Portrait of a City: 31 Photographic Urban Street Art Murals

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Residents of cities like Tokyo, Havana and Los Angeles see their own faces blown up to monumental proportions and pasted onto all sorts of urban surfaces when photography, street art and architecture come together. These 31 images from artists working all over the world cover the humorous and the poignant, bringing photography to the most unexpected places.

2 Girls Building in Melbourne by Samantha Everton
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A fine art image by Australian photographer Samantha Everton spans the entire facade of the ‘2 Girls Building’ in Melbourne by KUD Architects. The concrete of the building is printed with a wallpaper texture and where it cuts away, the photo (printed on glass) is revealed. The image becomes three dimensional in the form of the three-story lamp mounted to the outside of the structure, mimicking the one in the original photo.

Inside Out Project by JR in Tokyo

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The most well-known street artist working with photographic imagery is JR, who creates collages of portraits of residents in each of the cities in which he works. Based in Paris, the artist pastes up gigantic images of faces on buildings, bridges, rooftops and trains all over the world and gets in his subjects’ faces with a 28mm lens to capture unguarded expressions. The work pictured here is part of the Inside Out Project, which welcomes people to submit their own black and white photographic portraits to be exhibited in their own communities.

Humorous Photographic Images by Mentalgassi

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Trash cans mounted to poles become backpacks, ‘metal heads’ appear on domed recycling bins and faces appear to be squashed in windows as artist trio Mentalgassi bring their photographic imagery to the streets. The anonymous young Berlin artists met at school and became interested in how new media techniques could be applied to three-dimensional objects.