A Guide to Street Art in Dublin

Posted 27.6.23

A Guide to Street Art in Dublin

When you hear of street art, what’s the first place that you think of? You imagine Paris or New York or even the well-painted walkways of Melbourne. You don’t consider Dublin a bustling art oasis. However, since COVID-19, the Dublin City Council as well as other art organisations have been launching all sorts of programs to uplift the community, one of which is to liven up the dreary mood with inspiring murals. 

So, if you’re heading this way for the museums and the pubs, make sure to look around you. Dublin is an evolving space for breathtaking street art.

Top Street Art Pieces to See in Dublin

“Pass Freely” by Asbestos 

Since the start of the pandemic, street artist Asbestos has been consistently painting the town with all sorts of colours. He dedicated his “Protect Us” piece, a close-up painting of a medical worker wearing a mask with their eyes covered with blue-gloved hands, to underpaid nurses. “Pass Freely,” on the other hand, is a “stick” figure of a person looking up. Up close, you’ll see that it’s made up of 4,989 burnt matches to represent each person in Ireland who died from COVID-19. Completed in 10 days, Asbestos revealed that he repeated Joseph Beuys’ “pass freely from one level of existence to another” quote every time he painted a match.

You can check out his instagram here.

“The Year-Ahead” by Emmalene Blake

This bright-coloured number in Tallaght Village shows a woman in a black dress holding out three tarot cards: The Hermit, Strength, and The Sun. Blake, who was decidedly uninspired at the onset of the pandemic, used her art to motivate others to persevere, stand together, and hope for a better day. “I wanted to paint something to give people hope and encourage everyone to persevere, without being patronising or making little of what people are going through. I hope I’ve managed to do that with this piece,” she writes on her Instagram. The mural was commissioned by Ireland’s Arts Council – a series of initiatives to give hope to people.

You can check out her instagram here.

“Marvin Gaye” by Kevin Bohan

Prolific artist Kevin Bohan took inspiration from Marvin Gaye’s 50-year-old What’s Going On album, which discussed war, poverty, drug abuse, high taxes, economy, crime, and the environment. Its striking blues and purples perfectly complement the spirit of the legendary soul singer. This street art piece also represents how nothing much has changed between the release of this album and today.

Check out his page here.

“U Are Alive” by Maser

Al Maser is one of the most popular artists in Ireland. He’s painted this piece four times and uses it in numerous artworks as well. However, it develops new meaning amid the current global context. For its most recent iteration, Maser adds “U Are Not Less.” Maser also expands his concept via a promotional video featuring BBDO and Caitriona Ennis. The primary message is to empower the homeless community with hope.

Check out their page here.

“Ballerina” by Solus

These boxer-ballerina artworks are perhaps Solus’ most popular works. He paints the series all over Dublin. Depending on how you see them, they either represent the strength and discipline behind dance or the delicacy of boxing. His speciality is stencil art and coloured with spray paint. He employs vibrant colours to contrast the gracefulness of his murals.

Check out their instgram here.

“Metamorphosis” by Kathrina Rupit

Mexican-born Kathrina Rupit or Kinmx is a freelance artist known for her depiction of women and her homage to Mexican culture. This large mural on the side of a building at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay features her strengths, from the captivating colourway to the way she highlights the power of gender. Often compared to Frida Kahlo, her work is brave, seductive, but also gentle, achieving a provocative and breathtaking effect.

Check out her art here.

James Earley at Grangegorman

James Earley’s style is influenced by stained glass windows, his family’s business. Like most street artists, he started with letter-based, spray-painted pieces but evolved to discover more depth into his art. His works are subtle but distinct.

Check out his art here.

Street Art Tours in Dublin

Street art is always fascinating because they always feel representative of the pulse and mood of the area. And what’s the best way to explore this pure and organic form of art? By getting up close and personal with a fun walking tour. Here are some options you can take in Dublin.

Alternative Dublin’s Street Art Walking Tour

These two-hour walking tours offer a different glimpse of Dublin. Taken fully on foot, the tour is limited to 14 people at a time. It begins around Temple Bar and takes you through around 20 pieces of street art in the capital.

Check out their website here.

Be Original Tours’ Dublin Alternative Tour

This walking trip lasts about two and a half to three hours long. Not only does it take you around the street art and graffiti of Dublin, it also introduces you to the city’s alternative scene, music history (hello U2!), cool old haunts, and hip new popups. 

Check out their website here.

Great Runs’ Dublin Street Art Tour 

Why walk when you can run? This “runseeing” tour starts at St. Stephen’s Green and finishes at Parliament Square – a comprehensive 9.4 kilometers. What’s fascinating about this tour is that it doesn’t just cover contemporary murals in the city but also all kinds of artworks you’ll see along the way.

Check out their website here.

Explore the art scene of Dublin 

If you’re planning a one-of-a-kind trip to Dublin, make yourself extra comfortable at Maldron Hotels. After all, you need proper relaxation after walking all over the city all day! Maldron Hotels are family-friendly hotels that provide everything from large and interconnected rooms and indoor activity sheets to baby-sitting services. And what better location to explore Dublin’s art scene than Maldron Hotel Parnell Square, which is close to all these works of art?

The hotel has also entered a pledge to become a more sustainable business, and 80% of its hotels have received the gold Green Tourism award. It has locations all over Ireland so you’ll be here to stay in comfort wherever you go.