New York City’s street art scene is mind blowing to say the least and pays homage to it’s cultural diversity. Of the different NYC street art collections, one that truly stands out is the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn, an amalgamation of street art and graffiti that stretches across several blocks of a semi-deserted industrial neighborhood. Being ardent worshippers of street art, we could not give the Bushwick murals a miss during our fall trip to NYC. So here is a virtual Bushwick Brooklyn street art tour of some dazzling Bushwick graffiti to knock your eyeballs off! This Bushwick street art post also contains a handy Bushwick Street art Map to give you an idea of where to find graffiti and street art in Bushwick, Brooklyn. So, without further ado, here is your guide to exploring the famous Bushwick wall art!
Disclaimer: All Bushwick street art featured here belong to the Bushwick collective artists. I merely photographed them (murals are open to the public 24/7) and noted the locations to create the map. Murals are subject to change. I have tried to credit Bushwick artists based on information gathered from the Bushwick Collective Facebook page wherever possible and I will keep on adding to the list. Also, this post may contain some affiliate links, clicking on which may help earn me a very small commission at no extra cost to you.
Besides mural hunting, if you really are pressed for time but still want to explore NYC like a local, read this New Yorker’s 24 hour NYC itinerary to get fabulous ideas! Here is a post by another local on 20 cheap places to eat in NYC.
Bushwick Murals: The story behind Bushwick art collective
When I was researching for street art in Bushwick, I got totally hooked onto the story behind how the Bushwick collective came into being. This 2012 initiative to adorn an industrial district with some of the best street art in the world was the brainchild of Joseph Ficalora, a neighborhood business owner. The art is dedicated to his deceased parents and brings artists of all levels from all over the globe to make Bushwick, Brooklyn the ultimate street art destination! None of the street art is permanent and stays around for 12 month or so at most. The Bushwick Brooklyn street art collection keeps on growing with new murals being added periodically.
Want to see more cool street art? Check out my fantastic guide to Austin Murals right here
Bushwick street art artists featured in the photos above: a) Topmost photo: @jeffhenriquezart_, b) face of the lady (leftmost panel in collage): @michelvelt , c) Welcome to Bushwick (central photo in collage): @thomasallen_nyc, d) Salvador Dali (rightmost photo in panel): @sipros_sipros, e) skeleton faces: @dface_official
How to get to the Bushwick art collective?
Bushwick murals can be easily accessed by public transportation or shared rides like Lyft. Since we stayed at the East Village Hotel in Manhattan (best value for awesome location aka right in the heart of the bustling East Village which is a culinary hotspot in NYC), we got to the Bushwick collective in Brooklyn via Lyft. On our way back we simply took the NYC subway to return to Manhattan. The Bushwick neighborhood is accessible by the L line to Jefferson street station and takes about 15-30 min to reach from Manhattan depending on where you are on the island. Once you get there, you will be welcomed by rows and rows of gigantic murals created primarily by aerosol spraying technique which are all within walking distance. Since this amalgamation of Bushwick wall art is totally public, it is open 24/7. You can arrange for a Brooklyn street art tour but I would encourage you to take your sweet time and savor the murals as you walk around. A good 2-3 hours on foot should be enough to check off all the murals on your street art Bushwick list. The Free tours by foot is a good resource for Bushwick street art tours, directions and transportation to Bushwick art collective, street art artists info and handy Bushwick street art maps.
What kind of Bushwick street art and graffiti will you see?
The Bushwick murals and wall art will absolutely blow your mind away with their color, creativity and execution. The themes are varied and range from cartoon figures, to stark black and white imagery to subtle and not so subtle takes on the current social and political situation in USA. Some of my favorite Bushwick street art included the “Diversity is Hope” and “Everything is not OK” murals as well as the naughty gummy bear arrested by the NYC police department (see collages below). NYC being home to the current President of the United States (you can see here this cheeky piece of work by Damien Mitchell, the celebrated Australian street artist who has contributed to the Bushwick murals) , I did expect the Bushwick street art collective to have more politically charged murals. Nevertheless, I was pretty happy with what I saw and went shutterbug happy clicking the murals around me. I hope these photos that I have clicked help you on a virtual Bushwick street art tour! We went to the Bushwick neighborhood in the morning (before lunch) and did not see major crowds around the murals at all. As a result, I got a lot of great unobstructed shots of Bushwick graffiti. My Bushwick street art map is based on my location jotting during my self guided tour (scroll below to see) and provides guidance on the major streets where we spotted the murals.
Need more street art fill in your life? Here is my guide to must in see murals in downtown Los Angeles
What else is there to do in Brooklyn besides the Bushwick Murals?
Bushwick street art tour is definitely one of the must do activities for any art lover visiting NYC. Besides this, there are a ton of things to do in the borough of Brooklyn itself as you can read on Time Out New York’s post. Since we did not have much time, we explored the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood (another treasure trove of Brooklyn street art) and had a delicious lunch at Reynard. Brooklyn is also famous for DUMBO (Down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass) spot, which is a mecca for all Instagrammers. If you do visit, go as early as possible and do not forget to stop by Almondine Bakery, a cute little French patisserie nearby.
Bushwick street art muralists featured so far: a) Bat on a red wall: @ivanisforeverlost, b) “joining the dots”: @joeiurato*@loganhicksny, c) handshake: @pixelpancho*@case_maclaim, d) blue figures: @giz_nyc, e) “police lines do not cross” (lower panel): @ac2bsk
Bushwick Street Art Map
Finally, as promised, here are some of the streets in the Bushwick neighborhood in my version of the Bushwick street art map to find all that amazing Bushwick collective graffiti. Please note, each orange pin is a street marker and not the location of a particular mural. I have also included locations for some of the other things that I mentioned about Brooklyn in this map too. You can simply walk around the Bushwick collective blocks and they will lead you from one stunning Bushwick mural to another. I hope you enjoyed the photos of these murals and if you love what you see, do check out my other Marseille murals post to see some jaw dropping street art in France’s vibrant port city. The Marseille street art as well as Bushwick murals were clicked using my Sony a7RII mirrorless camera with a 33 mm lens while the LA and Austin murals were photographed using my Canon Rebel T2i with a 50mm prime lens.
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