Zagreb Street Art

Total Croatia News

Even though street art in Croatia has been frowned upon and seen as pure vandalism by Croats with a more traditionalist approach to art, its validity and importance for Zagreb art scene is indisputable. Traditional colourful graffiti and huge murals that are true masterpieces can be found all over the city. The most disputed form of street art are definitely tags – signatures in black that can be seen on almost all buildings around the centre. People think this is not art and tags are often painted over regularly, while murals and graffiti are becoming more and more accepted and appreciated.

Street artist mostly choose a pseudonym when they work, and they develop a signature style so you can instantly recognize the author of each work. Sometimes their work is connected to sensitive topics and political activism, so they choose not to reveal who they really are, but sometimes being unknown just adds to the allure of their work. Unlike Banksy, though, most Zagreb artists reveal their true identity.

Artists say that the reason for choosing this particular art form is that it gives you a bigger canvas to work on and that you communicate with your audience directly in a public space, instead of in indoor museums or galleries.

The question of legality still remains – most buildings are either privately or publicly owned, so some of the owners don’t like the idea of their facades being adorned with graffiti.

This is why artists were given a chance to express themselves in specialized places that are now considered to be Street Art Museums.

The first such graffiti museum appeared in 1999 on a wall along Branimirova Street, and it was renovated it 2010 when 80 artists decorated a 450-long wall along Branimirova Street, between the Main Railway Station and the Main Bus Station.

A year after that, another street art museum appeared to bring lively colours in the neighbourhood of Dugave, in Novi Zagreb.

In the summer of 2016 an abandoned park in the centre was renovated and became a vibrant place for concerts and other events, part of the festival called Art Park.

STREET/ART/ZAGREB Photomonography by Anja Planinčić has been published a few weeks ago. It contains more than 200 works by over 95 artists who left their mark on the streets of Zagreb in the past 15 years.

It’s sad that murals and graffiti are subject to weather and repainting because it means that they will eventually disappear, but it’s wonderful at the same time because it gives artists a reason to constantly keep changing, making new art and giving us new colourful reasons to smile.

We’ll try to present to you some of the great works and the artists behind them in the following weeks.

In the meantime, visit Street art Zagreb and Muzej ulične umjetnosti (MUU).

Watch a short documentary about Zagreb street art below

There are also specialized Street art & graffiti tours, you can find them here.


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