The youthful and countercultural borough of Brooklyn has long been a haven for the artsy and explorative. Institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Brooklyn Museum solidify the area’s strong hold on world-class creatives, but Brooklyn’s imaginative spirit can also be found out on the streets, with some of New York’s coolest murals. Here are a few of Brooklyn’s best public murals.
Fight for Street Art
Legends in the New York City art world, Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat provide an almost too perfect focal point for some wall art in the vibrant neighborhood of Williamsburg. Reimagined from Michael Halsband’s iconic image of the two creatives standing next to one another with Everlast boxing gloves held up under their jaws, the Brooklyn mural draws on several points of art history. The painter, Eduardo Kobra also added his own flare onto the piece with multicolored geometric patterns superimposed on the image.Bedford Avenue & North 9th Street Brooklyn, NY 11249
The ODB Mural
Plastered on the side of a bodega in Bedford Stuyvesant, the ODB Mural memorializes the eponymous rapper who once called the neighborhood home. The mural is inspired by the late member of the Wu Tang Clan’s notorious welfare card album cover for his debut solo album Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. Many locals (including ODB’s uncle who elaborates on his nephew’s fame in this Vice piece) who remember the rapper running around the neighborhood as a child live on the block. The large scale rendering is a popular attraction and a testament to Brooklyn’s elevated place in hip hop history.126 Putnam Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11238
A once unappealing stretch of York Street beside the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in the downtown neighborhood of DUMBO is now an extraordinary display of street art mastery. A series of colorful, intricate murals provide a fantastic face to the uber urban area, as well as a free haven to view the work of some of the world’s most renowned street artists. Works by Shepard Fairey, Yuko Shimizu, and Stefan Sagmeister are just a few parts of the mass collaboration that makes DUMBO Walls one of the city’s most impressive arts destinations.York Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
image via flickr