Murals of Praga
Seen as the birthplace of Warsaw street art, join us for a summertime safari of our favourite murals in Praga… and beyond!
Bird & Snake by DALeast (2014)
Painted in a day, this image is composed of several thousand tangled strands with the brittle-looking wires merging to form a bird perched on a cobra. Both exude pride, dignity and defiance and were painted to encourage respect towards wildlife. Such is the unsettling intensity of the work, it’s said to have caused several motorists to slam on their brakes.
Warsaw Fight Club by Conor Harrington (2015)
Says the artist: “I wanted to demystify the classical art which tends to portray these kind of figures as being elegant and statuesque. By presenting them in direct physical combat I wanted to show the harm they are capable of.” Local councilors, however, have complained that the imagery encourages street violence.
Woman’s Head by Tankpetrol (2021)
Painted by a Manchester-based Polish artist, Woman’s Head peers over shabby Kowieńska in an image of dignified defiance. “Women and their world of emotions fascinate me,” says the artist.
The Praga Piper by Mateusz Kołek (2019)
Authored by Mateusz Kołek but executed by GoodLooking Studio, this mural celebrates the street musicians that were once such an inseparable part of local Praga life. Found on the wall of a swanky new apartment complex, one could theorise that it conveys the rich contrast between old school Praga and its increasingly gentrified new direction.
Give Your Child Strength by Wojciech Brewka (2022)
Unveiled last year on the occasion of Children’s Day, this mural aims to remind adults of their duty to help build the self-esteem of children. “The animals symbolise parents,” says Brewka. “The bear is the mother, as bears are famed for the care they extend to their young, whilst the whale is the father – the embodiment of strength and protection.”
Desperados by Dotacje na kreacje (2017)
Ząbkowska / Targowa
Originally painted as a commercial mural advertising Desperados, the firm’s logo was removed after it was adjudged to have broken local laws. Painted in jaunty Jamaican colours, the rest of this fun-loving mural was allowed to remain intact.
Goose by Diego Miedo (2012)
Added at a time when the city was counting down to the European Football Championships, Diego Miedo’s project aimed to show local kids that rather than loitering around the gates of the National Stadium, they could do something actually useful with their time – as such, dozens of schoolchildren helped the artist realise this work.
Moonlight Wolf by M-City (2020)
The author of hundreds of murals, Moonlight Wolf was created by M-City, a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts better-known to his students as Dr. Mariusz Waras. Paying homage to one of this extra-curricular passions, it depicts an off-road rally car being chased by a mechanical wolf.
Collapse by Cyrcl Collective (2014)
Painted by a Malmo art collective, Collapse shows the ruins of an ancient column on a dark background adorned with patterns that symbolise war.
Hole in the Whole by 1010 (2015)
Though peeling and in a generally desperate state of disrepair, many profess this to be their favourite Warsaw mural – it’s certainly intellectually stimulating / baffling. Painted by the acclaimed Hamburg street artist 1010, it shows a hole disappearing inside a series of larger holes. Explaining his work, 1010 says: “the hole gives us a chance to leave the periphery and enter something new – but what? Exactly.”
The Little Prince by Magdalena Rytel (2017)
Though painted by Magdalena Rytel of the Wallart group, it was designed by high school student Julia Boraczewska as part of a community action. Quite surreal, it shows the Little Prince and friends perched on cosmic planets.
Sausage Dog by Helloart (2017)
As opposed to a tribute to the local dachshund population (it’s high!), this mural was painted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Jamnik (sausage dog) building whose side it adorns. Named so on account of its elongated form, this 508-metre long residential block has enjoyed several brushes with celebrity. In 2004, for example, British band Travis recorded their video for Love Will Come Through here.
Totalizator by Tytus Brzozowski (2021)
Targowa / Kijowska
Well, you couldn’t miss this one if you tried. Standing 60 metres high and covering 690 sq/m of wall space, this mural was painted to mark the 65th birthday of a locally-quartered lotto company. Designed by the surrealist artist Tytus Brzozowski, it references several Praga landmarks and was painted using so many air-purifying paints as to have the effect of 650 trees.
Foton by GoodLooking Studio (2020)
First premiering in 1972, this classic of PRL era advertising was created to promote the photochemical plant Foton. Inscribed in three languages (Russian, English and Polish), it was painted over in 2019 – lauded as a part of Warsaw’s historical identity, such was the outcry from city activists that it was repainted in full the following year.
Man’s Fate by Twożywo & Farbfieber (2010)
This Polish-German collaboration was realised to mark 20 years of partnership between Warsaw and Dusseldorf. Showing a suited wolf leading a lamb by the hand, its interpretation has been the source of hot debate – and as a result, has been praised by several people for doing exactly what public art should strive to do.
Praga is Fashionable by RSM (2020)
There is no hidden meaning to this piece of wall art: what you see is what you get. Boldly declaring Praga to be fashionable, it pictures an elegantly attired female sitting in a café with a Yorkie at her feet. Though fun and jaunty, the XL work fundamentally misses the point, however – i.e., that it is Praga’s raw but creative underbelly that has served to make it so in vogue.
Sea Lady by Weronika Zdzichowska (2016)
No grand story here – this mural was commissioned as a result of a junior high competition. However, it is because of this that it works. With no obscure message to decipher, it’s simply an enjoyable piece of art.
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