Nuart, festival street art


By Chrixcel |  Published on Monday, September 23, 2013.

FatCap has investigated to know more about a festival now happening in Norway (from Sept 7th to October 20th) : the NUART FESTIVAL.

This is an annual international street art festival is established since 2001. In addition to hosting a multitude of art works in the streets, NuArt also stages a huge exhibition, featuring well-known and talented artists.

David Choe

The artists took their inspiration from the title of a novel by Italo Calvino, “Invisible Cities, from which a quotation introduces the festival : “The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.”

NuArt 2013 PROMO from NuArt on Vimeo.

Martyn Reed, the founder/curator/director of the festival, sent us gorgeous pictures of the event, all taken by Ian Cox, and a bit of history.

Martin Whatson

NuArt initially started as a digital media festival back in 2001, mainly because NuMusic, the sister festival was an electronic music festival and digital media artists were kinda out there and politicized, roaming this un-policed zone called the internet". 

Dal East

"Was exciting at the time. We included the likes of Space Hijackers (UK) in 2002, an activist based art group, the Xtralargos Graf crew from Barcelona in 2003 and Graffiti Research Lab in 2006." 


“On the one hand, it was a natural switch from digital to street. On the other, quite a leap of faith to attempt to create something like this in a sleep wooden housed town on the west coast of Norway. But maybe that’s why it works”.

Martin Whatson : a hommage to Magritte ?

The name NuArt was a natural development from NuMusic, basically decided to keep me on my toes and be out there looking for Nu/New ideas and works."

Dot Dot Dot

"We always said we wouldn’t “curate” to try and define things, but just reflect the diversity of the scene”.

Ernest Zacharevic

Re “Invisible Cities”, it was more a working concept to try and force myself to focus on those aspects of the culture that most sanctioned mural festivals of late ignore. The little stencils down dark alleys, electricity boxes tagged to bits, stickered lampposts etc.” 


"I wanted to bring the same scale and quality of production to create and facilitate smaller works, as well as the main murals." 


"City councilors like murals, they’re so inoffensive, kinda, what’s not to like ? Not that that’s bad, but it’s a tiny fraction of the culture and for me personally, probably the least interesting."

Dot Dot Dot

“Invisible Cities” is a 9 chapter book divided in 11 sections that describe 56 very different cities that at the end, all turn out to be Venice. 


"I liked the idea of using it as the basis for the festival. A lot of hidden unpromoted works went up this year, hopefully that makes the city a little different for everyone, rather than everyone standing in front of the same mural having their picture taken for Instagram."


"This scene is so vibrant and dynamic and diverse and I think this years line up really succeeded in showing that”.

Portrait of Martha Cooper

What is particularly original there is that the underlying ideology of this festival was born from a strong will to show an interest in all forms of urban creativity, and at the same time proposing a reflection on this culture which affects our lives : its visual signs literally surround us !


Such a reflection, supported by its conceptors and associated artists is probably the key of its success !

Photos © Ian Cox, courtesy NuArt Festival


Share on: Twitter | Instapaper


Where is it?