Viewing the Emergent City and Its People

Our Streets are the Largest Art Gallery in the World



Over the last 6 months, Urban Times have featured the work being done at Global Street Art; a platform dedicated to street art and graffiti. Seeing our city streets as the largest art gallery in the world, over the last 7 years the founders have collated 70,000 photographs of street art in over 20 countries and have classified every photograph in the archive by artist, technique, content (and more). Urban Times got the chance to speak to co-founder Dr. Lee Bofkin. He tells us about the coffee table book that Global Street Art is curating; featuring hundreds of photographs alongside interviews with legends and old-school graffiti writers within the street art realm. We also hear about the work being done as part of their Walls Project which finds new places for artists to paint in London.

Hunto and Milo Tchais side by side. Image courtesy of Global Street Art

As a breakdancer and with a Phd in Evolutionary Mathematics, what attracted you to the world of graffiti?

My breakdance background! Graffiti was often in or near the places where I was dancing/competing so I started taking photos casually. I used my knowledge of taxonomy/classification when I built the archive. The discipline helped me classify the photos.

Which street artist’s work most inspires you and why?

There isn’t one – there’s just far too many. I like Zezao a lot (Brazil) because of where he paints – sewers, out of reach places, etc. His work is stunning and he uses it to beautify some of the most unloved and ignored spaces in society.


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