Around the World in 80 Sprays
What if I told you that you could walk through an art gallery without ever having to set foot inside a museum? How, you ask? The answer is street art.
What is street art?
Street art is simply public art created outdoors, usually created with spray paint. Street art was originally devised as a way for artists to achieve fame more quickly than they could using indoor galleries. Because anyone walking the streets, rich or poor, old or young, could view it, street art quickly became popular with the masses. Street art continues to be a hot tourist attraction today.
So where are the best places to find street art? Let’s explore the world’s rich street art scene together. First stop?
New York City
NYC is where the street art scene was born in the 1960s. Here, you’ll find several great places to stop and stare (and maybe take a few selfies).
These are my top two street art picks for NYC:
- Coney Art Walls—Coney Island may have made itself famous for bringing us the first amusement park, and by extension, Disneyland, Harry Potter World, and Six Flags. But it keeps itself famous with the Coney Art Walls. Head over to Coney any day of the week from 12–8 p.m. to browse their weird and wonderful outdoor gallery. Not headed to NYC anytime soon? Check out the murals online at coneyartwalls.com.
- The Bushwick Collective—If you’re headed to Brooklyn as part of your NYC tour, you might consider the street art gallery at Bushwick, probably the most famous in the Big Apple. Plus, if you hit up Free Tours by Foot, your tour is—you guessed it—absolutely free. Here’s a word for the wise: Be sure to book at least a few days in advance or you’re unlikely to snag a spot on this popular tour. Next stop?
- Le Mur—This art wall is a unique one. Rather than allow street art to be totally defaced before creating a new installation, this wall invites renowned artists to repaint this wall every few weeks. Stop by and you might just be lucky enough to see a street artist at work on the Le Mur wall.
- 13th Arrondissement—Head down to Paris’s 13th district for frescoes galore. You’ll be blown away by the size of these masterworks. Watch out for art by one of France’s most famous street artists, Invader, who only uses square titles to create pixelated videogame-esque characters. Third stop?
Melbourne is a weird and wild location for street art. Wherever you are, you can be sure that you’re only a few blocks away from one or another famous street. Since art goes up and comes down so quickly here, artists know that any piece they paint will only be temporary. Be sure to snap a pic of your favorite pieces before they’re gone.
- Drewery Lane—Still, if you’re in town, be sure to check out DL, a laneway that has lined its walls with mosaic art in remembrance of those who have lost health or life to the defense of their country.
So, what’s our last stop on our global street art tour?
- Tennozu Isle—This district of Tokyo puts lots of emphasis on beautifying their walls. In fact, in this part of town, the Tennoz Art Festival unveils new street art from February to early April. Check out their website online for current projects and future unveiling locations. Now let’s go local.
Park City, Utah
After his documentary made its world premiere at Sundance in 2010, Bansky, the (in)famous British street artist known for his black-and-white stencil art and his secret identity, created three art pieces in town, two of which can still be seen under protective glass coverings in their original locations, the Java Cow building and 537 Main Street.