Artur “Bordalo II” upcycles old bumpers and steering wheels to make Portugal’s capital city even more magical.
Lisbon, one of Europe’s most underrated cities, has in recent years been the recipient of an influx of artists, many fleeing Berlin and Paris for cheaper rents. While the expat scene thrives, the global community seems to have overlooked the local talent, which also exists in spades. One of these homegrown creatives is artist Arturo “Bordalo II,” who uses materials like old tires, scrap metal, steering wheels, oil paint, and bumpers to form impressive, larger-than-life 3D murals on walls and back alleys throughout the city. The stars of these murals are almost always animals, and the art itself is a mix of Banksy and a more colorful Tim Burton. In Bordalo’s Lisbon, scissor-like beaks protrude from the sides of buildings and a wall becomes a crouching raccoon. Bordalo’s output has been prodigious over the last few months, and Beautiful/Decay was recently able to document them all in one place. Many more can also be seen on Facebook.
A close-up of Bordalo's raccoon.
The ultimate goal of Bordalo’s work is to increase awareness of pollution and environmental degradation, while repurposing the trash graveyards of major cities into something both beautiful and productive. The sculptures are also cheeky homages to the animals that once called these spaces home before humans stepped in and kicked them to the curb—much like the trash from which these works were made. But in all honesty, raccoons can probably live anywhere. Below, check out some of our favorites: