What better place to experience street art than its childhood playground, New York City. There’s plenty of grey walls to liven up and old news to paint over in this urban jungle. There are statements to be made, messages to be sent and creative inspiration to pursue in the city that never sleeps.
Beginning not far away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first graffiti migrated to NYC in the 1960’s, and rooted itself in street gangs marking their territory. Early writers tagged subway cars and their moving canvases made the work visible around the city, inviting competition. The art fluxed as writers increased, spurring development and innovation, then decreased as the authorities cracked down on vandalism during the 1980’s. Those who rode out the wave found new canvases across The Big Apple.
As time wore on, techniques were refined and signature styles honed. New street artists challenged the old and what we have today is a sophisticated culture that reaches worldwide including publicly commissioned murals, legal walls and revered artists. Here is a sample of today’s work, a selection of New York City street art captured across three boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.