Stockholm was not in a hurry to show us any street art.
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?
In a month we found just a few memorable pieces.
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.
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.
Grey skies and a lack of proper camera marred first pictures. We had to come back to properly capture vibrant colors.
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.
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!
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.
Stencils created by artist @hellstrom_streetart were seriously damaged, so better to check his Instagram account.
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:
- Hop Louie – @hoplouie
- Asvillain – @asvillain
- Os Gemeos – @osgemeos
- KP Klisterpeter – @kp_klisterpeter
- GraffitiSthlm – @graffitisthlm
- Arrow Street Art – @arrowstreetart
- Hellstrom Street Art – @hellstrom_streetart
Surely, you came here because you are interested in street art. Therefore, you might want to check other related articles from our StreetArt Project:
Azemmour: Come For The Street Art, Stay For The History (Morocco)
Paphos Street Art (Cyprus)
Cacilhas Street Art (Portugal)
Street Art in Montevideo (Uruguay)
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)
Share this article on Pinterest by clicking Save button
18 thoughts on “Stockholm Street Art”
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!
Wow! This is very very cool! They are amazing and add so much to the culture!
Thank you, Jolene 🙂
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 🙂
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Thank you, Paige 🙂
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.
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
Thank you, Karla 🙂
Another reason to visit Stockholm. I’m a big fan of fine street art and these are gorgeous.
Thank you, Elaine 🙂
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.
i lived in sweden quite awhile now but didnt see these street art around stockholm silly me.