The best part of our morning commutes and afternoon jogs? Ogling at all the street art. If you live in a major city (or even a smaller one) chances are some of your city’s old buildings and alley ways have become canvases for some insanely talented street artists. Whether they remain anonymous or have works sold at Sotheby’s — ahem,Banksy — these folks are talented. From Beijing to Belgium, here are 22 of the most interesting and arresting examples of street art from around the world.
1. Swept Under the Rug: Indisputably, the most well-known street artist (although we don’t really know who’s behind the can of spray paint) is Banksy. Tourists and locals alike flocked to see his Maid Sweeping in the Camden neighborhood of London. (via Medium)
2. Highly Animated: Brightly colored cartoon-like creations are street artist Scribe’s calling card. Hailing from Kansas City, MO, Scribe has also authored a children’s book and designed toys based on his street art characters. Talk about a triple threat. (via Scribes Walk)
3. You’ve Been Yarn Bombed: The warm and fuzzy cousin of graffiti art, yarn bombing has taken America by storm. One knitter put his skills to work by beautifying the stop signs in his San Diego neighborhood. (via Stop Sign Flower)
5. Street Music: Get this: These piano subway stairs, created for the Milan music festival LiveMi, actually play music when you climb them! Designed by a team of audio specialists and industrial engineers, the piano stairs were powered by amplifiers. (via Pro Sound Web)
6. Leaping Lamb: Street artist Levalet has been adding a touch of mischief to the streets of Paris, including this boots-wearing animal “leaping over” a stately Parisian fountain. (via Lost at E Minor)
7. Stairway to Heaven: Climbing San Francisco’s steep, steep hills is a little more fun with this pretty mosaic staircase, a collaboration between artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher and a host of dedicated neighbors. (via Tiled Steps)
8. Bright and Bold: During festivals and celebrations, you can spot traditional folk art rangoli lining the streets of India. The bright bits of art often depict flower petals or geometric patterns and are made of colored rice or dry flour. (via Design You Trust)
9. Knock, Knock: In 2013, New Yorkers puzzled over murals that popped up on 13 doorways in the East Village. The murals were created by a group called Free Art Society, and QR codes on each door linked to a clue that would lead to the next mural. The perfect marriage of art and technology. (via City Lab)
10. Daunting Dante: A literary-minded Australian took to the streets of Sydney to spread the message of 12th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri, reminding everyone of their 12th grade literature class. The text looks like it’s from Dante’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. (via Bad Dig Whiskas)
11. Don’t Look Down: Street artist Edgar Mueller is known for his hyper-realistic 3D creations. He created the scene above for Ireland’s Festival of World Culture in 2008, prompting festival attendees to do a double-take. (via Metanamorph)
14. We Have a Winner: Banksy left his mark on NYC with this smart street art spotted on the Upper West Side. His silhouetted boy with a hammer playfully treats the fire hydrant like the classic carnival high striker game. (via This is Colossal)
16. Green Thumb: Polish artist Natalia Rak painted this stunning piece on the side on a building in Bialystok as part of the Folk on the Street Festival. The young girl is dressed in traditional Polish garb. (via Street Art News)
What’s the best place to spot epic street art? Tell us in the comments below!