Here today, gone tomorrow. The transient nature of street art means it can be at risk of being scrubbed out and lost forever to its legions of fans. But long after the paint has faded from the walls, technology can help preserve street art, so people can discover it wherever and whenever they like. In a new project launching today, we’ve partnered with street art experts to bring you 5,000+ images and around 100 exhibitions in the Google Art Project—telling a story of street art around the world.
Starting today, you can immerse yourself in a world of prowling foxes on lonely walls, supernatural symbolism, murals on a grand scale, tiny hard-to-spot icons, or trompe l’oeil techniques that use physical details of the wall itself to trick the eye.
Some of this work was created as a means of expression and activism, like the Chilean open-sky museums of La Pincoya and San Miguel, which were born as community projects to transform poverty-stricken neighborhoods, or to make a political statement like in London and Atlanta.
It’s not just about spraypaint either—other exhibits demonstrate the signature style of the artist, like JR’s large-scale and evocative photo-portraits, Roa’s animals, Vhils’ etching or Os Gemeos surrealism.
Using Street View, you can also explore buildings with street art that are closed to the public, or that have already been demolished—such as the famed Paris 13 tower:
In a series of fascinating exhibitions by our partners, you can also learn about origins of the street art movement or see how Street Art is being used in Poland to revitalize its cities. Take a tour through the origins of New York’s original graffiti movement of the 90’s, or see top highlights from the city’s 5 Pointz project. Compare the global nature of the Street Art produced in Mexico, which has a long and vibrant history of muralism, to the scene in the Philippines, which is just developing.
Street art may be temporary on our walls and sidewalks, but its beauty and vibrancy live on, on the web. Take a look— you’re sure to be bowled over by the variety of the urban canvas.