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Lisbon’s Junk Gets a Second Life as Gorgeous 3D Animal Street Art

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.

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Throughout Europe, old ladies (and men, I suppose) spend a lot of time at their windows, looking down at the activity on the street below. From their perches, they function as a sort of informal alarm system, ready to witness any mischief and call the police. A Portuguese art collective known as CC went around the Lisbon parish of Anjos and put signs under their windows that parody the logo of the Securitas security firm.

Vigilant old ladies: another good example of the value of neighborhood social capital (and urban living).

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