Let’s take a moment to appreciate the street artists of Dublin, those who see the drab, grey, blank surface of a city wall as a canvas where they can let their imaginations loose. In our mission to continue championing the creative trail blazers of our city, we’ve decided to put the spotlight on those renegade artists who want to disrupt your daily routine, challenge your preconceptions and inject more colour into all our lives.
Dublin’s got no shortage of talent in this particular department, but here are just 13 of our favourites.
A full-time street artist since 2008, ADW is an activist who uses his work as a way to spread his message. Through bold and surreal stencil art, he reacts to political and social issues that are affecting Ireland right now. The end result is a commentary on the state of Ireland and a public invitation to progress.
Although qualified as an engineer, it appears that art is Doran’s true calling. Having first left her mark on the city with the Dublin Canvas programme, where artists apply to put their own designs on traffic light boxes across the city, Doran began to produce more and more works of street art. Her work is characterised by a love of bold colours and patterns.
He packed in his day job at a bank to explore his passion and we’re very glad he did. El Viz is in love with the idea of placing art in a public space, like in a quiet alleyway or on the side of a restaurant, where it can be randomly stumbled upon by a Dubliner, rather than placing it on a pedestal and hiding it away in a gallery. He’s all about the inclusivity of street art and the joy of discovery.
After making a huge splash with his traffic-stopping mural on George’s Street in the run-up to the Marriage Equality referendum, Caslin is practically a household name at this stage. A teacher and advocate for social change on Ireland’s most important issues, the artist’s work is unmissable, unavoidable, and always thought-provoking. His art tends towards simplicity, but it’s more powerful for that.
The Real Pan
Having always messed around with art, this freelance artist’s work garnered a lot of attention after his paste-up of Robin Williams’ face started being spotted by Dubliners. Since then he’s been posting his street art stickers around the city and his popularity has grown and grown. Pan also works with canvas and shares these pieces on his Instagram account, where he can be contacted for commissions.
He started painting graffiti on the streets of Dublin back in 1995 and he hasn’t stopped since. Maser earned a name for himself across Ireland and Europe for his unique style, with his street art being among the most recognisable in Dublin. He’s also one who doesn’t shy away from big political statements, as his controversial Repeal mural on the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar so clearly demonstrated.
Here’s another example of an artist who, when confronted with a 9-5 job that he detested, railed against the norm and took the path less travelled. Dublin artist Solus has used his street art as a way of dealing with his own personal problems, providing a healthy outlet for his energies. He’s known for creating large outdoor murals, but he has also become a gallery artist, bringing his work to other cities, such as New York, Miami and Montreal.
As a professional sign painter, Power’s has got the perfect skill set to be a street artist. Power’s prowess in the field craft of hand painting things like shop fascias, boards, windows and reverse glass gilding means she has a talent for creating clean, well executed type in her work. This is someone who really knows how to catch the eye of your average passer-by.
We may have mentioned Earley in the past, but no list of notable Dublin street artists would be complete without him. Heavily influenced by his family’s history of working with stained glass, Earley’s works commonly depict wild animals composed of colourful, crystalline fragments, acting like a call to worship life itself on our city streets.
This street artist and activist started off in design and brings the ethos of design as problem solving to all of his artistic endeavours. Through simplicity and truthfulness in his public works, St Ledger wants to disrupt people going about their everyday business in an effort to challenge them and force them to reevaluate the workings of society. And, at its very heart, that’s exactly what good street art is all about.
Omin is a renowned Irish graffiti writer, print maker & artist. This street artist executes the true style of graffiti in many pieces which you’ll find splashed all over Dublin. We’re big fans here at Iconic and were fortunate enough to commission a piece for our Vandal Café at The Greenway.
Another artist we commissioned for one of our Iconic buildings is Vents. His graffiti style is very distinctive with his signature ‘Vents’ logo being reworked throughout the city in a variety of colours and mediums. Working a full-time job, Vents uses whatever spare time he has to bring us these incredible pieces. His commission for us can be spotted at SOBO Works, Windmill Lane.
And last but not least is Subset. Subset is a collective of artists, from various fields, exploring several mediums. And this Dublin-based group are causing quite the stir! The way these guys see it is, if an opportunity is presented for them to express themselves, they’re gonna take it. The only problem there however, is that they have Dublin city council on their case which is why they’ve become quite the controversy. Yet this does not take away from their talent. These guys have been creating some of the most incredible pieces of art to hit our streets. Best known for their Stormzy mural at Smithfield last year, they’ve also brought us other notable pieces such as Blind Boy and Donald Trump. Currently, they’re undertaking their latest project, ‘Grey Areas Project’, which include collaborators such as Ominous Omin, ADV, El Viz, Joe Caslin and Vents (all mentioned above), so we have no doubt that there’ll be plenty more statement artworks to come.