Until recently, the walls of the highly frequented Bleekstraat (Bleach Street) was an incubator for graffiti, tags and swear words. This led to a dirty alley where passers-by felt unsafe. In 2015 and 2016 international artists transformed the alley to an art-selfie hotspot.
Almost all the street names in the city centre of Breda arise popularly. From 1870 onwards the streets are named by the municipality of Breda. A street often gets its name by its surrounding, function, location or the name of a house. The Blind Walls Gallery use these stories as an inspiration for the murals.
Likewise for the Bleekstraat. Since 1623, the family company ‘De Zon’ (the sun) was located here. De Zon was a laundry service where everyone in the neighborhood left their dirty laundry. Nowadays the Bleekstraat turned out to be a side street of the Ginnekenstraat. Located next to the HEMA and nearby a parking garage it ensures a busy passage towards the shops.
Viewed from the Ginnekenstraat the first mural is made by Ilona Partanen from Finland. She was inspired by Breda’s legendary candy store Katjang. During the sixties the store was located beside the St. Joost chapel. The mural consist delicious lollipop flowers, bright peanuts and a big red shoe full of salty liquorice. If you look closely you will see the yellow shoelace weave the word ‘lekker’ (tasty). The little creatures, known as Kinkmoles, make an appearance between the delights with an eagerly look.
On the left, beside the work of Ilona you will see the mural of Hell’O from Brussels. This duo is known for their 21st century Jherimus Bosch-like surrealistic worlds. The pointy figures seems to be shopaholic zombies who follow each other blindly towards the shopping street. Hell’O took the street name literally. The figures slowly fades in the 40 meters long mural.
On the opposite you will see the colourful work of AKAcorleone from Portugal. His painting is an interpretation of the contemporary consumer society. Like Hell’O you can see the works of AKAcorleone in different cities all over the world. The mural consist a hidden painting of Kruella d’Enfer. She helped with the execution of this piece in 2015. After 5 days of painting in the cold the mural was not yet completed. She decided to complete the mural in secret with his spray cans. Just in time to catch their flight back to Lissabon.
The last mural in the Bleekstraat is painted by Luca Font from Italy on Januari 11, 2016. He came to Breda for the Bunker Tattoo as a guest tattoo artist. The day before his arrival David Bowie past away. Spontaneously Luca decided to make a mural as a tribute for the iconic pop artist. This was much appreciated by the company located opposite the mural, which contacted Blind Walls Gallery in the past asking to improve their view.
In two years time the murals transformed the Bleekstraat from a dilapidated alley to a cheerful street. No longer a quickly pass due to an uneasy feeling, but a street where you can take the perfect selfie for Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook.