Art is never easy. A work that fascinates and inspires one could insult and annoy the other. Particularly, street art is a good example. Using urban buildings and objects for creating art does not always please the local population, because it often happens without approval. Over the last few years, however, street art has changed a lot in the public perception and has become a socially recognized and respected art form that decorates cities and gives them a special character.
At the same time, ways of exposure changed significantly. While street art and many other types of visual art could only be admired and seen locally in the past, social media – and Instagram in particular – offer great potential for artists to broadcast their work and their messages to a much wider audience. Artists' social media profiles become their personal exhibition space where people across the globe can like, share and comment on their artworks. With that, social media is shaping the way street artists work and plenty of them gladly admit that they owe a lot of their growth and success to networks like Instagram.
To give you an insight into the international street art scene, we present you thirteen amazing street artist and their Instagram profiles. You may recognize some of them from the video above. Have fun and feel inspired!
1. Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia is a Cuban-American artist who explores and expresses his identity through sculpture and painting. His creations are set in the context of everyday human situations and the socio-political environment.
2. Nuno Viegas (Metis)
The Portuguese artist Nuno Viegas, also known as Metis, started his artistic career with graffiti in 1999. He studied visual arts at the University of Algarve and moved to Rotterdam after graduating in 2014, where he discovered his artistic identity and developed his work with a strong influence from the graffiti scene. Nuno Viegas is the founder of the artist collective Policroma Crew.
3. Josh Keyes
Born into a family of artists, Josh Keyes has become a celebrated contemporary artist. The photorealistic works of the US-American mostly show animals in a dystopian scenario. Especially in times of growing environmental awareness, his pictures have a lot of weight.
4. Andrew Hem
Andrew Hem did not have an easy start in life. He was born while his parents were escaping from Cambodia. The reason was the genocide, caused by the Khmer Rouge ruling the country at that time. His creations are influenced by his ancestors with a mix of the urban life of Los Angeles, where his parents settled.
BEZT was born in 1987 in Turek, Poland. With SAINER, an artist he met during his studies in fine arts at the University of Lodz, he started to draw as a duo. Both artists became popular in the polish and international graffiti scene under the pseudonym ETAM CRU. In his works, BEZT mixes classical elements and the aesthetics of Eastern European culture with modern themes.
6. Leon Keer
Leon Keer is a worldwide known artist in the field of anamorphic street art: A style which allows the viewer to see the artwork in 3D from a certain perspective. Furthermore, he combines some of his creations with modern technologies such as augmented reality or video mapping.
Oscar San Miguel, alias OKUDA, is a Spanish street art artist, who became famous for his large-format works with colored geometric shapes. In 2016 he was rated one of the top 100 most famous artists worldwide by the online magazine "Widewalls".
Banksy is probably the most famous street artist on this list, not least because of shredding his artwork "the Girl and Balloon" during an auction in the auction house Sotheby's in October 2018. The artist, who remains anonymous to this day, combines black humor with graffiti in his mainly satirical works in a unique stenciling technique.
The artist and designer Brian Donelly, known as KAWS, started his artistic career in the graffiti scene of 1990. He soon switched from 2D art to 3D art by creating his mostly figurative paintings as sculptures. His most famous sculpture is the "Companion", which is based on the cartoon figure "Mickey Mouse".
JR is a French photographer and street artist. He originally started in the graffiti scene and became known for applying huge photographs on urban surfaces. In 2016 he used optical illusion to let the famous Louvre Pyramid disappear and in 2019 he made the pyramid rise from a deep crater.
Dean Stockton grew up in London and had an interest in graffiti since childhood. He uses spray paint, sticker, stencils and posters to create his unique art style. If you are a fan of the band Blink-182 or Christina Aguilera, you have probably seen some of his artworks on one of their covers.
12. Ben Eine
Ben Eine is the master of typography. His letters shape the cityscape of many districts in London, Paris, and Stockholm. During his artistic career, he created numerous lettering styles including Shutter, NewCircus and Neon.
Art mixed with science – SHOK-1 spraypaints his detailed X-ray art on walls all over the world. The British artist, based in London, holds and a degree in Applied Chemistry and was one of the first Europeans who engaged with the US street culture which had a big rise in the early '80s.