(Cover photo by Bob Cooley via Trover.com)

If you enjoy street art in its many manifestations, you won’t feel disappointed in New York City. You can find countless murals and graffiti from even the most famous street artists of today. After all, street art is by far one of the most interesting art forms of modern culture. 

Political, communal, social, anarchistic – the viewpoints into the world are anything you can imagine. That is exactly what makes it so interesting and versatile, as well as the countless different techniques the artists use to create their artwork. Street art is like a mirror into the nation’s soul, it tells you so much about its values, appreciations, and problems. All you have to do is just look a bit closer.

A Cultural Starting Point

A great place to start would be the Bushwick Collective; an outdoor street art gallery founded in 2012, where you can see pieces from Dan Wiltz and Swoon, among many others. If you’re in the neighborhood of Troutman Street at St Nicholas Avenue during June 2, there is an all-day street party, where you could have an interesting insight into the graffiti culture.

Continue to the Bowery Graffiti Wall at East Houston Street which has stood there since 1982. Admire the works of different artists invited by the real-estate man Tony Goldman in 2008 to rotate murals into it.

The Bronx holds the unofficial Wall of Fame of New York Street Art on the East 173rd Street at West Farms Road. Many famous artists, like Phetus and Iz the Wiz, have painted their works on these bricks, but if you want to see this you have to hurry. There are plans to tear down this landmark piece in favor to build some affordable housing.

From Outdoors into the Galleries

Graffiti and murals don’t just stay in the shady alleys and backstreet corners anymore – they have long ago landed into the art galleries as well. It has definitely raised the profile for street art, but it may have also made it lost something of its edgings. Part of the fun is the hunting around the city for great pieces.

But if you want an easier approach, stop by for example in the Jonathan LeVine Gallery. It has exhibited artists like Shepard Fairey and even Space Invader with his iconic mosaic pieces. The Gallery at 5 Pointz holds also an indoor gallery in addition to the 200,000-square-foot open-air display of aerosol art.

Walking Tours Through Layers of Paint

I’d just go hunting for the best pieces around the New York City alone with a camera, but you can also go on guided street art walking tours. I would like to join on this one by Free Tours by Foot which is on name-your-own-price –basis.

These are just a little scratch off the surface of NYC’s street art scene. There are almost endless choices to choose from, as there are places to stay in. But when exploring this quirkier side of the NYC, you could stay in a hotel that also has its own place in the pop culture; the Hotel 17 in lower Manhattan.

This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.