Street Art In Focus: Connecting Stunning Urban Street Art With Photography

Mural wall art in the Florentin neighborhood of Tel Aviv, Israel. It is a painting of a man climbing a yellow brick wall with purple butterflies.

There are many genres of photography to be enjoyed, admired, and collected. Among these, one of the most overlooked yet captivating genres of photography is street art graffiti, which showcases the vibrant and dynamic art found in urban areas across the globe. In this blog post, my goal is to shed light on this often under appreciated genre, highlighting its unique qualities and potential to transform your living or working spaces.

Street art photography captures the essence of urban culture, infusing spaces with color, creativity, and abstract themes. These striking images can serve as powerful conversation pieces, sparking discussions and admiration from guests. Whether you're looking to add a pop of color to your home or bring an edgy, contemporary vibe to your office, street art photography offers a versatile and impactful solution.

To fully appreciate and consider acquiring street art photography, it's essential to understand its nature and how it can be effectively integrated into your space. Today you're in luck! In this post, I will explore the origins and significance of street art, provide tips on photographing these urban masterpieces, and offer insights into how to curate and display these artworks to enhance your collection.

By the end of this post, you'll have a deeper appreciation for street art photography and be inspired to incorporate these vibrant urban scenes into your personal or professional art collection.

What is street art?


Street art is a visual art form that is created in public spaces, often with the intent of communicating directly with a wide audience. Unlike traditional art, which is typically found in galleries or museums, street art transforms urban landscapes into open-air galleries, accessible to everyone. Street art is typically found in urban settings including walls of buildings, street overpasses, trains, subway stations, etc. This genre encompasses a wide range of styles and techniques, including murals, stencils, wheatpaste posters, stickers, mosaic tiling and other mediums. Street art is often characterized by its bold, vibrant colors, and its ability to convey powerful messages about society, politics, and culture. It serves as a voice for the community, reflecting the diverse perspectives and experiences of those who live there. Here are two excellent example sof street art which I captured in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The first is a political message calling for unity and the second is a social message regarding climate change:

Famous street art in Belfast calling for unity.


Famous street art in Belfast regarding climate change effects

Perhaps one of the most unique and interesting forms of street art I've discovered in my travels is the use of mosaic tiling in downtown Philadelphia at the Magic Gardens. The buildings in this neighborhood of Philly are covered with mosaic tiling and it was magical walking through the area and photographing: 

Mosaic street art along a wall at the Magic gardens in Philadelphia. This was created by the street artist Isaiah Zagar.

Street Art vs. Graffiti Art: What Is the Difference?

Although the public has conflated street art and graffiti art, there is certainly overlap between these When I travel to cities, I always incorporate street art/graffiti art into my photography. I find ttwo art forms. Street art and graffiti art both share the urban landscape as their canvas, but they are distinct forms of expression with different motivations, techniques, and public perceptions. It's generally accepted that street photography was an outgrowth of graffiti art. There is an interesting article published by the Columbia School of Journalism that discusses this concept. 

There are a number of well known graffiti artists that emerged in the 60's and 70's. A few of these famous graffiti artists are still around today. One such person is Bansky Artist whose identity still remains anonymous. Replications he has created of his graffiti and street art sell today for millions of dollars in the famous art auction houses. The list of other top graffiti artists include artist Keith Haring, Lady Pink graffiti and Blade graffiti.

Graffiti Art:

  1. Origins and Motivation:

    • Graffiti art has its roots in the hip-hop culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City. It began as a form of self-expression and rebellion among street gangs and inner city youth, who used "tagging" (writing their names or pseudonyms) as a way to claim space and gain recognition within their communities. 
    • The primary motivation behind graffiti art is often to make a mark, to be seen, and to achieve fame within the graffiti community. It is usually created without permission and is generally considered illegal in most places. 
    • Graffiti art was born out of the frustration of the marginalized youth who wanted to be heard and understood in one of the most iconic cities in the world. 
    • Graffiti art became so pervasive in the 60's and 70's that it became iconic, very much the same as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.
    • The allure of creating graffiti to the "writers" has been the fact that it is illegal and the inherent risks in producing the artwork.
  2. Techniques and Style:

    • Graffiti art typically involves the use of colorful spray paint and markers to create tags, throw-ups (quickly executed pieces with more complexity than tags), and elaborate pieces (detailed, multi-colored artworks).
    • The style is often characterized by stylized lettering, bold lines, and vibrant colors. It focuses more on the lettering and the artist's signature rather than representational imagery or messages.
  3. Public Perception:

    • Graffiti art is often viewed as vandalism due to its illegal nature and association with defacement of public and private property. This perception can overshadow its artistic value and cultural significance.
    • Graffiti art has evolved since its early beginnings. There are many cities around the world today where graffiti art is welcomed. The art defines the culture of the neighborhoods in which it is found. Once such neighborhood is the Florentin area in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The detail inherent in this art is incredibly expressive, moving and thought provoking. Here are some examples of graffiti art that are part of my creative journey:

"Rooftop Graffiti"-New York City

Street graffiti on walls of a rooftop in Lower Manhattan that is covered with vibrant colors, lines and shapes. This image was captured from the Manhattan Bridge.


Berlin, Germany

Graffiti on walls of a building in Berlin, Germany with colorful graffiti.


Wynwood-Miami, Florida

Garffiti on walls in Wynwood, Miami with birght colored letters.There is a man sitting down against a black wall with colorful graffiti painted on the wall. 

"Florentin Vibes"

Florentin-Tel Aviv, Israel

 Beautiful street graffiti art with colorful shapes and in the Florentin neighborhood in Tel Aviv, Israel. There is a bicycle leaning against the wall.


Florentin-Tel Aviv, Israel

 Street graffiti on the walls of old buildings in a courtyard in the Florentin neighborhood in Tel Aviv, Israel with colorful graffiti covering the walls.


Cork, Ireland

graffiti on the walls of a walkway in Cork, Ireland with a woman holding an orange umbrella.This is an alleyway in Cork, Ireland with colorful painted graffiti along the wall. There is a woman walking in the alleyway and she has an orange umbrella.


Florence, Italy


Street graffiti on the walls of buildings with large stairs going up in between the buildings.This image was taken in Florence, Italy. of a large set of stirs with colorful graffiti painted on the buildings. There is a young man sitting on the stairs. 

Street Art:

  1. Origins and Motivation:

    • Street art emerged from the graffiti movement but has evolved into a broader form of artistic expression. Street artists often aim to beautify public spaces, provoke thought, and engage the community with their work.
    • Unlike graffiti, street art is frequently created with permission from property owners or as part of commissioned projects by municipalities or individual owners. This legal status allows artists to work on larger scales and with more intricate designs.
  2. Techniques and Style:

    • Street art encompasses a wide variety of techniques, including murals, stencils, paste-ups, mosaics, and installations. Artists may use spray paint, brushes, rollers, and other tools to create their pieces.
    • The style of street art is diverse, ranging from realistic portraits and intricate patterns to abstract designs and political messages. Street art often incorporates elements of fine art, illustration, and graphic design.
  3. Public Perception:

    • Street art is generally more accepted and appreciated by the public and authorities. It is seen as a legitimate form of art that enhances urban spaces and contributes to cultural and social discourse.
    • Many cities around the world now embrace street art, commissioning artists to create public murals and hosting street art festivals to celebrate this vibrant art form.

A wall in Wynwood, Miami, Florida. There is a painter and scaffolding painting art on the wall.


Here are examples of street art from my portfolio:

Wynwood-Miami, Florida

This is a photo of a young girl with sunglasses jumping in the air in front of a wall mural outside. This photo was taken in Wynwood, Miami, Florida.


Belfast, Northern Ireland

 This photo was taken in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is a brick wall that is painted with different colors of blue with a story about Frederick Douglas. There is a man and woman conversing in front of the wall.


Wynwood-Miami, Florida

This photo was taken in Wynwood, Miami, Florida. It is a photo of a section of a wall with brightly painted cartoon-like houses with vivid colors. There is a real elevtrical meter that is also painted and blends on with the rest of the painted wall.


Dublin, Ireland

This was captured in Dublin, Ireland and is several buildings with art painted on the facade of the buildings. There are several people conversing in front of the buildings.


New York City, New York

 This photo was captured in Little Italy in New York City. Is is street photography with a man sitting outside of a bar and behind him is a brick wall with wall art painted on the building. The mural art is of a woman's face and head with colorful geometric patterns. There is a fire hydrant in the front of the man.


Brooklyn, New York

This photo was taken in Brooklyn, New York. It os a photo of brightly painted mural art. In front of the wall are bicycles lined up and there is a fire hydrant in the foreground of the photo.


West Palm Beach, Florida

Wall art on a large building of a boy and a girl sitting together in West Palm Beach, Florida.


Wynwood-Miami, Florida

This was taken in Wynwood, Miami, Florida. It is mural art of an exterior wall on a building. The wall is brightly painted and has a large head of a man spitting out fire. There is a peson walking on the sidewalk in front of this wall and it looks as though she in walking into the fire on the mural.

Discover the trailblazers who revolutionized urban art in the 1960s and 1970s. These pioneering street artists laid the groundwork for what has become a vibrant and influential art movement today. Click here to delve into the stories and works of these iconic figures who transformed cityscapes into open-air galleries: Famous Street Artists.

How Do You Select The Perfect Photograph Of Street Art?

Understanding the distinction between graffiti art and street art is essential for appreciating the nuances of urban art. While both forms share a common heritage and utilize public spaces as their canvas, they differ in their motivations, techniques, and public reception. Photographs of both street art and graffiti art, with its broad range of styles and messages, offers a unique and dynamic addition to any photography collection, capturing the spirit and creativity of urban environments.

Street art is more than just urban decoration—it's a vibrant and expressive form of art that can bring a dynamic energy to any space. Whether in your home or office, photographs of these urban masterpieces can create a stunning visual impact, sparking conversations and inspiring creativity.

1. Discover and Select Your Pieces

  • Browse the Collection: Start by exploring my curated collection of street art and graffiti art photographs. Each piece has been carefully selected to capture the essence and energy of urban art. 
  • Consider the Space: Think about where you want to display the art. Large murals can serve as striking focal points in living rooms or conference areas, while smaller pieces can add interest to hallways, bedrooms, or personal offices.
  • Find A Connection: As you view the collection of street and graffiti art, find images that resonate with you on some level. Is there a connection that is created as a result of the message within the art? Is the art from a place that is special to you? Does a particular photo evoke emotions? 

2. Discover and Select Your Pieces

Find a Connection: As you explore the collection of street and graffiti art, look for pieces that resonate with you on a personal level. Consider the following aspects to deepen your connection with the artwork:

  • Message and Themes: Does the art convey a message that speaks to you? Many street art pieces are rich with social, political, and cultural commentary. Reflect on how the themes within the art align with your values and experiences.
  • Location Significance: Is the artwork from a place that holds special meaning to you? Street art often reflects the character and history of its location. Selecting pieces from cities or neighborhoods you have a personal connection to can add a layer of sentimental value.
  • Emotional Response: Pay attention to the emotions evoked by the artwork. Does a particular photograph make you feel inspired, nostalgic, or energized? Art that stirs strong emotions can enhance your living or working environment by bringing a sense of vitality and personal significance.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Consider the visual elements of the art—colors, shapes, and composition. Choose pieces that align with your aesthetic preferences and complement the design of your space.
  • Artist Connection: Research the artists behind the works. Understanding their stories, inspirations, and techniques can deepen your appreciation for the art and create a more meaningful connection.

3. Choose the Right Presentation

  • Print Options: Decide on the type of print that best suits your space and style. Options include canvas prints for a classic look, acrylic prints for a modern and vibrant feel, or metal prints for a sleek, contemporary aesthetic.
  • Framing: Consider framing options that complement the artwork and your interior decor. Simple, clean frames can enhance the artwork without overwhelming it, while more elaborate frames can add a touch of elegance.

4. Curate a Cohesive Display

  • Thematic Groupings: Arrange your photographs thematically for a cohesive and curated look. Group pieces that share similar colors, styles, or subjects to create a harmonious display.
  • Gallery Wall: Create a gallery wall by combining multiple pieces of various sizes. This approach can make a bold statement and transform an entire wall into an art showcase.

 Wynwood- Miami, Florida

Cartoon graffiti art on a wall with a man and woman in front of it having a conversation.

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