30 Mar Google Street Art
Browse the world’s biggest street art gallery with this initiative from the Google Cultural Institute
Unlike other art forms, street art generally has a short lifespan. It’s exposed to all kinds of weather conditions and created on a background that makes it harder to manage the way in which viewers interact with the work. Plus, to be able to see it, you need to find yourself in the right city, neighborhood, or country, as there are few other ways of promoting or viewing these works.
In order to give this type of art longevity, in 2014 the Google Cultural Institute founded the Google Street Art platform. The initiative maps street art all over the world, as well as sharing the stories behind the works.
What is street art?
Street art evolved out of vandalism and into one of the world’s most popular artforms. Originally, in addition to intervening in public spaces to create a dialogue with the urban environment, street art sought to make art available in any location.
Photo: Matt Marriot
It features a diverse range of styles, with techniques and materials ranging from graffiti to murals, stencils, and stickers. Some of its most famous exponents include Banksy, John Fekner, Shepard Fairey, Blek le Rat, Jacek Tylicki, Saner, and Okuda.
Google Street Art: a commitment to longevity
Given Google owns platforms like Google Maps—a tool that allows you to see the most remote places on the planet—it’s perhaps not surprising that the tech giant wanted to find a way to use the massive database to create a tool designed not just to help users find their location, but to discover culture as well.
Having collected over 10,000 street artworks (and counting) in locations covering every country, Google Street Art has become a platform that allows you to virtually travel around the world discovering the most important street artists and getting to know their work.
To make this happen, Google Street Art collaborates with nearly ninety art organizations in over thirty countries to understand artistic creativity, help curate the collection, and give some of each region’s leading street artists greater visibility.
The platform also features a compilation of stories in every region where the national street art scene has been explored, which include profiles of the leading artists and their creative processes, plus gif art, and audio tours so you can listen to commentary about the works and their environment.
The Google Cultural Institute mission
The Google Cultural Institute is a non-profit organization responsible for combining the use of technology with Google’s resources and databases to make fun and creative products that teach people about art around the world.
The initiative currently works with over 1,400 cultural institutions in seventy countries and has formed a collection of over 200,000 digital works, 7 million resources using archive materials, and over 3,000 online exhibitions curated by experts.
Browse the open collection of street art from every corner of the world on Google Street Art and discover the story hiding behind each work of art.
If you want to learn more about street art and start your own projects, take a look at Domestika’s online street art courses.