Great street art can take your breath away. In recent years, how street art is experienced, interpreted, interacted with, and valued has changed greatly. Street art – a.k.a. graffiti to some — doesn’t require a museum or gallery to house it, and is always free to enjoy. Sometimes, it is provocative or humorous, and most always it is colorful, and increasingly celebrated by city residents and tourists alike. Today, global street artists are even commissioned to paint walls and structures in different countries.
Urban walls and other structures have become a (usually) welcoming canvas for these once nearly outlawed artists all over the world. Almost every major metropolis around the globe now features some form of street artwork, and increasingly, street art tours are becoming very popular in many cities, such as New York, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Medellin. In Munich, Germany, the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA) opened as Germany’s first museum of urban art and is well worth a visit.
One thing is certain: Creations by street artists can convey a culture and its story that is both aesthetic and historical. Sadly, the art is not always permanent, although some urban artists like a street “canvas” to change from time to time. And sometimes the walls and buildings with the art get torn down, sending the artist’s creation crumbling too. Because street art is so popular with tourists and art aficionados, it is frequently used by city governments and business associations to inject new life into neighborhoods once overlooked and perhaps falling apart, such as in formerly rejected and drug-ridden Medellin, Colombia. (Of note: The difference between street art and graffiti writing is allegedly “intention,” i.e. street artists want public attention, while graffiti writers look for other graffiti writers to decode their tags and appreciate the style.)
We absolutely love street art, and seek it out anywhere we travel. More images will be added to this page frequently, so be sure to bookmark it if you, like us, are a fan of great art, especially today’s urban and contemporary art on the street.
If you have some super street art photos on your own Instagram feed, please share the links to your posts with us. We’ll add links to the best images in a “readers’ picks” section.