Rome "caput mundi", Rome "eternal city".
Believe me, my old and new friends, it isn't easy to write about Rome just focusing on street art. Man, this is such an epic and shining city and everywhere you go you can breath a deep sense of history and greatness.
Anyway, I am the Pop Corn King and the streets are my goal, my mission, my heritage. So, here we are guys, welcome to the streets of Rome.
As usual, I'll try to define some macro areas where you will be able to find some of the best street art spots in town.
Let's start from the she-wolf. As you probably know, the she-wolf is the mythological icon of Rome. That's why the Belgian street art superstar Roa decided to dedicate to this theme over 30 meters of an insane wall. That's why via Galvani, in the Testaccio block, is a perfect point to start your street art tour in town.
Another good reason is that this area is not far from via Ostiense. This long street (more than 2.5 Km) is a must-see for all the graffiti lovers like me and you. In fact walking down via Ostiense and the neighboring streets you will have the opportunity to see massive works by some of the leading spokespeople of the street art movement. From the social commitment of Blu (via del Porto Fluviale and via Ostiense 124) to the classical lines of Axel Void (via del Porto Fluviale) and Borondo (via Efeso), not forgetting the natural talent for the portraits of Sten&Lex and JB Rock (via dei Magazzini Generali).
Too much grace, you know what I mean.
Proceeding our tour of the south metropolitan area of Rome, Tor Marancia is another little promised land for all the street art hunters.
This small block, grown in the second half of the 20th century, is basically composed by public housing. But thanks to the project "Big city life" (hosted by 999Contemporary gallery) 20 talented street artists from all over the world have been "recruited" in order to give to each of these serial buildings a specific, unique and proper soul.
The final result is incredible, a perfect mix of different styles and visions. From the sculpted walls of Vhils to the surreal and dreamy atmosphere of Seth. From the art nouveau style of Diamond to the latin taste of Jaz.
Give me a Hallelujah, guys!
Moving on the other side of the city, Tor Pignattara is the block that you should insert in your "street art radar".
Here, walking down from via di Acqua Bullicante to via di Tor Pignattara, you will have the opportunity to see real masterpieces by the "crème de la crème" of the street art scene. It would be really difficult to list all the walls (and I'd like also to leave you the pleasure of discovering them), so I'll arouse your curiosity with few examples. From the magic realism of the Polish duo Etam Cru (via del Pigneto) to the delicate atmospheres of the queen of Rome Alice Pasquini (via Ludovico Antinori 10). From the big eyed girls of Dilka Bear (via dei Lentuli) to the playful gallery designed by Mr. Thoms (via Decio Mure).
In the 90's (I know, I'm fucking old) we used to say: BOMBASTIC.
More than an art gallery, more than a street art project, MAAM is probably one of the most intense and meaningful life experience that you can have in town. Located in the suburbs of the city, in the Tor Tre Teste block, MAAM is a community of people who decided to resist using street art to express their problems and claim their rights.
An old and abandoned factory in via Prenestina 913 is the place where everything started. Here a small group of people who fight for the right to housing decided to create a sort of city in the city, a place where everybody can have a roof over their heads. Over the years more and more people joined the MAAM community that now counts several families with different origins, traditions and religions, but with the same need of a space where growing and living.
Naturally the occupation of these spaces is not exactly legal, so the clearing out by the local authorities is a concrete risk.
That's why more and more street artists are painting in this area, in order to attract interest on the "right to housing" topic and create a sort of artistic shield to preserve this community.
Also in this case the names involved are impressive: Alice Pasquini, Solo, Spam, Lucamaleonte, Mr. Piskv, David Pompili, Millo, just to give you few examples. But, believe me, when we talk about MAAM, street art is just the tip of the iceberg. A wonderful tip of the iceberg, for sure.
Not a simple art gallery. Varsi is THE gallery if you want to see a street art related exposition in Rome. Located in the elegant Regola block (via di San Salvatore in Campo 51), this magic place hosted in the last couple of years the solo shows of some of the most remarkable tags of the street art game, readapting every time the space in order to interact in the best way with the visions of the artists.
The list of the names came through here it's simply stunning. From local superstars like Alice Pasquini, Diamond, Solo and Mr. Thoms to international living legends like Fintan Magee, Herakut, Dulk and Etam Cru.
Come on buddies, you can't ask for more!
Visit the website (http://www.galleriavarsi.it) or the Facebook page (https://m.facebook.com/galleriavarsi/) to be always updated about the upcoming exhibitions.
That's all, boys and girls. Or, maybe, that's just the beginning. Because, as you probably understood reading my post, there is so much to say and see in Rome.
Believe me, I travelled a lot in my life, but few places gave me the sense of wonder that I feel every time I am in this city.
Fuck me, I'm becoming too romantic. Anyway, if you are in Rome, enjoy the streets of the eternal city, lucky bastards.
The Pop Corn King (re_del_pop_corn)