During the last few decades there has been a dramatic increase in the number of talented artists making an impression in the street-art community. It’s no easy task to stand out in a scene that has become so popular in such a short time, but these 30 artists have managed to do precisely that. These are some of the big names in the street art scene right now.

1

ROA: Ghent, Belgium

This Belgian street artist has specialized in depicting local animals in a very distinguishable way. He uses a limited color palette and commonly works with huge formats. He’s quite a globetrotter, so it’s probable that one of his pieces is not very far away from you right now. The image above is from a collaboration with Argentine street artist Ever.
Photo: Ever

2

Gaia: New York City

Born in New York City, Gaia helped the Baltimore street-art scene by organizing Open Walls Baltimore. He uses his murals as a bridge to connect with the community hosting them; this particular feature has given him a lot of critical recognition. Animal faces and human hands are common in all of his murals.
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3

spY: Madrid, Spain

spY’s usage of different media has helped in the dissociation between street art and graffiti. He uses common urban elements in unexpected ways, which is characteristically ironic.
Photo: Goatchild

4

Natalia Rak: Poland

Natalia is from Poland; she graduated with a degree in Fine Art from Lodz, and has made quite an impression in the world of street art over the last couple of years. Her murals explore the female figure in dreamlike colorful environments.
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5

Oakoak: Saint-Étienne, France

This French artist has specialized in small urban interventions that mix common landscape accidents with pop culture symbols. His work may not be the most visually impressive out there, but it’s really clever and hilarious.
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6

Vhils: Lisbon, Portugal

He does portraits, but he prefers using chisels and power drills rather than brushes and paint. This Portuguese carves his work on walls and the results are fucking amazing. Talk about innovation in street art techniques!
Photo: RJ

7

ETAM Cru: Poland

Bezt and Sainer, better known as ETAM Cru, are a Polish duo that rose to fame because of the monumental size of their murals. Their work features folk icons from Eastern Europe and relies on heavily stylized human figures, HUGE human figures. The internet loves them and you will, too.
Photo: Bill Dickinson

8

Swoon: New London, Connecticut

The most famous wheat-paster in the world of street art, Swoon’s work has inspired a whole generation of artists. Her life-sized paper cutouts of human figures are extremely detailed and they go through different stages as they decay due to their ephemeral nature.
Photo: Nicholas Noyes

9

INTI: Valparaíso, Chile

One of the big names in Latin America's street-art scene, INTI comes from Chile and his murals are now world famous. He integrates local elements into surreal characters seamlessly, creating a very personal style. Some claim that, because of the quality of his work, INTI should transcend the street-artist label and be considered a modern muralist.
Photo: Museo de Arte Callejero

10

NEVERCREW: Lugano, Switzerland

Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni form this Swiss street-artist duo. If you are into dreamlike characters, vibrant colors and whales, you’re gonna love these guys.
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11

Eduardo KOBRA: Sao Paulo, Brazil

This Brazilian took the street-art scene by storm a few years ago. Photo-realistic murals, geometrical patterns and colors—lots and lots of colors—are the common elements of his murals. KOBRA intends his work to become a window to the past, so he normally does a good amount of research before starting a mural.
Photo: Phil Davis

12

Blu: Bologna, Italy

One of the heirs of the activist wing of street art, Blu’s work is more about meaning than anything else, but he also relies heavily on the architecture of the places he paints. Few colors and a strong anti-capitalist message are his trademarks. Blu has maintained his anonymity since 1999.
Photo: Carnagenyc

13

Everfresh Crew: Melbourne, Australia

The Australian street-art scene would not be the same without these guys. Rone and Meggs are the Everfresh members with the most projection outside Australia and their work resembles a collage of the strangest comic books you have ever read.
Photo: RJ

14

Bordallo II: Lisbon, Portugal

This street artist from Lisbon uses garbage to give volume to his murals, which normally depict natural elements such as birds and insects. The paradox created by Bordalo is as interesting as his technique.
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15

Urben: Berlin, Germany

This German artist excels in social criticism with some help from a cast of no-brain characters whose only goal is reminding us about the no-brainer that lurks inside all of us. Simple, funny, and effective.
Photo: Fasanelli

16

Mentalgassi: Berlin, Germany

This collective from Berlin specializes in large-scale human photography. You may think there’s nothing new with this kind of work, but Mentalgassi have managed to put originality in common places.
Photo: Steffi Reichert

17

D*face: London, England

Some consider D*face the spiritual successor of Shepard Fairey in the UK. Whatever your opinion may be, the reality is that the British scene owes a lot to D*face and his irreverent, but quite stylish, way of things.
Photo: Carnagenyc

18

Shamsia Hassani: Kabul, Afghanistan

Being a female street artist in Afghanistan is not an easy task. Shamsia’s graffiti has become an icon for feminist activism around the world.
Photo: Kabul Art Project

19

Jaz: Buenos Aires, Argentina

He’s been famous in Argentina for quite some time but has just recently emerged on the international street-art scene. Jaz’s resourcefulness with materials and stunning symmetry set him apart.
Photo: Parisa

20

JR: France

What’s new about doing an urban intervention through photography? The scale in which it’s done of course. A good example of JR’s work is in Rio de Janeiro, where he basically made the whole Morro de Providência favela as a canvas. Here’s a video related to this project.
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21

C215: Paris, France

One of the most famous stencil artists nowadays, C215’s art portrays the faces of those that society tends to overlook: street kids, the elderly, homeless people, and refugees. Some consider him the French Banksy… some differ.
Photo: Urbanartcore.eu

22

Fin DAC: London, England

Looking at Fin DAC’s work, you’ll think you’re looking at the characters from a Frank Miller graphic novel… a graphic novel you’ll definitely want to read. His style is both unique and strangely familiar, and those color splashes make all the difference.
Photo: r2hox

23

Escif: Valencia, Spain

Escif doesn’t have a compromise with aesthetics or traditional ways in street art. His purpose is to make an impact on the worldview of whoever takes a closer look at his work. Some would say he’s more easily classified as a conceptual artist, but I don’t think Escif likes that kind of classifications.
Photo: Duncan c

24

Hopare: Paris, France

Giant portraits, combined with abstract elements and vibrant colors—this French artist is the guy to call when it comes to visually rich arrangements.
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25

Joe Iurato: New Jersey

His wood miniatures are short lived but that’s part of the beauty of Iurato’s work.
Photo: Wally Gobetz

26

Boa Mistura: Madrid, Spain

Boa Mistura are the happy guys of street art. This collective from Spain focuses on leaving positive messages and imagery wherever they go. Pretty cool!
Photo: Steffi Reichert

27

Faith47: Cape Town, South Africa

This artist from South Africa is one of the most versatile street artists out there. She adapts techniques and materials to perfectly fit the substrate she’s using.
Photo: Stegan L

28

David Zinn: Ann Arbor, Michigan

This guy has taken small format chalk interventions to a whole new level through the clever usage of urban accidents and a charismatic cast of characters.
Photo: ZinnArt.com

29

Minhau: Sao Paulo, Brazil

This Brazilian girl totally nailed it. It’s all about cats and colors nowadays, right?
Photo: Victor Candiani

30

Swampy: Oakland, California

An old-school graffiti artist that, through his anonymity, reminds everyone about the roots of street art and its role against capitalism. His trademark horned character is quite famous among the street-art community.
Photo: Steve Rotman

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