From traditional to avante-garde, art is a ubiquitous component of the urban landscape. Taking a broad definition of “urban art”, Urban Ghosts features a wide variety of unique works from thought-provoking individuals, with a focus on recycled art created from discarded objects – which fits neatly with our coverage of the abandoned and the re-purposed.
Mirror art creates strange optical phenomena and encourages us to interact with the broader environment. Here we take a look at three examples of mirror art that bring the sky to earth, multiply surroundings and reveal hidden doorways.
When it comes to miniature abandoned buildings, Mike Doyle’s crumbling Victorian mansions – constructed entirely from Lego – are a unique addition to this increasingly popular theme.
In Simon Hopkinson’s urban scenes, he not only shows a compelling vision of unnoticed or derelict areas but also the journey we make through them in our day to day lives.
When people think of art that depicts urban exploration, they usually imagine secret and atmospheric photography. Anna King’s paintings, meanwhile, give a unique look to abandoned buildings from the outside.
Rosey Prince’s fascination with landmarks is shown in her striking pictures of urban scenes. Shadowy petrol stations and looming tower blocks may not be universally significant, but they hold their own truth as landmarks we recognise every day.
In Lynne Collins’ stunning photo montages, abandoned spaces are shown in a way they’ve never been seen before – interspersed with extravagant foods and looming foliage to create hauntingly beautiful images which are entirely unique.
The “Tiger & Turtle – Magic Mountain” sculpture in Duisburg, Germany, reaches heights of more than 45m. Designed to appear as a “walk-in” rollercoaster, the top of this unique piece of art affords stunning views of the Western Ruhr.
Advocating a public realm shared by all, EC-Arts gives artists a platform to display their work in Birmingham, UK, challenging the public perception of the built environment while creating striking urban art installations.
Cardrona Bra Fence – arguably New Zealand’s strangest tourist attraction – appeared mysteriously over Christmas 1999 and almost inspired the longest bra chain in the world after it was ultimately removed by the local council.
Dennis Maher’s urban art installations, taken from the least profitable parts of demolished buildings in Buffalo, evoke creation and destruction and reflect how the waste of abandoned buildings impacts negatively on the environment.
One of the more weird and wonderful attractions along historic Route 66 near Barstow, California is Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Ranch, made from hundreds of empty bottles mounted on recycled scrap metal poles.
These wonderfully creative geodesic domes are the work of British graphic designer Nick Sayers, who began creating spherical sculptures and shelters from re-purposed materials around 1992.
The Quilted Gas Station Project, which transformed an abandoned filling station in Syracuse, New York, promotes sustainable living through recycled art while expressing concern about our global dependence on oil.
This shortlived miniature city was the work of Berlin-based artist EVOL, whose intriguing urban art installations have a habit of appearing where you’d least expect them, including the walls of an abandoned slaughterhouse.
The legality of urban exploration may be questionable but there’s nothing unlawful about creative light art, or light graffiti. This colourful form of expression adopts cameras to capture ephemeral images that leave no residue in their wake.