Art is an important part of the Curaçao culture. A culture that consists of a melting pot of different nationalities and backgrounds. With such a unique mix, it is not surprising that the island’s art scene consists of beautiful and vibrant masterpieces. Street art and murals fill Willemstad’s streets, and all the works depict a typical Curaçao scene.
Most murals can be found in the streets of Punda, Otrobanda, Pietermaai and Scharloo. Every neighborhood has embraced street art and it is part of the everyday street scene. The most intimate alleys and colorful streets are a canvas for local and international artists.
What Can Be Seen on the Murals?
Those with knowledge of the island will not be surprised that the murals and street art in the capital are a colorful intent. The inspiration in terms of color comes from the colorful buildings on the island, but also the colorful heart of the inhabitants.
Where the sun shines, color is always an important subject. The more colorful, the better. As befits a Caribbean Island.
When it comes to themes, the island of Curaçao is central. We are proud of our diverse culture and would like to share this with each other and the rest of the world.
If you have completed a walking route along the murals, you may have a better idea of the island. The murals depict inhabitants, flora, fauna, and typical Curaçao scenes. One thing is certain: These beautiful images will boost your social media feed!
Where to find Curaçao Street Art?
Curaçao’s street art and murals can be found mainly in the neighborhoods of Punda, Otrobanda, Pietermaai, and Scharloo. You can admire most of the works in Otrobanda. Although you can find paintings and creations all over the island, the streets of the capital Willemstad are known as a colorful canvas.
Most of the Punda artworks are hidden in small alleys called ‘Hanchi’ in Papiamentu. You can also find inspiring murals at the Boogjes Fort and on the side streets of the Breedestraat. One of Punda’s first works of art are the iguanas and sunflowers near Keukenstraat. These paintings are three-dimensional.
Most of the street art can be found in Otrobanda. In this district, the neighborhood has been renovated from an impoverished state and decorated with murals.
A remarkable triptych can be found in the Willemstraat. The portraits of three Curaçao women are characterized by the colorful cloths and flowers in their hair.
Walk towards Frederikstraat where three houses are painted side by side. The house where a dancer and ballerina are intertwined stands out the most in my opinion. What a breathtaking piece of art! With the text ‘Life is a beautiful struggle’ under the pair you can make your interpretation. Take a moment to think about this mural and let your mind wander.
At the Hoogstraat you can see two works. The plucked chicken and at the end, towards the Mathey Warf, is the famous colored stairs. These stairs are extremely popular with Travel Bloggers and Instagrammers. You may have already seen them on your feed.
These are just some examples of street art in Otrobanda. You can also find beautiful murals near Ferdinandstraat, Belvederestraat, Curaçaostraat, Hendriksteeg, and Havenstraat.
The brightly colored buildings in Pietermaai are a work of art in themselves. You can also find original murals and street art in this area. The works painted on the wall here are more eclectic.
A tropical explosion awaits you at restaurant Caña on Lombokstraat. Orange-yellow colors, palm trees, and pineapples are central to this work of art.
Yet another tropical mural can be found at The Drunken Flamingo bar. A tipsy pink bird on the facade of the bar welcomes its visitors.
Go to the Nieuwestraat to visit the portraits of Dutch masters Rembrandt and Van Gogh. However, they do look a bit more modern, and as usual on Curaçao: with sunglasses.
You can also find several impressive murals in the Scharloo neighborhood, on the other side of the Waaigat.
A well-known mural is located on the corner of Van Raderstraat. You simply cannot ignore the blue-yellow color palette. On this mural, you see a typical Curaçao tree: The Kibrahacha. This tree only grows on the ABC islands.
You can also find two cool works of art in this neighborhood in the parking lot near the Bitterstraat. Definitely worth a visit if you want to explore the stately neighborhood of Scharloo.
Kaya Kaya Festival
Many of these murals were created thanks to the Kaya Kaya event. Kaya Kaya is a community-building tool that focuses on cleaning & beautifying the Otrobanda neighborhood. According to the initiators, the goal is to develop Ser’i Otrobanda to become a safe, attractive, and diverse place to live, visit and gather, for everyone.
Each year a different part of Otrobanda is taken care of. The street is being restored, cleaned, and equipped with beautiful murals and street art.
To conclude the work done, the Kaya Kaya Street Festival is celebrated. During this festival, the new work will be exhibited and there will be live music, good food, a local market and lots of good vibes.
Art and Murals in Curaçao
Although the murals are mainly located in the capital Willemstad, this movement is spreading rapidly across the island.
Curaçao is an island with various creative initiatives and art can be enjoyed in every corner of the island. Some examples are the Williwood sign in Sint Willibrordus, the Cathedral of Thorns in Santa Rosa, and the artsy Tugboat Beach.
But also the well-known resorts are increasingly inviting artists to make a beautiful murals on their facades.
The artworks are not only beautiful to look at, it means so much more to the island.
It is a positive movement to strengthen our community and to take matters into our own hands to make Curaçao a better place to live. The art represents the strength of its inhabitants to build a better island together.