Finding street art easily – There’s an app for that!

Street art has become ubiquitous in all the great metropolises. Otherwise boring street elements such as walls, bridge piers, garbage bins, or power distribution boxes turn into popular carrier surfaces. Street art also has lost some of its disreputable air in the last few years, though it remains a fact that street art blurs the borders between art and vandalism.

Anything the artist likes is “allowed”. The artistic bandwidth ranges from New York’s original graffiti to modern painting and more recent forms of expression such as urban knitting, where public objects are applied with a knit garment, often in very bright colours. Murals leave a particular mark on the urban appearance. They are large wall paintings that may cover entire facades and often greatly change the perception of space in their three-dimensional appearance.

There’s an app for that

You may be familiar with the situation: Someone has told you that a certain town – let us call it Düsseldorf – has a lot of great street art to see. Next time you visit the place and remember the advice, you probably won’t be seeing a lot of that art. After all, you don’t know exactly where to look. The solution is getting out your phone and checking out Google or Instagram. Unfortunately, bad location information makes it tedious to collect all the details you need. It must be possible to do better than that, right?! It is!

In the modern day of apps and mobile technology, old and new pieces of art in our surroundings are, luckily, quick to discover. That’s great since street art is only temporary and some works may no longer be present where they used to be after having been painted over and/or renewed.

The “Street Art Cities” app is growing in popularity. It keeps developing wonderfully in its fourth year now, with a continually growing community. It is an app by street-art fans for street-art fans. Anyone who likes can apply as a Hunter and start chasing down new or as-yet unlisted pieces of art in town. The app offers suggestions on where it’s a good idea to check. Intuitive and well-structured, it invites people to discover the artistic sides of their own town or other places around the world.

The urbanana region also has many towns that invite to a walk with a camera in the app. Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, and Cologne are already listed. All in all, the app covers 38,211 pieces of art in 951 towns from 89 countries. Just open it and check the map for spots in your vicinity.

The most popular pieces can be liked to find them again easily later. Another added value of the app is the list of creatives behind the pieces of art, allowing the user to get more information on them if they like.

Summary

Though I usually prefer a hike through nature, the idea of a street art discovery trip has made a longer stroll through the city more attractive to me again. It often comes with the opportunity to discover hidden side streets and previously unknown places in one’s own town. The route suggestions of different lengths are particularly cool, offering options for city tours on foot or by bike.