The whole concept to bring street art to Kosice was created by Street Art Communication – a local organization whose main aim was to introduce the urban art in the city. In 2008 they’ve launched a local street art festival during which some of the best murals were created. These days there’re around 30 murals in the city made by both local and international artists, the peak of the activity was in 2013 when Kosice was the European Capital of Culture. The festival used to be one of the biggest in Central Europe but now is long gone. However, Street Art Communication is still very active in the local scene. Every year they work hard to put new murals in the Kosice’s walls and I personally think it’s much better idea than having everything done at once. Bratislava street art should learn from them!
There’re couple of rules that Street Art Communication follows when choosing the location for the new mural. It cannot be made next to the big advertisement in order not to confuse people. Locals should easily distinguish what is a piece of art, even if in a big, urban form. The organization also helps inhabitants who don’t have money to renovate their blocks. Instead of painting them in bright colours (like in most of the cities in Central Europe these days) they offer to create murals on the walls so the blocks wouldn’t step out as the only ones that weren’t redone. To have it done the organization needs to get the approval of 51% of people living in the block and sometimes that’s even too much…
Putting so many murals on the walls of Kosice has been somehow beneficial for the city. Random tags and graffiti are barely seen around, instead a fine works of art embellish Kosice. But there’s more street art than that! Another project made for European Capital of Culture 2013 was SPOTs – a former redundant infrastructure that was used to bring culture to the suburbs too. Those places, like the heating stations, are covered in some decent street art as well!
I was lucky to be able to discover Kosice street art together with Viktor from Street Art Communication and it was the best way to get to know explore the local scene. After really great tours in Buenos Aires and Lisbon also Kosice didn’t disappoint! I couldn’t be happier to find out that some of the best murals around were made by Polish artists and an English guy – Phlegm who created my favourite mural ever that I see every other day here in Warsaw! Anyway, below you can see the amazing pieces I could admire in Kosice!
Here’s the map with all the murals I’ve seen in Kosice. Street Art Communication is working to create their own map of Kosice street art, to help visitors explore the local scene. You can also visit their website to find the locations of other murals I haven’t seen!
When you visit Kosice be sure to stop by in Tabacka, a former tobacco factory that now serves as a culture center. That’s where the Street Art Communication office is located. You can chat with them about the local street art scene and street art in general!
And in the meantime be sure to watch this great video about Kosice made by my friends from Visegrad Hostels.
Would you like to visit Kosice? Do you like street art?
If you think of visiting Slovakia or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
Note: I visited Kosice in partnership with Visit Kosice however all the opinions are 100% mine, as always.
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