In the 1990s, the term “graffiti” was often and usually incorrectly associated with crime, delinquency, and the destruction of public property. The stereotypical image of a teenager with unruly hair furiously scrawling their tag on a wall in a tunnel, house, or other public space had been etched into the minds of many.
However, if we fast forward to the present day, we can see that the image of the street artist has undergone a significant transformation, just like the street art itself. Street art, or “urban art,” has emerged as a new and exciting form of expression that has revitalized the often bland urban aesthetic.
To celebrate this transformation, we’ve compiled a list of contemporary Athenian murals that everyone should seek out on the streets of the capital. Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive, and urban art continues to evolve and surprise us at every turn.
Gospel, Amphoreus, Olympic Hall Sports Centre
This graffiti has a vintage feel with its aesthetics and themes that harken back to another era. In today’s digital culture with paralel virtual lives, sporting ideals are not the most sought after themes. However, this artwork serves as a reminder of the age-old proverb “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” This message remains relevant and inspiring, encouraging us to take care of our physical and mental well-being no matter how much time passes. The composition was created in collaboration with the sports club “Phoebus” and the Ministry of Sports.
Taxis, At the river, Panormou Street
Looking for an oasis of coolness in the concrete jungle of the city? Check out this modern and liberating graffiti, created as part of the “For the Love of Greece” campaign. The artwork promotes environmental protection, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity conservation. What catches the eye the most is the original theme and the particular shades of green that give a natural touch to the grey dissonance of the metropolis.
Ilias Papailiakis, To Fili, Avdi Square
This graffiti is unlike any other, as it could easily be a painting in a gallery. It’s abstract and simplistic, with the focus solely on a kiss. The formalistic rendering of the artwork is of high aesthetics and sets it apart from traditional graffiti. The kiss is a universal symbol of love and human contact, especially in an urban environment that often fosters feelings of alienation and isolation. This artwork speaks to a great truth about the importance of human connection and intimacy in our lives.
SimpleG, So many books so little time, Megalou Alexandrou/ Metaxourgiou metro station
This mural is a striking portrayal of a woman. She appears to be reading a book and making notes, whilst perched on her desk in front of a stack of books. The use of dark colors and heavy shading adds a unique touch to the artwork, making it stand out and catch the eye. The mural has a vintage yet contemporary feel, making it a prime example of high-quality street art. Overall, this composition is an incredible and captivating piece that showcases the skill and creativity of the artist.
Melina Koan, Soul/Euphoria, Theatre Square
This mural depicts a little girl anxiously waiting for a plant to bloom. The composition has a magical and fairy-tale-like quality that creates an oasis of optimism in the grey surroundings of apartment buildings. The blue sky and blue butterflies serve as a “window” to peace and add to the overall sense of wonder and hope. The artwork captures the girl’s eagerness and anticipation, reminding us of the deep and substantial nature of the soul that remains unchanged throughout the ages.
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