Wander along Vienna’s Danube canal, for example, and you’ll find the walled banks a canvas of urban colour. Art? Graffiti? Both? Your choice. But one annual events seeks to highlight street art as a true art form: the Calle Libre festival.
- Live contemporary art painting on urban spaces
- Supporting programme of talks, tours, etc.
- Now reaching its 7th year
- 2020 dates: TBA (Aug 3-10 in 2019)
- See also: Streetlife festival | Events in Vienna
Where art meets walls
Calle Libre translates into free street in Spanish (or so Google translate tells me) and the same-named event bills itself as a festival for urban aesthetics. It essentially falls into two parts.
The first is the actual art, where Austrian and international (mainly Latin American) street artists ply their trade on dedicated spaces throughout Vienna with “live paintings”.
As such, Calle Libre is a chance to observe these masters of their art at work as they create their large-scale murals and urban delights.
Over the course of the festival, city walls in various Viennese districts will get a little brighter, a little more colourful, and a little more inspiring.
Call it curated graffiti of a higher order. There’s the artistic value, but also the dialogue that inevitably ensues when you stick contemporary art (particularly a form which often comes with less positive associations) in a public, urban space.
(Street art along the Danube canal)
Incidentally, the organisers behind Calle Libre ride at the vanguard of Vienna’s street art movement, and account for many of the wonders of urban art you’ll spot once you drift away from the city’s palaces and churches.
The second part of Calle Libre is the supporting programme at different locations: typically talks and tours, workshops, artist meets, opening and closing parties, and more.
Check the official website for full event details.
It’s a little early for 2020, dates, since the previous festival only just ended. Watch this space or the Calle Libre site.
In 2019, the festival ran from Saturday, August 3rd to Saturday, August 10th, with live paintings from the 5th to the 9th. (A hot tip was the Urban Art Guided Tour on August 4th.)