Athens Street Art

Ferne Arfin  8 December 2018

Athens Street Art – The Murals of Psyrri

Psyrri is an Athens district that always seems on the cusp of change. Once a center of leather working and small artisan workshops, these days it is one of the city’s best areas for enjoying its 21st century explosion of street art.

Most of the workshops are gone, though you can still find genuinely handmade leather sandals and handbags in Psyrri. The area, once crammed with artisans and craft workers was run down and derelict by the millennium. To the untrained eye, it still looks pretty run down, but the forces of gentrification are at work – gentrification, though, in a particularly Athenian way.

Stylish new flats fill in apparently crumbling buildings covered with random political graffitti. Trendy cafes and live music venues peek out of narrow, somewhat intimidating lanes. And those lanes suddenly open into tree-lined squares with pastel painted houses and smart shops. The artists, musicians, and anti-establishment types who, in other cities, presage and are forced out by loft conversions and soaring prices, hang on here. Psyrri has youthful energy and intimations of affluence, but it wears its rough edges loud, proud and covered with some of the best street art in Athens.

Here’s what I found on my last visit, in May.

Mural in Pyrri

Surreal grinning heads by artist Alexandros Vasmoulakis loom over Platia Iroon (Iroon Square) the main square of Psyrri. The artist combines painting with collage and photography.


Calypso

Stylized musician brings a touch of the islands that could almost be Calypso to Eschilou Street.

Even advertisers get in on the act.

When the shops close and the shutters come down, the artists get to work. That’s the best time to see street level artwork, above. Even commercial advertising is edgy – left,  a fashion label wraps a building in photographs. Below, the view from my window at the Andronis Athens, a mysterious artwork tagged Soume84.

The view from Adronis Athens hotel in Psyrri

And if you’re thinking of heading this way, check out my review of the Andronis Athens, a quirky boutique right in the heart of the street art action.

Want to know more about Athens. Viator can connect you with local tour guides and group tours before you leave home. Check out some of these.

2 replies
  1. Katie
    Katie says:

    Fab article! I’m living in Athens now, and I love street art, so must go and see these soon! Thanks for sharing, I’ll be keeping an eye out for more Athens/Greece content.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Each individually decorated suite is eclectic and light-hearted. In keeping with Psyrri’s reputation as a magnet for street artists, the rooms have hand-painted details and murals by the hotel’s interior designer, Apostolis Vasiliadis. The Penthouse, with its gauzy curtains and freestanding bath, has views of the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Suites on the lower floors overlook the café scene of the square and some of the district’s most colourful street art. […]

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