Detroit is a living museum.
It's the Smithsonian mashed up with one of the best graffiti and mural exhibitions in the world. On display, relics of American history (home of the Ford Model T, Motown Records, Joe Louis, and more) all juxtaposed with the modern street art movement. It's a perverse, but positive, symbiotic relationship. Some would disagree, but without the graffiti and murals, even the most crude, Detroit would be a muted canvas of brown, grey, and red brick. Whether illegal or commissioned, these murals and "tags" have brought attention and energy back into neighborhoods and the buildings that populate them. The scale is MASSIVE in size, and reach. I spent four days walking, driving, and running around this "museum". It felt like a playground. Like a fine art museum. Like the zombie apocalypse had already happen and this was the aftermath. It wasn't enough time. I could spend months here.
The city of Detroit, it's residents, those who have visited in the past decade, will look back years from now and kick themselves for not enjoying or preserving the street art and the buildings they exist on. As it stands, four Banksy works have already been destroyed or stolen. The Hamtramck neighborhood voted to cover up one of the most controversial and renowned street art pieces by Sever titled, "The Death of Street Art". Another great piece of his was defaced and/or painted over. With that said, new works and commissions continue, and the city much like others across the world have begun to embrace the "beautification" of public spaces with these murals and projects. Quicken Loans recently contracted Shepard Fairey, known most notably for the Obama "Hope" poster, to do a number of pieces downtown. Quicken (and Cleveland Cavaliers) owner Dan Gilbert, also commissioned a number of other world renowned artists to transform his 12 story parking garage into a street art exhibition space, called The Z (Lot).
Enough words. Scroll down and have a look for yourself. And literally, get to Detroit and have a look for yourself, before it's gone.