• Home
  • News
  • Hidden treasures in Reykjavík
November 3, 2021

Hidden treasures in Reykjavík

Wall art has a long history and modern Reykjavík is rich in beautiful murals. These works are all around us, but in our daily lives we perhaps too seldom pay proper attention to them.

Therefore, we have compiled some kind of treasure map, which can be used if people want to find and experience many of these interesting and fun works of art.

"Wall art can do an incredible amount of positive things if it is beautiful and well done," says Rebekka Guðmundsdóttir, city designer and acting department manager of Borgarhönnun. "Wall artworks create an experience in the urban space, so when you walk around, there is this hint of color in the perhaps mundane day. This can also have the effect that you stop at the art and then maybe stop more because people attract people. Then you actually have a living area in a place that is not usual. You see and meet others and this creates life on the streets. This has an incredible impact. "

The author of the article can certainly agree with this. When photographing wall art in over 40 places in the city, it was no exception that other pedestrians slowed down or stopped, respected the art for themselves, chatted, or took pictures.

It's no joke painting such huge walls

Rebekka says that wall artworks have increased in Reykjavík in recent years. "This was more noticeable around the world and I think there is an increased metropolitan feel with the wall art. There are really beautiful works on houses in many parts of the city. This enlivens and often breaks up a greyish environment, "she says.

The public's response to the increase in the number of murals has been good. "I see on social media, for example, Instagram, that people post pictures of these works. I often do it myself because it's fun, or so I think. This also generally supports the culture and art of the city. This is not just an eye-catcher, but these are artists who expose their art on giant surfaces. It's no joke to paint on such a large surface. "

Rebekka points out that the supply of windowless walls is limited, there is little evidence that such exteriors are built today. "Most of the work is in the city center, where the settlements are dense and the houses older, but then this has also moved to the industrial areas and in other areas," she says. For example, a new, huge artwork was recently unveiled at Sundahöfn 

Part of creating a better and more beautiful city

Rebecca points out that wall art and graffiti have nothing in common. The art is done in consultation with homeowners and city authorities when appropriate, but graffiti is completely illegal and the city's environmental and planning department has worked closely with businesses and homeowners to paint over graffiti damage. In the summer of 2018, graffiti coverage in the city center was measured and it turned out to be around 3052 m2. Wall cover coverage, however, has not been measured.

Do you want to go on a treasure hunt? 

Works of art in the environment can create excitement, fascination, joy, and all kinds of desirable impressions. The unobtrusive wall artwork also offers a fun treasure hunt that the whole family can take part in. A number of murals in the city have therefore been compiled on a map, which can be used as a kind of treasure map in the search for exciting works of art. It is worth noting that the list is by no means exhaustive and is only intended as a gateway into this fun world that wall art offers. More works may be added to the list later, suggestions can be sent to veggjalist@gmail.com. Finally, it is difficult to predict how long each work will live, but it is part of the experience; this ever-changing landscape that the art in the environment offers us.


Here you can see the map, have fun!