Bilbao and its Public Art

“The ‘EARTH’ without ‘ART’ is just ‘EH’ – unknown

Aside from this beautiful building, the centre of Bilbao is full of amazing public art. And this is what I want to feature this week for Photographing Public Art Challenge – PPAC. Here are the many architecture, sculptures, statues and murals of Bilbao, Spain.

Bilbao is an industrial port in northern Spain and is surrounded by lush green mountains. It is made famous by the Frank Gehry designed, curvy, silver building, the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. This was opened in 1997 and the museum houses modern and contemporary works.

This is the guard dog, Puppy, who has guarded the doors of the Guggenheim Museum since it opened its doors in 1997. The Puppy Flower sculpture was designed by Jeff Koons, and is better known to locals as the Flower Puppy. The four-story sculpture is covered with flowers all year round, so taking a selfie is simply irresistible.

The work of Fujiko Nakaya (Sapporo, 1933), this atmospheric sculpture was specially commissioned for the artificial lake at the Guggenheim Museum.

Tall Tree and the Eye is a 13 meter high, stainless steel sculpture by Anish Kapoor made in 2009. This consists of seventy-three reflective spheres in stainless steel.

This is a work of Jeff Koons, an American artist, who prefers to work on very colourful works(mostly neon coloured pallete) and large scale sculptures. It is called Tulips, a bouquet of multi coloured balloon flowers blown up to ginormous size of more than 2 meters tall and 5 meters across.

There is a giant spider art sculpture outside the Guggenheim. This will leave you mesmerised, as it is a 30 foot spider, known as the Spain Maman spider. Maman is a bronze, stainless steel and marble sculpture by artist Louise Boutgeois.

The spider has a sac containing 32 marble eggs and its abdomen and thorax are made of ribbed bronze.

Just farther away outside the Guggenheim Museum is a sculpture by Casto Solana (1958), a monument to the socialist politician Ramón Rubial. It is a realistic bronze full figure sculpture with hands in his pocket. He is advancing towards the Gate of the Honourable, a large iron block which seems to be enlarging his perspective with the use of an interior hole.

Opposite the museum, you will find Under the La Salve Bridge on the Salbeko Zubia road, a gigantic streetart. The mural was designed and painted by Veronica y Christina Werdkmeister with the help of some volunteers.

Today, it is also informally known as the Guggenheim Bridge, as part of the museum was built right under it to connect to a tower standing on the other side. This merges the bridge’s structure into the museum’s and thus becoming the most photographed bridge in Bilbao.

And this was how we left Bilbao…with dark mist covering the mountains.


  1. Alison says:

    That flower pup is amazing

    1. Teresa says:

      I saw in google that it shows its colour in every season. So that is nice.

  2. picpholio says:

    An exceptional place, not only the city but in the first place the Guggenheim Museum. I visited both in 2019 and ware realy impressed. Thanks for bringing me there again.

    1. Teresa says:

      But did you go inside the museum? Because we didn’t because we just had enough time to have a snack and toilet break with our tour group. 🙄

    2. Teresa says:

      But the outside is already amazing so it is still worth it.

  3. Toonsarah says:

    I’d love to visit Bilbao! Those sculptures around the museum all look great, but my favourite is the work by Anish Kapoor 🙂

    1. Teresa says:

      Yes, they all look beautiful. I was so happy we passed by that place even just for a short time.

      1. Toonsarah says:

        Did you not get to go inside? I’d love to see it!

        1. Teresa says:

          Sorry my friend, no photos inside.
          The plan was for our tour group to just have a bit of a rest and be able to stretch our legs. Some of our companions didn’t even walk around. So that’s their loss.

      2. Toonsarah says:

        Absolutely – it would have been a shame not to see these!

  4. Cee Neuner says:

    Teresa, these art cool art pieces. I’m really attracted to the one that looks like ballbearings. 😀 😀

    1. Teresa says:

      Haha ballbearings love the desription

Comments are closed.