Urban art murals can have a long-lasting effect on a city’s location. They have the power to change a location, boosting an area’s tourism and economy.
Murals can give identity to a city or location, and the history of wall murals dates back to the early era of graffiti artists in Philadelphia in the 1960s. The art of murals can raise awareness of important issues in society and politics while bringing people together in a sense of community.
They can unite people and bring tourism to areas where there was once none. Creating inspiration, sparking creativity, and granting liveliness to urban areas, there is not much not to love about murals and mural artists.
In this blog post, we will be taking a look at some of the top ten famous mural artists from around the world and admiring their work.
Top 8 Famous Mural Artists
Have a read of the most famous mural artists from across the globe and how they have shaped the art world, as well as the lasting impact that their art has left on a city or location.
Starting things off with Banksy. One of the most popular and mysterious street artists in the modern world, Banksy’s work has grown to be very popular in the mainstream artwork that is found in museums and art galleries today.
There are too many iconic artworks created by Banksy to pick a favourite, all with such powerful messaging and imagery. ‘The Flower Thrower,’ for example, is symbolic due to its location and time as an anti-war image. The man in the artwork, wearing a balaclava and seemingly about to throw a bomb, is instead holding a bunch of flowers, which represents a strong message and appeal for peace and not violence.
This is just one of the many examples of Banksy’s eye-catching, iconic, and highly recognisable work.
2. Shepard Fairey
Shepard Fairey is notable for being an American contemporary street artist emerging from the skateboarding scene and quickly becoming known for his graphic design and illustration work. This was built upon the big and famous Obey campaign. Fairey creates stickers along with posters that he plants in public spaces.
Shepard Fairey’s style is world famous, gaining recognition due to the 2008 U.S. presidential election ‘Hope’ poster. This is when Fairey’s profile shot up, and then later in 2014, he paid homage to South Africa’s most famous leader by creating an incredible mural.
3. Keith Haring
Keith Haring made a serious impression on the street art scene throughout the decades, from as early as 1958, drawing people’s attention a great deal by the early 1980s and through to 1990.
His career began when he could be found creating thousands of illegal drawings in chalk throughout the subway system of New York City.
Over the years, Haring’s figural and lively art, patterned with elements inspired by pop art and street art, has become one of the most recognisable street artworks on the scene today.
‘We the Youth’, created in 1987, is a famous piece of Haring’s that was painted to commemorate the bicentennial of the US Constitution, depicting a dancing figure painted with vibrant colours and outlined in black on a white background.
4. Dmitri Vrubel
Dmitri Vrubel was a Russian painter. He is most famously known for his mural piece on the Berlin East Side Gallery memorial wall, with the art mural ‘My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love’. This iconic and controversial piece depicts communist leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing. The mural piece was an interpretation of a photograph taken in 1979.
The ‘Deadly Love’ in the title could be referring to the ten-year military agreement that was put in place, which included chemical weapons.
The mural that Dmitri Vrubel created not only brought recognition to himself as an artist but is also a recognised image that is symbolic of the Berlin Wall and the city of Berlin itself. This mural in particular is one of the most recognisable among all of the artwork on the Berlin Wall.
The Canadian street artist iHeart creates street art that is just as mysterious and has similarities to the work of Banksy. The work of iHeart expresses social issues using simple stencil-like imagery.
The famous street art piece is entitled ‘Nobody Likes Me’, which highlights the negative influence that social media can have on new generations, including children, as the art features a child crying due to receiving zero likes, comments, and follows on social media on the mobile phone that they have in their hand.
This piece was even shared by Banksy himself, and ironically, it went viral online.
6. Os Gêmeos, Blu
The mural collaboration in Lisbon, Portugal, was created by the duo Os Gêmeos and Blu. The Brazilian and Italian duo share their art mural, showcasing art of a political nature. The artwork shows imagery of the social impact on the environment due to global capitalism.
7. Jef Aérosol
Jef Aérosol is a French street artist whose work is celebrated and was created in 2011. The art mural ‘Hush!’ was created in 2011 and is an iconic piece. It can be found in Paris, near the Centre Pompidou.
In this famous artwork, the artist reminds viewers to take a moment of calm despite the buzzing city that surrounds the mural.
8. Eduardo Kobra
The ‘V-J Day’ by Eduardo Kobra can be found in Times Square, New York City. Many will recognise it from the famous photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, and the artwork portrays love, memory, and peace as the imagery is of an American sailor kissing his loved one after the US victory over Japan after the Second World War.