Street Art in Bologna

Street Art in Bologna

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

When I first arrived in Bologna I stayed in an apartment outside the walls. I was looking for a location that had an easy connection to the school so I could minimize the amount of walking I would need to do. I had some, er, mobility problems earlier this year and wasn’t sure how things would go after I got here. It turns out that not only did I have no problem at all walking for quite a distance but the price paid for the location was pretty high: there was a lot of street noise because the room fronted on a very busy street along which buses ran almost all of the time. So that’s the back story.

The guy whose apartment it was, Lorenzo, took me for a walk the first evening while it was still light and pointed out some fantastic murals. Some street art has become quite famous. Perhaps you’re familiar with Banksy from England. If not you can check out his inventive art by clicking on this link.

So Bologna has it’s own equivalent. Actually I would say that he surpasses Banksy. He goes by the name Blu. I was quite impressed and went back a few days later to take a picture of the most spectacular mural as well as some others of his nearby. The biggest and most intricate mural depicts a battle between merchants and politicians of Bologna arrayed against the students and various idealists/activists – clearly the forces of good. The merchants are flinging giant mortadellas (those incredible and monstrous sausages – or maybe they should be called salamis) that are a staple of Bologna. The idealists, on bicycles no less, are responding with watermelons. There are local politicians that only a Bolognese would recognize, Berlusconi, and a banker on the one side. Probably there are Bolognese activists that would be recognizable to many Bolognese but certainly not to me. There are elements from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

There were some other murals by Blu. One that I particularly liked is the evolution of man and a second is the manipulation of man.

As I was walking toward the murals I happened upon these other murals, probably not by Blu but interesting nevertheless.

Not only that I found that he has an incredible website. Not only does he do morals and sketches of various sorts but has made some fantastic videos which involve painting, erasing and painting again to create stop-motion videos. One can only imagine the effort that went into these works of creative genius. I’ve put one here and I recommend that you take a look at his website by clicking here to see others.

Comments are always welcome and of course I always like subscribers. Remember that clicking on any image will enlarge it and you can click forward and backwards to see the complete set.

One last note: my little camera does quite a good job but cannot hope to have the scope of a really good one. I envy my cousin Scott’s camera and his skill with photography. You can see some of his work by clicking here.

6 Responses to “Street Art in Bologna”

  1. Scott Says:

    Hey, Joe. Thanks for the ad. Your pictures are great BTW and I always love your stories about Italy!

  2. Joe Says:

    You’re welcome Scott. I wouldn’t call it an “ad” exactly. I love your photos and wanted to be able to share them. BTW I only have your work email. If you have another one send me an email at my email address so that I’ll have it.


  3. Nina Says:

    Joe, these are great and yes, I am still reading your blog. How familiar are you with the murals in the Mission? There are some really fantastic ones.

  4. Joe Says:

    Hi Nina,

    I’ve certainly seen some of those as well as some interesting ones in Oakland but I do think that Blu is really something special.


  5. Petr Says:

    HI Joe,

    Cool wall art. Has much more of a edge to it than the stuff you see in the mission district.

  6. Joe Says:

    Ciao Peter! Yes, it’s really cool. I hope that you watched the video which is even cooler. Let’s plan a lunch when I return.


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