal, still work in progress

After a change of power in Stockholm’s government in 2014, politicians announced plans to introduce legislation that will allow art on the streets and will make Stockholm the city with the most legal walls in Europe.

Fast forward three years later, anecdotally from what we heard and witnessed with our own eyes, the situation in Stockholm has improved. The legal walls exist now, huge murals adorn some buildings, and graffiti and street art pop up here and there around the city.

Tanto Lagliga Väggen
Tanto Lagliga Väggen – the legal graffiti wall in the central part of Stockholm

Os Gemeos mural

On one cloudy afternoon, our patience was rewarded with a fantastic find. We stumbled upon the newest epic mural in Södermalm. By the time we walked by, it was not even finished yet. The artists were still putting final touches.

Stockholm street art
Work in progress

Grey skies and a lack of proper camera marred first pictures. We had to come back to properly capture vibrant colors.

The huge mural by Os Gemeos
The huge mural by Os Gemeos

This is a remarkable artwork. The size, the colors, the details leave you speechless.

Going through all intricate nuances – just look at the shoes or notice woman’s nails – could easily take an hour or more. And, if you are even slightly familiar with the street art scene, you would immediately recognize the unmistakable style of Os Gemeos, the immensely talented twin brothers from Brazil.

This is their first work in Stockholm, a city that is just coming to terms with this type of happening given its strict regulation against graffiti and street art.

If you happen to visit Stockholm anytime soon, make sure to put aside some time to thoroughly enjoy this whimsical masterpiece. Here is its exact location:

Where to find Stockholm Street Art

The same little plaza that now hosts Os Gemeos mural has another interesting piece.

First, it was a black-and-white pattern that caught my attention. A rectangular box – perhaps a postbox? – got a makeover. Aha! These cheerful little ghosts are practicing their line-dancing moves. The devil is in the details, however. Look closer, and you will notice what I am talking about.

Stockholm street art
Judging by the wording on the side of the box, some pupil from nearby Konstskolan Basis art school decided to beautify dull surroundings

Finally, it looked like Swedish capital decided to have mercy. In the course of four weeks, Stockholm showed us some hidden pieces of street art.

One graffiti was concealed under a bridge, another was lurking in a park. I did my best trying to identified authors. Still, there are a few parentless pieces.

If you recognize a work and know the artist, please. drop me a note – an email or a comment below – it would be great to put a name on every piece of street art. Thank you!

Stockholm street art
Artist Klisterpeter
Stockholm street art
Spiderman by @graffitisthlm

There are 2 artists behind GraffitiSthlm: Klive and Kaos. They have the aerial view of this giant Spiderman on their website. Due to the gigantic size of the mural, it was impossible to get a shot without any obstructions from the ground.

Stockholm street art
This cool lizard scales walls with help from @arrowstreetart
Hellstrom Streetart
Artist @hellstrom_streetart

Stencils created by artist @hellstrom_streetart were seriously damaged, so better to check his Instagram account.

Stockholm street art
I am not 100% sure whether this graffiti belongs to Asvillain
Stockholm street art
They say I do not care about anything, but I do not care about that by unknown artist
Stockholm street art
What a serious face you have! By unknown artist
Stockholm street art
There seems to be a signature in the bottom right corner. It looks like either utiku or otiku
Stockholm street art
Unknown artist
Stockholm street art
Unknown artist

Beyond Stockholm Street Art

These days almost every street artist has an Instagram account and fairly active on social media. It was interesting to see their work on greater scale. In case you are curious too, I am listing them here:

Surely, you came here because you are interested in street art. Therefore, you might want to check other related articles from our StreetArt Project:

Elusive Street Art Of Palermo

Azemmour: Come For The Street Art, Stay For The History (Morocco)

Beirut Street Art

Emerging Street Art of Cyprus

A Glimpse of Porto Street Art

Casablanca Street Art

Paphos Street Art (Cyprus)

Cacilhas Street Art (Portugal)

Street Art in Montevideo (Uruguay)

Medellin Street Art

Street Art in Sofia: Bozko (Bulgaria)

Balik Pulau Street Art: A Tiny World Hidden In A Narrow Valley (Malaysia)

Phung Hung Street Art Brings Back Memories of Hanoi (Public Art Project)


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Stockholm Street Art
Stockholm Street Art

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18 thoughts on “Stockholm Street Art”

  1. I couldn’t be happier, being included in your article, since my aim is to be one of those “putting Stockholm on the map”, when it comes to street art… Thank you!
    – ARROW [@arrowstreetart]

    • You are very welcome :). I hope to see more of your work in the future. Actually, there are already some new things according to your Instagram feed. Too bad I couldn’t see them in person in Stockholm. Keep up the great work. Cheers!

  2. Sounds like one of those cities where you really have to know where to look to immerse yourself in the street art scene – what a pity to have just missed the street art festival – would have been a great event! But it does look like you managed to find some great hidden gems in your time in Stockholm – I love the huge mural by Os Gemeos – thanks for sharing your finds 🙂

  3. Wow – it looks like your patience and persistence paid off! The mural in Södermalm is incredible. Thank you for including the Google Map. I’m keen to visit Stockholm and track down some of these works. It looks like they would appeal to all age groups – my kids would love to see the massive Spiderman.

  4. Looks like you found some fantastic street art! We didn’t notice too much street art when we were walking out and about, but we did find some cool spots too. We really loved the art in the subways though–such a cool idea!

  5. I love street art around the world. This form of art is indeed a mirror of the culture and times of a place. I find Stockholm street art to be enigmatic and colourful at the same time. Silent testimonies to creativity and innovation of unsung artists.

  6. The last time I went to Stockholm was around 20 years ago and I don’t really recall seeing any graffiti. At least not around the places I visited. It’d be interesting to revisit and see how the street art is changing the look of the city.

  7. I didn’t realize how much street art is in Stockholm. I missed all of this when I was there! Granted, I was only there for a day, but I’ll have to search it out next time!

  8. Very interesting history with Stockholm and it’s street art scene. Some of work you highlighted is spectacular, especially the piece in Södermalm. I’d be curious of future street art will eventually lead to “street art tours” that you see in some of the larger cities.

  9. Just like you, I enjoy going places and looking for their street art. Sometimes, I even like to join street art tours just to understand the history behind it. I know some are just forms of art, but it must have been inspired by something. These are really cool by the way

  10. The artwork by Os Gemeos is really a brilliant piece of art. It was definitely worth the time spent searching for good pieces. Hopefully in a couple of years the street art scene in Stockholm would blossom.

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