Everything about Lisbon is bright and colorful, from the houses that crawl up the Colinas de São Jorge and São Vicente near Alfama to the historic trams and the eclectic street art. One of the most impressive forms of artistic expression must be the urban mural in São Vicente de Fora. A work of art by André Saraiva, it was completed in October 2016 and is the largest piece of street art in the city, made up of 52,738 small, hand-painted azulejo tiles.
Comprising 188 meters in length and 1011 square meters in area, the mural is an impressive and playful sight to behold, showing that André Saraiva must have had his work cut out for him over the last two years. The project, commissioned by the Lisbon City Council and MUDE (Design and Fashion Museum), highlights Saraiva’s personal experiences with a whimsical touch. Through images such as the 18th-century Águas Livres Aqueduct, the Eiffel Tower, and New York City skyscrapers, you get a glimpse of André Saraiva’s personal life and travels.
With Portuguese parents, André Saraiva is a Swedish artist who began his career designing graffiti during his adolescent life in Paris. The French capital is where he also began his alias Mr A, the name of his signature stick figure that’s painted across various city blocks.
As a product of MUDE, which can be found in the famous Rua Augusta, the mural embodies the museum’s mission, bringing yet another cultural experience to the Portuguese community. The azulejos and depictions of Portuguese landmarks and history help blend traditional Portugal with modern touches in one of Lisbon’s busiest neighborhoods; it’s in a prime location to be enjoyed.