Art in the streets of Brussels

Bonom and Chuck Hargrove

Graffiti artists have been leaving their mark on Brussels for decades.  Since the 80’s the city has been attempting to strike a fine balance between tolerating and outlawing graffiti.  Walking through the city, it appears they have got it right.  There’s no shortage of stop-in-your-tracks work by artists like ROA or Bonom, whose dedicated fan base has produced this map to help you find his many projects.  Agenda magazine did a great piece on the graffiti scene in Brussels, and interviewed some of the current group of artists to get an idea of what drives them to do what they do, sometimes under cover of darkness.

In case stencil and spray-paint graffiti aren’t your cup of tea,  Brussels also celebrates the work of  well-known comic strip artists like Herge, whose Tintin  is nearly a city icon.  Since 1991 the city council, in cooperation with the Belgian Comic Book Center has commissioned murals by various artists depicting scenes from well-known comic strips, all of which can be seen on a self-guided walk through the city using this map.  If you’d prefer a more in-depth experience,  the center also hosts informative tours in 9 languages.  Whether the message behind the art is advertising,  a political statement, or simply entertainment, muralists and graffiti artists continue to contribute to the vast collection of public art that is on display for the pleasure of  anyone who takes a walk through Brussels.

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