Incredible Graffiti Around the World

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There are several things that I “collect” photos of as I travel around the world and I finally feel like I have enough assortment to start posting them. I’m going to start with one of my favourites… graffiti around the world.

I can’t help but notice the different graffiti in every country that I visit, with techniques varying from place to place. Some are small and to the point. Some are stretched across entire buildings and make it impossible not to look at. Some tell a story, whether you understand it or not. In any case, they are all beautiful works of art.

Each part of the world is home to artists of different backgrounds, cultures and ultimately styles of art. I haven’t found one country that fully resembles another yet, but have definitely been more impressed by some regions than others. Here are a few locations that have stood out the most to me, for their incredible works of street art.

 

Iceland

Reykjavik is a city riddled in beautiful urban art, but the epicentre lies at Hjartatorg (heart square), a small public space surrounded by walls that have been graffitied from head to toe. If walls had toes. It is my favourite spot in the entire city.

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Hjartatorg

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Hjartatorg

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Random back alley

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Hjartatorg

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Hjartatorg 2013

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Hjartatorg 2011

Israel

Tel Aviv is home to some of the most interesting graffiti I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t large and decorative, or even visually appealing, but each work seemed to hold an underlying message and was usually politically or religiously based. Most tags were small and stencilled, featured prominently on a plain white wall, which helped them stick out from their surroundings.

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One of my favourites

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Jaffa Market

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Jaffa

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The eggplant must have been someone’s trademark symbol, as I saw these little vegetables everywhere in Tel Aviv.

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Someone will have to translate all of these for me

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Czech Republic

I previously wrote about my love of the art in Prague, including the graffiti around the city. My favourite is the “John Lennon Wall”. In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime of Gustáv Husák. Young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint.

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The “John Lennon Wall” in Prague

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View from Prague Castle

Costa Rica

San Jose has got–by far–the most beautiful street art that I have seen all over the world. It’s bold. It’s bright. It’s colourful. It’s politically charged. And, it’s absolutely everywhere. I could hardly contain myself and certainly couldn’t stop snapping photos around every street corner. San Jose is a graffiti-lovers dream city.

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France

For some reason I didn’t photograph any of the art around the city, but spent a long while at Jim Morrison’s grave, which probably had a bit more emotion behind it anyway. These are messages left behind from fans…

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Norway

The graffiti in Bergen wasn’t very impressive for the most part, but I also felt that most of the buildings were entirely too cute to be painted on like that, so perhaps it isn’t a bad thing. I’d love to see the city create a space specifically for street art like this.

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Bergen

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A strong message outside of the Zoo

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Bergen

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Bergen

Turkey

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Istanbul

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Canada

This is a lot of graffiti in Toronto, I just haven’t photographed it yet. New mission.

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Toronto

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Toronto

The World

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Political graffiti in Barcelona, Spain.

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Eugene, Oregon

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Bangkok, Thailand

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Bridgetown, Barbados

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Not exactly graffiti, but an interesting find in Biloxi, Mississippi.

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Not really graffiti either, but what a combo in Port Dover, Canada

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San Francisco, California

I know that I will continue photographing graffiti around the world, so I will probably update this post from time to time. Don’t forget to come back for more incredible street art.

Do you look for graffiti when you travel?

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11 Responses to “Incredible Graffiti Around the World”

  1. Jen Seligmann
    May 7, 2014 at 5:13 am #

    Very cool collection of photos Seattle. I’ve been to a few places that have some really awesome graffiti. Melbourne’s Hoiser Lane and there’s a street in Bristol in England that has some amazing graffiti. They have a competition each year too so as you can imagine it gets pretty competitive.
    Jen Seligmann recently posted..Where in the World Wednesday #15

    • Seattle Dredge
      May 8, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      Thanks, Jen! Aah yeahh I’ve heard lots about Melbourne’s graffiti and would love to see it in person. Hadn’t heard about Bristol, but I just Googled it and it look awesome. Thanks for the tip :]

  2. kami
    May 8, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    I love this post! I certainly look around for street art when I travel, it’s actually the highlight of my trips! And just this morning, when I was going from the airport after arriving back from Armenia (which was really poor in street art) I’ve noticed how many great pieces we have here in Warsaw! I guess I have to take my camera out for a walk 😉

    • Seattle Dredge
      May 8, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      Ooh nice, I’d love to check it out in Warsaw. And, I’d still like to see it in Armenia, even if it’s not super nice or anything. I vote you find as many as you can and do a Warsaw graffiti post.. we could make a thing out of it and start tagging people to show their own cities haha

      • kami
        May 9, 2014 at 1:26 am #

        that’s actually a great idea! I can easily think of few people who would join us in that! As soon as I have an extra few hours I’m off for a street art hunting! I loved the Toronto scene, btw! So many great pieces around!

        Armenia is amazing, you should definitely try to get to Caucasus soon! It’s one of my fave areas in the world and I always love returning there! Sadly I found maybe 5 (!) street art pieces around Yerevan but on the other hand almost every gate in the city is nicely painted by the students of Art Academy so that looks nice!

        And you should come to Poland, you’re always welcome here and I’d gladly show you around Warsaw! 🙂
        kami recently posted..cool, fun-loving side of Jerusalem

  3. Toni
    May 8, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    Such a fantastic collection of graffiti Seattle! 🙂 Amazing colours from the small to the big pieces!
    Toni recently posted..Sydney observations from a first-timer…

    • Seattle Dredge
      May 8, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Thanks! Agreed, I don’t even wear a lot of colourful stuff, but I love them.

  4. Jamie S.
    May 12, 2014 at 5:33 am #

    The John Lennon Wall was a very nice surprise.. only short walk from Charles Bridge. Although it seems the wall is no longer serving the purpose it once did, it´s still worth a stop. Personally, I enjoyed reading the quotes, lyrics and messages written by people from all around the world. I can imagine some musicians in front of the wall playing Beatles songs — that would definitely be something!

    • Seattle Dredge
      June 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

      Yeah, it’s definitely interesting to look at and easy to get distracted by for a while :]

  5. Ryan
    May 19, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    I cannot believe I didn’t scope these out before…being a graffiti obsessed person! I cannot freakin’ wait to get to Czech Republic now! What wicked street art!!!
    Ryan recently posted..How Thailand’s new visa regulations forced me to leave, and why I may not return.

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