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Urban art in Miami's Wynwood Arts District (Photograph by Frederic Soltan, Corbis)

Shepard Fairey’s Favorite Street Art Cities

Artist and graphic design activist Shepard Fairey gets his best inspiration from Hong Kong’s mix of Chinese and Western signage, iconography, and architecture. “It’s unique to anywhere I’ve been, incredibly dense and textured, and there are details to look at everywhere,” he says.

We asked him to point out other cities that go the extra mile to support their urban arts communities. Here are three:

1. Miami: “[I chose this city] largely because of the positive impact from Art Basel and the urban art component that’s come with it. I think the Wynwood Art District in Miami might be the most exciting place right now for its high concentration of quality street art and graffiti. Purists might say that it has been incubated by business owners, but it’s free public art and there’s a lot of great stuff.”

2. Berlin: “When I was in there a few years ago, the Kreuzberg District had one of the highest concentrations of graffiti that I’ve seen anywhere, and it seemed to be a really great mixture of legal and illegal work that only an up-and-coming area can provide before things get too manicured.”

3. Los Angeles: “The Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles has an amazing amount of good street art and it’s also right next to the MOCA Temporary Contemporary.”

George W. Stone is an editor at large at National Geographic Traveler magazine.

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