From Vandalism to Art: Portugal’s Thriving Urban Art Scene

Portugal Embraces Political and Social Expression for All to See
(Even Seniors are Getting Into the Act)

Today Portugal is one of the hottest destinations for travel in Europe. But back in 2008 the country was hit hard by the worldwide recession. Portugal’s austerity measures had put people under tremendous pressure. Lisbon’s central district, the Barrio Alto, a magnet for youth because of the clubs and nightlife, was being hit hard by vandals with spray cans. Three hours drive north of Lisbon, Portugal’s second largest city Porto was also struggling with defacement of long-empty buildings.

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Art: The Wild West: Plains to the Pacific

On display through October 9 at San Francisco’s Palace of the Legion of Honor: Some Pieces on Display for the First Time

What do contemporary American multimedia artist, William Wiley, Funk artist Roy de Forest, and early 20th century illustrator and painter Maynard Dixon have in common? One might say, “not much” until you see their works side-by-side in Wild West: Plains to the Pacific, on display at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. When juxtaposed, a whole new light is cast on themes ranging from transportation in the West to depiction of Native American life to the beauty and grind of California agricultural life.

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Berlin Walls: Photo Gallery

Art, Berlin WallWall Art, Berlin: “The Kiss” Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing East Germany President Erich Honecker

Photo: Russell Johnson

Tear down those walls. On this anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we might also be celebrating the elections in Myanmar which, if they hold, further chip away the wall that has divided that nation from the rest of the world.

But walls come down, walls go up: In Europe, blocking immigrants. In Israel, further dividing that nation. Along the US border, red meat for opportunistic politicians.

Thankfully, I think it is safe to say that the Berlin Wall is down for good. We photographed some of the art painted on what is left of it.

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