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Best of 2013: Eight Inspiring Examples of Urban Art

We rounded up some of our favorite urban interventions from 2013—both legal and otherwise.

Even though street art is finding its way more and more in the mainstream (Walmart just began selling knock off Banksy posters), it is still being produced in the streets. Many think of urban art and graffiti as beautiful interventions vital to bringing a new lift into both cities and suburban areas. Yet there are some that think the opposite and vilify the medium as vandalism. To counter this view, earlier this year, revered art blog Wooster Collective shared with us the 10 things we can learn from street artists including: "It’s important to take risks; Give without expecting a return; Challenge the norm; Collaboration enhances productivity; Question everything; Creativity is a universal language."

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April Fool's Street Art Style: Banksy's Best Pranks

For street artist Banksy, every day Is April Fool's.

For street artist Banksy, every day could be considered April Fool's given the subversive nature of his work. Ever the prankster, the London-born artist has made his mark all over the world with witty, graphic one liners—often political, sometimes just playful. In fact, Banksy's very existence could be considered somewhat of an elaborate hoax or mystery itself, with his real character kept closely guarded from even his closest associates. In February, the internet had a field day when they finally thought his identity had been traced back to a Paul William Horner, a 39-year old male born in Bristol, England, after an alleged arrest in London. The story ended up being an elaborate joke, worthy of the jester himself.

So to celebrate the art world prankster on April Fool's here's a roundup of our favorite Banksy hoaxes and pranks, in no particular order:

1. Art in the occupied territories: In August, 2005, Banksy painted nine images on the barrier wall separating Israel and the Palestinian territories. According to Banksy the wall "essentially turns Palestine into the world's largest open prison," which is why he took to it with stencils and paint, creating images like a ladder going up and over the wall, a window into a tropical paradise that could have existed on the other side, and an image of children digging a hole through the wall.

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Project: Crowdsourced Exhibit, Street Art Worldwide

For our latest project, we want to see pictures of your favorite street art from your neighborhood.


the THEME

Street art's unexpected beauty and ingenuity has long captured our attention at GOOD. But recently the renegade art movement seems to have seeped into the mainstream, with the help of Google's new street art mapping project, Banksy's Oscar nomination for his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, and JR's TED Prize. It seems like street art is everywhere these days, and we want to separate the just OK from the mindblowing.

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New Banksy Piece Features a Keith Haring Dog

A new Banksy piece takes cues from the street art legend Keith Haring.


Not much to say about this other than: Awesome. The latest Banksy, in London, has a masked, sneakered hipster walking a Keith Haring-inspired dog, who appears to be barking at that person with the canes. Very playful.

And if you didn't catch the dark and moody Banksy-directed Simpsons sequence, you can see it here.

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I Must Not Write All Over the Walls: Banksy Directs The Simpsons

Graffiti artist Banksy storyboarded and directed the opening sequence of The Simpsons last night (aka the "couch gag"). See it here.

According to street art advocates Wooster Collective, recent authors of the book Trespass, graffiti artist Banksy storyboarded and directed the opening sequence of The Simpsons last night (aka the "couch gag"). Overall, it's a pretty devastating take on commercialism, merchandising, and 20th Century Fox. It's definitely the most disturbing and stylized opening the show has seen. For comparison, here is every couch gag up until this year.

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