The history of graffiti goes wayyy back, but the popularity of hip-hop culture has helped graf become a trendy art form worldwide.
In most places, graffiti is considered vandalism. The risk that graf artists, or writers, take when they catch spots and the efficiency with which they must create their pieces has helped shape the form itself.
More and more people globally now recognize graf as a legitimate form of art and are even providing legal spaces for it.
Here are ten of the dopest places on earth where tagging is legal and even encouraged in some cases. There is also the element of competition.
Take the opportunity to show off your skills.
Queens, New York, USA
Known as 5Pointz, this entire city block in Queens, one of NYC’s five boroughs on Long Island, is free to the public and almost entirely covered in graffiti. First, artists must be vetted by “curator” Meres One and granted blessings to catch a spot. Each mural gets a specific amount of space and exhibition time based on quality and durability.
Hosier Lane in Melbourne, Australia
Tourists and artists love this famous spot. Located on the southern edge of Melbourne, Hosier Lane welcomes all kinds of street art and has even been featured in travel guide advertisements. This place is perfect for graffiti vandals. Don’t get me wrong, graffiti is just as prevalent in Melbourne as it is in Hosier Lane, but just not be advertised as heavily. Artists such as Banksy have even put pieces up there. Afterward, the business owners covered his work with a perspex screen to prevent damage or destruction by others.
Poland’s Topiel Street offers plenty of space for writers and large stencil artists to create. The local police will never bother you here!
The place is very well known among the people of Prague, right next to the Florenc metro train station. It’s pretty safe and offers legal tagging with good lighting from nearby street lamps.
France has an abundance of legal tagging sites located all over the country. Keep an eye out for some of the local graffiti crews, as some can get a bit territorial and won’t back down.
Taiwan’s legal gray area concerning graffiti and vandalism is a popular destination for graffiti artists. The police admit that they don’t get involved unless the owner complains or there is actual property damage.
Originally a lakeside silk mill is run independently by artists and sanctioned by the city. Today, this alternative cultural epicenter is one of the few places in this city where graffiti art isn’t just legal. It’s encouraged.
Sydhavnen, Copenhagen, Denmark
One of Copenhagen’s most iconic attractions, the hall of fame wall near Sydhavnen, features massive and intricate pieces. Even though individual pieces may not last long due to the location’s popularity, enough people are stopping by each day that the artists’ work gets significant exposure once it’s up.
Burghausen’s graffiti wall in Germany measures 150 meters long by 8 meters high. The wall is open to all artists who bring their own spray cans or paint and creativity. It is located in the southeast of Germany, close to the Austrian border.
Venice, California, United States
Obviously, we had to save the best for last. Venice Beach’s Art Walls is world-renowned for being an open and creative space for street artists. It is quite common to see an artist in the middle of working on a mural. However, the only downside? Other artists paint over your work in a flash.