One man’s wall is another man’s canvas. And while pretentious cultured types may scoff, the basic appeal of street art is its ability to bypass stuffy galleries and communicate with everyday audiences directly. What, indeed, could be more satisfying than transforming a dull or neglected urban space into a vibrant, satisfying work of art? The following 20 before and after pictures offer glimpses of such jaw-dropping transformations.
20. St. Mungo mural – Glasgow, Scotland
St. Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow, was born in the sixth century and is said to have once healed wounded robins with the power of prayer. And this modern-day depiction of Mungo adorns a gable on the Scottish city’s High Street. It’s the handiwork of Sam Bates, also known as Smug, an Australian artist based in Glasgow who’s renowned for his exceptional photorealistic renditions.
19. Barrio mural – Las Palmitas, Mexico
The deprived barrio of Las Palmitas in Pachuca, Mexico, received a vibrant facelift in 2012 thanks to a group of artists known as the Germen crew. And in order to create the dazzling psychedelic swirls that now engulf the neighborhood, more than 200 homes were painted in multi-colored hues. The project, in fact, aimed to uplift the community and encourage integration, and was headed by gang-member-turned-muralist Enrique Gomez.