We have a creative, vibrant population here in Ostend so it’s no surprise that Street Art is popular in the city. In contrast to museum and gallery art, street art is often more colourful and meaningful, drawing on themes such as inequality and other social issues. It’s an expression of freedom for artists and locals and a great way to brighten up the city, creating talking points and giving bursts of colour on otherwise drab walls. Street art in Ostend is not concentrated in one place, it is dotted around the city on derelict walls, the side of houses and businesses. Visit the home of the Crystal Ship street art soon to see these wonderful works for yourself.
The Work of Siegfried Vynck
Siegfried Vynck is the grandson of a well-known visual artist from Ostend, Piet Van den Buys, and has inherited his grandfather’s talent and eye for fantastic design. There are three pieces by this amazing artist around Ostend as part of a triptych series. The first is inspired by the sea and depicts a fish painted as a mural on the side of a building. The second is a wreath painted on the side of a home and the third is a beautifully colourful ship painted on the side of the mayor’s home in Ostend, a big recognition for this local artist’s work. Siegfried Vynck’s art is inspired by baroque, surrealism, pop art and manga, along with personal themes like salvation and redemption.
Arguably one of the most colourful walls in Ostend, Ampparito’s mural on the side of a house on Dokter Verhaeghestraat is one of the most impressive pieces of street art in the city. The idea behind the piece is that no matter what part of a digital photo you zoom in on, you’re left with the same digital noise. The mural depicts a zoomed-in version of a digital image; a lot of different coloured marks on the side of a house and you can tell this must have taken days to finish. This Spanish artist is a master when it comes to disrupting the public order in an intriguing and disorienting way.
Leon Keer is one of the world’s leading artists in anamorphic street art. A quick Google and you’ll find familiar and disorienting images of his 3D art from around the world and we are delighted to have a beautiful piece of his work right here in Ostend. His work is usually temporary in reality but lives on through millions of likes and shares on social media. As a citizen of Delft, he has recreated the traditional Delft blue vases but covered them with devastating scenarios linked to climate change. Floods, heavy storms, and extreme droughts are just some of the imagery and social commentary of this work which has only recently started to appear in Keer’s public artworks. You can visit these fantastic 3D vases at C-Power – Buskruitstraat 1, about 20 minutes away across Voorhaven.
You might remember a few years ago, an artist was censored by a local mayor for making a 60-tonne house of cards construction depicting dictators. Tom Herck won an award for this controversial work, cementing himself among the most controversial artists of the world. He describes himself as a ‘Contemporary Multidisciplinary Artist Inspired by vanity, history, decay and (the decline of) society’. During The Crystal Ship, Tom Herck unleashed his creativity on the fountain in front of Kursaal Oostende. A five Euro note folded into an origami warship floating in a large glass bottle symbolises how the price of essential products rises during a war but the prices of weapons drop. This was later moved into the small pond in front of the community centre ‘OC De Blomme’ where you can still see it today.
This is the tip of the iceberg of Ostend Street art. To see the best of it, it’s better to come in person. Book your stay in Leopold Hotel Ostend and enjoy a comfortable, luxurious stay close to the heart of the city. Aside from a street art tour, you can visit the stunning beach, drink & dine in local restaurants and learn more about the history of art in Ostend in Mu.ZEE. Book your stay on our website to enjoy our best available rates and special offers. We’re looking forward to welcoming you.