“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty, you can still make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”
First off, we recommend having your piss indoors today. Communal hygiene seems more important than ever in these troubling times…
That said, it’s no secret that Lisbon is, among many other things, a great place for graffiti. It tends to sneak up on you from almost every corner, often in the best of ways. The city doesn’t crack down on dreamer vandals as badly as, say, the NYPD would. Moreover, a lot of the stuff is commissioned, and some even state-funded (like those funky trash cans you may have noticed, for example). Even the territorial pissings of the genre are often unique in their simplicity and depth.
From talented top dogs like Vihls, Bordalo II, and AddFuel, to the not-so-talented-but-strangely-prolific GECO, to the lesser-known but talented underdog Tamara Alves, to countless unknowns trying hard to make you smile, Lisbon today is an admirable adversary to the Bronx (in its heyday) when it comes to the art of the wall.
Seeing as you might be tired of staring at your own walls but are trying to do your part in, as the cool kids say, flattening the curve, we have prepared for you a humble virtual compilation of some of Lisbon’s lesser-known pieces — big and small — that made us smile when things were normal.
When this whole pandemic thing blows over, you can go find these and other gems in their natural habitat.
In the meantime, though, it is what it is.
Stay safe, and enjoy: