Reykjavík is full of graffiti. Yes some of the boring dirty malicious vandal ones but Reykjavík inhabitants have found the way to get the vandals to stop. Mostly anyway.
The thing is, even the vandals tend to respect property that people obviously care about. Well cared for houses and walls rarely get tagged. If you get an ugly tag on your wall, painting over it straight away is normally the answer, the vandals tend to see that their mementos don’t stick around and don’t bother tagging the place again after a few times.
Sometimes this isn’t quite enough though. Big walls with no windows always get tags, electricity and phone connection boxes get ugly looking graffiti all the time.
The solution: Get a proper graffiti artist to wax eloquent in painting your wall at will.
We tried this out with the electricity box outside our house:
It did get tagged a couple of times but we painted it right back and it has been left alone for years now. And even in the middle of a snowy winter we always have some flowers outside.
Better than this, right?
Here are a few of the pieces of art:
The best known artist is one Sara Riel. She is responsible for this dragon:
That wall always had tags on it but since the house owners got Sara to paint a graffito of her own design, I don’t think a single tagger has performed on site. If you look very closely, the Toy Spreader from our last article has added their logo inside the space from where the dragon originates!
A couple more of Sara’s art:
Some artists also use the street instead of walls:
A recent favourite:
and this, outside Ölstofan, a pub with some pretty good beer and a weekly pub quiz (sorry, only in Icelandic):
These photos are of course just the tiny tip of the iceberg. All in all, this has made our city all the more inviting and I certainly don’t miss the ugly tagging that used to be in those spaces and the others that have now exciting graffiti art!