Book review: 140 global street art hotspots showcased by Lonely Planet | Ed Bartlett


Lovers of street art and travel have a new book to add to the coffee table pile. Lonely Planet’s latest gift book style offering Street Art explores the dynamic street art scenes of Melbourne, Adelaide, Chicago, Rome, Paris, New York and Christchurch along with 35 other cities.

“I added up the number of people living in the cities featured in this book,” Ed Bartlett writes in his introduction. Ed is the independent curator and founder of The Future Tense.

“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.”

There’s giant murals on the side of silos, Banksy’s stencils and Invader’s mosaics with the glue holding it all together being the accessibility of the art in question.

The insider’s guide provides practical details and maps of where to find secret stashes of street art and introduces artists, locations and festivals.

“Street art is now present in almost every city, town and village in the world,” 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.”

With stunning photography of art works as well as the cityscapes that house them, it’s clear Street Art is the culmination of a heap of research. It includes insights from the scene’s important figures as well as a guide to each city’s street art hotspots.

“The proliferation of legal walls and organised festivals around the world makes it possible to encounter thought-provoking transformative art in the most unexpected of places,” says Ed.

“People are travelling to the four corners of the globe specifically to experience street art, which can often mean meeting and watching the artists at work – a rare privilege among the contemporary visual arts.”


Lonely Planet: Street Art is a stunning hard cover book and was published in April 2017. It retails for $29.99.

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