The Best 10 Cities For Street Art Around The World
Mural, graffitti, street art, or urban art are still widely regarded as vandalism and illegal. But lately many cities have begun to open up to urban art.Mural, graffitti, street art, or urban art are still widely regarded as vandalism and illegal. But lately many cities have begun to open up to urban art.
Even some cities actually use urban art to beautify the city by giving expression space or making urban art events. As a result, the city is becoming more beautiful and an alternative for tourists to come to the city and enjoy the beauty of street art.
Many media have reviewed cities that are friendly to urban art, and here we conclude the 10 best cities for urban art.
1. London, UK
London has incubated its fair share of street artists over the years, making it one of the finest in the world for the form. While many pieces have been removed and repainted, many pieces stand untouched throughout the city (including some elusive pieces by Banksy).
The districts of Shoreditch and Spitalfields, in particular, boast a number of works by renowned street artists Stik and Ben Eine, and up-and-coming street sculptor Jonesy. Though condemned, the popularity of street art in England is officially the capital has led to the city, like the sometimes odd installations on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.
London’s dynamic street art scene got a big official boost in 2008, when the Tate Modern exhibited work by six renowned street artists from around the world. While artists like Banks were put on work on the street long before museum recognition, an increased public awareness means that street art is permitted, lauded, and, in some cases, protected by plastic.
The best areas for appreciating street art remain in the East End.
2. Berlin, Germany
Berlin‘s tumultuous history offers inspiration and a perfect venue as one of the world’s most amazing places for street artists to produce some of their best work. Nowhere is this more apparent than the East Side Gallery, a section of the former Berlin Wall that has been turned into a 1.3-kilometre canvas.
Here, you’ll find 105 murals that were painted on the east side of the wall in 1990, where graffiti had been banned during Soviet rule. Kreuzberg is another popular district for street art, and is home to the largest stencil in the world, the Kreuzberg Spaceman. But you don’t have to travel far from downtown Berlin for impressive creations: the central Mitte district is a creative enclave, home to Tacheles, a former department store covered in artists’ work.
“Every wall is a challenge” reads a strip of the Berlin Wall. German and international artists first took up the challenge in 1961, when the wall was constructed, and haven’t stopped since.
The East Side Gallery memorializes the pieces that once decorated the structure and offers newer work by contemporary street artists, while the nearby neighborhood of Kreuzberg boasts big, classic murals by Os Gemeos and Blu, among others.
3. São Paulo, Brazil
Like many other cities that excel in steet art, Sao Paulo has had a turbulent relationship with local street artists. Originally, much of the prohibited public painting going up in the city was political and the government was opposed.
But it has relaxed this stance in recent years, collaborating with street artists to produce colourful works on highway stanchions and housing developments. When you’re there, be sure to look down to find artist Tec’s fascinating road murals. And if you can’t afford a ticket to Brazil, you can find a virtual selection of Sao Paulo’s best works on the Google Art Project website.
For a long time, much of São Paulo’s street art was concentrated in the suburb of Vila Madalena, along a strip known as Batman’s Alley. Now there’s MAAU, a city-approved open-air museum featuring murals by more than 60 artists.For a long time, much of São Paulo’s street art was concentrated in the suburb of Vila Madalena, along a strip known as Batman’s Alley. Now there’s MAAU, a city-approved open-air museum featuring murals by more than 60 artists.
But the city offers plenty of other worthwhile street art for those willing to look on abandoned buildings, down side streets, and around less obvious places. On the other hand, it’s not hard to miss new work by Eduardo Kobra, who usually covers multistory buildings with his trademark multicolor style.
4. Buenos Aires, Argentina
With the consent of property owners and the municipal government, street artists have transformed Buenos Aires into a kaleidoscopic outdoor gallery. In many cases, the art depicts Argentina’s political history, offering pointed commentary on current events.
In other cases, however, you’ll find fantastical figures, cool characters, and realistic portraits of contemporary heroes. The city’s permissive attitude generally enables artists to be as detailed, as elaborate, and as thorough as they wish.
One of the most popular places for street art is in Buenos Aires, Caminito, a district that bills itself as the world’s first open-air pedestrian museum. Its colourful building facades are very photogenic, and a number of artists sell their wares in the neighbourhood. However, Buenos Aires is known worldwide for its support of street art.
Barren walls city-wide are transformed into building-sized murals, which are not only tolerated by the city government, but oftentimes actively funded. Buenos Aires native Martin Ron’s famous 3D turtle is found here, in addition to a number of his other vibrant and breathtaking murals.
5. New York, USA
New York is where it all started, and still the finest city to indulge in street art. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the first graffiti artists began tagging everything in sight. At that time, the driving force behind this nascent street art was ubiquity. The art form has evolved since then to encompass the elaborate murals and clever works that can be found around NYC today.
Neighbourhoods like Chelsea, Bushwick and the Lower East Side are all meccas for street artists. At 106 and Park in Spanish Harlem, you can find the Graffiti Hall of Fame, a section of wall that has seen some of the best graffiti writers of all time scribble their stuff.
From galleries in Chelsea to streets in Bushwick to warehouses in Hunts Point to apartments and houses in Astoria, New York City has the most diverse array of street art in the world. From galleries in Chelsea to streets in Bushwick to warehouses in Hunts Point to apartments and houses in Astoria, New York City has the most diverse array of street art in the world.
Stickers, stencils, wheatpastes, throw-ups, yarn bombings, posters, murals, LED displays and light projections, mosaic installations, if you can put it up on the street, you’ll find it somewhere in the five boroughs.
6. Melbourne, Australia
City of Melbourne recognises the importance of street art in contributing to a vibrant urban culture. In the 1970s and 1980s the street art throughout Melbourne took off in popularity.City of Melbourne recognises the importance of street art in contributing to a vibrant urban culture. In the 1970s and 1980s the street art throughout Melbourne took off in popularity.
In 2004, the city held its first festival devoted to stencils, and for many years this Australian city was the go-to place for that type of street art. In addition to stencils, you’ll now find posters, wheatpastes, and more in the various lanes that comprise the city’s Central Business District, as well as in nearby suburbs.
Melbourne has become one of the world centres for street art, with dozens of acclaimed artists having left their mark on the city. Numerous alleyways in the Australian cultural capital are decorated with vibrant works. Hosier Lane and Caledonian Lane are iconic spots, and in 2010 the local council commissioned a number of artists to paint the walls of Union Lane.
These alley artworks are now highlighted by local tourism agencies. Though the relationship between street artists and government has been strained at times (city workers accidentally demolished a Banksy piece), the government has largely supported its creative citizens and it shows in the variety of urban spaces where street art has popped up.
7. Paris, France
Walking around Paris, a paradise for street art, you’re likely to come across small tiled 8-bit figures a couple of stories above the street on building corners and monuments. Walking around Paris, a paradise for street art, you’re likely to come across small tiled 8-bit figures a couple of stories above the street on building corners and monuments.
These are works done by the artist Invader, who works across the world but hails from Paris. His colourful tiled mosaics of characters from the arcade game Space Invaders can be found throughout the city.
Paris is also home to Blek le Rat, the father of stencil graffiti, who has been at work on Paris streets for over 30 years. You might have to pay to see the Mona Lisa, but some of the best art in the French capital is found streetside.
8. Lisbon, Portugal
The Lisbon street art scene has undergone a recent expansion, thanks in part to Underdogs, a project to further “the establishment of connections, partnerships, and collaborative efforts between artists, cultural agents, and venues, while helping to bridge the gap between these and the public.”
Naturally this goal requires lots of street art, and it’s on display both inside (in the affiliated Underdogs gallery) and outside.
9. Mexico City, Mexico
The origins of the modern street art movement in Mexico City lie with the muralists of the 1920s, including Diego Rivera, who used their work to convey social messages. The 2012 All City Canvas festival enabled artists like Roa and El Mac to paint on some of the city’s most iconic buildings, such as the offices of El Universal, a major newspaper.
And in recent years the city has begun working directly with street artists to use their talents to create images that improve and inspire, much like the muralists of the past.
10, Los Angeles, USA
If there’s anywhere in the world where urban art has jumped the gap between radical expression and commercial enterprise, it’s in LA. Here, you can find LAB ART, a 6,500 square-foot gallery of street art that’s not so much on the street anymore, but can be purchased instead. But that isn’t to say that the art form has been completely commercialized here.
A number of iconic works can still be seen in the La Brea area and walls in Hollywood are regularly redone with fantastic images from local artists like Robbie Conal and Saber.
Sourch: readersdigest.ca, arthporm.com, mentalfloss.com
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