Urban art meets nature. Nature is part of the fabric of Lucerne. The mountains and the lake are omnipresent, providing inspiration to urban art practitioners Queenkong.
Together, Vero and Marco Schmid form urban art duo Queenkong. They have travelled the world together, financing their journey by making art on walls. They draw on nature for their ideas. During their travels they realised that their home town of Lucerne was the ideal place to practise their art. They believe that there’s nowhere else on earth where town and nature are so closely allied.
Lucerne attracts people not only for its small town charm, but also for its beautiful location on Lake Lucerne and its proximity to the most spectacular panoramic mountains in Central Switzerland.
Nature as a source of inspiration
We find Vero and Marco Schmid in front of their Lucerne studio, where they unveil one of their latest works. It is a vast image in which you can pick out occasional details of the city, with the majestic slopes of the Pilatus in the background. The work is like Queenkong’s manifesto: urban art with a focus on natural subjects. Spray cans, brushes and paint buckets pile up in their studio, which is located directly next to the railway tracks. These are the artists’ tools of the trade. The duo once travelled the world, armed only with their paints, exchanging their art in return for a bed for the night. They have managed to turn this approach into a way of making a living.
The pair bring their own brand of beauty to urban centres with their art works, some of them up to 40 metres high. Unusually for this type of art, their images mainly depict natural subjects: animals, water and mountains. That’s why Lucerne is the perfect place for Queenkong to live and work. Where city and nature meet. Their studio in the middle of the city has a view of the Pilatus, the local peak.
The local mountain offers breath-taking views.
Mountain experiences close to the city
Starting from the city centre, you can make it to the summit of the Pilatus at 2,073 metres above sea level in about an hour. From Alpnachstad, visitors can take the world’s most vertiginous cog railway, which has a maximum gradient of 48%, to the summit, while a cable car on the north face links Kriens with Pilatus Kulm. This is a favourite trip for Vero and Marco. The view of sprawling Lake Lucerne from the huge windows of the cable car never fails to take your breath away. Surrounded by legend, Drachenberg is the ideal place for the pair to relax, recharge their batteries and find inspiration.
Jackdaws let the wind carry them towards the mountain, a group of ibex grazes in a shady spot and a marmot disappears into its burrow. The two artists are influenced by local flora and fauna. The fleeting moments they observe up here are later reproduced on the walls of the city’s buildings. They take their sketchbooks wherever they go, pencils always at the ready.
The city’s landmark and the swans
They still have their pens in their hands when they get back to the city, sitting by the world-famous Chapel Bridge, which dates from 1332. An excursion from the city to the Pilatus and back is easily achieved in one day for both locals and visitors. The oldest covered wooden bridge in the world and its octagonal water tower have come to symbolise Lucerne. Here too Queenkong find subject matter for their work. The swans frolicking here provided the models for an impressive work at Sursee train station, where the two artists painted a huge swan on a façade.
Street art brings beauty to city life
There’s an even bigger image to be seen at 62 Bernstrasse in Lucerne. Here Vero and Marco covered an entire building with their work. A huge bear decorates the house, drawing all eyes. This has transformed an unremarkable building into something very special.
Façades become their canvas.
The pair feel a certain satisfaction as they examine some of their murals on a stroll through the city. They regard this as an affirmation that they have chosen the right place to live and work. It is certainly quite unique to have everything you need so close by, surrounded by an incomparable mountain panorama and an extremely lively creative scene.
The end of the working day in Lucerne.
The lake – another world
Let’s not forget the lake. In summer, the locals spend their evenings and weekends on the water. Swimming in Lake Lucerne with its panoramic mountain views is something you’ll never forget. Vero and Marco spend a lot of time on the lake. They own a small boat, which they restored themselves. For them, the lake is the place they go most often after work. They enjoy taking the boat out, drinking a beer and drifting with the waves. This is the perfect way to relax and clear your mind.