Where to find street art in Florence
You’d think that a place like Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance, the home of Dante Alighieri and Michelangelo – would not be the ideal stage for street artists. Why should street art flourish in a city that is already an open-air museum? But this is when things get interesting – in the past few years Florence has become a meeting place for Italian (and international) street artists.
More and more forms of street art are beginning to fill the city: from sculpture to paintings, from stickers to stylized images. So much so that in 2018 the city of Florence created an official Google map of where you can find street art in Florence. Amidst famous piazzas and historic vias you’ll find the artworks of some great Italian street artists, each trying to communicate an ironic or unconventional message.
One of the best places to admire street art is the famed Sottopasso delle Cure, an underpass where you’ll likely find Totò, the old man who guards the artworks, and, who knows, you may even meet some street artists themselves! So let’s dive into the city’s graffiti culture and explore the best street art in Florence.
Clement Abraham is a creator of new meanings, a controversial artist who leaves his mark on road signs (while not taking away the inherent meaning of the sign). Despite being a street artist, he differs from other street artists as he doesn’t follow the typical form of denunciation and criticism that we’re used to in graffiti culture. Instead, his visual language is ironic and gives passers-by a new way of looking and interpreting the world. His reworked street signs are simple and beautiful and can be found all over Florence. Originally from France, Clet has been living in Italy for more than 20 years and also has a studio in the San Niccolo neighbourhood (Via Dell’Olmo 8r) where you can pick up some stickers or prints (a great souvenir of Florence)!
No trip to Florence is complete until you’ve spotted at least one of the little men by this Florentine street artist. Exit/Enter’s works can be found all over Tuscany but Florence is where you’ll find the most. The artist depicts stylised little men and women, usually with a small red heart or with a red balloon. Simplicity is the key to Exit/Enter’s art – the young artist manages to create such simple works that evoke different emotions for each person that comes across with them. He once said that his name, Exit/Enter, derives from the creation and interpretation of his art: when he’s creating a work, different emotions are coming out of him (EXIT), while when someone comes into contact with his works, emotions are entering that person (ENTER).
Blub – L’Arte sa Nuotare
Blub is the Florentine street artist behind the artworks portraying famous figures immersed underwater and wearing a diving mask. From Dante Alighieri to the Mona Lisa, from Marilyn Monroe to Freddie Mercury, Blub depicts characters that have had a positive impact in their artistic, literary or musical fields. Characters that have become icons and that have a positive symbolic value. But why immerse them in water? In an interview with Artribune, Blub said it’s because time stops when you’re underwater–the weight of your body and your thoughts disappear and go off into another dimension. By depicting these characters underwater, Blub makes them eternal. Most of his artworks are found around Florence painted on electrical junction boxes.
Like all street artists, Yuri has understood that being recognisable is the only way to impress. So, if you happen to see an artwork with white and red colors with, almost always, a bicycle depicted, know that it’s by the street artist Hopnn Yuri. The artist’s works are packed with political and environmental meaning, and promote the use of bicycles as a way of moving around the city. Most of his street art can be found in the historic center or in the San Niccolo neighbourhood. Hopnn Yuri’s most famous work is probably the one depicted in the Cure underpass (Sottopasso delle Cure).
Carla Bruttini, known as Carla Bru, is a painter and one of the few female street artists in Florence. Her works can be found in galleries, museums and exhibitions. After opening her Dhai Studio Atelier in the Oltrarno neighbourhood (Via di S. Niccolò, 44r), she felt the need to share her message beyond her studio. So she brought her artworks to the streets of Florence and began depicting her famous red-haired women to spread a message of positivity. Carla says we all have a responsibility of what we put out there, that what we depict influences people. We constantly hear negative news so leaving a positive message is a way of gifting someone with a smile.
Speaking of street artists, this anonymous artist, or group of artists, has stirred up quite an interest in Florence back in 2019 on International Women’s Day. To celebrate women, Lediesis portrayed 8 artworks of iconic women dressed as Superwoman on former doors or windows around Florence. Among the women depicted you’ll find Frida Khalo, Uma Thurman (Kill Bill), Princess Lea (Star Wars), Sophia Loren, Rita Levi Montalcini, Margheria Hack, the Virgin Mary, and Nefertiti. We won’t tell you where to find them, it’ll be a fun quest!
Urban Solid are two Milanese street artists known for bringing sculpture into street art. They create works out of plaster or resin and then attach them to walls in different parts of the city, giving the impression that they’re coming out of the wall. The result is a three-dimensional experience that isn’t just visual but also tactile. Urban Solid’s form of street art is influenced by everyday life and they denounce current issues in an ironic way. Their three-dimensional installations are present in many cities around Europe, from Florence to London.
Il Sedicente Moradi
Moradi il Sedicente is a painter with a studio in the Santo Spirito neighbourhood who expresses himself mainly through sculpture. But this time it isn’t in the traditional sense of the term. His works are not in marble nor bronze. Instead, they’re made out of recovered materials found along the river, on the beach, in parks or on the street. Woods, leaves, branches, plastic… hand Il Sedicente Moradi whatever you like and he’ll give it new life. Once the artwork is finished he places it in nature.