Costah and Hazul: Street Art in Porto

In 2013 the Porto government painted over any street art that had a political message.

Porto is full of graffiti; two artists in particular seem to have made their mark all over the city. image

The first, Hazul, tends towards organic shapes and esoteric designs wheat pasted all over the city. Pedro says that Hazul incorporates the Virgin Mary in almost all of his pieces.

image

Even in several images, obviously meant to be magic mushrooms, the Virgin Mary can be found.image Unsure of the implications I ask Pedro an unrelated question: What subjects are taboo to joke about in Portugal?

“People don’t make fun of the church, maybe in their homes but not in public.”

imageI cannot say one way or the other that Hazul is poking fun at Catholicism, but it’s an interesting use of a holy icon nonetheless.

The second artist, Costah, has a much more cartoonish style that plays not only with images but their locations.imageCrumbled building walls are painted to look like faces, missing bricks become missing teeth, and an abandoned building is given new life as cartoonish characters enter or exit the sealed doorways. imageCostah seems to call attention to a city full of neglected buildings by filling them with inhabitants of his own creation.image

 

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