polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Happy Urban Graffiti New Year!

It's cold and beautiful in Lyon, perfect for an end-of-year tribute to one of our favorite art forms, i.e. graffiti and its children, or anything we itinerant urbanists find scrawled, painted, stencilled, drawn, posted or scratched onto the multidimensional surfaces of our cities and those we visit. Here is a healthy and hearty sampler of the range of urban expression I have found over the past few years on the walls from Kuala Lumpur (and unexpected graf mecca!) to Lille and Lyon in France to the ur-walls of the NYC. Chosen more to reflect the range of style - stencil, tag, air brush, spray can, old school graf - and purpose - politics, anger, sadness, memorial, absurdity - than anything else, they are just a fraction of what exists out there, and what is yet to come. Thanks to all our Polis writers and readers from 2010, and see you in 2011.

San Francisco, 2007

Lille, 2006

Kuala Lumpur, 2009

Istanbul, 2009

Beirut, 2010

New York City, n.d.

New Orleans, 2010

Madrid, 2009

Lyon, 2010

Credits: Photos by Alex Schafran.