Many are the charms of seeing Florence on foot. One of my favorite things to do is to study the walls on the streets throughout the city. Certain images soon start to illuminate the artist behind the works. For a good guide to the street artists, see:
The following is taken from the source above (but I added the pictures…I can’t help myself, I am an art historian):
The Florentines are very proud that, a long time ago, the Renaissance was born in their city. Much in Florence is devoted to this crucial period and one might say that Tuscan capital has remained a bit stuck in the Renaissance, thus leaving very little room for new forms of art by young contemporary artists.
In recent years, a new generation of artists has emerged; these creative souls have started a new “renaissance,” and they bring art closer to the people once again.
The streets of Florence and the walls of the palaces are their “canvas” and not even the street signs are safe. The artists of the “Urban Renaissance” strive to make the city a bit more colorful, put a smile on your face, make you think, or inspire you.
Each has its own distinctive style, and once you know what to look for, you’ll start spotting them all over town.
Get to know the most famous urban artists of Florence with this quick Street Art Guide.
The French artist Clet Abraham found his home in Florence, where he has his studio in the San Niccolò district. After having focused mainly on painting, several years ago he started with a very particular form of street art. Mysteriously, funny stickers started appearing on the Florentine street signs, and it soon became apparent that it was Clet who rode around town on his bike at night and decorated the signs.
This mysterious artist is only known by his alias Blub. With his project L’Arte sa nuotare (Art can swim) he depicts famous works of art and characters mainly in blue, white and black. But what makes this so unique? They all wear a diving mask and are underwater. Blub often uses the metal doors of gas and electricity meters, on which at first he painted directly, but now sticks posters of his work to because they are regularly removed.
The stylized line figurines with a red heart or balloon spring from the creative mind of the Florentine artist known as Exit/Enter. With his minimalist drawings, he brightens up your day or makes you stop and think for a moment. Exit/Enter’s star is also rising outside Italy, earlier this year his work was presented at the Street Art Museum in Amsterdam.
One of the few female street art artists is Carla Bruttini, better known as Carla Bru. The most famous creation that comes from her studio in the San Niccolò district is the red-haired shaman, a powerful feminine symbol, which you can find at various spots in the city.
The most famous work of the artist born in the Marche, are the red and white figures in Via Toscanelli. With the cycling characters, he wants to promote the use of bicycles in the city. The owner of the restaurant on the opposite side of the street is the self-declared protector of the murals.