Oh you thought it was over? That after our list of the Top 10 NYC Street Art Graffiti Pieces of 2014, we had nothing more to say about art this year? Well this is the season of giving and we have one more heavily researched and debated list for you. Not since the early days of graffiti has art in New York City been more mobile. These traveling masterpieces move around the streets and highways of the city, popping up in every borough, making those in the know appreciate seeing a work of art minus the travel time. From pieces from some of the best NYC artists to pieces that will take you back in time, these are the top 10 Graffiti trucks of 2014.
10. Nerds – Turtle Power
Nerds (LFader via Instagram)
The Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie SUCKED! Like we wouldn’t wish this on our worst enemy kind of suck. Honestly, there has never really been a good Ninja Turtles movie (sorry), but for us who remember the awesome early 90s cartoon and classic video games (Turtles in Time!), we always have hope that the “world’s most fearsome fighting team” will be in something that is watchable. Until that time, let us all appreciate this awesome truck by graff artist Nerds.
9. SEFU – Yummy
SEFU (DC127 via Instagram)
It’s no secret that we love ramen of all kinds. So this fun truck made by SEFU had to get some love here. Our favorite part of this piece is the noodles themselves spelling out the word “noodles” across the bottom of the piece.
8. KEO – Optic Blast
KEO – (TatteredFedoraFlow via Instagram)
When it comes to the X-MEN everyone loves Wolverine (and Gambit for some reason). Cyclops, the actual leader of the X-Men, gets no respect from the hardcore comic fans or the people who don’t buy the funny pages and just stick with the movies. Graffiti artist KEO (and perhaps a group of others) have shown their appreciation for the man with the ruby glasses, showing Scott Summers in his classic Jack Kirby-drawn 60s outfit. This truck has been around Brooklyn all year and we don’t know what we love more: the outfit, or how great the letters that make up the team Cyclops leads look.
7. Vew – Gotta Go Fast
Vew (VTechVisual via Instagram)
Once again touching on things that have not been good in a long time: Sonic the Hedgehog. Before Master Chief of HALO, the various criminals from the Grand Theft Auto series, Crash Bandicoot and even the idea of 3D graphics, the blue hedgehog that could run really fast was the most popular character in gaming (besides one red hatted jumping plumber). The former mascot of the Sega Genesis, Sonic was one of the first games many of us spent entire afternoons with, instead of more productive things like learning or making actual human connections.
Graffiti artist Vew is perhaps one of those people and that’s the inspiration behind this dope piece featuring the chili-dog loving blue hedgehog. Extra points for having his name in the classic SEGA font and even including a gold ring, a classic element of the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
6. KLOPS – Tronic Summer
You guys remember KLOPS? The artist who put together a humorous critique of the NSA, featured in our previous list? Well this piece is much less controversial, but it does have a message that we’re sure everyone can agree with. First found just after the horrible winter of early 2014, this piece was a reminder that summer (not winter) was coming. Now, at the tail end of December, it’s nice to look back on this piece–another reminder us that the beach will be waiting for us once the days start getting longer.
5. Queen Andrea – QA 2014
(Queen Andrea via Instagram)
Graffiti legend Queen Andrea’s typography skills are practically unmatched. Whether on walls, on canvas, or in this case a truck, her spray-painting prowess, which she uses to make some of the smoothest letters we have ever seen is always an event to catch in person. The colors blend together perfectly and not one letter seems out of place or separate from the piece as a whole. As one of the most respected artists in NYC, we can only hope we see more of these kind of trucks swerving around.
4. NME – Taste The Rainbow
NME (JulesandRegulations via Instagram)
NME says that “since 92 been keeping it fresh” and we would not disagree. This stunning piece here could only be made by a veteran of the scene. It has both an earthiness and extraterrestrial feel to it. The explosion of color–the vibrancy of the red and yellow, mixed with the equally explosive, but much more chilled out vibe we get from the greens and blues–made this a must-see whenever we visited the Bushwick Collective.
3. Cern – Ram Cat & Box Bird
Cern (Halopigg via Instagram)
Cern’s imagination and what he creates with can certainly rival Adventure Time’s creator Pendelton Ward. He has a few trucks around the city, some of the hardest to get good shots of, but this is his newest and we we so impressed that we made sure to have it in the top three. Cernesto’s use of a pastel color palette, along with his beautifully rendered animals always give us a positive vibe, even if it seems that the little bird is about to become lunch for the two horned, pink cat-like creature.
2. Wane – #4
Wane (TatteredFedoraFlow via Instagram)
While having the number two spot, we want to say that the series of graffiti trucks made by Wane and Cash is the best art series of the year in any aspect of graffiti/street art. The two artists took the city by storm with unique truck after unique truck, having art hunters scouring the city trying to collect shots of all the mobile masterpieces.
Which one of these numerous trucks would make our list? We settled on this great piece: The colors dripping from his name and the gum at the bottom right of the piece, stretching upwards as some of it is caught on the top wheel. The deep red that makes up the background, the electric blue that borders between the background and the name, which is filled is yellow with brown dots all blend well together. Each color and frame withing a frame works cohesively to deliver the second strongest work of truck graffiti in NYC.
1. Curve – The Great Escape
Curve (CarnageNYC via Instagram)
Here it is folks, the number one graffiti truck roaming the boroughs of NYC. We admit, we’re suckers for comics here, but just take a gander at all the detail that went into this truck. The bottom left is a city at night, each building having some small detail on it–not just a bunch of grey blocks. We appreciate creativity and this truck is one of the most interesting creative choices we have seen on any street mural or gallery piece. Homages to Doctor Strange aside, this piece made it a most wanted list as soon as it started making its way around NYC.
So that’s all folks. 2014 was a banner year for mobile art and not the kind you see on your phone. We hope to keep catching fresher trucks in 2015. For non-truck street art highlights, read on for the Top 10 NYC Street Art Graffiti Pieces of 2014
To debate the merits of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, contact the author on twitter @ChrisLInoa