Athens Street Art and the Rise of a New Culture: A Photo Journey
Athens has been known for many things throughout the centuries: architecture, civilization, food, nightlife, and many -way- many more. Another thing, however, is its street art, this unique way of expressing feelings, criticizing everyday issues and problems, and aiming to share a subliminal message to its viewers. This is what we can actually call “graffitiing to raising awareness”.
From walls to vans, benches and dumpsters, these are just a few places where you may find these extravagant and magnificent works of street art. Right around every corner awaits you one incomparable graffiti to lighten your day up and give you a glimpse of the alternative beauty of Athens. It is, of course, not always welcome by the locals, but it has become a common spectacle of the city, although illegal, yet not removed. Most of them can be found throughout the city, in neighborhoods like Metaxourgeio, Psyrri and Gazi, Anafiotika, and Exarcheia, where artists use street walls as their canvas to make a political statement, to create something abstract and meaningful, or to affect people’s mentality in a funny and provocative way.
First Stop: Metaxourgeio
Once the industrial district of Athens, Metaxourgeio is the neighborhood where street art is and keeps flourishing as the days go by, becoming artsier and artsier. Although an infamous place, Metaxourgeio has begun reinventing itself as the center of creativity. This is the place where you can encounter works by Borondo and INO, among others all over the district.
Second Stop: Psyrri
Psyrri is considered the area for those of you who seek the true local experience, where you can find the best place to drink some tsipouro and ouzo accompanied by tasteful ‘mezedes’, and where small, yet intriguingly smashing bars and clubs are located. Here you can, however, witness the impressive art of several street artists that make you travel to the modern side of one of the oldest neighborhoods of the center of Athens. Wandering round and about the place, you always come across beautiful murals leaving you awe-inspired, created by Blaqk, Alexandros Vasmoulakis and Vangelis Hoursoglou (a.k.a. Woozy).
Third Stop: Gazi
The neighborhood that combines the industrial lifestyle and the modern mentality of today. Nevertheless, at the same time, it stands out for its unparalleled street art found everywhere your eye can see, as well as its nightlife possibilities. Here you can find works made by INO and Borondo, many of which decorate the narrow streets of the district.
Fourth Stop: Anafiotika and Plaka
At Anafiotika and Plaka, you will find a great number of unique creations, filling the picturesque area with art and making it an even more beautiful place for you to visit during your stay here. Making your way on the narrow streets just underneath the Acropolis, you will discover the works of the French artist Oré, Dimitris Taxis, Basek and many more.
Fifth Stop: Exarcheia
Known mostly among the locals as the ‘anarchist’ district, Exarcheia is another place where street art makes its way on the walls of various buildings. Works by Oré, WD (Wild Drawings), Borondo and INO depict different stories with different meanings.
Of course, the search for street art around Athens doesn’t stop there. You can always wander the city and its neighborhoods each day and every time you will discover something new made by the ‘spray can artists’ who don’t simply draw, but they create what they want to share with the world: a message to wake up people and make them realize what life is all about, just by looking at what looks like an abstract, yet comprehensible, picture on a wall.