Turns out my Lower East Side street art walk was just an appetizer. I had to have more street art… more, more, more! After some research, I discovered that in terms of the highest concentration of street art, the industrial area of Bushwick in Brooklyn was one of the best places for New York street art—if not the best.
I booked another street art walk with Graff Tours to see The Bushwick Collective, an initiative that has transformed a barren area of concrete warehouses and brick walls into a sprawling outdoor art gallery.
Street artists from all over the world come to The Bushwick Collective to do what they do best—create art. Perhaps having such a big legal zone for graffiti means you lose some things—that spirit of rebellious defiance , or maybe that moment of surprise that comes when a piece of street art pops out in the midst of all that urban grit.
But in exchange, artists get the luxury of time and space. For us lucky bystanders, that translates into sheer scale…
and some truly amazing detail.
It’s easy to just stroll the wide, empty streets of the Bushwick Collective and lose yourself in all this street art. Almost literally, in Tala’s case!
This post doesn’t even cover half of what the Bushwick Collective has to offer. New walls come up often and the area is still changing. It was hard to choose my favorites, but here’s my attempt. Wanna see?
See what I mean about scale and detail? I love that Phlegm, the creator of this dragon-like creature, perched some of his birds on the work of another artist.
Given time and space by The Bushwick Collective, artists are also able to plan and execute collaborations, such as this one. Can you distinguish the work of three different artists here?
One of them is Buff Monster, whose oozing cartoons remind me so much of the Garbage Pail Kids. Throwback!
In another 80s throwback, the stylized letters of Vers bring me back to the afternoon Japanese animes of my childhood: Voltes V, Voltron and Gundam.
Banksy? Nope, it’s Blek Le Rat, whom many argue was the original Banksy.
One of these two gorillas are booby-trapped. Yes, people do that—but only because other people steal or destroy pieces. Can you guess which one?
Whether it was booby-trapped or removed by force, I can’t remember, but I did pick up a piece of a shattered Space Invader mosaic.
For many artists, the huge “canvases” of the Bushwick Collective are a rare opportunity to communicate ideas on a big scale…
but for many others, it’s just about getting your name out there, as big as you can make it. This guy got creative with a fire extinguisher to achieve those building-high letters.
And while the combination of planning and detail can create beautiful results…
simple and spontaneous can be just as striking.
Did you enjoy your street art walk in Brooklyn? I know I did! So hard to choose a favorite, right? Any other New York street art hotspots—or just street art hotspots in general—that I should know about?