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Artistic geniuses flourish in our cities

Once dubbed ‘graffiti’, street art has now reached new heights. In fact, you could say that those who ‘graffiti’ now, are those who have no artistic skill at all. Those who make true street art are often artistic geniuses.

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Little Rundle Street, Kent Town, Adelaide – Fin DAC/Photo: Colourourcity

More and more councils and building owners are enlisting the skills of talented artists to beautify our city buildings and laneways with stunning murals that bring dull brick and concrete walls to life.

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Bredfjällsgatan 46, Angered, Gothenburg, Sweden – Animalitoland/Photo: Fredrik

So popular are these walls of art, cities often hold festivals to celebrate the skill of the artist/s and display their colourful pieces of work.

From April 6, you will be able to discover some of the world’s most revered Street Art with a new release from Lonely Planet that features 140 hotspots in 42 cities worldwide across 224 pages.

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The dynamic street art scenes of New York, Melbourne, Rome, Paris, Adelaide, Malaysia’s George Town, Christchurch and 35 other cities are brought vividly to life in Lonely Planet’s latest give book, Street Art.

From Banksy’s stencils and Invader’s mosaics to amazing murals, this insider’s guide compiled by independent curator and founder of The Future Tense Ed Bartlett, with a foreword by artist Remi Rough, provides practical details and maps of where to find secret stashes of street art, and introduces key artists, locations and festivals (including Perth’s PUBLIC and HKwalls in Hong Kong).

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188 Rue Pelleport, Paris – Artist: C215/Photo: C215

“I added up the number of people living in the cities featured in this book”, Ed Bartlett writes in his introduction. “The total came to over 150 million. That’s more than twice the combined annual visitors to the top 10 most visited museums in the world, all potentially being exposed to different forms of street art on a daily basis.”

“Street art is now present in almost every city, town and village in the world, from Aachen to Zwolle,” Ed says. “Its true audience is measured in the billions. And given that the first record of homo sapiens painting on walls is thought to date back around 40,000 years, it’s actually more surprising that street art has taken so long to flourish.”

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Rue Emile Deslandres, Paris – Artist: Seth/Photo: Seth

Street and gallery artist Remi Rough observes in his foreword to the book that “purists might argue that street art has all gone a bit ‘mainstream’, but it has become an intrinsic part of the cultural fabric of our cities. Street art has added something very special to our urban landscapes,” Remi says, “and books such as this one only help to cement the impact of the movement.”

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Rua Rodrigues Sampaio 6, Lisbon – Artist: Aryz/Photo: Jonathan Bullman

“This book is intended as a starting point to your journey,” Ed Bartlett continues, “highlighting a selection of some of the key cities around the world to experience street art today, and providing guides to each city’s street-art hotspots to enable you to explore further. We’ve also included insights from some of its most important figures.”

Lonely Planet: Street Art – Compiled and introduced by Ed Bartlett is available from April 6, 2017 – RRP: AUD $29.99 / NZD $35

www.lonelyplanet.com

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by Carol Sheridan