Whether it is executed independently or commissioned by a gallery or a festival, today’s street art is finding its place on an impressive variety of surfaces around the globe.
And why should they? The splendid art we see coming in each month as part of our Street Update section is there to connect people, unite communities, embellish environments, inspire, and even give voice to those who need it. The nature of street and urban art has always been a versatile one, and those who were truly committed to it were sometimes rebels - but always with a notable cause.
There seems to be no doubt that street artists and their creations gained popularity, and continue to do so, mainly thanks to the digital and social media. Being public works of art, they reach out to a large audience nowadays always ready to spread the word and give them the much-deserved visibility.
This is where we, as Widewalls, come in to say we are proud to be a part of this phenomenon and all its aspects, through our dedication and respect of these incredible artworks and the masterminds behind them.
It is now that time of the year again where we thank them for their hard work by looking back at the last 365 days of it. We’d also like to thank our Instagram followers for appreciating it just as much as we did, for this list features 55 of the most popular street and urban creations we brought to you in 2017.
A Colombian street artist known for her vibrant and captivating wall pieces, GLeo has created a new mural in the central market of supplies of Mexico City that references agriculture as a dialogue between man and earth. Titled Offering, the piece symbolizes the earth giving its last offering for to us.
A world-known cartoonist and illustrator, Phlegm has taken over The Crystal Ship Street Art Festival in Ostend with his otherworldly creatures. In trademark black and white, the mural is imbued with a fantastical storyline and endearing cast of characters. Intricate as always, it perfectly highlights the skills of this British artist.
The renowned Croatian artist Lonac has just finished an amazing mural for Wallskar festival in Nanxian, China that aimed to bridge the Chinese graffiti with the global graffiti art scene. Titled Does or Doesn’t, this figurative based hyper-realistic piece shows a woman playing “He loves me, he loves me not” with a yellow flower.
Barcelona based illustrator, Marina Capdevila has created her biggest wall ever for DOMINADOMNA, a festival in Bergamo, Italy focused on female creativity through multidisciplinary projects. Titled All in All Win, the piece was painted on the facade of Guido Galli Institute. Transcending gender, race and age, the mural highlights a clear message of unity and solidarity.
Brazilian street artists l7matrix has recently stopped by Vannes, France to create a stunning large mural. He is known for blending roughness and elegance in his Graffiti Birds urban paintings. Depicting another beautiful bird, this latest piece combines geometrical elements and stylized color puzzles with detailed realism.
A Portuguese environmental artist, Bordalo II has created a mural in Dublin, Ireland during the Workshop Gastropub, Georges Quay. Titled Red Squirrel, the piece was created over the course of five days and the process was filmed for an Irish Film Board funded documentary Bordalo II A Life of Waste that will premiere this year.
The Australian artist Fintan Magee has created a large-scale piece in Saarbrücken, Germany as part of an Urban Art project titled Artwalk – Saarbrücken under the artistic direction of the Saarbrücken gallery owners Patrick Jungfleisch (Reso) and Benjamin Knur. Titled Boyhood, the piece is based on the photo the artist took of a boy playing with a bow and arrow on the streets of Beirut. In this site-specific piece, the boy from Beirut was replaced by a local teenager.
British artist known for his geometric compositions, Remi Rough has spent some time in France on the occasion of the La Condition Publique’s exhibition Street Generation(s) 40 ans d’art urbain curated by Magda Danysz gallery. The mural he painted in Roubaix is characterized by his continuous investigation into the relationship between balance, tension, color and geometric theory.
Lauren Napolitano aka Peptalks describes herself as a traveling mixed media artist creating anything out of everything. Leaning heavily on her Mexican heritage, she uses symmetry and traditional Mexican craft as her starting point. In Tulum Mexico, she has created an intricate snake piece. As she explains, no one ever leaves here how they came. “We all shed a layer or two”, she adds.
The Japanese-born and Australian-based artist Twoone has created a stunning piece on the Falls Creek’s iconic “Brown Tank” that has served the resort by holding clean drinking water for the village year-around. Created as part of the local Artist in Residence Program, the piece titled Big Fella depicts a massive butterfly, providing an incredible experience for those skiing to the village via Shortcut or walking up Ory’s Trail from Café Milch.
This beautifully vivid mural was made by the Bordeaux-based street artist Alber (also known as Alber V.times) in February 2017 and it can be found in Orleans, France. The graffiti consists of two semi-abstract faces with distinctive eyes, portraits made in the unique style Alber is known for. The mural was made for Le Mur Orleans, a non-profit organization dedicated to contemporary urban creation and taking graffiti to new heights.
Banksy made this charming Brexit-themed mural in the city of Dover, UK. It's a fairly simple and direct piece as the British king of stencils painted the flag of The Council of Europe. One of its twelve starts that stand for the peoples of Europe is being chiseled away, symbolically representing UK's departure from the international organization.
An awesome mural popped up on a wall in Honolulu, depicting a pair of children screaming at a sight of a crab clawing one of the boys and hanging from his finger. Appropriately titled as A'o Mai I Kou Hewa (Learn From Your Mistakes), this fantastic piece of street art was made by the TELMO MIEL duo. This mural was made for the POW! WOW! Festival, a week-long event in Hawaii.
Hueman, an Oakland-based street artist, made this interesting and vibrant mural in Los Angeles, California. It depicts a single hand allowing flowers to blossom on it palm, with the word Bloom written in the middle of the composition. The mural is a perfect example of how Hueman works, searching for that perfect balance between the abstract and the figurative.
The mural Rapture was made by the Argentinian street artist Francisco Bosoletti. As all other works signed by this man, Rapture carries the strong traits of universal classicism and it depicts a series of intertwined bodies in a predominantly grey composition. This mural was made for the Wool Urban Art Festival in Covilha, Portugal.
A mural that resulted from a collaboration between Pixel Pancho and Case Maclaim, this awesome piece can be found in the Brooklyn part of New York City. It shows two men shaking their hands while bundles of flowers seem to be bursting from their skins and jackets. This mural was created as a part of the Bushwick Collective project.
Yet another awesome anamorphic mural that came out of Odeith's street workshop in 2017, this piece is a great indicator of just how talented the Portuguese street painter in question truly is. It displays all the qualities Odeith utilizes when making 3D street works, traits that easily make him one of the greatest urban artists of his nation in that department.
Natalia Rak and Bezt of Etam Cru worked together on this mural in Napa, California, creating a charming huge piece that shows a girl in a urban surrounding releasing a bright butterfly from her hand. Knockin' on Heavens Door was made for the Rail Arts District Napa Valley project and was curated by Thinkspace Gallery.
Alexandre Farto aka Vhils visited his country’s embassy in Bangkok in order to leave a mark and an homage to the community of Thailand’s capital.
Executed in his trademark negative-space-style, the wall features the faces of the regular folks from the neighborhood, merging with one another.
If Nychos is someone known for his unique portrayals of mostly animals and their many layers, could have we expected him NOT to paint a kangaroo in Australia?
If you ever wondered what the entrails of the country’s mascot looked like, here’s your answer, courtesy of this very talented Austrian artist.
Future is in Your Hands is the title of this spectacular mural by Serbian street artist Artez painted in Valjevo, in his home country.
This talented individual is known for his realistic portraits often featuring bright colors such as yellow and hues of green.
The Dutch duo Telmo & Miel visited Perth down under earlier this year, where they painted Life of a story, a touching tribute featuring a child and his grandfather.
According to the artists, this particular area in Midland is where the railway workshops gave (heaps of) families an income for generations; a place with a lot of positive stories that will be passed on for decades to come.
About this mural, Italian artist Millo commented: ”I painted this wall in Jyväskäla, a small city 350 km North from Helsinki for [a] festival. The city is surrounded by an amazing nature, lakes and forests everywhere.”
”I feel very inspired and I wanted to underline the relationship between small things and ourselves and how something that seems nothing could be everything.”
Poetic as always, urban art legend D*Face visited the 13th arrondissement of Paris, and left two of his famous figures in an embrace.
Love won’t tear us apart is the title of this work, and we’re certain this couple will last a while - at least until the weather and the building facade permit it.
INO painted this mural on the yard of a school that had been occupied for 23 years. It was the core of the Anarchism in Athens and now the municipalities turned it into a high school.
It shows a bomb instead of a brain inside a man’s head, and is appropriately titled Mind Control. From a gray figure comes a blue liquid, breaking down the monochromatic composition.
Australian artist Conor Harrington is famous for his portraiture that mixes abstraction and classicism. In Paris, he painted two male figures against a pink-ish background.
If we are to trust the title of the artwork, these men both embrace and fight, leaving many things to the viewers to interpret.
A talented and self-taught artist, Sean Yoro aka Hula became famous for his semi-submerged murals, created while balancing on his stand up paddleboard. To celebrate Earth Day, the artist has created an amazing mural that tackles the theme of climate change. Created with natural chalk that washes away, this temporary mural titled Pūliki, meaning "the embrace" in Hawaiian, sends a personal message about protecting our lands. The mural is created in a wood in Hawaii in an undisclosed location.
A talented street artist from Spain who decorates walls in a spectacular manner, Liqen was invited to Kassel, Germany by Dustin Schenk to collaborate with Schiller in his project KolorCubes of regeneration and action in public space. He has created an amazing wall piece titled Ceguera (Blindness) that depicts the machine drawn from liqenian natural liquid memory.
A part of the duo Etam Cru, BEZT has had a chance to paint a mural in his homeland. Created in Bielsko Biała, Poland, the piece titled Blue Monday is peaceful yet intriguing. Using a color palette consisting of different shades of blues and purples, the artist depicted a woman holding a lush flower pot. This quite image is imbued with an almost surreal-like feel.
Visiting the Bloop Festival in Ibiza, Spain this summer, INO has created a powerful piece that comments on the global warming. A visual play on the cold ice cream treat, the piece serves as a powerful example of how public-facing art can have an impact. As the artist explains, humans are the worst animals that have ever lived on earth.
An anonymous and controversial Australian street artist, Lushsux has made a name for himself by painting pop culture-infused murals, with just right amount troll added to the mix. After inviting his Twitter followers to vote on who should he do a mural on, he painted a large-scale piece of Obama saying “Miss me yet?”.
The famous Street Art duo Ella & Pitr have created a massive mural in France that addresses the seriousness of the global refugee crisis. Titled Le Naufrage de Bienvenu/The Shipwreck of Welcome, the stunning outdoor work depicting a refugee seeking passage scales the surface of Piney’s Dam in La Valla-En Gier, Rhone-Alpes in France.
The talented Croatian artist Lonac has created a new piece as part of the festival No Limit in Borås, Sweden. No Limit is an outdoor art event gathering artists from around the world to participate in turning public spaces into an outdoor exhibition. This outdoor gallery is available all year round.
For this year’s edition of the Bratislava Street Art Festival, Fin Dac worked his magic in the street of Bratislava. An artist known for stunning portraits of women, he painted a new piece over the course of five days. Titled Veľké Oči, the piece depicts one of his ladies, but dressed in local traditional clothing instead of an asian one.
The first collaboration between Bifido and the Spanish artist Julieta XLF, a mural titled Deep Blue was created in Volos, Greece in the neighborhood where refugees live. Organized by Urbanact and Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V as part of the project Urbanartventures Vol 2, the piece focuses on migrations, the possibility to travel in freedom, changing life and building a new home. Working on the piece for a week, artists have been in contact with locals, consulting them on what their challenges and hopes.
Dan Ferrer painted this incredible mural in Avila, Spain. Titled Past, Presents, Future, this intentionally pale piece shows the same women in three different emotional states that appear to be grief, a prayer and a segment where the portrayed lady holds her hands over her eyes.
Titled as Under one Roof, this mural can be found in the city of Pfaffenhofen, Germany. It was painted by SatOne, a Munich-based illustrator and street artist originally from Venezuela. He applied his usual colorful style to this mural, using the signature visuals to transform a house into a frisky playground of colors and shapes.
Done in a fascinatingly controlled manner in terms of shapes, this mural can be found in Požarevac, Serbia. Titled simply as Horse, the piece presents us with a frontal depiction of a horse in a way only one half of the animal's head is present. This mural was painted by the talented Nikola Mihajlović.
BiP (Believe in People), an anonymous street painter, created this incredible mural in downtown San Francisco. This stunning piece presents us with two "plants" extracted from the ground in a manner their roots are hanging out. However, instead of a leaf or a flower, the tops of these plants are two brains. This mural is titled as Together.
Underlined by a strong visual sense of Classicism, this mural is located in Naples, Italy, one of the most mesmerizing cities in the world in terms of art. It was created by Francisco Bosoletti and it presents us with a beautiful women covered in cloth, looking over an ordinary neighborhood in Naples.
Created in the artist's characteristically charming style, The Bookworm is a beautiful mural painted by Artez. This artwork shows us a girl apparently getting ready to study, carrying a bunch of books with a cat resting on top of them. The Bookworm was created for 167/BStreet festival in Lecce, Italy.
Definitely one of street art gems made in 2017, It's Not a Game was painted by Antonello Macs in Campobasso, Italy. The mural consists of four humoristic depictions of political leaders currently running the world: Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump and a masked Arab man. The four figures are sitting on a table and playing a card game of some sorts, having a blast doing so.
At number 5 of 2017’s most beautiful murals, we have the “trash artist”, Bordalo II. Among the animals this talented individuals created out of a variety of used and discarded materials there is this rooster, now gracing a wall in the Portuguese city of Beja.
Wittily titled Portu-galo, the rooster features metal plates and tubes and many splashes of color, among other things, once again proving how crafty this artist is.
If you want to check out all the places Bordalo II left his mark in, be sure to visit this link!
I can’t stop staring at it! Can you?
In collaboration with Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans, PangeaSeed Foundation’s public art program brings the oceans into the streets, educating and inspiring individuals and communities through ARTivism, and on the occasion of International Whale Shark Day on August 30th, Nychos immortalized this magnificent animal in his own style.
The mural points our the decrease of the population of whale sharks in a global scale to the point, as always revealing what’s inside the animal he’s portraying.
First Fire is the title of this adorable and very well executed mural, resulting in a joint effort of two quite talented artists. One is Bifido, an Italian artist, and the other is Julieta XLF, a painter from Spain. Both are invested in a particular kind of portraiture, and they have been working on different projects together for a while now.
Their latest mural was created for 167Bstreet, a laboratory of urban art based in the Southern Italian city of Lecce. It depicts two girls, morphing into each other and turning into animals, a fox and a bird. Through their hearts goes an arrow, as if connecting them.
”As a grey blanket, as a cruel concrete, one lives in forgotten places. Pressed in huge boxes, as mute beehives. And we break the silence with rains of colors and, in erased corners, life seems to appear.”
Curated by Galerie Mathgoth, Bordalo II created yet another trash sculpture on the walls of Paris. Half Castor is the name of a beaver now gracing Rue du Chevaleret, created on a grand scale and featuring, once again, metal boards, wood stands, plastic tubes, strings, wires and lots of color.
Artur Bordalo was born in Lisbon in 1987, and he grew up inspired by his grandfather who painted the city of Lisbon himself.
His art draws attention not just to the animals he portrays, but also to a current problem that is waste production, pollution, materials that are not recycled and the way all of this impacts our world.
Finally, the most popular mural of 2017 is the creation of DEIH, a Spanish artist who has been demonstrating his love of comics on walls around the world.
This piece was created for Points de Vue, a street art week in the French town of Bayonne, in the South-West. The main question this artwork poses is: ARE YOU READY?
We see a woman wearing a jacked and a helmet, all covered in wire and surreal devices. She is about to plug in, but what will happen when she does?
The mural is a captivating comment on today’s Western society, which by all means depends on and is directed by technology. Can we even get away from it all at this point?