Lisbon’s Latest Public Art

Public art in Lisbon

As you walk around Lisbon you’ll find countless buildings covered in scaffolding, as most of the city’s properties in the old historical center are in desperate need of renovation. On a couple of those works are curious pieces that at first you’re not sure what to think of. They’re art installations by contemporary artists, and the latest one is found on Rua do Alecrim, a street going from the Cais do Sodré riverfront up to the Chiado district. It’s the creation of one of Portugal’s top young artists Joana Vasconcelos and it’s supposed to be a tapeworm. Yes, a tapeworm made of raffia climbing the building.

The group behind these projects is called “Art Building” and its goal is to bring some life, art, and color to construction sites. Once Vasconcelos’ tapeworm is removed at the end of this year, that building will be a hotel.

Vasconcelos’ first major eye-catching piece was a much talked-about chandelier completely made of tampons which she called “The Bride.” She represented Portugal with that work at the Venice Biennale in 2005, and it was also hung in Lisbon’s Lux club.

That club, known for its irreverence and cutting-edge space, currently presents another curious object. This time it was placed outside its doors for its 10th anniversary party a few months ago. It’s the image of a woman’s open legs welcoming you at the entrance, through which you’ll have to enter in order to access the club and its unbeatable nights.

These are just two of the current examples, but expect to have your eyes drawn to other curious objects at a construction site or well-known buildings in Lisbon in the future.

One Response to “Lisbon’s Latest Public Art”

  1. Design sightings in Portugal: 5) Graffiti - art or vandalism? « Says:

    […] nice to see property developers sponsoring this kind of art, and regardless of the merits of the projects themselves (the first is supposed to be a tapeworm), the city is far better off with than without. There are […]