Street Art and Best Cities For Enjoying It
Street art has reached every corner of the world. It is the reflection of the place itself – its culture, sociopolitical environment, traditions, history and architecture. You can see the soul and the vibe of a city on its streets. However, if you would like to rejoice in the beauty of flamboyant murals and graffiti or create street art yourself, there are some cities which are better than the others. The reasons are different: one street art capital is the birthplace of graffiti, the other is very liberal and supportive towards street art, the third is the place where the most celebrated graffiti artists live, the fourth mixes the influence of renowned urban art meccas with its local flavor, and so on. All these factors coaxed the visually most beautiful and representative profiles of the cities. In majority of cases, these places were visited by recognized masters of street art who left their impression and their mark on the walls, but at the same time, the capitals of street art possess their own local stars who have their unique and recognizable style (for example the yellow-skinned characters are featured in many works by the Os Gemeos twins from Sao Paulo, Brazil)
From Melbourne to New York, this is our list of ten cities worldwide where the best street art is created.
Melbourne - the Place Where Street Art Is Considered Art
Melbourne is known as a street art capital for its liberal position regarding this type of art. Maybe not as much as in Buenos Aires, but in Melbourne it is considered art. The photorealistic mural by Smug, Adnate and Two-One’s raven piece, Fintan Magee’s mini superheroes and Sofles’ old school graffiti are only some examples of the world class urban art in the Australia’s metropolis.
Tel Aviv - the New Star
Tel Aviv is the emerging star of the street art cities. Young artists in Tel Aviv take the international powerhouses as their inspiration and add their local artistic touch to create lighthearted and free street culture. The combination of innate and international art makes this city so interesting. The difference between the style of Herakut and 035 Crew is indescribably different, but visibly distinct. Tel Aviv’s Ros Plazma, Raez, Untay and Dioz will hopefully be more famous in the future, since their art is all over the local urban landscape.
London - New York's European Equivalent
London is New York’s European equivalent regarding street art. Although Bristol is probably the birthplace of English graffiti culture, most of the artists that emerged as recognized street artist live in the capital city now. Arguably the greatest number of them is from the UK and all of them live in London. What makes this city’s street art scene so special is the unmatched sophistication: Banksy pieces brimming with social criticism and humor, Conor Harrington’s Renaissance paintings, or Nick Walker’s Vandals are testimony to that. The best place to find street art is East London (Shoreditch & Hackney). There’s also an app from streetartlondon that shows you the exact locations of murals.
Buenos Aires - the City Where Street Art Is Encouraged
Buenos Aires is renowned for its open support of street art. The government actively funds huge street art projects that adorn the urban landscape. What’s great is that the unbelievably gifted muralist Martin Ron is commissioned very often for these projects. That is why the photorealistic murals of Martin Ron decorate this city. Ron just recently completed the 14 meter high, 25 meter wide Villa Urquiza mural in colaboration with BA Street Art Tours. The other great thing is that JAT recently visited Buenos Aires and painted amazing bears and fighting tigers.
Miami - the America's First Runner Up
Miami has become a runner up for America’s street art hotspot. The former industrial district Wynwood has been transformed into an art district that celebrates urban culture. This place has been and will be the screen for the biggest names in street art. Every famous street artist has painted, sprayed and stenciled here. Wynwood has become so significant, that it organizes its own art fair. Art Wynwood, the annual Presidents Day Weekend fair, presented over 60 galleries from 9 countries.
Sao Paulo - a Vast City with Spectacular Murals
Sao Paulo’s art is as vast, recognizable and authentic as the city itself. The birthplace of the street art twins Os Gemeos is canvas for the beautiful works by international artists JR, Invader, Miss Van, C215, Swoon, as well as Brazil’s Eduardo Kobra, Os Gemeos, Binho Ribeiro and Paulo Ito. The majority of street art in Sao Paolo was painted by Invader. This famous Frenchman found 21 locations to invade. What’s also very present in the urban landscape of this city are Os Gemeos’ yellow characters. The most impressive mural in Sao Paolo can be found on the side of an Oscar Niemeyer building on Paulista Avenue. It shows the architect with his fingers crossed in Eduardo Kobra’s signature color blocks. Kobra’s masterpiece is 52 meters tall and one of the best-known murals worldwide.
Los Angeles - the Place Where Talent Is Recognized
Los Angeles is the city of angels and street art galleries. Galleries like Merry Karnowsky, Known, OHWOW and Fabien Castanier showcase everything from the emerging artists to the biggest names in street art. To be honest, it is a city that is more about art than streets. If you’re looking to buy street art, LA is the best city to go. It is a place which has particularly good eye for art talent. We don’t want to say that there isn’t any art on the streets, because there definitely is. Shepard Fairey’s Elephant at Melrose Avenue, Cyrcle’s Woodkid mural at Santa Monica Boulevard and Retna’s hieroglyphs downtown are beautiful and impressive works.
Paris - the Epitome of a Beautiful Metropolis
Some may think that the most beautiful city in the world doesn’t need to be beautified, but we’re very glad that there are street artists who have thought differently. JR, C215, DMV crew, Speedy Graphito, Hopare, Levalet, l’Atlas and many more made Paris even more beautiful. JR’s 30 meter long print out at the National Library is just one of the examples, as well as C215 colorful stencils or Levalet’s humorous pieces. Paris continues to be the capital of art with its superb aesthetics.
Berlin - the Spiritual Street Art Capital
Berlin is not famous as a city with the most extravagant, photorealistic or large-scale murals, but as a city in which art reflects the free expressionism of once divided German capital that has become the cultural attraction of Europe. Liberty and liberalism is what this place is about today and this is mirrored in the art on its streets. You can see PROST’s cartoonish characters at the door of Bar 25, BLU’s man with gold-watch-handcuffs or the diverse murals of hundreds of artist that have painted the East Side Gallery (former Berlin Wall) at the bank of the Spree. The German capital is spiritual, ethno-hippie and unbelievably creative in all facets.
New York - the Number One Street Art City
The birthplace of street art, the cradle of graffiti and the mecca of the world’s most innovative urban art: New York. It’s pointless to write down the artists you can find here, the list would be endless. It’s also pointless to point out where to find graffiti or street art, it’s everywhere. We can say this much: the best street art in New Work can be found in Brooklyn (Williamsburg & Bushwick), Lower East Side and Meatpacking. The Bowery Wall is the most frequently changing wall in the world. Artists from Keith Haring to Os Gemeos have made their mark on the wall at Bowery and Houston, only to have the next street art superstar paint over it. Banksy pulled a one month street art stunt with a new piece every day in October 2013. JR had his Inside Project on the screens of Times Square. For those who would like to see the roots, the South Bronx used to be the territory of DONDI, Lady Pink and Cope2. New York was and still is the number one.