Street art is mutable by definition. But Google Street View, the archiver of all worldly street-borne phenomena from gentrification to wildlife, wants to change that with its Google Street Art Project—an archival website of the world's street art from Buenos Ares to Atlanta.
The project, which launched today on a stand-alone site affiliated with Google's Cultural Institute, has an admirably deep library of images already. You can browse 5,000 images from 1,698 artists, ranging from entirely legal city-condoned murals to under-the-cover-of-night-style operations in abandoned urban places.
While the project is just another example of Google's insatiable drive to document the world around us and put it online, there's also a brilliance to the concept. As street art has come out of the shadows and into galleries, its identity as an egalitarian art form that exists in public places has slowly disintegrated. With this project, Google is immortalizing these works in the places they're meant to be viewed—the neighborhood, not the gallery. [Google Street Art Project]
Greg Mike, Atlanta, GA, 2011. Living Walls: The City Speaks.
Untitled by Etam Cru, Lodz, Poland, 2013. Image: Urban Forms Gallery.
I believe in goats by INTI, Lodz, Poland, 2013. Image: Urban Forms Gallery.
Vhils mural, Chihuahua, Mexico, 2012. All City Canvas.
Transision by Proembrion, Lodz, Poland, 2013. Image: Urban Forms Gallery.
Untitled by Roa, Lodz, Poland, 2013. Image: Urban Forms Gallery.
INTI's Mural by INTI, Atlanta, GA, 2013. Image: Living Walls: The City Speaks.
O Lagarto da Penha by Leonor Brilha, Lisboa, Portugal, 2013.
Neuzz mural, Atlanta, GA, 2012. Image: Living Walls: The City Speaks.
Untitled by Dame, Buenos Aires, 2012.
Untitled murals by Charquipunk y La Robot de Madera, Buenos Aires, 2012.
Lek & Sowat, Mode 2, Futura 2000, Underground doesn't exist anymore, 2012. Photos by Nicolas Gzeley.
ESCIF mural, Chihuahua, Mexico, 2012. All City Canvas.
Kofie mural, Chihuahua, Mexico, 2013. All City Canvas.
Untitled by GAIA y NANOOK, Buenos Aires, 2011. Estilo Libre.
Constitucion by Corona & Nanook, Buenos Aires, 2013. Image: graffitimundo.
Sloth in Villa Crespo by Roa, Buenos Aires, 2012.
Blu mural, Monserrat, Buenos Aires, 2011. Image: Buenos Aires Street Art.
Lead image: Nicolas Gzeley.