During my travels I often come across cities with fascinating street art – not just your average graffiti, but thought-provoking and meaningful murals by talented artists with very distinct points of view. Here are a few of my favorite street art destinations from around the world.
Penang is an island state off the coast of northwestern mainland Malaysia. Known for its colonial history and delicious street food, Penang is quite popular with foodies, especially in George Town, where vendors sell Malaysian, Chinese and Indian specialties.
The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to beautiful street art. Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic was commissioned in 2012 by the Penang Municipal Council to create a street art project in Georgetown called ‘Mirrors George Town‘ which consisted of painting several large-scale murals in different locations of the old town. Click here for a street art guide to Penang.
Zacharevic’s work represents characters and scenes that celebrate the energy and playfulness of life in the inner city. Many of his subjects are children and he did an incredible job at incorporating existing urban structures into his work.
Photo credits: Property Turkey
Istanbul is one of my favorite cities, both for its gorgeous setting along the Bosphorus, and for the warm culture of hospitality. It seems that everywhere you turn in Istanbul there’s a mural with a message staring back at you. There’s even an Instagram account @Istanbulstreetart and smartphone app dedicated to the artists’ work.
If you’re time in Istanbul is limited, here are the four districts where you’ll get to check out the amazing street art: İstiklal (and side streets), Taksim Square area, Tünel area, Karaköy district and the Kadıköy district. There are even commissioned works by famous British street artist, Bansky.
If you want to check out the street art for yourself, there are several walking tours available. I took one and learned a great deal about how the graffiti artists accomplish such ambitious projects. There are several mediums used – several of them use Ink Markers from On the Run Markers, while others use spray paint cans.
I may be biased because I’m from Miami, but the Wynwood Arts District is home to some of the best street art in the United States. What was once a dilapidated warehouse district is now a thriving community of boutiques, restaurants, cafes and plenty of eye-catching murals to explore.
The perfect place to start is at Wynwood Walls, an urban street art project commissioned in 2009 by the renowned community revitalizer, the late Tony Goldman, who believed that graffiti art was an underappreciated genre. He wanted to create a way to expose the public to great graffiti artists’ work so he opened the gates and the rest is history…
There is over 80,000 square feet of painted wall space to admire – and that doesn’t even include all the works outside of Wynwood Walls. There is a mural on the side of almost every building in the neighborhood. It’s a great place to come and have a bite to eat, or sip an iced coffee before venturing out to admire the art.
What are your favorite street art destinations? Leave us a comment below!