Find it on buildings, sidewalks, and street signs galore, from Melbourne to Paris, London to New York. Street Art is popping up all around the globe as cities use street art to breathe new life into areas in desperate need of revitalization. In recent years this viral art form has taken hold in urban settings far and wide, turning empty spaces into creative places and developing a flourishing sub-culture all its own.
Personally, I can’t imagine a trip better spent than wandering around laneways and abandoned buildings in search of hidden treasures. Check out Part One of this collaborative journey of the boldest street art from around the world!
Seoul, South Korea
It can be surprising to find such an alternative art form in a conservative country. Due to the thriving SUP (Seoul Urban Art Project) in recent years, government of South Korea has legitimized graffiti as a symbol of creativity. Street artists, painters, illustrators, film makers and photographers are brought in from around the world to release their creativity and make over rundown redevelopment and eviction zones in Buk Ahyun-dong.Willful & Wildhearted
There are a number of mural villages interspersed throughout the country. The quaint homes are not only charming, but offer an excellent backdrop for the art scattered throughout the alleyways of the forgotten neighborhood.Find brightly painted murals tucked away in Mullae, an urban enclave of metal workshops and light industry, in the backstreets of Hongdae, supporting the city’s premier arts university, HBC Art Village in Haebangcho and Ihwa Maeul on the slopes of Naksan.
To really get a feel for Lisbon’s most thrilling artworks, you have to get outside of the museums and onto the city’s streets. The Crono Project commissioned artists to turn run-down, abandoned buildings into works of art and held a huge exhibition in celebration. The above mural was created to mark the 75 years of regular air services between Amsterdam and Lisbon. AkaCorleone worked together with the Dutch artist Hedof to illustrate the connection between the two cities.
New York City
Much of what is now defined as modern street art entered mainstream pop culture during the NYC graffiti boom. Peaking at the release of Style Wars, an acclaimed 1983 documentary on hip-hop culture which followed several street artists struggling to express themselves through their art. Follow along as they breakdance and physically transform the urban landscape of New York, turning its subway system into their public playground.
Melbourne is a mecca for graffiti, making it an attractive playground for artists to flock from around the world. The City acknowledges that public spaces provide a gallery and stage for artistic expression. Laneways splashed with color are hidden all over Melbourne. Hosier Ln (opposite Federation Square), Caledonian Ln, Union Ln, Degraves St, and Flinders Ln are among several locations where you can tap into Melbourne’s dynamic street art scene.
Whether officially commissioned or created in the dark of night, street art has transformed a drab city centre into an immersive gallery of vibrance and color. We have often travelled to far and wide places but sometimes it the rough and honest street art of our home city that we feels speaks to us the most. It’s humorous, local and unpretentious, if you want to sample some of the best then the alternative “Northern Quarter” is the place to be! Find an interesting mix of old and new town in your wanderings.
Ljubljana seems to be on everyone’s up-and-coming travel list these days, and it’s so very well-deserved. The city is quickly becoming known as the hipster capital of Europe (second only to Berlin, of course). Along with that comes a modern artistic surge in an otherwise very old city. Take a walk through the shopping district and you might come across political street art. In this case, why not create a colorful masterpiece on an entire train car?
Over 70,000 people flock to Miami for Art Basel to admire artwork from all over the world. Transforming the warehouse district of Wynwood, to create a center where people can gravitate to and explore. Since its inception, the Wynwood Walls program has seen over 50 artists representing 16 countries, covering over 80,000 square feet of walls, and has since been dubbed the “Museum of the Streets.”
Ah, Paris! The City of Lights and Love. The City of Street Art? Yep! The grand avenues, picturesque cafes and impressive churches of Paris have inspired for years, yet the surprising underground creative community is just as thriving. Find street art in ever-evolving abundance on the historical Marais district, Rue Dénoyez of Bellville, Oberkampf, Butte aux Cailles, and Canal de l’Ourcq.