Street Art Photography: 5 Best Graffiti Cities In The US
Artwork is all about freedom. Not only do people have the ability to express their own perspectives and creative minds, but they also have the choice of how they want to express it.
It’s a typical “artist” thing that, for hundreds of years, canvases have been available and yet seemingly not good enough for street artists. What’s that? I can have a high-quality canvas? Any size and shape that I desire? Meh, no thanks, I’ll use this building instead.
Thankfully, most street art is so beautiful that they can get away with it! In fact, street art is a great way for artists to express themselves to a wide audience, lighting up ordinarily mundane streets with something full of colour.
They also make pretty good photographs for socials. Let’s be honest: it’s unlikely that anyone has passed a particularly good piece of graffiti and not stopped to photograph it. A beautiful piece of street art – preferably with you standing in front of it – can be a great addition to anyone’s Facebook feed, instilling some colour and creativity in the same way it can for the street itself.
But where are the absolute best places to find good street art in the US? If you love photographing street art and are looking for more places to indulge in your passion, we’ve compiled a list of the five cities where graffiti really takes centre stage:
The Big Apple
The culture of New York has been entirely shaped by the street art inside of it. With more offbeat murals than anywhere else in the world, even great artists like Jean-Michael Basquiat and Keith Haring have found a home for their art here, showing just how respected New York is as a “blank canvas”.
Welling Court mural, in particular, has become a very popular spot to visit and have your photo taken. So if you’re looking for something to light up your Facebook feed or become a showstopper in your Facebook photo book, make sure you check it out!
The Golden City
Speaking of photo books, San Francisco has so much graffiti that you could create a whole photo book based entirely on the city’s art. Honey bears, specifically, seem to be a bit of a theme here. If you want a good photo opportunity, make sure to check out the art at 1172 Oak Street, just by the Panhandle. It’s become a bit of a social media trend to have your photo taken on the little red bike beside the bears, so get your photogenic face on and give it a go!
The Magic City
Although many people might think that Wynwood Walls – the infamous outdoor gallery of over 100 murals – is the reason Miami takes its place on this list, it’s actually just one factor that makes Florida the perfect graffiti destination.
According to recent studies, Miami is the city with the most concentrated collection of street art in all of the US, making it one of the most Instagrammable cities in the US. A great time to visit is during the street art festival, Art Basel Miami, where you can see the best artists at work and watch in real-time as the city is painted an entirely different colour.
The City Of Angels
For some reason, Los Angeles – or the city of angels – remains one of the best destinations for international artists to spread their wings. The murals in the downtown area have absolutely everything, with people from all walks of life expressing their own visions onto the city streets.
The most famous murals are located in the Arts District. Here, you can find pieces such as the Elephant Mural, Bloom and Undiscovered America, just waiting to be photographed. And you don’t need to worry about how they will look, either. Sometimes art doesn’t really translate outside of its canvas, so working out how to take good pictures of art can be difficult – especially if you’re planning on putting them in a photo book. But with these murals, you can simply snap them whichever way you choose. Somehow they will always look amazing, no matter what!
The Windy City
Chicago, Illinois, has such an incredible graffiti scene that it has literally become a tourist attraction. Street art here can be found on nearly every building, with the Wicker Park neighbourhood being one of the most popular spots for truly imaginative art. If you’re looking to take some selfies for your social feeds or photo book maker, pieces like “Greetings From Chicago” and “Vivian Maier” are the most notorious “selfie spots”.
As well as this, the city of Chicago is a great spot if you like art that really has something to say. No-context art with vivid colours is wonderful, sure, but Chicago really has a feel for socially conscious issues, especially when it comes to gentrification and climate change. The art here reflects this, making Chicago an unmissable location if you’re on the search for the best street art the USA has to offer.