This post explains the Bushwick Collective, NYC’s most prolific neighborhood for street art and graffiti, and how to reach it. Check out our pay-what-you-like New York Graffiti and Street Art Tour (tour video below).
The Bushwick Collective is located in Bushwick Brooklyn, just off of Flushing Avenue. As the map image below shows, it is approximately a 7-8 minute walk from the nearest train station Jefferson Street (L train).
While some naysayers may turn down their thumbs and cry out that graffiti and street art is mere vandalism, others feel differently about the artwork gracing the walls in Bushwick.
Come visit and explore the neighborhood where you can learn about some of the local artists such as, Cost, Revs, Enx, Mast, Never, Nekst, 4 Burners plus many more international artists who have traveled across the globe to display their artwork on the walls of Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Some of the busiest times are after work and weekends, so try to plan your visit for a weekday and earlier in the day.
There are almost 100 blocks with art in and around the Bushwick Collective area, one can spend the whole day exploring the area. For the Bushwick Collective, Troutman and St Nicholas area have some of the best art.
Troutman is a one-way street as well as Starr Street, try to keep out of the middle of the street because drivers may be annoyed or not attentive.
There is not much shade and the summer gets very hot, so be sure to bring sunscreen, hats, and water.
Local spots for food are Artichoke Pizza, SeaWolf, Tres Hermanos, Up North, KCBC, there are plenty of other locations.
An easy way to reach the Collective and to experience and understand the artwork you will see is to take our pay-what-you-like tour. The highlight of the tour is the outdoor street gallery known as the Bushwick Collective, which begins on Jefferson Street and continues on Troutman Street towards Saint Nicholas Avenue.
The accidental curator of the collective is Joseph Ficalora, a Native of Bushwick and Brooklyn. In 1991, Joseph’s father, Ignazio Ficalora, was killed on the way home from the family steel fabrication business. He was murdered for a few dollars in his wallet and the gold chain he had around his neck. At the time Joseph was only twelve years old.
A few years ago, in 2011, Joseph experienced another tragedy, the loss of his mother, who battled a brain tumor for four years.
Joseph is now learning to heal from his years of growing up in a dirty and crime-ridden neighborhood by transforming the neighborhood and the walls of Bushwick into a safe & hip outdoor gallery. He has learned to wrangle the permits needed to legally display hundred of artist’s work.
There is so much artwork to see you won’t be able to stop talking about it for days to come.
On the tour, we feature artists such as Sheryo & Yok who specialize in gnarly gargoyle type characters. You will also get to see artists:
Icy & Sot
Blek le rat who was one of the first graffiti artists in Paris and has been described as the father of stencil graffiti.
We end the tour at the gorgeous image of a church on the corner of St. Nicholas and Troutman. Beau Stanton, who combines classical oil paintings with intricate patterns, painted the magnificent mural.
He is originally from Southern California where he studied Illustration, drawing, and painting. He relocated in 2008 to New York after he graduated and he now lives and works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Learn more about the tour.
The artwork is literally burning off the walls in Bushwick, however, if the wall to wall artwork isn’t enough for you to look at then you will certainly be intrigued by the personal style of Bushwick’s residents. It’s hipster heaven in Bushwick, so when you finish your tour, be sure to stick around and check out some of the local hot spots.
We suggest doing some vintage shopping at Vice Versa and then going to dinner at the notorious Roberta’s pizza or a local favorite NorthEast Kingdom where they serve a contemporary American menu emphasizing the seasonality of the NorthEast.