Street art is synonymous with New York City. The two have grown side by side, both becoming icons in their own right, and both dramatically different today from their humbler origins.
The city’s early graffiti artists surreptitiously left their mark on subway cars, empty alleys, and abandoned buildings. In the 21st century, urban art is a constant fixture of New York City life – a sight nearly as common as pigeons and puddles of vomit after St. Patrick’s Day (but, we can all agree, far more pleasant to look at).
Gone are the days of urban artworks as vandalism. Street art has officially stepped into the daylight and become a worldwide phenomenon, with New York City as its Mecca.
“There’s a raw character to NYC that is unique,” said Yoav Litvin, author of Outdoor Gallery: New York City, to Business Insider. “As the empire city, New York City attracts the best of the best and all eyes are directed here.”
The storied tradition of street art in the Big Apple owes everything to the talented figures who play starring roles. The legends include the Bronx collective Tats Cru, pop art-influenced Crash, colourful Maya Hayuk, pun-obsessed Hanksy, sticker star BNE, the delicious melty critters of Buff Monster, and more. Brush up on the New York street artists you need to know in the gallery above.
Should you find yourself in town and hankering for urban artistry, look for the Audubon Mural Project, the 100 Gates Project, the L.I.S.A. Project, and the Centre-Fuge Public Art Project. You’ll also want to add the Bronx ‘Wall of Fame’, the Bushwick Collective, the DUMBO Walls, Tuff City, Harlem’s Graffiti Wall of Fame, the Welling Court Murals in Queens, and the graffiti wall at Houston and Bowery to your itinerary.
RIP 5 Pointz and Batcave. You are sorely missed.
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