The streets of Eastern Europe are some of the greatest examples of open air galleries, as street artists from the Czech Republic to Russia have taken to exhibiting their best work on walls and pavement. This past April, during the Katowice Street Art Festival, several street artists from around the world gathered in the southern Polish city to demonstrate their skills and give a new face to the forgotten and unattended portions of the city.

Among the participants was the Spanish artist Escif, whose super-realistic depiction of a light switch appears as if it's a three-dimensional extension of the apartment complex on which it was painted. As the spokesman for the Katowice Festival told us in an email, the high artistic value of Escif's murals are undeniable, but the artist's real aim is to experiment with the interaction between his work and passersby.

More well-known street art pioneers also graced Katowice with their famous stylings, such as Ganzeer (aka Mohammed Fahmy), a primary figure in the Egyptian art scene who began creating Martyr Murals during the Cairo riots. Also contributing was ROA, the artist known for his black and white animal murals across New York, Berlin and Paris.

Check out a slideshow of some of our favorite works that were featured in the festival below!

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  • Katowice Street Art Festival

    Photo of artist <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/escif" target="_hplink">Escif's</a> work on a building located at Mikusińskiego 5, in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).

  • Katowice Street Art Festival 2012

    Photo of artist <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/escif" target="_hplink">Escif's</a> work on a building located at Mikusińskiego 5, in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).

  • Katowice Street Art Festival 2012

    Photo of Italian artists <a href="http://www.moneyless.it" target="_hplink">Moneyless</a> and <a href="http://www.tellas.org" target="_hplink">Tellas </a>work on a building located at Mariacka Tylna 13, in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).

  • Katowice Street Art Festival 2012

    Photo of Italian artists <a href="http://www.moneyless.it" target="_hplink">Moneyless</a> and <a href="http://www.tellas.org" target="_hplink">Tellas </a>work on a building located at Mariacka Tylna 13, in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).

  • Katowice Street Art Festival 2012

    Photo of artist <a href="http://www.ganzeer.blogspot.com" target="_hplink">Ganzeer's</a> work, entitled "Beware of the Mask of Freedom," on a building located at Mariacka Tylna in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).

  • Katowice Street Art Festival 2012

    Photo of artist <a href="http://www.roaweb.tumblr.com" target="_hplink">ROA</a>'s work on a building located at Mariacka Tylna 11 in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).

  • Katowice Street Art Festival 2012

    Photo of artist <a href="http://www.tellas.org" target="_hplink">Tellas'</a> work on a building located at Górnicza in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).

  • Katowice Street Art Festival 2012

    Photo of artist <a href="http://www.flick.com/people/hyuro" target="_hplink">Hyuro's</a> work on a building located at Gliwicka 58 in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).

  • Katowice Street Art Festival 2012

    Photo of artist <a href="http://www.xmarkjenkinsx.com" target="_hplink">Mark Jenkins'</a> work on a building located at Mariacka 15 in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).

  • Katowice Street Art Festival 2012

    Photo of artist <a href="http://www.xmarkjenkinsx.com" target="_hplink">Mark Jenkins'</a> work on a building located at Mariacka 15 in Katowice, Poland. (Photo by Paweł Mrowiec courtesy of the Institution of Culture, Katowice - City of Gardens).