Since five years this small Italian town called Grottaglie has become a paradise for street art. There are artworks to be found on big walls and small walls. From artists such as Blu, Conor Harrington, Ericailcane, Os Gemeos, Escif and Vhils. It is Angelo Milano who started to invite artists to paint and to organize a group art show. He calls it Fame Festival. You can refer Fame to the fifteen minutes of fame, but also is it the Italian word for ‘hunger’.
"Oh wow! If you like and enjoy street art, Grottaglie really is a paradise. "
For the 5th year running Fame Festival was held in Grottaglie last weekend. This year I decided to give it a visit myself. Oh wow! If you like and enjoy street art, Grottaglie really is a paradise. In every part of this town there is an artwork to be seen, even in the beautiful historic city centre. To give you an idea of what kind of a town it is. In the city centre you can easily get lost. It feels like being in a maze. The word ‘siesta’ is definitely not an unknown word. It can get very quiet on the streets in the afternoon and shops are closed. The people are very friendly and can suddenly start a conversation in Italian with you. Even though you don’t speak a word of Italian yourself.
The organization of the event itself has been great for the past years, which I got to experience myself this year. Artists started visiting Grottaglie since this spring to paint murals and create their artworks for the group show. This year Conor Harrington, Interesni Kazki, Vhils, Ericailcane, Lucy McLauchlan, Cyop & Kaf, Moneyless, Bastardilla and local artist Giorgio di Palma left their trademark in town. Most of them had visited Grottaglie before. Ericailcane was still finishing one of his artworks the day before the big opening.
Prior to the opening video’s of the artists in town started to pop up on the Fame Festival website. All of those videos were shown in a basement during the opening. They show the making of an artwork, but also the life before and after with a lot of humor involved. Maps of the area were produced, so that you can find all 85 artworks in town. With a temperature of 26c it was a very, very nice walk and to see so many amazing artworks. My personal highlights have been all artworks by Conor Harrington. I have become a fan of Lucy McLaughlan’s art. It was super to see Ericailacane’s big artworks. Giorgio di Palma’s ceramic telephone definitely made it a bit more special and not just paint on walls.
Also not to forget the good organization of my transport from and to the airport and the deluxe B&B flat in the historic city centre. It gave me a very warm welcome and shows that besides organizing Fame Festival, there is also a lot of hospitality involved.
Fame Festival has been an adventure. I recommend everyone to give Grottaglie a visit.