If you haven’t heard of Reunion Island ever in your life, I can’t blame you, we are far from being in the top 10 of travel destinations. Located in the Indian Ocean, right between Mauritius and Madagascar, Reunion Island is a little French paradise known for its beautiful landscape and its very rich/mixed culture. Nonetheless I’m not here to present the island through its sunny beaches and wild nature like any other travel blog would, but rather by taking a different approach : local street art.

In Reunion Island you can’t miss the street art, and if you ever set foot on the island you know what I’m talking about. From walking into the city, to lying at the beach to driving back home, you can always spot pictures/tags/graffiti somewhere.

The most popular drawings on the Island are definitely the Gouzou, painted by the famous artist Jace. Those little yellow anthropomorphic characters are everywhere and easy to spot : on walls, on bridges, on street signs, electricity boxes … Sometimes funny, sometimes political, the Gouzou became a real emblem of the Island since their first appearance in 1992. A great way to entertain your road trip is to search for them and take a few pictures (in a safe way of course, don’t leave your car in the middle of the road just to take a picture). And if you’re interested in them, I guess you’re lucky because you don’t even have to go to Reunion Island to see some Gouzous, Jace went all around the world to paint them : New York, Thailand, South Africa, France, Bali … more than 25 countries ! And he has a few art books, you can check out online.

Gouzou paperplane

Whether they are legally painted or not, Reunion Island has many street artists well known among art lovers and amateurs. To admire them you sometimes have to go off the road and wonder to places you never thought you would stop by, this is a great way to visit the Island ! It’s also a great way to have a road trip full of adventure : who would have known I would have to go down a tunnel and wait for a herd of goats to pass just to take some pictures ? From the artist Sept, to Gorg One, to Pandakroo, to Méo … you will never be bored, it can be a political statement but mostly it’s just a great way to enhance the landscape.

Not only a playground for locals, street artists from France have come to leave their footprint on Reunion Island. For those who know Jef Aerosol or Jerôme Mesnager, you will be happy to spot their art on the road.

Street art is not only a display of lines and colors to form a nice landscape but an invitation to think and criticize a specific subject. Whether to mock advertisements, raise awareness to discrimination, acceptance or even to protect nature, art can be a real statement in itself. Street art is a great way for Reunion Island’s artists to express themselves and lucky for us, the island is one big canvas.

About me : Hello, I’m Steven ! I’m a french student working for the online blog of aFabulousTrip, a smart travel search engine. I grew up in Reunion Island and this place will always have a special place in my heart, for its beauty and for all the incredible memories it gave me.