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Reykjavik - the word on the street is 'Art'

Iceland is a nation rich with creative energy

April 19, 2016

Has anyone ever told you that Iceland is a nation rich with creative energy? Well it is! Just take a stroll through the capital and you will discover the local's penchant for adding splashes of colour to every corner of their city.

Reykjavik is a city with a rich creative history, which is still very much alive to this day. Take a walk around town and you can’t help but notice the diverse street art, ranging from amatuer scrawlings to commissioned public works (and everything in between).

Not everybody is a fanboy, and the authorities have repeatedly tried cracking down on would be graffiti artists, often issuing fines and encouraging the community to report such activity to the police. More recently the city has partnered with organisations such as Airwaves to provide opportunities for curated pieces which meet with prior approval (at least from the building owners).

Reykjavik art

Like them or loath them however, the colourful daubings are here to stay. With that said, Extreme Iceland took a stroll around town to sample some of the creative juices on display. Below are some pictures of some of the main sites in the centre of 101, along with some background information on the artist (if available). If you are at a loose end in Reykjavik, get out there for a stroll and take in some culture (best of all it’s free!).

Starting at the top of Laugavegur, the first painting encountered was on the side of Hotel Alda, at number 66. The work (shown below) was completed by London based artist D*FACE, and stays true to his recurring themes of love, celebrity, death and decay. The words at the bottom read along the lines of "Those I hurt most were the ones I loved"

Laugavegur D*Face

Slightly further along Laugavegur's top end, you can't miss this recent avian arrival (pictured below). Is it a pigeon? We can't say for sure, and have so far been unable to identify the artist. Answers on a postcard please.

Laugavegur pigeon art

Brooklyn street artist Elle recently brightened up on old house at number 35 Laugavegur, sticking to her commonly seen wolf inspiration. It's not surprising that this collaboration was inspired by the song "Tuttugu og Eitthvað" by Icelandic rap outfit ÚlfurÚlfur (which means Wolf Wolf).

Laugavegur 35 Tuttugu og Eitthvað

This guy takes the prize for Viking Alpha Monkey. His stony faced stare greets shoppers ambling down the main drag near the old sweet shop. Don't mess.

Viking Alpha Monkey art work reykjavik

Another unidentified piece next, located on Hverisgata not far down from the 10-11 (but on the opposite side). This beautiful creation seems to have a deeper meaning, and we will leave it to you to speculate what it may be.

Hverisgata art piece

More street art pictures: click here