Wander along Vienna’s Danube canal, for example, and you’ll find the walled banks a canvas of colour. Street art fills parts of the city, with the Calle Libre festival an annual highlight in the urban art calendar.
- Live contemporary art painting across urban spaces
- Often supporting programme of talks, tours, etc.
- 2023 dates: July 27 – August 5
- See also:
Where art meets walls
(Street art along the Danube canal)
Calle Libre translates into free street in Spanish (or so Google translate tells me) and the same-named event serves as a festival and platform for contemporary urban aesthetics. It essentially falls into two parts.
The first is the actual art, where Austrian and international (often Latin American) street artists ply their trade on dedicated spaces in 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’s history, city walls in various Viennese districts have got a little brighter, a little more colourful, and a little more inspiring.
Call it curated street art of a higher order. You have the artistic value, but also the dialogue that inevitably ensues when you stick contemporary art (particularly a form which often comes with clear social commentary) in a public, urban space.
Incidentally, the organisers behind Calle Libre ride at the vanguard of Vienna’s street art movement, and account for many of the glorious examples 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: typically talks and tours, workshops, artist meets, opening and closing parties, and more.
Calle Libre runs for ten days from July 27th to August 5th in 2023. The live paintings focus on Vienna’s 16th district (Ottakring) under the motto “DIEZ. Years of Transformation”. (This is the tenth edition of the event.)
Previous iterations of Calle Libre spread the art across the city, though the last one focused on a single festival site (the event adopted more of a traditional festival character, with music, food trucks and bars on site along with the workshops and tours).
Check the official website for full 2023 event details once available.