Named after Miguel Fredrico Graffiti, the term “graffiti” is used to describe art that is done on public buildings, mostly as a beautification project or vandalism. The art form has had a long and illustrious history, and has come a long way from the stick figures that adorned cave walls. New York has always been a blank canvas for artists who have left their mark in a variety of formats. With that in mind, the following are some of the best places to see graffiti in New York City:
image: A Syn
The High Line – Chelsea
In just a few years, New York City’s High Line, which is a public park atop an elevated rail structure, has transformed into one of the most intriguing open-air galleries you will find in the city. The area stretches from Manhattan’s Meatpacking District to Midtown and features both commissioned and unsanctioned pieces.
image: Elvert Barnes
The Graffiti Hall of Fame – East Harlem
Back in the 80s, Sting Ray Rodriguez founded The Graffiti Hall of Fame to provide the youth of East Harlem with a creative outlet. What started off on a wall of the Jackie Robinson Educational Complex at East 106th Street and Park Avenue turned into a tribute to the many artists who have visited the complex since then. It’s easy to spot the works of some well known graffiti writers, such as, Iz the Wiz and Dez.
Williamsburg – Brooklyn
The low-cost living of Williamsburg has been the watering hole of street artists for decades. So, it’s easy to see why graffiti has become so popular in Brooklyn. With many artists turning towards Williamsburg to express themselves, the locality is filled with traditional American graffiti along with European-esque murals, especially at locations such as, North Third Street and Wythe Avenue, Bedford Avenue and at Roebling Street and Metropolitan Avenue.
Hunts Point – The Bronx
The Bronx is famous for the Hunts Point murals, which is a 200 foot long wall which has been decorated by Bronx-based Tats Cru along with other popular graffiti artists, such as, Daze, Goldie and Crash. And even though it’s quite a trek from Manhattan, once you reach it, you will find the trip well worth it. So, take the Subway to Hunts Point Avenue and head on down to Drake Street, south of Spofford Avenue.
Welling Court – Queens
Another neighborhood that used graffiti for the good of the community is Welling Court in Queens. The lovely murals which can be seen on the walls were created by the arts group known as Ad Hoc Art. In the past four years, the neighborhood’s community has welcomed more than 60 artists from around the world to leave their mark in Astoria.
If you’re ready to experience New York’s street art scene, get ready to be amazed by the ingenuity of the many artists who have left their mark on the walls of various New York neighborhoods.