We at the Grapevine couldn’t be more excited about the future of Icelandic design. It seems that every year the scene grows exponentially, with more and more artists taking centre stage and shops showcasing the crème de la crème of our little island. To our delight, the pandemic didn’t change a thing—in fact, the competition for our 2021 Best of Reykjavík Shopping awards was particularly fierce. After long discussions with our beloved panel members, we are proud to present our winners. From sustainable ceramics to high-end lopapeysur to obscure Björk b-sides, this country is more than just volcanoes and waterfalls. (No shade to volcanoes and waterfalls, but you can’t wear them or put them on your shelf, right?) So without further ado, here’s your essential guide to shopping in Reykjavík. Enjoy—responsibly, of course.
“It’s just so well-curated,” one panellist said of Grandi’s Listval, a multi-purpose art space and store. “You can go to just one place and see a beautiful exhibition and also buy work. They’ve had a nice mix of very stylish artists and also up-and-comers, so for someone visiting Iceland, it’d be a great place to come and get really well acquainted with the local scene.” While Listval is anything but a hidden gem—just a gem really—for those in-the-know of the Icelandic art community, its location far off in Grandi means it’s often a missed destination for those who would otherwise just mosey in and be wowed by its charms, maybe leaving with a piece or just a new artist to follow. So if the word ‘Listval’ is a new one for you—do yourself a favour and get well acquainted with this winner.
In its few years of existence, Núllið Gallerý has become a mainstay of the young Icelandic art scene, constantly showcasing the newest, edgiest and most exciting artists in the city. With its finger on the underground pulse—to be fair, it is literally underground—Núllið is a place to obsessively follow. In fact, don’t even check who is exhibiting. Just show up. Then talk about it after and you will seem very hip and cool to your normie friends.
We love Kristófer, a.k.a. Sleepofer Tattoo, which is why he’s once again one of our Hidden Gems. A fresh, beloved artist of the Reykjavík clandestine scene, Kris is known for his edgy takes on traditional tattoos—think naked ladies, skulls, snakes and spiderwebs. You know, devil-may-care things that make you look cool. Just like us—a magazine targeted to tourists.
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2021 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Reykjavík—here, posted worldwide.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!