Walking around Rijeka, you’ll often stumble upon gorgeous pieces of street art. Some are small, quick doodles hidden in random corners of the Old Town, some are gigantic murals spanning over entire facades. One of my favourite pieces is Explorare Necesse Est, a spectacular mural created by the Spanish artist Sebas Velasco. Velasco was invited to Rijeka by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art as part of a project aiming to bring art out of museums and into public space, transforming it for the better.
The artist was inspired by a man he met while strolling around town, trying to get better acquainted with the locals and Rijeka’s overall vibe. They struck a conversation about art, music and literature, and one of the things the man told him provided the name for Velasco’s new piece – it is necessary to explore, to keep learning.
And so Velasco painted his mural, a striking portrait of a member of the working class as a don to Rijeka’s industrial heritage. Not much is left of our former glory – factories closed down decades ago, their halls now empty and falling into ruin. And yet, our city and its history were built by people such as the man immortalized on this mural, and I love it as a reminder of what we are all about. Keep moving, keep learning, and never stop exploring.