From Murals to Playing Cards: Aleix Gordo Hostau

Renowned street artist designs poker playing cards, taking advantage of the growing popularity of poker. Much like street art and graffiti, poker is quickly gaining acceptance in the mainstream

murals and playing cards

Street artists often find themselves to be of divided opinions when it comes to Aleix Gordo Hostau’s story. Starting off as an illustrator for children’s books and mainstream publications, Aleix has now made a name for himself as one of Spain’s most prodigious street artists.

Mostly self-taught in the realm of visual arts, Aleix got started in street art and graffiti when he created a comic book about the graffiti in Spain. He spoke to many different artists and was invited to paint with them, and he hasn’t looked back since.


Or has he? Aleix is one of the many street artists who are now being commissioned by different companies and agencies to design posters and murals. But while artists like INSA are working with big names like Dwayne Wade to create murals, and Living Walls works to bring street artists in contact with communities who want murals to adorn their walls, Aleix treads a different path.

Aleix has his own licensed brand, and while he has in the past worked with companies to create murals, recently, he’s returned to the print world, but not in ways you might expect. Last year, Aleix released his first line of poker playing cards with Bicycle USA.


Aleix is just one of the hundreds of artists who are now taking advantage of the growing popularity of poker. Much like street art and graffiti, poker is quickly gaining acceptance in mainstream media. While poker had once been thought of as nothing but a game of chance, recent studies have shown that the game is actually a game of skill. Dragonfish, the software that powers the games on Total Gold, continues to employ professional poker players to try and streamline their poker games and add new features to keep them interesting.

Even Peter Jepsen, a Danish poker player credited with winning one of the biggest pots in online poker, is surprised about how successful the poker industry has become. When he first took up playing poker, it was nothing but a pastime for him, but soon, the game had become a worldwide phenomenon, enjoyed by millions worldwide. Jepsen now spends his time playing and writing about poker, serving as a testament to the successes seen by the online poker industry.


Street artists seem to have developed quite the relationship with poker, as we see murals with elements of the card game, from playing cards to poker chips, and sometimes full poker hands, painted on walls and train stations. Aleix has taken this relationship to print, lending his visual style to a deck of specialised poker playing cards.

The deck utilises his signature style of bubblegum creatures, in bright, popping colours of pink and blue. Known as the “Street Art Deck”, the design is among Bicycle’s best-selling sets, serving as a welcome break from the dull, classic designs of playing cards.

Aleix’s success in transitioning from traditional art forms into street art, and back into print media may be indicative of the acceptance now being enjoyed by street artists everywhere. Nowadays, even local governments, who had once rejected the idea of street art altogether, are commissioning artists to create murals that unite communities and get people talking. Could this be the future of street art?