I have been getting more and more into art, especially modern art.  Whether it is in a museum, like the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, or just on the street, I am inspired by the creativity and bright colors.  

I know there is a lot of amazing street art in New York City, but it’s hard to know where to find the best murals.  I was excited to take the Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour with Brooklyn Unplugged.  It would be a good opportunity to learn more about the Bushwick Collective and the stories behind the art.   

In this post, I will share more about my experience on the tour so that you can decide if it is something that you would like to do.

I just loved this mural, and it made me so upset to see the graffiti on it! - "Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour" - Two Traveling Texans

I just loved this mural, and it made me so upset to see the graffiti on it!

The style is very pop art but it has the edgy street vibe. - "Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour" - Two Traveling Texans

The style is very pop art but it has the edgy street vibe.

On the Bushwick Street Art tour, I hated seeing graffiti on top of the street art.  I think it is so disrespectful and damages the hard work of the street artist.  It hit me hardest when we saw a beautiful portrait where someone had written over the mouth.  Unfortunately, there were other examples of graffiti on murals as well.

The Bushwick Collective

The tour centered around the Bushwick Collective Street Art (although we did see works that were not part of the Collective as well).  Joseph Ficalora is the curator, he got permission from building owners and has chosen the artists.  He wanted the artwork to be therapeutic and beautify the community, so the art was not supposed to be political.  The murals are replaced about every twelve months, so you will see layers on some murals.  No artists are paid for their contribution to the Bushwick Collective.

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I saw it from down the street and it just called to me. - "Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour" - Two Traveling Texans

I saw this one from down the street and it just called to me.

We saw several murals by Lexi Bella. I love the way she paints eyes. - "Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour" - Two Traveling Texans

We saw several murals by Lexi Bella. I love the way she paints eyes.

If there is meaning in the art, that is a bonus to me.  While political pieces technically weren’t allowed as part of the Bushwick Collective, it seems like some exceptions were made to that rule.  Another artist known as Pay to Pray was not allowed to participate in the Collective because his works were too political.  He did have some works in the area that we saw as part of the tour.

Street art is not just murals though.  We saw some other interesting 3-D pieces on our tour.  We saw sculptures and 3-D artwork made of wire/yarn.  I had never thought of this as street art, but as Jeff explained the classification of street art has a lot to do with the artist’s intention.  The Bushwick graffiti that we saw made me question the artist’s intention, especially if it was on top of a mural.

Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour Logistics

This Brooklyn street art tour meets in front of ‘Wyckoff-Starr’ coffee shop located at 20 Wyckoff Avenue in Bushwick Brooklyn.  It is a short walk from the Jefferson L train station.  The tour runs daily at 3 pm and lasts about 2 hours.  You will be walking about a mile and the tour ends at right by the Morgan Avenue L Train station.  The Bushwick walking tour costs $32 per person or it is included as part of the several New York Tourist Passes.   Brooklyn Unplugged also has several other tours in Brooklyn and Queens.  Check out the expert tips below for a special discount code!

Jeff would be our tour guide for our Bushwick Graffiti and Street Art Tour.  He told us that he is not an artist but he is a Brooklyn native.  He knew his stuff but was very patient with others on the tour that didn’t know much about street art.  I loved hearing the inside scoop.  I learned a lot from him.

This was an interesting one. When you see it in person it hard to see all the details, but through the lens of a camera it is impressive! - "Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour" - Two Traveling Texans

This was an interesting one. When you see it in person it hard to see all the details, but through the lens of a camera it is impressive!

Brooklyn Street Art Tour Review

In summary, I was impressed by the Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art tour.  The quality and quantity of Bushwick murals that we saw was amazing, and I learned so much about the artists.  Jeff was a wonderful guide.  He was very knowledgeable and made the tour interesting.  Check out the video above to see more of the street art in Brooklyn.  You will see some of the best murals in NYC.

Have you seen any of the murals that are part of the Bushwick Collective? What is your favorite piece of street art?  Have you ever gone on a graffiti or street art tour? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

-Anisa

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Expert Tips for the Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Tour

  • Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.  
  • Book online and use the code TravelingTexan to get 20% off your Brooklyn Street Art walking tour price.

Disclosure: We were guests of Brooklyn Unplugged for the Graffiti and Street Art Tour.  We will not receive any commission for future tour bookings.  As always, opinions are my own.