R.U.A. – Reflection on Urban Art

It must not have been easy to get permission for ten massive walls to be painted. It must especially not have been easy to do so when it is normally being seen as vandalism. The people behind Caramundo got the permission and the results are to be seen in and near the city centre of Rotterdam. As part of R.U.A. Festival, street artists from Brazil were invited to show and paint their work on these walls and did so during July and August. Rua is the Portuguese word for street and that’s exactly what it is all about.

The R.U.A. festival itself is over, but the artworks are still there for everyone to view. Last Sunday I took the train to Rotterdam, armed with a map I downloaded from the R.U.A. website, to view the results on these ten walls. The map shows exactly where each artwork is and which artist made it. Where you start is up to you. It is quite amazing to see how big the paintings are and the details are very precise as well. My personal favourite is from Horoiwa. His work shows a praying lady with two faces. Fortunate for him his placement is not hidden away, but clearly viewable from within your car, on your bike or when sitting in a bus.

For example Onio’s wall on Schiestraat can only be spotted if you happen to be in the area, but you will have to look up.

Another favourite is Dalata’s work on Boomgaardhof. If there is one artwork that has all the details, then it is his. I must have looked for at least ten minutes to spot every single detail and the different kind of sea animals his painting has.

Even though the street is where it is all happening, Hilton Rotterdam gave the permission for their smoking room being painted by Dalata, Yusk and Ramon Martins. Your chance to have a look inside the Hilton. I could describe every artwork, but you will have to see them for yourself.

I hope this is the start of street art finally being given the recognition it deserves and may other cities follow. There are lots of walls that need to be pimped up.