Street art or graffiti? Some may say graffiti disfigures a city’s beauty. But over the years and probably more so since the early 90s there are many fine artists who have transformed neighbourhoods and turned them into a destination by creating superb art for everyone to admire.
Not only has the art transformed run down or derelict areas of cities, but they have also created world famous and acclaimed artists. Almost every major city has an area where street art adorns walls, parks and buildings. We look at just a few and if art is your scene then these are places you must visit when you get the opportunity.
LONDON; a city which loves art in all formations. Not only does the city commission or display works of art in streets such as the previous piece of a blue rooster at Trafalgar square or pop ups in Mayfair. The destination to head to see some great works is in East London, in particular Shoreditch area. Homes to some of Banksy’s work. His work expresses himself to protest or provoke, always irreverent and ironic.
BERLIN; has one of the most important urban art scenes in Europe. It’s everywhere. The big faces oddly placed on the side of buildings can be identified as the work of Mentalgassi, one of the street art groups responsible for the unique art all over the city. The East Side Gallery is a must-see, a 1.3-kilometer section of the former Berlin Wall where international street artists have created urban frescoes that convey peaceful messages.
LISBON; urban art gallery has transformed parts of the city which were laying derelict for years. However, to convince the locals was no easy task. But by painting municipal cars, waste trucks and various other transportation modes caught the eyes of the visitors as well as residents which created an interest and turned “hate street art” to “love street art”. This turning point saw art pop up with amazing displays in Bairro Alto and Fado-themed works in Mouraria.
MELBOURNE; street art is truly a delight. Since the 70s and 80s when the city took its art inspiration from New York has come along way. Show casing some great work in neighbourhoods such as Napier and Exhibition street in the Fitzroy corner. High streets as well as nooks and crannies have a lot of colourful pieces of art.
NEW YORK; after real estate projects destroyed the art district of Queens the artist moved to Bushwick. It’s now become a hub for artists from all over the world. The area has become a real destination with galleries, studios, cafes and restaurants. A destination in it’s own right.
MEXICO CITY; has a vibrant scene with works depicting the Latin American culture, Aztec art and plenty of colourful pieces can be seen. The city just recently became more colourful after “All City Canvas” went into play. 9 artists, some local and some foreign, were then brought in to paint the buildings as they are today.
RIO DE JANEIRO; colour is everywhere, even some of the poorest areas are awash with colour. Splashes of paint have transformed districts, giving better opportunities to the people living there and encouraging tourists to visit the areas. Kobra’s work is everywhere, he was even commissioned to do apiece for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
CAPE TOWN; an eclectic collection which started in the 80s a period which gave the city the freedom to express its troubled past. It has a thriving art culture, areas such as Cape flats an area created by apartheid, De Waal drive and the streets of Woodstock are must places to visit.
Other cities with a great street art scene are Barcelona, Miami, Buenos Aires, Prague, Barcelona, Paris, Santiago, and Istanbul.
If you haven’t been to any of these cities, then make it a priority when travel opens again and make it a point to appreciate these fine pieces of street art. If you live in any of them, then you are lucky, and we hope you make the most of the fact you live there and can go to enjoy the array of colours on display.
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