I do an internet search for street art before I travel. I was excited by the google images I saw of Reykjavik’s Street Art. Reykjavik is a creative city full of musicians and artists. It is known for its colorful buildings and street art scattered throughout the city. The city was covered with graffiti tags and logos prior to 2006. Reykjavik cracked down on illegal graffiti with a zero tolerance policy. Much of Reykjavik’s illegal works have been white washed and Heart Park is gone.
Tagging remains illegal in Reykjavik but Street Art has become a grey area. The City has become tolerant toward local street artists and is less likely to white wash their illegal murals. Street Artists are able to create legal murals by first obtaining permission from property owners, then the property owner must obtain permission from the City Council. In 2015 and 2016 Wall Poetry paired 10 International Street Artists with 10 headliners of the Airwave Music Festival to collaborate on murals. The result is some pretty amazing city walls!
Much of the street art in Reykjavik is bright and, well, quirky. It draws you in and you will likely find yourself wandering between buildings searching for more. You will find most of the art on side streets in the city center off Laugavegur and around the Old Harbor.