New York is one of the most scenic cities in the world, so there’s plenty to grab your attention as you’re walking down its streets. But that isn’t restricted to what you’ll read about in the guidebooks. This city of wonderful food, incredible parks, and enormous skyscrapers also offers some wonderful examples of street art. It’s everywhere you turn, in fact: covering entire blocks, adding yet more colour to Coney Island, transforming corrugated gates into canvases, and brightening up abandoned storefronts. Here are some of the finest examples of New York street art.
Coney Art Walks
Each summer, a 50,000-square-foot gallery is added to Coney Art Walls, making the seaside amusement park even more pleasurable. The art is provided in numerous forms, from psychedelic backdrops to whimsical sideshow performers, racing hot dogs, and scary creatures right out of stories from H.P. Lovecraft. Like Coney Island itself, there’s something to suit all tastes. The art is on display every day in September, with more information available at coneyartwalls.com.
East Village Walks
The dive bars and indie concert venues where punk rock was given its start are being driven out in the East Village due to rising rents. However, there remains a strong artistic spirit as a result of the work from groups such as East Village Walks. Their colourful murals can be seen all over the neighbourhood, and new ones are constantly popping up. One work that particularly stands out is called Black or While and depicts Michael Jackson with half showing his face as it was in the Jackson 5 era, and the other half as a much-older solo performer.
The Snoopy Collection
This West Village series of murals offers a chance to reconnect with a childhood favourite as it depicts the most well-known characters from the Peanuts comic strip. The collection features all the old favourites, from a psychedelic rocker Snoopy to an anime-style Charlie Brown. Snoopy even comes with his bird companion Woodstock. The artwork was provided by the Peanuts Global Artist Collective, after the family of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz gave their blessing.
The High Line’s elevated urban garden features numerous installations that change each year, typically during the spring. Last year saw some interesting projects under the combined title of Agora. The works were designed to challenge the notion of who, what, and which ideas should be in a public space. Dorothy Iannone provided the mural that stood out over the others, with I Left My Lamp Beside the Gold Door. The artist created the mural as a way of paying homage to the Statue of Liberty, along with the poem from Emma Lazarus that tells of her welcoming message to immigrants.
Audubon Mural Project
While some choose to deny climate change, it’s very definitely real, albeit hard to see. This project aims to change that by painting murals of all 314 species of North American birds under threat from global warming. Much of the art can be found along Broadway from 133rd to 165th streets, Harlem. Tours of the murals are offered by The National Audubon Society, an organisation that is also collecting funds through its website to support the project.