One of the greatest aspects of New Orleans culture is, arguably, its myriad representations, its ability to simultaneously occupy paradoxical spaces — the fact that its cuisine can manifest itself as a seven-course tasting menu at a white-clothed Commander’s Palace table or an overstuffed poboy with just a sheet of butcher paper between it and a sticky formica surface at Crabby Jack’s; its music can emanate from an organ in the St. Louis Cathedral or the trumpet of a street musician on Frenchmen; its art can adorn the protected wall of a museum or the crumbling facade of an abandoned building in the Bywater.
In the city that prides itself upon its deep sense of locality, it seems only fitting that our art permeate indoor, formal mediums and run throughout seemingly mundane spaces, too. Right? From graffiti-style art to intricate murals, the inclusivity and tactility of street art produces an immersive experience whereby the art literally becomes a part of the New Orleans landscape and, reciprocally, passersby become a part of the artwork. Like the social terrain of the Big Easy, its public art is also transient — vulnerable to the seasons and subject to human-induced processes of change.
As we usher in a spell of moderate spring weather, get yourself outside and explore the informal art that freckles our great city. Tell us: What are some of your favorite examples of street art in NOLA? Tweet us a pic and tag @nolavie.
A mural on the storefront of Monkey-Wid-a-Fez furniture in the Bywater.
The “Rise and Preserve” mural, a collaboration between Ivan Petrovsky (member of the NOLA Preservation Society art coalition) collaborated with ReX (founder of NOLA Rising), alongside the river in the Bywater.
The side of the “Ride and Preserve” mural.
One of many graffiti-style art works at Gasa Gasa.
A store-adjacent mural on Magazine Street.
Ernie K-Doe portrait, painted by artist Lefty Parker, outside Euclid Records.
A corner of the Rice Mill building.
Abandoned Bobwater Cafe in the Bywater.
Graffiti-style mural on the back of Bobwater’s.
Converted shipping containers in the Marigny are up-cycled, functioning as mural canvases:
Chelsea Lee is associate editor at NolaVie. Email comments to her at email@example.com.