There are a lot of artists out there who believe in the philosophy that every surface in the world can become artwork. If we’re constantly exposed to advertisements, billboards and banner ads everywhere we look, why shouldn’t we also be seeing more art just for the sake of it? Imagine how much more enjoyable your commute would be if you could look at stunning artwork while you drive.
This is what a lot of artists believe in. Luckily for some of them, they’ve been allowed by their local governments and tenants to adorn the outside of buildings, houses and government buildings with their murals. The result is always stunning, breathtaking and it never hurts the look of a street; it actually improves it.
Here’s a before and after look at some cities around the world that have allowed artists to put their art on buildings. Hopefully by seeing this your opinion on murals will change:
1. A movie theater in Vilnius, Lithuania. It shows two large hands holding a cat’s cradle with a group of children dangling from it. The colors are perfect for the look of the city!
2. This beehive pattern in Germany. The beautiful and vibrant colors don’t just make the building look better, they also bring more brightness to the entire street!
3. This mural in Chelsea, New York. It’s not surprising that this mural is in New York City. It shows an artist’s depiction of the famous V-Day kiss between a soldier and a nurse.
4. This raccoon in Lisbon, Portugal. Made with heavy brushwork and contrasting colors, this one is as eye-catching as it gets. The texture looks like it’s about to come alive at any second.
5. This mural in Brives Charensac, France. The artist played with the depth to trick our perception of it. If you look at it quickly enough, you might miss it and think it’s a real place.
6. This mural in Budapest, Hungary. Some urban centers are so dense that there’s no room for a garden or a park. This artist found the perfect solution.
7. Another play on perception in Le Puy en Velay, France. The use of color and shadows is so perfect, even the sky matches the wall! This artist has found their niche.
8. This surreal mural in Kaunas, Lithuania. The artist painted a wise grandpa with glasses and pajamas, but he also cleverly used the indent in the ceiling for his pipe.
9. This starry sky in Bristol, UK. This is the kind of mural that you can sit in front of with a cup of coffee, and really just stare at it until you find inner peace.
10. A photorealistic portrait in Glasgow, Scotland. This almost looks like a photograph blown up and placed there like a poster. It’s incredible to think about the fact that someone’s brushwork resulted in this.
11. A mesmerizing owl in Athens, Greece. This one could be the most beautiful one in the list. The owl’s eyes, the clever use of the corner, and the way its face is framed in gold—hopefully this painting stands the test of time.
12. This mural in the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas. If you don’t know it’s there and suddenly take a look, it might be shocking because of how much it contrasts with the look of the hotel.
13. A giant starling in Berlin, Germany. This artist could have painted a regular starling, but he decided to go above and beyond by adding the most intricate feathers his imagination could come up with.
14. An entire town gets a makeover in Palmitas, Mexico. Imagine how much work went into this, and how much it must have brought this community together!
15. A mural in Ponzan, Poland. There’s something really endearing about this artist choosing to paint the architecture of his town onto a building in said town. He must be really proud of it.
16. Another little villa-style mural in Montpellier, France. The best part about these murals is discovering something new each time you look at them. Whether it’s the people, the animals or the scenes inside the windows—these murals keep on giving.