Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Outdoor Art Gallery

On any casual stroll around Williamsburg, I always notice pops of street art. And by art, I mean posters, stencil drawings, stickers, logos, and murals as opposed to erratic graffiti that may be perceived as vandalism. Whether it is around a street corner; on a wall of scaffolding that may have presented itself as a blank canvas to an aspiring artist trying to make a political statement; or, right at your feet, on the sidewalk – there’s always a new find that demands a second look.

Williamsburg — today’s “it” destination — has experienced exponential growth since the 1990s, when artists revived the ailing neighborhood. The area is still home to studios and galleries, and street artists.

That said, I am in awe of Williamsburg’s street art. See Williamsburg’s Street Art.

Here are some recent finds. Enjoy.

This message is painted on a set of unhinged doors, leaning against scaffolding

Today’s new find: a sidewalk stencil

Matryoshka dolls

The garage of a martial arts studio

Martial Arts Studio: Coming Soon

Bird, unexpected

Posters…

Art on a Mattress

Spraypainted colour

Not a bus stop…

A current favourite

Tiki Stencil

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54 thoughts on “Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Outdoor Art Gallery

  1. Graffiti is an art. Some of these artists are famous and there art work valued at thousands. Then the building owner comes along with a new layer of paint.

  2. Marina
    I’ve been to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg (see early post on ImagedEvent). We rode bikes over from Manhattan over the Williamsburg Bridge. This is indeed a frontier neighborhood that is up and coming. The street art is quite varied as you have shown so well. For an experience try 5 Pointz:

    http://5ptz.com/graff/about/

    This is wild and crazy. They claim to be the best. But, there is talk of construction which may do away with the artwork You can see it up close or also if you happen to be on the number 7 train headed towards Queens Plaza.

    Their website states: “5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. is an outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City, New York, considered to be the world’s premiere “graffiti Mecca,” where aerosol artists from around the globe paint colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building.”

    The earliest graffit artist that I recall is Taki 183 whose simple logo adorned space especially on the NYC subways and train cars. He’s legendary.

  3. Another fun post on your street art, Marina. I love the sidewalk stencil- a very different style. The links Victor gives also sound interesting- I must have a look at them. There must be so much street art in NYC in comparison to Melbourne!

    • Thanks Jenny – I did have a piece of sidewalk art on my first post though this was a larger one that I stumbled upon yesterday. Victor has a great link that you must have a look at – it’s a project in Long Island City that is about 10 minutes drive from Williamsburg. I will need to check it out and post some photos of it. NYC has 5 borough so I am sure there is so much more to uncover. Though Melbourne’s should not be underrated!

  4. Great post! There’s a lot of graffiti art here in Melbourne as well. I always admire them as I walk through the alleys and streets. I should compile one like yours 🙂

    • Thank you!! Yes, please do compile a post! I saw a wonderful post on graffiti in Melbourne by atasteoftravel.wordpress.com and it would be great to see your finds too! Please keep me posted 🙂

    • Hi! Thank you. I love those images and quotes as they are so inspiring. The rains are coming in NY, so I may need to post another part to this series in the coming days. The sidewalk stencil is really artistic – I don’t know how it was drawn though I appreciate it.

  5. Nice ones! I once in a while like “erratic graffiti” if I can figure out the purpose 😉 sometimes there is consistency in the inconsistency: Many times a political subliminal message spread by bombers who are dissatisfied with society.

    B.I.F was sprayed all over McDonalds in Västerås Sweden in the early 90’s.

    Later mentioned in the song Long Arm of the Law by Looptroop:

    “9:30 in the morning, met my lawyer
    he said it looks kinda bad, they got witnesses and all that
    Fuck that!
    I still fill like I am innocent
    You think I wrote BIF on McD without a reason?”


    If you like to see the video long Arm of the Law

    It took me some time figuring it out. B.I.F = babylon is falling! It was a protest against the McMurder slaughter industry by a vegan rapper and graffiti artist.

    Although I prefer large pieces and the stuff you refer to as Street art 🙂

    Zagreb, the capital of Croatia has a nice policy. They consider large parts of the city an open street art museum. You can see some of it at http://rastaphotographer.com/2011/11/11/street-art-zagreb-croatia/

    • Yes, I thought your post with the images in Spain was a good example of that – especially the Bansky one. I’ll check out the youtube link and thank you for sharing the link on Zagreb. I had no idea – which makes me more intrigued about this city. Thank you!

  6. What a fun post! I really liked the spray paint color – it looks like a Dutch painting. The matryoshka is fun as well. Reminds me of a cement truck that we saw in St. Petersburg. Yes, its twirling body was painted to look just like a matryoshka doll! With all the traffic I was unable to snap it properly, but still remember its charm.

    • You know, I didn’t even realise that there was so much street art to be seen all over the world. Wondering if you’ve seen any on your travels? Williamsburg has really great art and really varied. I’m going to have to post more soon.

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