Once relegated to subway trains, abandoned buildings and seemingly inaccessible areas of the urban landscape, street art has emerged in recent years as an important element in improving areas of the world that are facing hardships of all kinds – whether we talk about dilapidated infrastructure or social, political issues.

One of the artists who uses the city walls as a canvas, turning them into true outdoor art galleries is Guido van Helten, famous for his large scale portraits with the nostalgic aura of old photographs.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, van Helten painted his way across UK, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, Italy , Ukraine and many other places, often commissioned by local population to embellish the exterior of their buildings. His works have the delicacy and grace of watercolor paintings, conveying emotion in streets.

With a long and tumultuous history in the graffiti area, Gudio van Helten experienced an interesting evolution in street art , strengthening his talent and skills with a serious education in visual arts. From the traditional graffiti to commissioned murals, van Helten has developed an original style inspired by the look of old photos, making a name for himself throughout Europe – which allows him to keep painting murals as his main job.

It is said that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary and it seems like the Australian artist is guided by this principle – he invests a lot of time and effort when developing a concept for a location, learning about its history and culture beforehand and choosing a photo for inspiration after : “I’ll definitely need to see the space first and then look for an image that I think will fit and express what I want to express. It all works together as one. I’ll need to have all those elements together before I start ”

What caught our eyes at Guido van Helten’s murals is their photo realistic appearance, the artist’s great attention to details and of course the emotion that he manages to convey in the streets. We believe that residents of any town would be happy to see his works on their city walls.

There are endless discussions about how graffiti became a legitimate art form – Guido van Helten’s evolution seems to perfectly illustrate this road. Check out the image gallery below with a few of his beautiful photo realistic murals and visit his website or Facebook page for more.

Guido van Helten's Photo Realistic Murals (1)

Guido van Helten's Photo Realistic Murals (2)

Guido Van Helten in Tallinn, Estonia (3)

Guido Van Helten - Street Art At Its Best (4)

Van Helten's Beautiful Photo Realistic Murals (6)

Van Helten's Mural – Reykjavik, Iceland (5)

van Helten's photo-realistic mural (8)

Van Helten's Beautiful Murals (9)

Van Helten's Beautiful Murals (10)

Van Helten Photo Realistic Mural 11