Written by Nancy Lova
Image by @claire_most
From galleries and museums to iconic sculptures and street art, there are many cities around the world that are especially known for their art scene as well as a few places that can take a person by surprise. You don’t have to be an art lover to be blown away by a renaissance painting or to appreciate a vibrant neighbourhood with striking murals but familiarise yourself enough in the world of art and who knows, you may even bring the art world into your home – which is very much a lifestyle, hun. So in this article, I’ll give you a tour of the destinations with some very epic art scenes.
Paris is a melting pot of creativity, it literally oozes art and for centuries the city has been a magnet to many seeking inspiration, resources and opportunities within the art world. There are hundreds of galleries and museums scattered all over the city such as The Louvre which is home to the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, The Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie. The Belleville neighbourhood is a hub filled with vibrant street art, studios and art schools, all of which create a community within the Parisian art scene.
Step into the Renaissance world through Florence. The city is one huge painting in itself with stunning sceneries, charming architecture and beautiful historical sculptures dotted around such as the David statue by Michelangelo. Galleries such as Galleria degli Uffzi, The Bargello and the Accademia Gallery all hold fine collections and examples of Renaissance art. If your preference is something more modern and contemporary then galleries such as Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina and Aria Art Gallery would be where you would gravitate to.
Out of curiosity, I wanted to know which city in fact had the most art galleries and New York is on top! With an incredible 1000 galleries and more, this city has a huge art scene and it’s not just about where to go but the marketplace of buying and selling art is pretty amazing here too. Some of the most expensive works were purchased in New York and the city welcomes collectors and galleries from all over the world, so if this is the kind of setting you’d like to get involved in, then New York is the place for you. Manhattan is definitely the go-to when it comes to art institutions like the MoMA – NYC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and David Zwirner. You could also admire street and contemporary art by emerging and established artists in neighbouring hotspots like Brooklyn and Queens.
Simply wander through the streets of Singapore like Haji Lane and you will uncover many sculptures and colourful street art. The art scene here is buzzing with wide collections of art and galleries along with a diverse range of both established and emerging artists, many of which pay homage to Singapore’s culture and history. Places definitely worth visiting are the Institution of Contemporary Arts, the National Gallery Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum.
Berlin is known as the home for artists. From Gallery Weekends to Berlin Art Week, this city takes art very seriously and I love it. Whether it’s classic works from the 13th to 19th centuries or modern masterpieces, Berlin has a huge variety of art, grabbing attention from all over the world. Visit Neue Nationalgalerie for contemporary pieces, Gemäldegalerie and Alte Nationalgalerie for classic works and the Berlin Wall which displays incredible murals from over 100 international artists.
São Paulo is a playground for artists and lovers of art. Murals and graffiti art flows throughout the city with many examples particularly exhibited in Galeria Choque Cultural, an oasis of urban and street art by young creatives. Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo or MASP is a must when you’re visiting São Paulo, it’s considered to be Brazil’s first modern museum showcasing European and Brazilian art as well as collections from Asian and African art.
The art scene in Ghana is growing and thriving and we love to see it! Some phenomenal artists are emerging from Ghana with their work admired on an international scale, a few examples include Zohra Opoku, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Paa Joe and Kwame Akoto-Bamfo. In Accra, there are a number of places where gorgeous masterpieces can be found such as The Loom for paintings, ceramics and sculptures, Gallery 1957 for contemporary art and Artists Alliance Gallery for traditional and local Ghanaian art.
Valencia is a city that surprised me when it came to art. I wasn’t expecting to see so many beautiful forms and whilst it may not have as many galleries as other cities, it certainly is one of the most artistic places I’ve visited. Valencia consists of Romanesque, Gothic and futuristic buildings making the architecture here works of art within themselves. One example is Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts & Sciences), an ultra-modern complex that can have you walking around for hours on its grounds, in awe of just its exterior alone. Wander through the streets of Valencia and you will find plenty of impressive murals towering over you before heading over to a few galleries such as The Ivam , L’Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, the MuVIM and The Fine Arts Museum of Valencia.
Oh Barcelona is one giant canvas boasting impeccable works all over! Take Antoni Gaudí for example, a Catalan artist who produced works so unique and in grand forms through architecture such as Casa Milá, Parc Güell, El Drac de Gaudí at Finca Güell and La Sagrada Família – an iconic Basilica which was sadly also Gaudí’s final work. Head over to the home of one of the largest collections of Picasso, Museu Picasso along with Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, an art museum displaying Catalan visual art with nearly 300,000 pieces.
Bogotá has been the home for many artists for a long time and whilst in the past, the art community initially worked through scenes such as parties and bars, the community now has risen with more of a presence. With over 100 galleries dotted around, there are now more places where art is supported on a greater scale and showcased. A few to consider are Casa Gómez Campuzano – the former home of artist, Ricardo Gómez Campuzano and now featuring his paintings, Museo Santa Clara and DIBS by Culture Shock Colombia.