airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar
Sign In
The Mont des Arts is temporarily being taken over by forty talented street artists | © Anne Boyle
The Mont des Arts is temporarily being taken over by forty talented street artists | © Anne Boyle
Save to wishlist

'Interface' Street Art Brussels: 40 Artists, 40 Portraits

Picture of Nana Van De Poel
Updated: 28 November 2016
How do you turn the brown, drab panels of a big construction site in the middle of a city’s cultural hub into an asset? By letting 40 graffiti artists, photographers, and illustrators each paint an original portrait on those temporary walls.
With more than half of the portraits to go, Rue Ravenstein already boast some gorgeous images © Nana Van de Poel

With more than half of the portraits to go, Rue Ravenstein already boasts some gorgeous images | © Nana Van de Poel

The initiative comes from Urbana, the organization also responsible for many of the city’s comic murals such as Thorgal & Aaricia and Benoît Brisefer. The non-profit also supports street art unrelated to comics, like they did earlier this year with Les Géants d’Anderlecht (The Giants of Anderlecht) in April. Fifteen artists were offered the chance to decorate nine- to ten-meter-high pillars in a graffiti-friendly area known as “The Hall of Fame of Neerpede,” resulting in some beautiful work like Steve Locatelli’s image of Stromae.

One of the artists at work | © Anne Boyle

One of the artists at work | © Anne Boyle

The new project in the middle of town will hopefully achieve the same, except with portraits of unknowns and on an even bigger scale. For anyone dedicated to sprucing up the city with contemporary urban art like Urbana is, the 150 meters of panels surrounding the BNP Paribas Fortis site, of course, presented an amazing opportunity. Its location on the Mont des Arts, only a few steps from cultural temple Bozar and close to the central railway station, ensures that many people, locals and tourists alike, are bound to bump into the 40 different faces staring out onto Rue Ravenstein.

To make things even more intriguing, all 80 of those eyes will be at the same height as well, explains Nicolas Morreel of Urbana: “When driving by on the bus, you’ll be looking into the eyes of the portraits.” The project’s name, INTERFACE, is especially intriguing in this respect, referring to both the faces that will grace the Mont des Arts as well as our smartphone-loving methods of communication. And since 40 artists from different disciplines were invited, we can surely expect a very diverse collection of frescoes.

The construction/art site is right next to Bozar | © Anne Boyle

The construction/art site is right next to Bozar | © Anne Boyle

Each portrait's eyes will be on the same level | © Anne Boyle

Each portrait’s eyes will be on the same level | © Anne Boyle

A detail of one of the finished portraits | © Anne Boyle

A detail of one of the finished portraits | © Anne Boyle