Real Street Art in Ljubljana

The real street art in Ljubljana (or any city for that matter) is not the cool graffiti and stickers (although there’s plenty of that) but the markings on the street rendered by the anonymous workers in the local departments of traffic and highways.

Boulevards, avenues, and streets are increasingly painted and stenciled with letters and patterns that rival some of the most creative graffiti (remember Abbey Road). Here, from my window in the Hotel Slon on the main drag in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is one of the best street art/designs I’ve seen.

11 thoughts on “Real Street Art in Ljubljana

  1. Roy

    Your comment on “good return for some canvas and paint” did seem a bit flip. If two rich people want something, it gets expensive. I guess I misread your piece on the Pop paintings. Do you think Schnabel or Koons or shark in tank art are priced reasonably?

  2. maja

    How cool are we? To be known as literate and green is actually pretty amazing. I just hope it’s still true today. It does still rain …
    Thank you, Steve, for this lovely “alien” perspective on Ljubljana.

  3. Tom Estlack

    Looks like that one shot is by the Cenkariavdom – (not sure of spelling) Studied there for a little while, at the fine arts academija. Great memories. The Slovenes are all about printing these great books, especially when they do exhibitions! At the time, the culture was described as the “most literate” in the world, printing more books per person than any other country. Apparently, they also had the only forest that expanded in square footage, while all others were shrinking. Slovenija, is truly the “sunny side of the Alps”, even if it rains constantly. Great people!

  4. Steven Heller Post author

    Roy, not ironic at all. I did not condemn pop art. In fact, I’ve always enjoyed Oldenburg’s “Mouse Museum,” and have a fondness for much of Warhol’s work. I was also designer of Interview in its early days.
    I was, however, commenting on the curious value applied this work. I agree that the POP artists paved the way for new attitudes. Anyway, vernacular “art” and folk art have been appreciated long before Warhol took the lid off the soup can. Thanks, Grandma Moses.

  5. Roy

    Ironic to talk about street art a day after condemning pop art. I doubt we would be appreciating the stripes on the road were it not for Warhol and friends reveling in the commonplace.

  6. Karen

    Very cool. Speaking of street art, how about street music? There is a town in southern Alabama (Dothan, perhaps?) which is on the way to the beach from Montgomery, which has spaced out some speed bumps to create an interesting rhythm when you drive down the street. We wondered if it was on purpose!