Walking along the streets from Loggia della Mercato Nuovo towards Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, Italy, I chanced upon a couple of street artists creating their works of art, usually replicas of famous paintings, on the streets. I stopped to admire the work and find these really amazing. But beyond just the beauty of the art, there is an interesting story behind them.
First of all, these street artists, called Madonnaros, work on these streets to show off their skills in painting and earn a little bit of money through tips. In Florence, there are about 30 of them who work on rotation. To start off, they have to pay for a license issued by the city to use that block of space for the day. Each day, a pair of two artists or sometimes more, start work early in the morning and have to finish their work at the end of the day (about 8 hours); because when night comes, the street cleaners come to clean the streets, and essentially erase the beautiful work of art. Somehow sad, but there seems to be a sense of fulfillment and passion with these street artists as they send a deep and important message of renewal each day through these paintings.
Here's how I found out about their story :-)
Note: This highlight also appears in AFAR Website