On almost every block of New York City, you can find some type of street art. These temporary works of art paint the urban landscape we walk and drive past every single day, and can be the expression of the artist’s views or just something pleasing to look at. What we see as modern street art can be traced back to the 1960’s in New York, hitting it’s peak as full subway cars were covered in graffiti.
Since the 1980’s, New York has been the place to be when it comes to street art in uninhabited neighborhoods such as SoHo and the Lower Eastside. Chelsea’s art district got involved as well by showing established exhibitions of street artist’s work. A documentary about New York’s street art, Style Wars (1983), showed local artist’s struggle of expressing themselves as well as their personal outlook on graffiti. A. O. Scott of New York Times wrote, “Style Wars is a work of art in its own right too, because it doesn’t just record what these artists are doing, it somehow absorbs their spirit and manages to communicate it across the decades so that we can find ourselves, so many years later; in the city; understanding what made it beautiful” (2009).
Festivals such as Living Walls, Albany are annual street art conferences that bring artists to one place to create murals and other street art on mostly vacant buildings.
Image via Dace Flker