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Huge Collection of International and NYC Street Art in Bushwick (Brooklyn, NY)

Ship Street Art in Bushwick by Nubian

For a colorful outdoor experience in New York City, walk among the biggest, most diverse collection of street art in Bushwick, a Brooklyn neighborhood. A must-see if you’re in NYC and like urban art!

A large section of Bushwick and bordering East Williamsburg has evolved into a huge, free and authentic outdoor gallery of graffiti, murals and other visual art created by artists from around the world.

History of Bushwick Street Art

Graffiti, murals and other street art have been covering the walls, doors, tunnels, garage doors and trains of Brooklyn for many decades. Actually, you don’t see much graffiti on trains anymore. Instead, you see more and more large scale works of art that go far beyond the creative display of an artist name – and more smaller scale stencils, wheat-paste and sticker creations.

Something distinctly changed about the scale and variety of NYC street art after Joseph Ficalora launched the Bushwick Collective in honor of his deceased parents. He wanted to change the look and feel of his neighborhood and started the non-profit to connect international street artists with wall spaces (by getting permissions from the buildings’ owners).

What began as a rather personal project got the ball rolling on turning a section of Bushwick into arguably the largest, most diverse and popular place to see and create street art in New York City.

Graffiti artist spraying tiger mural cost poster Brooklyn
Australian Graffiti Artist creating on Bogart Street – surrounded by work of NYC artists Cost (Adam Cost) and davetattos (Dave Tevenal)

Why Street Artists Flock to Bushwick

International street artists flock to Bushwick for several reasons. Historically, the Bushwick neighborhood has been an industrial part of Brooklyn, with lots of warehouses, factories, and workshops. With increasing rents in the former *it* neighborhood Williamsburg, artists and other adventurous types started moving east into East-Williamsburg and Bushwick, turning that area into the next hip (or over-hyped, if you like) NYC neighborhood.

Even if some of the occupants have changed, a large part of Bushwick still features the warehouse architecture providing graffiti artists with large canvases on walls barely interrupted by windows or doors and on lots of industrial-sized pulldown gates (think big garage doors).

Of course, having the Bushwick Collective or someone else go through the process of picking the “canvas” and acquiring the permission to put a piece on a particular building takes away one headache (but possibly also the thrill of unapproved fly/spray-by-night creations).

Last but not least, the popularity, reputation and diversity of the Bushwick street art attracts artists who want to have their work seen and be part of this unique outdoor gallery experience. Rumor has it some business owners also pay artists to beautify their buildings.

Detail of a large seahorse mural by Tim Phibs and George Rose on Meserole Street
Detail of a large seahorse mural by Tim Phibs and George Rose on Meserole Street

Take a Virtual Tour of Bushwick Street Art

Most people head over to the headquarters of the Bushwick Collective to explore the art-covered streets around there. We decided to veer off the beaten path just a bit to show you the incredible street art just a few blocks further west. That area around Meserole Street and Bogart Streets is technically already East Williamsburg. If you’re into photography, you’ll have less people to deal with and you’ll capture pieces that have not been shared online quite as much.

Here are a few of our favorite images…

Sokar Uno street art woman plant Could be better Never Satisfied Brooklny
Real plant meets painted plant with this piece by Sokar Uno – next to Could Be Better by Mr. Never Satisfied
Stacked rainbow animals by Mr. Bbaby.
Stacked rainbow animals by Mr. B Baby.
Standing Rock Water is Life mural in NYC Taking a stand for Standing Rock - Water is Life by Spencer Keeton Cunningham Brooklyn
Taking a stand for Standing Rock – Water is Life by Spencer Keeton Cunningham
Cassette Tape Dude and a Fish - Street Art in Bushwick (Brooklyn)
Cassette Tape Dude and a Fish – Street Art in Bushwick (Brooklyn)
blue cat train bird cityscape mural Shawn Bullen Brooklyn
Cats, trains and the city mural on Sholes Street by Shawn Bullen
Colorful faces graffiti by Phetus Brooklyn street art
Brining color to the industrial part of Brooklyn: Colorful faces by Phetus.
Urban art colorful beast and birds in Brooklyn by Spok Brillor and a collaboration by Nicole Salgar and Chuck Berret
Fantastic beasts by Spok Brillor and (bird collaboration) by Nicole Salgar and Chuck Berret
Kids floating on horses Bushwick Street Art by Ramiro Studios
Plushie Riders by Ramiro Studios
blue ape Bushwick Street Art graffiti
Get face-to-face with a big blue ape via this piece of Bushwick Street Art. (If anyone knows the artist, please let us know.)
Rain Forest birds plants mural Eder Muniz Brooklyn street art
Urban artist Eder Muniz brings the colorful Rain Forest to a Bushwick Street.
Sleeping reader and dragon urban art on truck by nubian art in Brooklyn NYC
Mobile urban art: sleeping reader and dragon by French artist Nubian Art (Roch Marcorelles) on a truck in Brooklyn.
Sticker stencil don't be racist thank you Praxis urban art
Don’t be racist. Thank you… and don’t forget to look down for smaller stencil urban art like this piece by Praxis.
robot sculpture rooftop Brooklyn
… and don’t forget to look up because you might just spot a robot or other urban art sculptures in Brooklyn. (If anyone knows the artist, please let us know.)
Stop. Look. Appreciate. Happier Place sticker near The Line Between Narcissim and Self Doubt by Never Satisfied
Stop. Look. Appreciate. Happier Place sticker near The Line Between Narcissim and Self Doubt by Mr. Never Satisfied (No Entry Design)

How to Get to the Biggest Selection of NYC Street Art

The headquarters of the Bushwick Collective are at the corner of St. Nicholas Street and Flushing Avenue. The Jefferson Street stop of the L train (subway connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn via Williamsburg) is only 2 blocks away.

The art featured in this post was discovered in a quadrant between Bushwick Ave and Morgan Ave and between Meserole Street and Stagg Street. There are several train options. The closest subway station is Montrose Avenue (L train); not too far are Broadway (G train) and Lorimer (J and M trains). Make sure you check first if your preferred train is running – there’s quite a bit of interruption of train service on the weekends due to construction.

Once you get to either of those two sections, graffiti and murals will be all around you. So just roam freely and take in the art. If you prefer a Brooklyn Street Art Guided Tour, you could go on an organized Pay-What-You-Like Tour by Free Tours By Foot. or a $25-tour with Street Art Walk. We haven’t gone on either tour because we prefer to explore on our own – so this is not a direct endorsement, just two suggestions.

Blue Cat and Croc street art by Ramiro Studios (Ramiro Davaro-Comas) and a purple face down Waterbury Street, Brooklyn.
Cat and Croc by Ramiro Studios (Ramiro Davaro-Comas) and a purple face down Waterbury Street.

More Brooklyn Happier Place Tips

If you’re hungry or thirsty after all your street art gazing, we recommend The Anchored Inn (57 Waterbury Street), where you get to enjoy an impressive collection of velvet paintings. Or check out The Well (272 Meserole Street) for a large beer selection, backyard and live events.

The street art on the walls of Bushwick and East Williamsburg changes frequently – especially around the time of the annual Bushwick Collective Block Party in the summer. So come back frequently to see the vast outdoor gallery keep changing.

Looking for other outdoor activities in New York City, then check out our Brooklyn Bridge Park article, our The High Line guide and our post about Staten Island Ferry Views, which includes a video!

BMX bike snake hand mural Urban art by Ever Siempre Meserole
Urban art by Ever Siempre (in collaboration with Zio Ziegler) provides a colorful backdrop for Brooklyn outdoor fun on Meserole St.

Save one of these images to Pinterest as a reminder and inspiration:

International Street Artists Favor Bushwick Brooklyn NY - Nubian Art ship tiger Australian graffiti
Street Art in Brooklyn Bushwick Walking Tour Mr Bbaby best rainbow

All photos in this post were taken by Luci Westphal. By clicking on an individual image you can see a larger version. Also: more Brooklyn street art photos.

The mural of the ship among the waves (top of post) is by Nubian Art. A special thank you to Chris Christian for his vast selection of street art photos on Flickr with the street artist’s names and links!

10 thoughts on “Huge Collection of International and NYC Street Art in Bushwick (Brooklyn, NY)

  1. I love street art. I knew that Brooklyn had some, but now I know that the next time I’m there, I need to head to Bushwick. I also love that you gave restaurant recommendations. That will definitely come in handy!

  2. These are great photos. Street art has always been incredible to me because it gets young artist’s name out to the public and usually sends a type of message or promotes a brand/company. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I have been to New York, but I have never been to Brooklyn! Such a beautiful collect of wall art there

  4. I wish I had the talent to paint so I can help beautify unnoticed walls with art to tug people’s heart. For now, I’ll be a happy pedestrian appreciating street art whenever and wherever I can. xoxo

  5. Can’t stop admiring these amazing work of arts. We have similar colonies in India with such street art and they are the best places to visit.

  6. Bushwick street art is lovely and there’s hundreds more street art across the city in the LES, midtown & Williamsburg, DUMBO…you just have to know where to look…and yeah, MTA on the weekend is a chore lol. Tis why we Uber.

  7. I love street art! In this post i especially love the colorful pieces,they are incredibly artistic to have done so free hand

  8. I have such high regard for the artists who do street art. They have such talent to be able to create those huge murals! I wish we had more of them here in our place.

  9. These are amazing, there is such great talent out there x

  10. This kind of art is beginning here at PH. Excited to see more!

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