Roa: streetart perfection

Everybody knows graffiti. You have tags, which are often rudimental and are more to be seen as vandalism, but there’s also some real art in it. Annick has been a fan of streetart since she was a teenager (which is a long time ago) and the art developed a lot since then.

Gent has always been a city that has tolerated streetart up to a certain point. We have the Werregoarenstroatje, which is a street in the centre of the city (near the city hall) where graffiti is legal. Most of it is often crap, but you can find some real nice stuff there sometimes.  You just have to be lucky I guess 🙂


Jip & Janneke – Werregarenstraat Gent – June ’14

Gollum - Werregarenstraat Gent - januari '13

Gollum – Werregarenstraat Gent – januari ’13

But for both of us, the real deal is Roa. He’s a streetartist that is world famous by now, but what most of the planet doesn’t seem to know is that he is from our Gent. His style is very different from any other streetart you’ll ever see. His work is always black and white and shows anatomically correct animals, often dead.

Roa heron we pass by each day after work.

Roa heron we pass by each day after work.

Since he has been working all over the world, not too many of his work is still left in Gent. Eight locations are still to be seen – and we’ve mapped them out for you.


When we were travelling in Germany in the summer of 2014, we also spotted a Roa in Köln.

Roa in Köln - Germany.

Roa in Köln – Germany.

On our way back from that trip we stopped over in Doel, where a lot of his work is still to be seen. Doel is a mostly abandoned village in the harbour of Antwerpen, and a lot of streetart can be found all over town. We counted not less than 9 works by him there. A lot of buildings are in a very bad shape and will be demolished soon, so I’m not sure how much will survive. You can find a map of the works on our Germany journal – part two, day 3.

In December 2014 we visited Berlin, just after Christmas. Berlin is famous for his streetart. You can see a lot of it in this blogpost, but for us the goal ofcourse was to spot some of the present Roa works there.

Impressive ROA @ Skalitzerstrasse.
Impressive ROA @ Skalitzerstrasse.
Rats by ROA (Prenzlauerberg).
Rats by ROA (Prenzlauerberg).

In a later post we will take you through the streetart tour of Gent, because Roa is not the only artist that left it’s mark on our town. Another well known one from Gent is Bué, quite a different style: funny, happy, colourfull animals. They often can be seen near work of Roa in Gent 😉

Works of Roa, Bué and many more are now mapped out in a walking or biking tour you can do on your own. A free map can be picked up at the tourist office. We did part of the tour in June, but didn’t have the time to complete it. It’s on our to-do.

Bué & Febe

Bué & Febe

Do you have work of Roa in your area? We would love to see pics! Tweet or Facebook them to us 🙂
Other cool streetart pics also more than welcome!

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