Urban art is often seen as vandalism or destruction of private property. Amadora, a portuguese city, contradicts this idea. With the support of the city hall, Urban Art is used to refresh the suburbs. It gives a new face to old and abandoned buildings and improves the usual one colour visual of younger structures. By embracing Graffiti the city sends a message of acceptance and legitimization to his artists.
But why talk about Amadora? Well, it is the city where occurs Amadora BD every year since 1989. Amadora BD is an international comics event that has the support of the city hall. In addition, the city has several low income neighborhoods where random Graffiti would appear. Instead of banning street art Amadora embraced it. Nowadays you can find comics heroes and comics covers portrayed in buildings or walls, scattered in the most unlikely places.
This transition has become more evident since a contest in 2010 sponsored by Estradas de Portugal (portuguese company responsible road and rail infrastructures) and Amadora’s city hall, where several Graffiti appeared in prominent places, exposed to anyone entering or exiting the city. Later on, in 2014, several new paintings were made, allusive to the international comics festival and involving known comics artist. You can check the oficial list of Graffiti in the city hall website.
Since then, more Graffiti appeared, by several artists, all along Amadora. There is a great array of themes but the majority will fall into fiction characters, futuristic panels and portuguese historical personalities. Amongst these artist, Odeith is the one with more Graffiti art displays. He is especially known for his special abilities with perspective and shading. His draws are often perceived as tri-dimensional.
One of the Graffiti projects used comics references to paint the city
More recently the project Conversas na Rua honored several portuguese historical personalities.