iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
BootsnAll

GET UPDATES FROM BootsnAll
 

The 9 Best Cities For Street Art Spotting (PHOTOS)

Posted: 03/ 9/2012 7:00 am

Street art, once thought of as synonymous with vandalism and disregarded, is now an art force to be reckoned with. As the art form has grown in stature, it's also grown up in terms of medium -- street art isn't about "tagging" walls with spray paint these days, as artists branch out into wheatpaste and woodblocks, showcasing their work inside art galleries nearly as often as on walls. Some street artists are household names, with their work commanding thousands of dollars and collected by individuals and museums. Street art has always been cool, but in the twenty-first century it's become an art.

Sometimes massive murals cover entire buildings and artists use their medium to create beauty in an otherwise gritty landscape as well as to express emotions of protest. Their tools include paint, tiles, laser light displays, yarn, stickers, and found objects, and in some cases simply selectively cleaning a dirty area creates an image in what's called "reverse graffiti."

Although street art is just as often found indoors as out nowadays, the best places to see street art in all its glory remains exterior walls, walls that artists usually don't have permission to use as a canvas. The cities highlighted below are each excellent places to find some of the world's best street art, but that doesn't mean there aren't other cities with great street art out there - all you need to do is look for it.

Here are 9 of the world's best cities for seeing street art.

Read more about art around the world:


  • 8 Paintings Every Traveler Should See

  • 6 Ephemeral Art Forms You Won't Want to Miss

  • 7 Former Factories Turned into Must See Museums

  • Tehran, Iran
    1  of  10
    PLAY
    FULLSCREEN
    ZOOM
    SHARE THIS SLIDE 
    Widely considered the founder of Iranian street art, A1one infuses his work in stencils and stickers with a political slant. He directly engages with such issues as the influence of the West (he parodies ads for Western companies) and a burgeoning revolutionary spirit (some figures hold AK-47s). In a nod to Banksy's tagging figures, the artist above writes, "Painting is not crime."

    omgh makes wire people (thinking, tagging, sitting, and so on) and leaves them around the city. He also does throw-ups in Persian and stickers. Stencils of growing plants by R4sh contrast sharply with the concrete walls on which they're located. A1one's "Evolution" shows an ape morphing into a human morphing into a soldier.

    Many pieces by unnamed artists get taken down before they can be documented, so the best locations aren't widely publicized. Getting caught "vandalizing" public property carries stiff penalties throughout the world, which makes the street art in Tehran all the more impressive: it shows a fierce need for self-expression, regardless of potential consequences.

    Search for airfare to Tehran
    RATE IT!   |  
    VOTE
    CURRENT TOP 5 PICK YOUR OWN TOP 5
    USERS WHO VOTED
    NEW! CREATE YOUR OWN SLIDESHOW

Photos by: Garrett Ziegler, astuecker, unusualimage, Richard Munckton, Melanie-m, Lord Jim, isaac'licious, frerieke, hragv
 

Follow BootsnAll on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bootsnall