Carcavelos - Where Graffiti was born

Updated: Jul 11, 2018

Get to know this street art in Carcavelos, the founding town of graffiti in Portugal

Yup, graffiti in Portugal was born in Carcavelos, right in the walls of my high school, in 1988 - 30 years ago. It started as small names as drawings on walls with spray inside the school. Tired of having no control about those controversially beautiful drawings, the school board did the unthinkable - to invite Nomen, the student who was doing that against the school's permission, (who now is one of the most famous graffiti artists), to paint whatever he wanted inside one of the school pavillions. In return, he could never paint again inside the school.

It was absolutely beautiful, I remember seeing that painting on the wall going to classes, it was there for more than 10 years for everyone to see. Unfortunately I can't find any pictures but guess what? It was a giant wave, because Carcavelos breathes its beach and surfing!! A much more discreet wave was the symbol of our school. Old-school people will remember our symbol, for sure, wich was made by a student. We're talking about the early 90's, so we need to keep in mind that it was absolutely new and even bold to let students take control of the school "decoration"! And this symbol was very avant-gard for its time, reflecting the waves and whatever they were teaching in geometry and drawing classes.

After his great work inside, Nomen and his friends tried to not break the agreement and painted all the walls OUTSIDE the school... Again, even teachers couldn't keep the eyes out of it.

In the meantime, all the walls in Carcavelos were being a target to practice this american art. We will show you all the spots in Carcavelos where you can see amazing graffiti, come on board:

1) The walls of Carcavelos High School (Escola Secundária de Carcavelos)

The school's exterior wall, with 150 meters lenght (492 feet) is the 'hall of fame' of Carcavelos and a good piece of History of Graffiti in Portugal, the first wall where the first graffiti artists in Portugal started. Under thousands of layers of spray paint, there are the original drawings, from the early 90s, from Daim, Loomit, Gémeos, Odeith, among many others artists that were starting here. Nowadays so many people want to paint that is very, very hard to keep yours intact, it will be painted over.

2) The walls of Quinta dos Ingleses - the path from train station to the beach

You will find many paintings - very recent or with more than 30 years. Youth, another pioneer graffiti artist in Portugal reminds us that people who started this new art had no information about how to do it, their only guidance was the imaginary of 'breakdance' movies, music videoclips and magazines. All of this was illegal, so everyone had to paint super fast, at night. They chased elaborated aesthetics, with some color, and even illegally they wanted them to be constructive and not destructive.

3) Carcavelos Beach

You'll find beautiful grafitti at the beach. You can't miss this Amy Winehouse tribute.

5) Carcavelos Trains

From the train station you might have the chance to see some graffiti in the trains. Some are beautiful piece of art, others are just vandalism - the old dichotomy about this art.

6) Centro Comercial Plim

Right in front of the train station you will find a private school - Miguel Ângelo - next to the old shopping center - Plim - that has this mixture of graffiti and azulejos in one of the walls. It tells us about tradition - Carcavelos wine, our very famous and exquisite wine, and the Market that has been around since the begining of the 20th century.

7) Carcavelos Market

To celebrate these 30 years of graffiti in Portugal, the Double Trouble Crew, from Carcavelos made by the artists Nomen, Ram and Utopia, created a wall with the name “Carcavelos – 30 Anos de Graffiti”. This wall is to show everyone the passage of time, with art jobs of 7 national street artists: Nomen, Mar, Mosaik, Ram, Styler, Utopia, Youthone. It is a sign of changing times- this 75 meters lenght, 5 meters height wall was painted on daylight, with no rush, because it had the support of the City Hall!

8) Double Trouble Studio

If you're interested in getting to know more about graffiti art in Carcavelos and Portugal, the guys from Double Trouble Studio are the best - they started it!! Check their crib and book a tour with them.


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