Street art in form of graffiti and murals have long gone all the way from vandalism to self-expression. Decorating urban architecture with intricate paintings is especially beloved in Ukraine and has been internationally acclaimed as Ukrainian murals got in the chart of best 2017 murals in the world. While Kyiv and Lviv are traditionally regarded as cities of street art, Odesa unfairly stays in their shadow. It’s high time to fix this — let’s check out the best murals of the city by the Black Sea.
Inside Her Head
Locals often call this work ‘Hemingway’, reminded of the writer’s famous work The Old Man and the Sea — a colorful marine palette work of Russian artist QBic decorates the grey industrial zone that lies on Mykolaivska road. Murals by QBic are always filled with melancholy and softness and can be found in many cities throughout the world, including Kyiv, Portland, Gdansk and Istanbul.
Where: 136, Mykolaivska road
One more marine themed mural, which is pretty suitable for Odesa, appeared on the house near the new premises of Odesa City Hall. The composition done by two artists from Kharkiv depicts a ship, encircled by two human hands that carefully support it.
Where: 2D, Kosivska street
The Last Seal
This cheerful mural that appeared right in the heart of the city was done by Italian artist Kraser during 2017 Odessarium project. He is also the author of the bear mural at Podil in Kyiv, which goes along with his style and beloved motif: human irony in animalistic shape.
Where: 11B, Frantsuz'ky Bulvar
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Another animalistic mural located on Frantsuz'ky Bulvar is Horse — an artwork by Ernesto Maranje, American artist from Miami. His work was internationally acclaimed as one of the best world murals of 2018, probably due to its bright colors and original detailed style. The Horse is done in a color palette that suits the location near the city park and the Black Sea.
Where: 85, Frantsuz'ky Bulvar
One of the lesser known but certainly funny murals, this work depicts Duke of Richelieu in his well-known profile, recognizable from the main statue of his in Odesa. The mural is a kind of social advertisement, as Duke subtly encourages passers-by to get tested for HIV: “From this perspective, everything’s alright. I got tested for HIV!”
Where: Mala Arnautska street
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The way home
This quite romantic mural found its home on the German neoclassical styled Rauhvergher Profitable House, which belongs to one of the architecturally renowned houses in Odesa. By the way, it is also a hotel tourists often stay at due to its convenient location in the center of the city. The mural painted by Odessarium project team depicts a marine scene in the silhouettes of two lovers.
Where: 6, Pyrohovs'kyi Lane
Future and Past
The wall of Odesa National Maritime University was decorated by the largest mural in Odesa, depicting a scene that corresponds to the university itself as well as the city spirit — an old man fixing fish nets, and little girl longingly staring into the distance. According to author of the mural, artist Wasp Elder from Great Britain, it symbolizes two generations seeking unifying connection.
Where: 34, Mechnikova street
This tricolor mural depicts a troubled bird that tries to balance objects on its head. One of the objects is a vintage clock, that reminds many locals of the famous Dali painting, and to some symbolizes troubles of human life, when mundane things and events suck out the time given to us. Nonetheless, bright colors of the mural give hope even to the most desperate souls.
Where: Marynesko descent
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Photo sources: dumskaya.net, odessa-life.od.ua, uc.od.ua. All images belong to their rightful authors.