Every year, the European Union awards two cities the title of European Capital of Culture. With this, the EU wants to show the diversity and beauty of Europe. For the year 2013, Kosice, together with the French city of Marseille, was the European Capital of Culture. This title gave Kosice a huge boost. It created the perfect breeding ground for local cultural projects. This is how street art got to expand in the city. Today, Kosice has a grant collection of murals. More than thirty art pieces! It is nearly impossible to see them all in one weekend. However, I can tell you where to find the best works. Keep on reading for the locations and map out your street art hunt. Happy hunting!
Why is there so much street art in Kosice?
Street art is not something new in Kosice. A local street art festival has been taking place since 2008. The driving force behind this is the Slovak art platform Street Art Communication (SAC). This organization transformed dull gray apartment walls into colorful works of art. The walls were always chosen in collaboration with the residents of the neighborhood. First 51% of the neighborhood had to agree, then the platform started painting the wall.
The European title in 2013 generated extra attention and recognition for the work of the platform. The city realized that street art could be a chance to add color to the neighborhoods surrounding the center. After all, the whole city had to shine during 2013. SAC got the opportunity to launch a new project. This was the Open Mural Gallery (abbreviated: OMG), a gallery consisting of 30 colossal paintings on the sides of apartment blocks. It is the largest exhibition of murals in Slovakia. In addition, a second project was set up under the name SPOTs. This time, the dull central heating stations of apartment blocks were the canvas and they got a colorful makeover.
Photos & addresses
Roaming around the city and hoping that you will see some wall art along the way does not work. Street art tends to be a bit hidden. More often you find it in the suburbs rather than in the center. Save yourself a lot of frustration and head straight to the best street art with this list of addresses. The eight works I mention can be checked off in one walking route. Keep in mind that street art is not permanent. A wall can always be painted over. The titles in this list are my descriptions. These are not the actual names given by the artists. Do you want to see more? On the Street Art Communication website you can find a map with all the murals in Kosice.
1. Fantastic telescope
Phlegm – Great Britain
Address: Hronská 8
2. Men Kissing – the most criticized work of Kosice
Claudia Ethos – Brazil
Address: L’udová 8
3. Frozen shapes (I think? I actually don’t know what this is)
Pener & Tone – Poland
Address: Ružínska 2
4. rats collecting gold
Erica Il Cane – Italy
Address: Zuzkin park
5. Black & white Disney figures – SPOTs project
Cart 1 – France
Address: Zuzkin park, unfortunately the painting is in poor condition
6. woman with long legs – the most impressive mural by Kosice
Bezt & Pener – Poland
Address: Trieda SNP 61
7. Men with sticks as legs
Proembrion & Sepe – Poland
Address: Floriánska 4
8. Lion with crown
Aryz – Spain
Address: Protifašistických bojovníkov 4
Final addition to the list: in Kosice you will also find a wall painting of the Chilean artist INTI. You will find his work all over the world, even in the Netherlands (in Heerlen). Unfortunately, it started to rain during my street art walk and I had to go inside. You can find INTI between number 7 and 8 on Zborovská 2.