One of the first things that any visitor to Zagreb will notice is the open-air gallery of graffiti and comic-strip art that stretches along Branimirova ulica, the street that links the main bus and train stations. It is a site that has long been associated with public art; first painted in 1987 to mark the World Student Games. The wall received a further facelift in May 2010, when The Museum of Street Art (Muzej ulične umjetnosti or MUU) divided the wall into 64 lots and invited local artists to fill the spaces. The result is a fascinating 500-metre-long mix of high art and spray-can culture, with established artists like Ivan Fijolić rubbing shoulders with well-known street artists such as Zagreb’s OKO and Rijeka’s Pekmezmed. Since 2010 the MUU has expanded to the suburb of Novi Zagreb south of the River Sava, with specially-commissioned murals appearing in the neighbourhoods of Dugave and Siget.
Says MUU founder Ivana Vukšić. “A lot of people are afraid of art and find galleries intimidating places where you have to read the theory before looking at the pictures; starting up MUU was my way of responding to this. A lot of art curators are elitists and I am the complete opposite of that, I am only interested in gathering the masses.”