From intricate fine-art masterpieces to fluorescent in-your-face murals, street art has many different forms and faces. More and more cities around the world are becoming veritable outdoor art galleries, their walls serving as blank canvases for bold, inspiring and unifying artworks. The street art scene has grown accustomed to controversy, often butting heads with those that don't support its unique creative vision. But we for one think the beauty and innovation of street art should by all means be celebrated, so we've compiled a list of the top 10 street art-viewing cities you have to visit to get those creative juices flowing!
Let's start with Bristol, an iconic, cultural rich city in the west of England, UK is synonymous with everything alternative and edgy so that of course means it boasts some pretty impressive street art. Stroll through trendy Stokes Croft and you'll be surrounded by the huge bright and vibrant murals that are responsible for Bristol's reputation as a creative and artistic cultural hub. One of Bristol's most famous celebrities is Banksy, the anonymous street artist whose identity remains a mystery to this day. Born in Bristol in 1974, Banksy has graced his hometown with unique and thought provoking graffiti for years. Walking tours around the city expose a fair bit of his hidden artwork, which often focuses on controversial social issues. Frogmore Street's 'Well Hung Lover' and the 'Grim Reaper', which is now displayed at Bristol's M Shed are popular Banksy viewings.
People travel from all across Europe to see and indeed contribute to the street art scene in the magica and vibrant city of Vilnius, Lithuania. Vilnius' creative bohemian vibe welcomes urban artists with open arms and the capital's buildings are slowly but surely becoming adorned with smatterings of contemporary urban artwork. The city's annual Street Art Festival further encourages the freedom of artistic expression as well as the use of creative space for artwork. For example in 2015, Italian street artist Francesco Camillo Giorgino aka Millo, graced Vilnius with a truly unique piece, playing with the exterior architectural details of one blank space to add more depth and interest to his street artwork. This bright and friendly mural is now regularly photographed by fascinated tourists and locals alike.
São Paulo, Brazil
Brazil's São Paulo has a dazzling street art scene, bursting with vivid colors, radiant murals and bold designs. But apparently not everyone is a fan. This year São Paulo has been at the very core of a controversial debate on street art and graffiti. The government has controversially described street art within this Brazilian city as a visual pollutant and is running an initiative to "clean up" São Paulo and paint over some of these incredible designs. This of course has provoked outcry from citizens who admire and enjoy the enigmatic, ever-changing artwork of their city's streets, praising it as creative and culturally diverse. Street art in São Paulo represents a channel for urban issues to be voiced and we simply can't understand why anyone would want to paint over São Paulo's bright and beautiful streets!
The creative and cultural city of Melbourne, Australia is one of the world's most impressive street art capitals and so is definitely worth a visit! The graffiti craze first hit this Australian city in the 70's and 80's and has shown no sign of wavering. The city's creative ambiance can be instantly felt, especially walking down some of Melbourne's streets where every inch of wall space is covered in bright, mesmerizing designs. Wander down AC / DC Lane, Caledonian Lane or Meyer Lane and you'll be engulfed by electric splashes of color with designs so captivating, so engaging and so original that you could stand staring open-mouthed at them for an eternity! So be sure to take your camera and take a snap of your favorite piece!
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is teeming with street art, all as vivacious and intriguing as the Hispanic culture itself. Free viewings of such urban masterpieces can be experienced throughout the city, particularly in the La Roma district which is home to exhilarating street art of an eye-catching and thought-provoking nature. Some pieces in the city focus on intricate designs popping with vivid color, whilst others take a more artistic approach, with large-scale black and white illustrations. Whatever the style, Mexican street art is always guaranteed to be engaging!