Understandably, when most people think of street art or graffiti, they picture murals covering entire walls, sometimes entire buildings. It doesn’t have to be done on a big scale, but it’s often the largest pieces that stick with us and enter the public consciousness. However, for true street art fanatics it’s about more than just experiencing the graffiti local to your area; it’s about looking further afield too. Some may be lucky enough to be able to travel, for a holiday or for work, and see the street art of different cities and different countries. It’s impossible to visit absolutely everywhere in one lifetime though and this is where screentime comes in.
Screentime tends to get a bad press these days; the worry is that we’re all spending too much time glued to our various screens and not enough time interacting with the world around us. But for some activities, a screen is actually the most efficient and cost effective way of accessing your interests. Through sites like Minds, you can communicate with friends and family scattered across the globe; through entertainment platforms like JustWatch or PokerStarsCasino you can play your favourite table games and watch blockbuster movies from the comfort of your own sofa. Apps like Instagram and websites like this very one you’re reading now give you the chance to experience street art from the most remote, far-flung corners of the world.
So, where’s best to go online when you’re seeking your next awesome graffiti hit?
On the Web
As Instagram is and always has been primarily an image sharing site, there’s no surprises that it tops the list when it comes to seeking out new street art online. Any street artist can set up a profile and start broadcasting their work to the world, all whilst remaining anonymous if they so wish. This was especially important for infamous tagging duo Utah and Ether as they documented their five-year spree across the globe, making art as they went. Check them out under the Instagram handle @Utah_Ether. Truly inspiring work.
Yes, you can use Netflix to catch the latest instalment of The Crown or watch The Rock caper about in the Jumanji reboot, but it also hosts some pretty decent documentaries too. One of these is Art of Conflict, a fascinating look at the street art and murals of Northern Ireland. It’s an area of street art often overlooked by the global graffiti community but one which has produced some of the most impressive and heart breaking wall art in the world.
Netflix’s less rigorously controlled neighbour, YouTube, is home to many videos about graffiti, street art and the culture surrounding the practice. It is perhaps a more fitting host to an artform that is all about subverting the status quo and stirring up some trouble along the way. Check our Style Wars and Beautiful Losers for an in-depth look at the origins of it all including interviews with some of the founding fathers from the 80s and 90s.
This may seem like an odd addition to the list, but Lonely Planet actually features some great guides to the location of graffiti in different cities. From New York to London to train carriages around the world, Lonely Planet has you covered and manages to respectfully celebrate all forms of street art with its carefully curate guides. It may be time to start planning that next holiday after seeing what they have to offer.
Street Art Specific
This is one of the best onscreen interactive experiences you can have on the internet, and that’s even without getting started on the graffiti content. Graffiti General is a virtual rendering of an unofficial gallery basically, with the option to explore each floor and each room as though you’re in Google Street View. The building itself is the Magasins Généraux, located next to the Ourcq Canal outside Paris. Once it closed as a factory in 2000, graffiti artists took over and turned it into their own personal playground. This website preserves the results for future generations and it is certainly a sight to behold.
Art Crimes owns the coveted web address graffiti.org and puts it to good use as well. It claims to be the oldest graffiti art archive on the internet and has been in use since 1994. As well as documenting street art and graffiti from around the world, it also updates visitors on the latest news, directs them to other great sites and hosts some pretty great interviews and research pieces about the genre too. It’s your one-stop-shop for anything and everything street art related from the US to Africa to Asia and beyond.
As well as all of these awesome online resources, don’t forget to check back here on Graffiti Zone Rugs to cop the latest news, views and reviews on street art across the globe.