One thing you might not know about Norway: it is the home of the world’s leading street art festival – Nuart Festival, from Stavanger, and the home of the most impressive murals and graffiti art pieces in the world. For long time, Norway cities had zero tolerance for street art. Street artists were punished with heavy fines, and paintings were removed before they saw the light of the day. Nowadays, Norwegian cities support street art projects and all run for becoming street art cities.
Every year, Norway hosts numerous street art festivals with such an incredible atmosphere, that you wish you were one of the artist “vandals”. Live performances given by acclaimed street artists are so spectacular that make you order right now graffiti paint, learn and practice graffiti art and join one of the artist teams in the next festival.
But before transforming you in a street artist, here is a selection of the top places from Norway where you can visit jaw-dropping street art, suggested by experts from Bombing Science:
Tøyen – Oslo’s nest of urban art
Start your tour in Tøyen, a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood from Oslo, the area of the Munch Museum. Tøyen aims to become Scandinavia’s largest outdoor street art gallery before the Munch Museum is moving out, into a new building in Bjørvika in 2020.
The first wall went up in 2012 – The Treasure Hunter by Chilean artist INTI. Starting since, many other artists were invited to join the effort to transform the neighbourhood into a colorful area.
You can use the virtual map developed by Visit Oslo, to identify all the art scenes from Tøyen, but make sure you do not miss “Munch” by Norwegian artist, Steffen Kverneland. You will recognize the background of The Scream, maybe the most well known Munch painting. But instead of the screaming figure, you will see sketch of Edvard Munch himself.
Stavanger, the city that became an open-air art museum
Every year, since 2001, famous international teams of street artists are invited to Stavanger, at Nuart Festival, to leave their mark on the city’s walls – homes, businesses and structures of all kinds, both indoor and outdoor. Beside many city sites, even jail cells and city buses were covered with graffiti art!
When you reach Stavanger, make sure you do not miss the “Deer” made by the Portuguese street artist Bordalo II, mixing sculpture, trash-art and painting. Also, check all Martin Whatson’s art pieces from Stavanger. His art includes stencilled black-and-white characters, always juxtaposed with graffiti and tags using vibrant colors.
Visit Stavanger this summer, and you can see with your own eyes how street art changed the city. Starting June 1st, you can explore the Stavanger Sentrum Street Art Tours. The tours take tourists through 18 years of Nuart Festival’s impressive street art history and the evolution of Stavanger into one of the leading destinations for street art.
Bergen – the city of stencil graffiti
For several years, Bergen attracted many street artists from Norway, while the city was already known as the home of the most famous Norwegian street artists, such as Dolk, AFK and TEG.
Discover their stencil graffiti pieces of arts and other paintings on the Bergen’s facades.
Many walls and corners from the city, but also kindergartens, offices and shopping malls became pieces of urban art in the last 15 years.
In 2000, contemporary artist Bansky came to Bergen and left behind several traces of his work on the city’s walls. Bergen municipality has washed away his work, as at that time there was no tolerance for graffiti and no one could have known how famous Bansky would become. Still, his art inspired the urban artists from Bergen and started a stencil art trend.