Street Art is becoming more and more popular around the world! Maybe because it's free and people can enjoy it without setting foot inside a gallery, or maybe because artists work on anonymous and gray urban walls transforming them in something beautiful and unique! It seems like a long time since street writers were convicted of vandalism! Nowadays this is just art, which is offered as a gift to everyone while strolling around the city.
In the Oltrarno District, we can discover the pioneers of this art, especially in San Frediano and San Niccolò quarters. It is right there that the world-renowned artist Clet modifies street signs: using simple stickers he gives them a witty, ironic and subversive touch. Today Street Art can be found everywhere in Florence: in the historical center as well as in its suburbs and there's always something new to look out for.
Another well-known artist is Exit/Enter, who creates simple images, like the ones children draw, to communicate a direct, easy message: men who hug a flower or fly away with a red heart bring us in a poetic dimension. And let’s not forget about the cultured pop art of Blub: he takes a famous portrait or the picture of a celebrity, provides it with a snorkel mask, immerses it under the sea and that's it! These aquatic masterpieces are painted on paper and can usually be found pasted on gas boxes. Both artists sell their works in a private gallery, but this art was born for the streets.
Other artists have found in Florence the perfect place to express their creativity. Among them we find Ache77, who portraits women with deep black eyes; LeDiesis who became famous thanks to a series of wonder women wearing the S of superheroes; Carla Bru who paints fairies and shamans with red hair, and then Bue2530, Millo, Urto, Rame13, Jorit and many others.
The importance of Street Art has grown so much that many artists have been asked to exhibit their masterpieces in museums: Uffizi Gallery’s portrait collection has recently acquired an artwork realized by Britain street artist Endless; while Palazzo Medici Riccardi has presented the work of Keith Haring, Banksy and Obey to Florence. There cannot be any more doubts: Street Art is full-fledged art!
A further proof of Street Art’s well-grounded appreciation also comes from the ever-growing collaboration between institutions and artists: James Boy, Ache 77, Exit/Enter and Millo have been recruited to restyle the Ginger Zone Cultural Center in Scandicci; while Jorit has been called to paint two giant murals portraying Nelson Mandela and Antonio Gramsci respectively (the first in piazza Leopoldo, 2018, the second one in via Canova, 2020).
A very interesting experience is the one a of the Galluzzo council houses decorated with scenes from The Last Judgement by Francisco Bosoletti: six large surfaces, decorated with scenes from Dante's Comedy with folded, intertwined bodies that bear witness to the struggle of humanity. It is a majestic work, well worth a visit.
Moreover, in February 2021, the Municipality of Florence has promoted a new project, called Chioschi Street Art – Alfabeto Urbano: a few artists of the graffiti writing world have decorated 8 kiosks of the city. All of them have followed a common theme, incorporating in their artworks the letters of the alphabet and Florence’s distinctive colors. The kiosks chosen for this makeover are located in 6 squares (Duomo, Sant'Ambrogio, Repubblica, Alberti, Piero della Francesca, Dalmazia), in via Torcicoda and in viale Righi.
The last works of street art were used to decorate the new public toilets in Piazza dell'Isolotto: the artist Fabio Petani covered the surface with a figurative Herbarium, made up of a blue sky, flowers and trees.