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How Google lets us see the best street art the world has to offer

Street art is a complicated art form. For instance, it is illegal in most instances, yet it can be legal under certain circumstances. Its origins are unknown, but we do know it has been around since ancient civilizations. Luckily, due to the Google Art Project, lovers of art can safely surf the web for street art from all across the world and learn about art’s roots.

Even the name of ‘street art’ is controversial. Depending on who you ask, there is no such thing as street art, only ‘graffiti.‘ Many people believe that ‘graffiti’ is only ‘street art’ once certain criteria has been met, such as approval from property owners. Some people believe there is no ‘graffiti,’ and that all forms of so-called ‘graffiti’ are artforms to be appreciated.

The revolution of the world’s street art

People have used street art for centuries as a means to express grievances, make statements, and display their impressive artistic talents.

Over the past several years, artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey, have transitioned street art from a largely ignored art form into a more accepted, mainstream form of expression.

Whether or not this was the intention of popular street artists is unknown, but one thing is for sure, street art isn’t going anywhere.

Google Art Project

One of the greatest limitations of street art is that since it is almost exclusively done on something stationary like a building, the range of people that can view it is constricted.

It is true that people can use social media to share street art that they like. But where should you go to find new street art? Well, thanks to google, you can use a website to find street art all over the world. The website allows users to view online exhibitions and read artist stories.

Another amazing feature on the website is a built-in map tool that allows people to view street art with a click. The map also comes with a ‘surprise me’ button. Clicking on that button shows you a random piece of street art from the numerous in their collection.

When you click on any given piece, you will be shown the art, the location, and the name of the artist/project the art belongs to (if applicable).

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Screenshot of surfing the Google Art Project

Perhaps the coolest aspect of the website is the virtual audio tour feature. This feature allows you to take a guided tour through street-art-heavy neighborhoods using the power of Google Earth.

These guided tours are provided by various non-profit organizations devoted to preserving and displaying street art. There are currently 6 virtual tours that you can take any time you feel like it. The voiceover is also available in several different languages.

google art project
Screenshot of Artscape 2014

Get lost in the world of street art

If you are a fan of street art, or simply looking for an interesting way to pass the time, we highly recommend giving this website a visit.

Come get lost in the vibrant, fascinating, and seemingly endless world of street art.