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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Feb 19, 2015
Headline for The People's Art: 10 of the Most Beautiful Graffiti Murals in the World
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The People's Art: 10 of the Most Beautiful Graffiti Murals in the World

Graffiti is temporary but powerful. It is art that changes with the times, and with the people. It has revolutionary qualities, and can inspire change quicker than the written word just with one look. It can capture a moment in history with more depth than any simple photograph. It only increases in power when it is taken down or covered up by authorities, only to re-appear somewhere else.
1

Harma Street Art

Harma Street Art
This street art is legal, and will likely stick around. It sits in view from Hamra street in Beirut, Lebanon. It was painted by a Chilean artist who goes by "INTI". It's obviously beautiful and carries significant meaning.

"Since the Civil War, public space in Lebanon had been occupied by inscriptions and stencils related to war and sectarian politics. Western-style graffiti appeared infrequently as of the mid-1990s. It was not until 2005 that a new scene emerged, taking on the task to create a uniquely Lebanese style of this art
form. This scene is now burgeoning and the streets of Beirut have witnessed the birth of new artists mixing caustic stencils, western influences and Arabic graffiti. These interventions contrasted with public expectations, since they promoted unity over division and maintained a humorous and often critical look at Lebanese society."-White Wall website.

This is where we see the acceptance of street art into the greater community. That can be a great thing, but we still need the street art that challenges the system, painted by people who cover their faces and run around in the dark.
2

Paulo Ito

Paulo Ito
When Brazil was hosting the World Cup, many were concerned about all that was pushed to the sidelines while the big show was going on, including the rising poverty rates. In the world of online communication, graffiti that might only sit temporarily on the wall it is painted on, can go on forever on the internet. This went viral. It's political and social message carried it all over the world.

With just a few strokes and choice colours, this graffiti artist pulled back the glittery World Cup curtain to reveal what was really going on.
3

Anti World Cup

Anti World Cup
Here's more anti World Cup graffiti from Brazil. Where words could not express the resistance, the graffiti artists did it through the visual, and they did it well.
4

Banksy in Palestine

Banksy in Palestine
Banksy is one of the most well known unknown graffiti artists in the world. They did a number of murals on the wall that separates Israel from Palestine, and they're quite powerful. In these artistic creations, Banksy dreams up a different world by making art that questions and criticises the very wall they use as a canvas.
5

Alice Pasquini

Alice Pasquini
Alice Pasquini's (AliCe) art celebrates women in a very intimate way. The above piece is called "Syrian Protest Women". The faces she paints are frozen in such real expression that they tell the stories of these people with just one glance.
6

More AliCe

More AliCe
This one might not have any specific political meaning, but I love how the cat's face is so expressive we can almost hear her thoughts. By painting animals the same way she paints humans, with such beautiful expression, she's blurring the lines between human and non-human and bringing us closer together.
7

C215

C215
"For Parisian street artist C215, the city is more than a canvas, it’s an accomplice. He may be the one cutting out stencils and painting pieces but, he insists, it’s the ever-changing urban environment that creates the art. With his anti-consumerist emphasis on the city as a collective space and his vivid, realist style, C215 is a true graffiti innovator amid a glut of pretenders."-Don't Panic Online

I've never seen a stencil come alive like this.
8

Blu

Blu
Blu is an artist from Italy. His art is large and carries a deep political meaning. He sometimes uses the architectural design of the building as part of the artwork itself. It makes it seem like it was meant to be there all along.
9

Tracy Lee Stum

Tracy Lee Stum
Tracy paints a world within a world. Her artwork makes it seem like there is extraordinary life behind every wall. It is the kind of mystical stuff you feel like you can reach out and touch.
10

Slovakia

Slovakia
This one might not seem beautiful in a typical sense, but it is certainly stunning. It likely has multiple meanings, the most obvious one being the struggle between man and animal, and our desperate attempts to separate ourselves from them. It's impossible, because we are them.