Although, at first sight, the city seems submerged in the past, each corner of Porto reveals itself in an effusion of creativity and contemporaneity that increasingly competes with the country’s capital artistic scene. Galleries, a modern art museum with assured presence in the international circuit and a lot of urban art, have definitively turned Porto into a not to be missed destination for all lovers of present day artistic expressions.
ALL ARTISTIC WAYS LEAD TO RUA MIGUEL BOMBARDA
The emblematic street has worked like a magnet throughout the years for artists, collectors, curators, aspiring youths and the simple appreciators. Every month, several promotions are conducted by different galleries, events often highlighted by simultaneous openings. The transformation of this hidden alley into a major artistic pathway goes back to 1993, when Fernando Santos opened here his namesake gallery. With the declared intention of supporting new Portuguese artists, this space was the beginning of a movement that it’s still expanding until the present days. Created in Porto in 1995, Galeria Presença celebrated last year twenty years of uninterrupted activity that included the promotion of artists of different generations and a large variety of distinctive proposals: Helena Almeida, Vhils or Jorge Queiróz are among those.
Ó Galeria presents its walls covered from top to bottom by illustration works from Portuguese and foreign artists. Gallery Quadrado Azul presents an extensive cartalog, including names like Alberto Carneiro, Antoni Tapiès, Álvaro Lapa, Paulo Nozolino or Bruno Pacheco.
GALLERY NUNO CENTENO AND SERRALVES: TWO ESSENTIAL STOPS IN THE EUROPEAN ARTISTIC CIRCUIT
Regarding the panorama of Porto based galleries, the Nuno Centeno one is young, and that may have been the reason for its success. A space for young voices to show their creative proposals, it has at the helm a curator (that gives the gallery its name) that has been considered by several renowned publications as one of the more relevant young European ones.
Serralves, with its beautiful gardens and art deco architecture, offers the more reasons to put Porto on the international map of contemporary art. Projected by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, the museum hosts several high profile expositions that give merit to its relevance in the international artistic scenery. The Serralves Foundation own collection possesses 4300 pieces, with the oldest ones dating back to the 60’s.
URBAN ART: SOME CIRCUITS
And with urban art, we return to the Miguel Bombarda Street. Art in this street is not made of galleries alone. There are also many outdoor examples: D. Quixote and Sancho Pança, the first legal graffiti wall mural in the city, created by Mesk, Fedor and Mots, or a variety of interpretations by the likings of the incomparable Hazul.
At Rua das Flores, the electrical boxes become alive with the works of Costah, Godmess x Sem or Bug Bolito, that have gained inspiration for these creations on the city’s popular sayings, expressions and characteristics.
At Trindade, a 250 meters mural occupied by works from Hazul and Mr. Deo is highly instagramable. Facing Alfândega (“Customs”) and installed in a building at Miragaia, a Vhils mural shows a surveying eye looking over the city and its doings.