A Walk along Pilsen’s Street Art
t’s been said that Pilsen can be a bit conservative. The fact that that isn’t quite true is proved by the annual street art festival WALLZ. As part of this festival, artists from all over the Czech Republic, as well as a few other countries, came to Pilsen in August 2020 to show the locals a little paint and colours. If you like this kind of art, we have a few tips for you of places you won’t want to miss.
Slawek ZBIOK Czajkowski
Before, you would have a hard time noticing the sidewall of the warehouse on U Seřadiště Street. Without a map, you maybe wouldn’t even be able to find it at all. That is until the less-than-attractive wall was taken over by the Polish artist Slawek ZBIOK Czajkowski, who now sends the world the loving message “XO”.
Michal Škapa and Ondřej Vyhnánek
The sidewall of a block of flats on Zahradní Street may now be the most colourful wall in the entire city. This wall is decorated with graffiti art dubbed Crystal. It measures 15 x 15 m and about 150 spray cans and 20 litres of façade paint were used on it. The basis of this work from Michal Škapa and Ondřej Vyhnánek is the large head on one side and the crystal on the other that’s attracting butterflies with its energy – pretty fitting considering we are on Garden Street, right? This piece took five days to complete and required the use of a boom lift. The people that live in this block of flats on Garden Street really wanted some graffiti art by TRON and X-Dog on their building. However, it took a little bit of convincing to get the job done; 18 out of the 20 tenants voted ‘yes’, while the other 2 abstained.
On the pillars of the Milénia Bridge, you’ll find a contemporary Spartakiad (mass gymnastic events held in the former Czechoslovakia) by Daniela Herodesová. A student of illustration at Pilsen’s Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art, Daniela, as the only female in the selection of WALLZ artists, used a brush instead of spray paint and devoted several days to her work. Her art took a “bit longer and more labour intensive route”, but her yogis really brighten the sad bridge pillars. Or maybe they actually help them find inner peace?
TIMO, the renowned street artist from Brno, who makes a point to ensure his identity remains unknown, created two art pieces in Pilsen. You’ll find one of them on Železniční Street, right around the corner from the Milénia Bridge pillars, where Daniela Herodesová painted her masterpiece. What you’ll find there, however, we won’t spoil for you. We’ll let the moment surprise you as you see it. You do know how to read, right?
The small transformer on the corner near Rychtářka Parking House was grey and rather inconspicuous. That is until Ondřej Vyhnánek, also known as X-Dog, got his hands on it. Now it shines with every colour possible, with the shapes of butterflies and flowers.
Obras and Akrobad
The space around the Secondary Industrial School of Transport on Karlovarská Street is a bit bleak. On making it better, however, Tomáš Staněk, aka Obras, and Josef Sedlák, aka Akrobad, were quite excited. They met at the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art and have been working together ever since. Both graduates of media illustration, the two are significant members of Pilsen’s graffiti scene and lovers of comics, something evident in their final work.
Ruin and Skirl
The wall of the University Hospital on Lidická Street required the help of the young and rather calm street artists Ruin and Skirl. They’re from Vienna, however, they travel all over the world, creating murals full of bizarre figures, flying fish, and various non-specific objects. They work great together, which is more than obvious on the 45-metre mural they painted on Lidická Street. It would be hard to tell that this elegant black-and-white painting, which was completed in two days and received the name Health (given that it’s part of the hospital grounds), was created by only two pairs of hands. And since they’re known for their speed, Ruin and Skirl left behind a second painting on Vejprnická Street and another in front of the tinsmith at DEPO2015.
Bonus: If you’re on Lidická Street, standing with your back to Ruin and Skirl’s work, you’ll notice the second piece of the secretive artist TIMO from Brno. Go and take a picture of it.
The wall of a garage on Kotíkovská Street in the Lochotín neighbourhood may have appeared blunt, but that only made for a stronger motif for artist Jakub Janovský, who doesn’t care much for optimistic paintings. We would ask if you like his work, but a better question may be ‘how does it make you feel?’.
Pictures: Michal Poustka