Getting to know Łódź through its street art

Street Art, Graffiti, Lodz, Poland, Etam Crew
Admittedly, the main urge for me to visit Łódź was my obsession with David Lynch; I knew there must be something unique about a city if it played a muse to one of the world’s greatest creative minds.

But fulfilling my Lynchian desires was just one facet of Łódź that I wanted to get out of my trip. I had another desire – to explore its street art. I don’t just mean the odd slapdash piece of graffiti, this is a city that flourishes with street art and it’s a big part of the urban development plan underway in Łódź.

Before heading to Łódź, I did a little research and found a group on facebook called Street Art in Łódź, and was astounded by the volume of street art sprawled across the city. Not only that, but each photo in the group detailed the whereabouts of each work – a true God send! In addition to this, I stumbled across the Urban Forms website, and was amazed to find a comprehensive map of the city that pinpointed out a significant amount of street art. So, with a little help already in hand, my plan was to explore Łódź through its street art.

With the map provided by Urban Forms, I followed the location of each one, and soon realised it was the perfect way to explore the city. I walked down residential flats that I would not have ventured down otherwise, I spoke to a few people in broken English, and it took me off the main visitor streets.  However, at times I was unable to find the street art highlighted by Urban Forms – I mark this down to either bad map reading, or that it had been painted over. Sadly, I think it’s the latter reason.

Hygienic Dress League, street art, graffiti, Lodz, Poland, big bird

Created by Detroit based street artists. This colourful bird by Hygienic Dress League can be found tucked away on Miedziana Street nearby the Museum of Cinematography.

Łódź: A muse to creativity?

Unlike so many other cities, Łódź isn’t afraid to show its ugly side, and it doesn’t seem too bothered what visitors think of it either. It seems far too preoccupied with getting on with life, than it does looking pretty. But inadvertently, I think this is why Łódź has become an unlikely muse for creative types. There’s a certain allowance for free expression that comes in a place that doesn’t concern itself with keeping up appearances.

What I find with several cities I visit, is that aesthetics are created with the visitor in mind, whilst Łódź on the other-hand creates for those who live there. And it’s the visitors choice to search for it –rarely is it given on a plate. Instead it puts street art on a residential block of flats, or a quiet street to brighten up the scenery for local life. Of course there is an element of wanting to attract new visitors to the city, but I think for the larger part, and this is what makes living in Łódź special; it’s because the city cares for its people, and the people care for its city.

The brilliant thing about street art is that it’s a low cost, high impact way to transform a city. Tax payers won’t be grumbling about their money being spent on something that they won’t get a chance to enjoy for themselves. And speaking of communal enjoyment – that’s exactly what street art does, it creates conversation and debate, and at the very least it brings visual stimulation – whether you like the look of it or not.

Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss ~ Banksy.

Lodz Street art, girl, graffiti, flats, Sainer

It’s difficult to miss this one! Created by Sainer, a street artist who hails from Warsaw.
Street art, Sainer, Graffiti, Lodz, Poland

Etam crew, sainer, poland, lodz, street art, graffiti

Street art, graffiti, lodz, poland, gregor

You can find this one on Jaracza street.

Graffiti, Street art, Lodz, Poland, Jaracza

Street art in Lodz, Poland

I think I found this one somewhere along Traugutta street…. but don’t count my word for it. I’m not sure what it is, it looks like a cross between a snake and a roll of toilet paper.

Street art, Lodz, Poland, graffiti, Aryz

This one is huge and can be found at 67 Pomorska street. It was created by Spanish artist Aryz.

Street art, Piotrakowska, Lodz, Poland, mural, famous people

Apparently this mural depicts famous Polish people, but in reality, there is supposedly very little resemblance!

Biggest street art in lodz, poland, large

The largest street art in Łódź!

Street art, lodz, poland, flats

One of the smaller ones I came across, I chanced upon this on Przemyslowa street whilst walking to the Jewish Cemetery. It just goes to show that every corner seems to reveal a new surprise.

Street art in Lodz, Poland

After my visit in December 2012, I visited again in June 2013 and spotted this one in a car park!

shing, lodz, poland, snow, winter, Jewish cemetery

This wasn’t all of the street art but I was cold and decided to retire at my hotel with some hot chocolate. I guess with so little time and so much more to see, I’ll just have to have another visit to what is, the most underrated city in Europe.

Which city holds your favourite pieces of street art?



A travel & culture blog specialising in Scandinavia and the Arctic, peppered with the rest of the world in between.


'Getting to know Łódź through its street art' have 20 comments

  1. December 16, 2012 @ 6:07 am David Nelson

    What great pieces of public art. Thanks for telling us about it!

    Reply

    • December 16, 2012 @ 1:58 pm admin

      They’re fabulous aren’t they? And this post only reveals a small fraction of them!

      Reply

    • December 16, 2012 @ 4:45 pm Klemiś

      You can always come and see more 😀 (and there is plenty to see)!!

      Reply

      • December 17, 2012 @ 8:50 am admin

        In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back!”

        Reply

  2. December 16, 2012 @ 8:30 pm ldz

    I wish, you haven’t seen that one -> h ttp://www.theillest.pl/inti-holy-warrior-nowy-mural-w-lodzi/

    Reply

    • December 17, 2012 @ 8:59 am admin

      Hopefully it’s still there when I revisit, it will be interesting to feel the atmosphere of Lodz in the summer. It’s beautiful in the winter but the days are so short, making looking for street art almost possible after 4pm!

      Reply

  3. December 17, 2012 @ 2:46 pm OceńŁódź

    Love these photos!
    If you want to see more pics of Lodz’s street art, check out this thread on OcenLodz discussion board http://ocenlodz.pl/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=238
    You are all welcome to register on Forum!

    Reply

    • December 18, 2012 @ 5:30 pm admin

      Hi thanks for the link – looks like the recent developments of street art creates a hub of conversations in and out of Lodz which is exactly what the street needs!

      Reply

  4. December 20, 2012 @ 9:25 pm Julika

    What an amazing city! I really have to see all this impressive street art for myself someday!

    Reply

    • December 22, 2012 @ 9:53 am admin

      Looking for all the street art makes exploring the city really fun, I think you would love it Julika!

      Reply

  5. December 22, 2012 @ 11:11 am OceńŁódź

    As a Łódź citizen i have to admit, that there is a lot of street art graphics in the city center, and i’m sure that i don’t know about 50% of them. It’s really nice to be surprised from time to time 🙂

    Reply

    • December 22, 2012 @ 8:03 pm admin

      Hello! Yes, it’s more than nice to be surprised from time to time! And who better to surprise you than your very own city?! 🙂

      Reply

  6. February 12, 2013 @ 1:54 pm danielwalldammit

    Some of these are absolutely gorgeous.

    Reply

    • February 13, 2013 @ 10:38 pm admin

      Glad you like them Daniel! And Lodz has so much more than what this article conveys!

      Reply

  7. February 24, 2013 @ 6:37 pm Carroll Bible

    Thanks for posting street art of Lodz. I have collected images from around the world (using Google earth Street view). I believe you would be interested–the Brazilians do amazing things. I have posted London, Paris, Melbourne, Rio, Lisbon, etc. on FaceBook. Find me–I am the male Carroll Bible–and look under Photos/Albums.

    Reply

    • March 3, 2013 @ 1:11 pm admin

      Hello Carroll! Google Earth is an amazing tool isn’t it?! Just checked out your collection, you’ve amassed some great images… and yes, Brazil is high on my list of places to experience!

      Reply

      • March 3, 2013 @ 3:58 pm Carroll Bible

        Thank you for checking out the photo albums of street art. You may have noted my partiality for Brazil. I caught the travel bug there as a teenager when I spent a year studying and traveling with the missionary program of my church. The desire to become a missionary faded, but the interest in the world has only grown.

        I added a new album last night after reading in the news that a section of the Berlin Wall that has hosted street art over the past few decades is being removed for construction. The more I study street art the more I see it as an avenue to understanding the world.

        I had already explored Berlin on Street View, but never came close to finding the East Side Gallery. Even alerted to the news event I could not find it. Only when I located an article that gave the street address could I see it on Street View.

        I realize you are chock full of busy with your delightful blog. But if you ever come across good street art and pass the street address to me, I would love to explore ‘long distance’. If I can use it on FaceBook I would give your blog credit. Just a suggestion–more like a plea.

        Carroll

        Reply

  8. May 8, 2014 @ 10:34 pm Asia

    Hi! I couldn’t resist after the lecture of your vist to Łódź and I want to show you some new street art, my favourite:
    http://gfx.dlastudenta.pl/fotoalbum/7d3/d5b/cad/324/970271
    This great, cute weasels with eggs/nuts(?) are near to my flat, so I can admire it very often.

    And also this one, with an old woman holding her friend 😉
    http://gfx.mmka.pl/newsph/450309/1315613.3.jpg

    And the last one I want to tell you is a Light Move Festival, which is in October. This is a stunning event, when Łódź are living all night, parks are colorful and there are performances on buildings made with light, voices and music. See some pictures:
    http://lodz.naszemiasto.pl/artykul/galeria/light-move-festival-2012-na-piotrkowskiej-w-lodzi-rozpoczal,1582261,t,id.html

    Reply

  9. June 20, 2014 @ 7:28 pm admin

    Hi Asia, sorry about the late reply. Looks like I need to get back to Lodz!! I saw the old woman holding her friend but I couldn’t stop because I was in car, it’s fantastic. Thanks for letting me know about the Light Move festival, I’d love to experience it. Thanks again for sharing more information about Lodz, it’s a city which is constantly changing and its nice to keep updated with it.

    Reply

    • August 19, 2014 @ 7:03 pm Asia

      I hope you will see it 🙂

      Reply


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