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The Most Beautiful Murals of 2018

  • Case MaClaim Berlin
  • herakut wes21 onur
  • Okuda Bordalo II Ono'U Tahiti
  • PichiAvo Lisbon
  • Seth Neuf-Brisach
  • TelmoMiel James Bullough
December 22, 2018
Deeply invested in modern and contemporary art, the Widewalls magazine aims at providing a unique experience for its readers in the form of in-depth and quality journalism.

As you are probably used to by now, Widewalls’ Street Update rounds up the most beautiful murals created around the world on a monthly basis. From festivals and exhibitions to charity events and free painting, street artists have yet again been busy adorning buildings and walls on every corner, and we were there to help them spread the good word.

Appearing on our Instagram profile first and then in our Street Update, these murals will now paint a picture of the year (almost) behind us, telling a visual story of one of the most exciting artistic movements today and awaking our will to travel and discover them in person.

And it is you, dear readers, whom we thank for your support, and to whom we dedicate another edition of The Most Beautiful Mural of the Year.

Let the countdown begin!

55. Vhils in Miami

Portuguese artist known for his distinct practice of removing the surface layers of walls to create art, Vhils is currently hosting his first solo show, Ethereal, during Art Basel Miami. As part of the show, which closes a 10-year cycle that saw him working in various cities around the globe, the artist created a compelling piece in his signature technique on the outside of the Wynwood Walls where the show is hosted.

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54. Smates in Cape Town

The Belgian street artist Bart Smeets, better known as Smates, created an epic mural in Cape Town. Located in Harrington Street, it was created as an extension of the third International Public Art Festival which took place in Salt River produced by IPAF CAPE TOWN with BAZART. The piece reflects the IPAF 2019 theme of Generation Next, which will feature a child, a dog and ‘aviation’. The artist will create a subsequent masterpiece for IPAF in Salt River next February.

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53. Giulio Vesprini and NULO in Rome

Italian artists Giulio Vesprini and NULO collaborated on a piece created in Rome, Italy as part of the MYllennium Award 2018. A first generational award in Italy, it is aimed at Millennials, Generation Y with the aim of enhancing their excellence in terms of creativity and innovation. Titled My July, the piece was created in memory of the World War II. It was the month when San Lorenzo district was bombed in 1943.

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52. James Bullough and Ricky Watts in Honolulu

American artists James Bullough and Ricky Watts have collaborated on a stunning mural on the occasion of the POW! WOW! Worldwide. Taking place in Honolulu, Hawaii, the POW! WOW! Worldwide is an annual gathering of contemporary artists that engages with the broader community in the process and creation of art. A dynamic merge, two artists created a refreshingly colorful, large-scale piece where real meets imaginary.

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51. Guy Denning in Breton

An artist celebrated for his distinct raw and gritty style, Guy Denning created a stunning piece in Breton, Finistere, where he currently lives, to commemorate the Armistice Centenary. The First World War was the artist’s obsession since he was twelve, so this year, the artist wanted to create a small token of his respect to those from the village that lost their lives, and the families that remember them. Denning created paste-ups of 112 life-size drawings of soldiers around the square, aiming to realize their presence again.

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50. Nevercrew in Novara

Here is another piece by Nevercrew on our list. Titled Cluster, their latest piece in Novara, Italy shows a group of sea animals and binder clips and folders floating on over and below one another. Playing between reals and painted elements, the duo created a fake dimension within the piece.

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49. Nevercrew in Phoenix

The duo NeverCrew created three amazing interconnected pieces in the downtown of Phoenix, USA titled El oso plateado and the machine. In this triple intervention, the main artwork is the one on the facade of the Herd Building, while the second one is created on the back of the building and the third one is inside. Once again, the piece reflects mankind’s effect on nature and the ecosystems, delving into the often flawed relationship between natural and man-made environments.

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48. Jana JS in Madrid

The duo Jana & JS created an amazing piece in Madrid on the occasion of the Urvanity Art Fair which took place this February. Inspired by the city and its architecture in the change of time, as well as the residents and the viewers, the duo created a mural that combines portraits and details of architecture, reflecting longing and hope.

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47. Ludo in Paris

The Paris-based artist Ludo is known for pieces which are often referred to as Nature’s Revenge as they explore a world where biotechnological beings merge with plants and animals, a blending that offers some amazing visual results. His latest piece in Paris depicts a rose with razor blades instead of leaves.

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46. Milu Correch in Campobasso

The Argentinian artist Milu Correch created an amazing piece as part of the DRAW THE LINE, International Graffiti and Street Art Festival in Campobasso, Italy. Painted in the Via Marche in the Quartiere San Giovanni, the piece is a tribute to Hecate, Goddess of the witches, magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy.

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45. Wall in Art Festival in Italy

WALL IN ART or Muri d’Arte in the Valle dei Segni is an urban art project founded four years ago. Led by the idea of connecting contemporary urban art with prehistoric legacy, for this years’ edition, the organizers summoned famous graffiti artists such as Borondo, OZMO, and Collettivo FX to release their works. You can read a bit more about the works in our Street Update #171.

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44. Sepe in Barcelona

Sepe is a well-known Polish graffiti artist known for installation and mural works through which he deals with various paradoxes behind social phenomena. This particular mural titled Narcissus Paradise was produced for a project #7ways2love which took place in Barcelona.

43. Snik in Manchester

Snik is the UK art duo known for producing dynamic works characterized by strong use of stencil cuts. The mural titled Serenity was painted in Manchester, and it depicts a barefoot dreamy girl in a red gown set against the white circle.

42. Hopare in the Alpes

Alexandre Monteiro or better known as Hopare is a freelance graphic designer in Paris and recognizable street artist. He is best known for murals centered on a mix of portraiture combined with abstract shapes and fluid lines.

41. Agostino Iacurci in Paris

Agostino Iacurci is an Italian born graffiti artist living in Berlin, and he works with a variety of media spanning from painting, over wall-painting, sculpture, to a drawing, and printmaking. In Porte de Vanves he created an impressive and colorful mural reminiscent of Cubism which features a dining table with fruits vegetables, bottles, and a cat.

40. Bordalo II in San Francisco

Bordalo II is an artist best known for his installations made of trash. Namely, the artist usually depicts a certain endangered animal in order to communicate theirs near of complete excitation. Harbor Seal was made to coincide with Bordalo’s solo show at Heron Arts in San Francisco.

39. Banksy in New York

One of the best-known street artists, Banksy had released yet another politically charged mural, devoted to Zehra Doğan, a Turkish artist and journalist who is currently imprisoned because of one of her paintings. A black and white composition features a series of tally marks for each day of Doğan’s incarceration.

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38. Koga One in Nancy

In Street Update 168 we already wrote about captivating mural produced by multimedia street artist Matthieu Koga aka Koga One in Nancy. It is an abstract and layered, yet photo realistic woman portrait executed in his characteristic and colorful style.

37. Nevercrew in Chur

For the purposes of Street Art Festival in Chur, Switzerland based Nevercrew painted a new mural featuring the image of a polar bear which appeared on some of their other works. This street art duo is known for depicting endangered species in order to communicate environmentalist issues.

36. Os Gemeos in Dusseldorf

A celebrated Portuguese street art duo Os Gemeos made a mural titled The Giant in Dusseldorf. The cities urban environment is enriched and beautified by a recognizable yellow figure of a giant holding a boat with a girl inside of it along with vernacular objects.

35. Bifido in Albania

Girl just wanna have fun is the name of this mural by Bifido, painted in June at the Tirana Mural Fest in Albania. It is an ode to how it feels to be a woman caught ”in the grips of this chauvinist society.”

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34. Smug in Frankston

Skeletons are not a rare protagonist in the work of Smug, which is why another one saw the light of day during The Big Picture festival in Frankston, Australia this past April. In a mesmerizingly photorealistic work, the skeleton is in an apparent conversation with a small blue bird. Captivating!

33. Artez in Cairo

Serbian artist Artez was vividly inspired by Egypt and its people during his visit in October 2018, which is why the Sand stories mural depicts “the very common scene that can be seen around touristic places”.

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32. Belin in Shenzhen

Known for his “Post-Cubism”, Spanish artist Belin works both on walls and on canvas. In this image, we see his Chihuahua mural painted in Shenzhen, China, celebrating the year of the dog and marking the artist’s first trip to Asia.

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31. The Parees Fest in Oviedo

The Parees Fest in Oviedo, Spain took place for the second time in 2018, bringing together a strong line-up of street artists. Some seven murals caught our eye, including those by Colectivo Licuado, Roc Blackblock, Alfalfa, Andrea_Ravo Mattoni, Kruella D’Enfer, X A V, and Taquen.

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30. Pejac in New York

Fossil is the first public work that artist Pejac ever made on the streets of New York. He often works with negative space and shadows, and this piece stands “as a harbinger of a hypothetical fatal future where the only memory we have of nature is the fossilized form of a tree in a brick wall.”

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29. Banksy in Paris

LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÉ, CABLE TV. When Banksy took over Paris earlier this year, this was one of the first pieces he stenciled. Naturally, Napoleon seemed like a proper inspiration, so this work in particular comes as a mockery of the famous painting of this even more famous figure.

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28. Millo in Berlin

This is one of the murals painted for the UNity project by Urban Nation by Italian artist Millo. My head is a jungle follows his recognizable aesthetic which sets colorful characters against a monochromatic relief of a metropolis, and this particular piece can now be found in Kreuzberg.

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27. Telmo Miel in Refvik

No Matter the Wreckage is the title of this beautiful mural painted by the Dutch duo Telmo & Miel in the Norwegian coast town of Refvik. As explained by the artists, “This small place on the West Coast of Norway has endured a lot of disasters in the past. Wildfires, Storms, Nazi Invasions and Shipwrecks are part of their history. This [all] started back in the days when a Captain cursed this town after his Ship went down in front of the coast. They still have pieces of the wreckage in Refvik as a reminder of the days that used to be.”

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26. Mur0ne in Sacramento

Playing with perspectives, this mural by Mur0ne was painted as part of the widely successful 2018 edition of the Wide Open Walls festival in Sacramento, California.

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25. INO in Ibiza

The artist INO stopped by Ibiza to take part in the BLOOP International Proactive Art Festival, addressing the annual theme of hope. This year, INO chose the surfaces of the Design Apartments La Kiki on Sant Josep’s bay. Titled Hopeless, the portrait depicts a girl praying for money, criticizing modern societies where happiness is based on materialism.

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24. Telmo Miel in Ragusa

Taking part in this year’s FestiWall  which took place in three parts of the city of Ragusa, the Dutch duo Telmo Miel created a massive piece as an ode to motherhood. Titled Prepared, the piece depicts a mother suggestively placing a helmet on her thoroughly armored son, telling a story of a mother’s love, the importance of family and the protection they provide.

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23. Natalia Rak in Krakow

Artist celbrated for her vibrant large-scale murals, Natalia Rak was invited by the company Medicine to create a piece in Krakow, Poland. Titled Black Pearl, the murals covering the entire building depicts a crow carrying a black pearl, surrounded by flowers.

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22. Bezt in Leiria

The street artist from Etam Cri, Bezt is known for murals which are fantastical, perhaps mythical or even dreamy. While visiting Leiria, Portugal, the artist created a piece Kick Me, depicting a schoolboy carrying a mouse on his shoulder and sporting a sign on his back saying “kick me”.

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21. Hopare in Uzes

The Portuguese artist Hopare visited this year’s Cicada Festival in Uzes, France. The artist created an alluring portrait titled Parasite, featuring a poignant female figure whose stare is accompanied by a swirl of lining – the style this artist is well known for.

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20. Bordalo II in Sacramento

Known for his animalistic sculptures made from scavenged materials, the work of Bordalo II makes environmental destruction more visible. The artist took part in this year’s Wide Open Walls Art Festival in Sacramento, USA, creating a massive chimpanzee mural made out of waste.

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19. Victor Garcia and Cristian Blanxer in Aracena

Visiting Aracena, Spain, Victor Garcia and Cristian Blanxer created a truly stunning piece. Titled Mala Hierba, the mural depicts a little girl facing front, executed in a realistic style.

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18. NeverCrew in Paris

Invited by Le M.U.R. Oberkampf, the duo NeverCrew created a stunning piece in Paris. Titled Sensin Machine n3, it shows a whale covered in oil on which we can see a reflection of a building across the street. As the duo explains it is “a living mirror stuck in a close past, showing a reality outside, behind and within that’s changing quickly and whose change is related to what’s around it.”

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17. Super A and Collin van der Sluijs in Leuven

Dutch artists Super A and Collin van der Sluijs collaborated on a fantastic piece in Leuven, Belgium on the invitation by Straatbeeld vzw. Created near The Abdij, the mural depicts different visitors of the local garden in the form of birds.

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16. Shepard Fairey in Denver

While visiting this year’s CRUSH WALLS in Denver, Colorado, Shepard Fairey created a compelling piece titled Power and Equality. The mural is covering an entire wall in the Larimar Street in the Rino District. This year’s CRUSH WALLS was certainly the most ambitious edition of the festival so far.

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15. Soda in Santa Croce di Magliano

Alan De Cecco, also known as Soda painted a geometrical mural in the Italian city of Santa Croce di Magliano. It reflects the artist’s inspiration drawn from music, architecture, and abstraction, as well as his tendency to deconstruct the surface and create a dialog with the surrounding urban space.

14. WD in Ura Vajgurore

In Street Update #169, we already mentioned this beautiful mural called Flirting by WD Wild Drawing in Ura Vajgurore, Albania. It depicts a cheerful couple looking peeking at each other from two sides of the building painted in the artist’s trademark illusionist style.

13. Seth Globepainter in Neuf Brisach

A famous Parisian street artist, Julien Malland or better known as Seth Globepainter made two murals inside of Mausa Vauban, an upcoming museum of street art in Neuf-Brisach. The motif of children at play is once again appropriated and presented in his recognizable and vibrant style. As a matter of fact, this specific image shows an installation of a little boy breaking a wall and leaving a pile of colorful bricks stacked around the room.

12. Bordalo II and Okuda in Bora Bora

Two recognized figures of graffiti and street art Bordalo II and Okuda teamed up to produce an amazing mural (mentioned in our July Street Update) at ONO’U, one of the largest international graffiti and street art festival in the Pacific region. It is an abstract mosaic made of trash resembling a head of a bear and is aimed to tackle some environmental issues found by both artists in this part of the world.

11. JR in London

JR is a very well-known urban artist who describes himself as a “photograffeur” since his work is embedded in both photography and graffiti. For his exhibition at Lazinc gallery in London, he put up a six-meter high scaffold and paper intervention which is an actual portrait of Fabrice Saint-Jean, a French national high jumper back-flipping through a first-floor window.

10. Telmo Miel and James Bullough in Berlin

The artist James Bullough teamed up with the duo Telmo Miel to create an amazing mural called ONE WALLS supported by UNITY project of URBAN NATION. The façade of a Berlin building is covered with the colorful composition featuring a multilayered body consisting of people from all over the world and the different nations.

9. Fin Dac in Adelaide

Fin DAC’s latest mural is called Zaluuokhin and was created in Adelaide. This piece is a continuation of his Hidden Beauty series (started with the work Shinka) and the artist took three days to finish it. This portrait features a beautiful woman represented in a form of futuristic Asian divinity.

8. Calle Libre Festival in Vienna

The Calle Libre festival was founded in 2014 and we mentioned this year’s edition already in our Street Update 169. A number of international street and graffiti artists released their works in Vienna public space such as Kobra, Lost Optics, Jacoba Niepoort, Artez, Saddo, Zesar Bahamonte, Medianeras, and Edward von Longus.

7. Sainer in Rabat

The following work is made by a Polish graffiti artist Sainer within JIDAR – Toiles de Rue festival in Rabat. It is a melancholic and quite a graphic work depicting a girl looking down at the empty plate. This slightly surreal scene shows Sainer’s great craftsmanship as well as interest in going beyond the conventions of the genre.

6. Case Maclaim in Berlin

This exceptional mural by Case Maclaim was painted within this year’s edition of Berlin Mural Fest. It is titled The Future Is Female and aims to promote tolerance and gender equality. The mural shows a portrait of the artist’s friend who is apparently a graffiti artist as well and his daughter with painting tools.

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5. Herakut, Wes21 and Onur in Berlin

“As long as you are standing, give a hand to those who have fallen“ is the quote standing alongside the painting of a child holding an elephant. This giant, astonishing mural is the work of as many as three artists: the Herakut duo, Wes21 and Onur. Found in Berlin, the artwork perfectly blends the artists’ signature styles: from Herakut’s recognizable portraiture, to the brilliant photorealism of Wes21 and Onur.

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4. PichiAvo in Lisbon

On the occasion of their exhibition Versus at Underdogs Gallery in Lisbon in April 2018, the PichiAvo duo painted another one of their great combos of classical painting and graffiti. Here, we can recognize the serious gaze of Poseidon. The mural can be found in Santa Apolónia.

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3. Bosoletti in Bonito

In collaboration with Collettivo Boca in Bonito, Italy, Francisco Bosoletti created one of the most beautiful murals of 2018, split across three different buildings to create a complete portrait. Titled Genesi, it depicts a woman’s head, hands and the nether regions which complement each other when seen from a certain perspective.

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2. 1010 in Mannheim

Many artists are known for sticking to a particular painting style. Such is the case with 1010, whose colorful “portals” continue to amaze and draw in. With the support of Alte Feuerwache and Stadt-Wand-Kunst, an open urban art gallery, this mural of his now graces a building in Mannheim, Germany.

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1. Lush

On March 14 2018, the world lost Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds and a celebrated theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author.

Paying an artistic homage to dead celebrities and personas is nothing new – just ask Lush, who always seems to be very up to date with the latest news and happenings on our planet, and is quick to express it through his street art. Such was the case with this portrait of the late Hawking, which we believe appeared on the streets of London very shortly after the news of the scientist’s death broke.

But Lush doesn’t only paint dead people’s faces – if you check out his Instagram, you can recognize the living ones as well, right alongside the latest and the most popular memes, popular culture references, politics-related facts… you name it.

Congratulations, Mr Lush, for winning the Most Popular Mural of the Year 2018!

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