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15 EPIC Murals in New York City (That Are Unforgettable)

Best NYC Murals
Mt. Rushmore of Art at 210 10th Ave, Chelsea | Best Murals New York City

In recent decades, street art in New York City has transitioned from an act of rebellion to a revered art form. Artists from around the world flock to the Big Apple, inspired by its energy, and leave their mark with some of the most creative murals in New York City. As a local continuously awestruck by these murals, I decided to show my appreciation by rounding up this list of the best murals in NYC. Let’s get to it!


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best murals New York City

Best Murals in New York City

Table of Contents: Famous New York City Murals

Best New York City Murals Banksy

Hammer Boy

Artist: Banksy
Neighborhood:
Upper West Side
Address:
233 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024

Banksy is a famous (and anonymous) street artist known the world over for his thought-provoking street art. Many of his pieces have sold at auction for more than $1 million. Swinging by 79th and Broadway to see Hammer Boy, one of the the most famous murals in NYC, and a really cool thing to see in the Upper West Side. The piece was created during Banksy’s 2013 visit to NYC and is now protected by plexiglass to prevent vandalism.


Audrey Hepburn Mural NYC

Audrey Hepburn

Artist: Tristan Eaton
Neighborhood:
Little Italy
Address:
176 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

Tristan Eaton has created more than 100 murals all across the globe, and in 2013 the Los Angeles-based artists participated in the Little Italy Street Art (LISA) to paint this multicolored rendition of Audrey Hepburn. Found on the main thoroughfare of Little Italy, Mulberry Street, the striking NYC mural is known for stopping passersby by with a vibrant display of color.


New York City best murals

We Love NY2

Artist: Eduardo Kobra
Neighborhood:
Chelsea
Address:
212 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Einstein has never looked happier than in Eduardo Kobra’s beloved mural, We Love NY2. The famous scientist is depicted with his tongue out and spray-painting a building in the Brazilian artist’s signature bold and geometrical technicolor style. Kobra has used the same style to create over 3,000 murals across five continents, including a few more colorful murals in New York City we’ll get to shortly.


Best New York City Murals

Rice Terraces

Artist: Dasic Fernández
Neighborhood:
Chinatown
Address:
Doyer St. New York, NY 10013

Once notoriously known as the “bloody angle” thanks to relentless gang violence, Doyers Street in Chinatown has become a tranquil neighborhood street that’s also home to one of the best murals in NYC. Rice Terraces, created in 2021 by Chilean artist Dasic Fernández in collaboration with NYC’s Department of Transportation Art, helps draw folks into the historic street (also home to NYC’s oldest dim-sum restaurant, Nom Wah Tea Parlor).


Best Murals in New York City

I Love NY

Artist: Nick Walker
Neighborhood:
Chelsea
Address:
102 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

Nick Walker created one of the best murals in New York City by alluding to the iconic “I <3 NY” shirts. The British street artist used a recurring character, a “vandal” in a suit and bowler-hat, to spray paint I Love New York onto the back of a parking lot in Chelsea. The same character has appeared in more of Walker’s murals in Albany, Indianapolis, and even across the Atlantic in England and Spain.


Best Murals NYC

2 World Trade Center

Artist: Multiple
Neighborhood:
Financial District
Address:
200 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007

The World Trade Center has had a long road in rebuilding after the attacks on September 11th. To increase energy and positivity, the developers hired both new and established street artists to paint murals on the exterior of the construction site 2 World Trade Center.

There isn’t a unifying theme or direction given to the artists, but the murals are engaging and some of the best in New York City. Not to mention, under the shadow of the towering One World Trade Center and Oculus Mall, the murals become even more memorable).


Best NYC Murals

The Braves of 9/11

Artist: Eduardo Kobra
Neighborhood:
Midtown
Address:
231 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017

Although Eduardo Kobra is originally from Brazil, he still beautifully pays tribute to the heroes who lost their lives responding to 9/11. In one of the largest murals in NYC, he presents a firefighter kneeling over the stars of the American flag with the stripes of the flag behind him, and the stripes also double as the Twin Towers. The touching work is Kobra’s rendition of Matthew McDermott’s famous photo of firefighter Mike Bellantoni on September 11, 2001.


Best Murals NYC

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Artist: Elle Street Art
Neighborhood:
East Village
Address:
177 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003

After The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed in September 2020, little time was wasted creating her tribute. A four-story mural by Elle Street Art (in collaboration with Little Italy Street Project) in the East Village tells her life story.

There’s the Statue of The Contemplation of Justice, which sits outside the Supreme Court and the blue behind Ginsburg represents the ceiling in the Library of Congress. There is a faint crown on her head, which alludes to the famous “King of New York” photo of Biggie Smalls (from whom she gets her “Notorious RBG” nickname) and on her left, you’ll see the Brooklyn Bridge, a nod to her childhood borough.


Best NYC Murals

Mt. Rushmore of Art

Artist: Eduardo Kobra
Neighborhood:
Chelsea
Address:
210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

In his tribute to some of modern art’s biggest players, Eduardo Kobra painted a mural in Chelsea similar to Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. He chose to include Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, all of whom spent a considerable amount of time in New York City’s art scene.

Upon further inspection, it’s easy to notice some of the depicted artists’ unique motifs that Kobra decided to add to the mural. There are Keith Haring’s dancing figures and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pez Dispenser (the dinosaur with the crown).


Best Murals in New York City

Black and White

Artist: Eduardo Kobra
Neighborhood:
East Village
Address:
400 E 11th St, New York, NY 10009

One of the most popular murals in New York City is Black and White, by Eduardo Kobra, which depicts Michael Jackson. In an interview, Kobra mentioned his tribute to Michael Jackson is meant to show the King of Pop’s transformations, including from black to white and from child to adult.


Best Murals New York City
Image Courtesy Architectural Digest

Crack is Wack

Artist: Keith Haring
Neighborhood:
Harlem
Address:
E. 127 St., 2 Ave., and, Harlem River Dr, New York, NY 10035

Artist Keith Haring was arrested after creating his iconic “Crack Is Wack” mural in 1985, but after news outlets and the community rallied behind his anti-drug activism, he was let off with a small fine. The famous New York City mural is a testament to the stranglehold crack cocaine held on major cities across the U.S. and the frustrations Haring felt after a personal friend became addicted.

The current mural isn’t the original Keith Haring painted because shortly after completion, it was vandalized and later painted over by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Fortunately, the Parks Department commissioner invited him to repaint it in October of 1986, leaving us with one of the most iconic murals in New York City.


Best Murals in NYC

Tolerance

Artist: Eduardo Kobra
Neighborhood:
Chelsea
Address:
516-500 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

Near the High Line, a popular NYC park, is Tolerance, a riveting depiction of two universal icons of peace. Kobra’s portrayal of Gandhi and Mother Teresa represent the melting pot that is NYC. In this city people of different ethnicity, colors, and religions come together and begin to show that we’re really not that different from one another, and Kobra’s message comes across in the inspiring NYC mural.


Best Murals in New York City

Comandante Biggie

Artist: Cern One
Neighborhood:
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Address:
690 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

One of the best New York City murals pays homage to the Bed-Stuy-born rapper Christopher Wallace, better known as the Notorious B.I.G. in his home borough of Brooklyn.

Stylized as the South American Revolutionary Che Guevara, Biggie looms over South Portland Street in a building dubbed the Brooklyn Love Building. On the side of the building that faces Fulton Street there are some of Wallace’s most famous lyrics sprawled across its facade, “spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way” from where the building gets its name.


Best Murals in New York City, the High Line

Rotating Murals at the High Line

Artist: Multiple
Neighborhood:
Chelsea
Address:
The High Line & 22nd Street

The High Line is a park built over elevated railroad tracks, and every year, the park commissions several works of art along its route. Some of the best new murals in New York City can be found where the High Line and 22nd Street intersect; each mural is generally up for about a year before being swapped.

Currently on display is a piece called Thank You Darling by Dutch and American artist Lily van der Stokker. The mural, full of pastel colors, features a message by van der Stokker both to passersby and herself, similar to the positive affirmations we all need from time to time.


Best Murals NYC
Image Courtesy Goldman Properties

Bowery Graffiti Wall

Artist: Multiple
Neighborhood:
Lower East Side
Address:
76 E Houston St, New York, NY 10012

The Bowery Graffiti Wall, a globally recognized canvas, attracts street artists from all around the globe. Its path to greatness was paved when Keith Haring painted one of the most acclaimed murals in New York City on it in 1982. Despite being overlooked for a few decades, the Bowery Wall regained its fame in 2008 when Goldman Properties started commissioning murals.

Since then it has brought some of the best murals in NYC, with a new piece going up every year or so. Featuring powerful and moving works, the Bowery Wall has served as host to some of the most famous street artists. The likes of Shephard Fairey, Ron English and Banksy have all had their art displayed.

Currently on display is a collage of 30 portraits by Japanese artist Tomokazu Matsuyama.


Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Best murals New York City

Where to See the Best Street Art in New York city

Williamsburg: The lively neighborhood has long been home to artists and the streets reflect it. Always at the forefront of ingenuity the area comes alive with character and color.

Chelsea: Known as NYC’s art district, Chelsea has been quickly growing and new murals are popping up around the neighborhood. You’ll find a cluster of them around the High Line, a popular park.

East Harlem: Also known as “El Barrio” this community is historically Hispanic. The streets showcase the vibrancy of its residents, and frequent motifs revolve around the neighborhood’s Latin roots.


Best NYC Murals (Summary)

In sum, these are the best murals in New York City:

  1. Hammer Boy by Banksy
  2. Tolerance by Eduardo Kobra
  3. Bowery Graffiti Wall
  4. The High Line
  5. Comandante Biggie
  6. Mt. Rushmore of Art by Eduardo Kobra
  7. Crack is Wack by Keith Haring
  8. Black and White by Eduardo Kobra
  9. We Love NY2 by Eduardo Kobra
  10. Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Elle
  11. The Braves of 9/11 by Eduardo Kobra
  12. Rice Terraces by Dasic Fernández
  13. 2 World Trade Center
  14. I Love NY by Nick Walker
  15. Audrey Hepburn by Tristan Eaton
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most famous wall in New York?

The most famous wall in New York is arguably the Bowery Mural, renowned for its ever-changing display of large-scale street art by prominent artists from around the world.

Where is the best street art in NYC?

The best street art in NYC can be found in neighborhoods like Chelsea, Williamsburg, and the Lower East Side, where vibrant murals adorn building facades and alleyways, showcasing the creativity and diversity of the city’s urban art scene.

What is the most famous mural in NYC?

The most famous mural in NYC is arguably “The Bowery Mural,” a renowned outdoor art space featuring rotating works by prominent artists, situated on the corner of Houston Street and Bowery in Manhattan.


Map of the Best Street Art in New York City


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And there you have it my friends – a quick roundup of the 15 best murals in New York City! I hope you enjoyed the post!

Cheers.

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Tuesday 18th of July 2023

Is beautiful I have seeing a lot of these mural being already 11 years in NYC from living at Sea Port lower Manhattan, BPC by Brookfield mid town To all the way to East Harlem now. I enjoyed I just could not share the link bevsue it has too many advertising’s and no way where to translate the page into Spanish. Other than that I enjoy it thank you!. Elie

Deb

Sunday 4th of June 2023

Staten Island has some beautiful murals and the best Sri Lankan food in NYC.

Jeanne

Monday 8th of August 2022

Love the street art addresses