Circling Birdies by Cheko, Granada Spain
Since last we wrote, Google Street Art has doubled its online archive by adding some 5,000 images, bringing the tally to 10,000, with coordinates pinpointing exact locations on all five continents (though as of this writing, things are a bit thin on the ground in Africa). Given the temporal realities of outdoor, guerrilla art, pilgrims may arrive to find a blank canvas where graffiti once flourished. (RIP New York City’s 5 Pointz, the “Institute of Higher Burning.”)
A major aim of the project is virtual preservation. As with performance art, documentation is key. Not all of the work can be attributed, but click on an image to see what is known. Guided tours to neighborhoods rich with street art allow armchair travelers to experience the work, and interviews with the artists dispel any number of stereotypes.
Cultural institutions like Turkey’s Pera Museum and Hong Kong’s Art Research Institute, and street art projects based in such hubs as Rome, Paris, Sydney, and Bangkok, have pulled together official collections of photos and videos, but you can play curator too.
It’s easy to add images to a collection of your own making that can be shared with the public at large or saved for private inspiration. Careful, you could lose hours…it’s like Pinterest for people who gravitate toward spray paint and rubbish strewn vacant lots over gingham wrapped Mason jars.
It’s been a long and brutal winter here on the east coast, so for my first foray, I prowled for Signs of Spring. One of my first hits was “Circling Birdies” by Cheko, above. Located in Granada, Spain, it's one of the existing works Google has turned into a GIF with some light, logical animation.
Behold a bit of what typing “flower,” “baby animals,” “plants,” and “trees” into a search box can yield! You can enter Google Street Art here.
Artist: Walter Kershaw
Artists: Thrashbird and Renee Gagnon
Los Angeles, California.
Icy and Sot
Artist: Kristy Sandoval
Los Angeles, CA
Artists: Regg and Violant
A giant colorful beetle tries to fly between the ceiling and the floor of this parking lot. His wings seem filled with flower petals. So, the "Living Nature" project brought a set of huge insects that carry a note of living spirit to the space.
Artist: Rai Cruz
Artist: Christiaan Nagel
Artist: Lady Aiko
Artist: Andrew Kentish
Tour the World’s Street Art with Google Street Art
Obey the Giant: Short Film Presents the True Story of Shepard Fairey’s First Act of Street Art
Big Bang Big Boom: Graffiti Stop-Motion Animation Creatively Depicts the Evolution of Life
Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday