finding the thread that connects the madness and muchness around us

West Loop Walls

Street art appears to be all over the West Loop neighborhood in Chicago. As is the nature of the medium, we do not know the artists’ names (or else we’d give them credit!), but enjoyed seeing their work and wanted to pass it along to you. Call it graffiti, call it defacing a wall, call it obnoxious, obtrusive, dirty, trash…we call it art.

The unaware life is not worth living. -Socrates

Chicago graffiti

Chicago graffiti

Chicago graffiti

Chicago graffiti

Chicago graffiti

Chicago graffiti

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121 responses

  1. I love the contrast between the color and the grey tones here…beautiful!

    Mikalee’s latest post, “My Big Fat Poop Wedding,” is at

    June 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    • Thanks Mikalee! Amazing contrast is one of our favorite things.

      June 4, 2011 at 1:50 am

    • pratmoko

      so do i…. :)

      June 4, 2011 at 9:18 am

  2. Very cool photos. Love the quote on your about page.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    • @The Simple Life of a Country Man’s Wife, Thank you! The quote on our about page is what inspired the blog’s name.

      June 4, 2011 at 1:51 am

  3. ermineskin

    Very cool pictures, a definite different angle and modern.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    • @ermineskin It’s really refreshing to see things from a new point of view.

      June 4, 2011 at 1:53 am

  4. Real World Newb

    Next time I’m in Chitown I’ll make sure to check out it’s street art!

    June 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    • @ Real World Newb You definitely should! It’s everywhere, especially in the West Loop area!

      June 4, 2011 at 1:52 am

  5. Great photos! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    June 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    • @Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide, Thanks so much! We’re glad you enjoy the blog.

      June 4, 2011 at 1:55 am

  6. how extraordinary. Thanks for sharing:)

    June 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    • @gaycarboys, Thanks so much for commenting! Keep checking back because we have more street art coming soon!

      June 4, 2011 at 1:57 am

  7. the picsvibrate!!!GREAT, more,more!!!!!

    June 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm

  8. Pingback: West Loop Walls (via The Invisible Thread) « Design Life

  9. Thanks.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm

  10. street art eh!
    I like the art one leaves’ on the Train Cars’

    June 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm

  11. Street art is art, just with a bit of criminal edge to it. Thank you. :)

    June 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    • @cheratomo, The edgier the better!

      June 4, 2011 at 1:58 am

      • AS a street artist:i love the concept of the TAO.just because it address itself to the SELF of the raeder!!
        visit my & click on the TAO to know more!!mijn complimentjes voor djullie blog;-)

        June 7, 2011 at 7:55 am

  12. Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    June 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    • @ournote2self, Thank you! Being able to share this with everyone is one of the reasons we started this blog.

      June 4, 2011 at 1:59 am


      June 7, 2011 at 7:31 am

  13. Chris "StoyPenny" Steurer

    I love the graffiti over here in the west loop, its so refreshing in contrast to the bland look of most of the buildings here.

    June 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    • @Chris “StoyPenny” Steurer, Do you live in Chicago? We love the West Loop area as well!

      June 4, 2011 at 2:01 am

  14. Art is a mystery, and sometimes reveals so much about the artists themselves. To not know the artist, but to see their work definitely peaks my curiosity!

    Cool pics!

    June 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    • @Things You Realize After You Get Married, We really appreciate that thought, and think it is a really good point that needs to be made.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:02 am

  15. Nice, really like the first one.

    June 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm

  16. I live near Chicago and always thought the old buildings with the unusual art gave the perfect urban vibe to an area. Kind of like a calling card for a neighborhood. Great photos.

    June 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm

  17. ALIVE aLwaYs

    Yup, its called graffiti, or street art in modern times, I bet its a surging revolution.
    I remember posting on similar lines quite a few days back, I was inspired and drawn in by the documentary “Exit through the gift shop” by Banksy. Awesome movie, great man, really like street art!

    June 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    • @ALIVE aLwaYs, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is a favorite film of ours, and we have loved exploring street art on our own as well.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:04 am

  18. I love street art and I definitely appreciate them! I was just in Chicago two weeks ago and didn’t run into any! Thanks for posting these!

    June 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm

  19. Chicago makes a great photo subject, and there’s always wall art somewhere.

    Congrats on being FP’d – great pics.

    June 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    • @huffygirl, We’re really excited about being FP’ed and thanks for checking us out!

      June 4, 2011 at 2:06 am

  20. How cool! Is it paper? Won’t it come off when it rains?

    June 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    • @Reproductive Endocrinologist in Los Angeles, Yes, some are put up with paper and glue. Check out the documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” to learn more about street art!

      June 4, 2011 at 2:07 am

  21. Wow, i really like these peices. It seems street art is the next step up from graffiti, being an admirer myself.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    • @pressforthoughts, As long as art is out there we want to enjoy it- it doesn’t matter where it is.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:07 am

  22. nice pics

    June 4, 2011 at 2:16 am

  23. Awesome! I love street art and I always wish I had a camera with me! You’ve inspired me to discover my own, I live in Chicago too, I’ll have to check some of the stuff in your picutres out, and will defineately be back to check your blog out!

    June 4, 2011 at 3:04 am

    • @JuliaRad, That makes us so happy! We can only hope to inspire people enough to go out and enjoy the art around them. Chicago is a great place to do that!

      June 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

  24. Pingback: where are you? « close your eyes (;

  25. Love the street arts. The artists must be genius.. :)

    June 4, 2011 at 7:06 am

    • @stellycious stella, Whoever the artists are, we appreciate them!

      June 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm

  26. Pingback: West Loop Walls (via The Invisible Thread) « salesmarketingessentials

  27. beautiful pics!!! I like them.

    June 4, 2011 at 7:47 am

  28. qcwhfytl

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing!

    June 4, 2011 at 7:51 am

  29. Hi

    Just Blog walking :-)

    Nice Pictures


    June 4, 2011 at 10:02 am

  30. Love this.
    Thanks for sharing.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm

  31. hi! great post and page, but…you quoted socrates wrong I’m afraid (please don’t take this a trolling attempt haha)

    “the unexamined life is not worth living”

    All the best

    June 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

  32. please check out my website its all about the graffiti of the midwest i think you people would like it please check it out thanks

    June 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    • @Jeffrey, we’ll definitely check out your site- sounds interesting! Thanks for taking a look at The Invisible Thread!

      June 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm


    June 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  34. Street art is some of the most unique work around. And I simply adore Chicago. Glad to have come across your page. :)

    June 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    • @readwriteandlive, Street art is definitely unique, we’re glad you enjoy it!

      June 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm

  35. Beautiful photos and congratulations on being “Freshly Pressed”!

    I lived in Montreal up until about nine years ago and deeply regret not having captured some of the fine street art there. Some building owners commission street artists to adorn their facades and other graffitos respectfully do not add to their pieces

    June 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    • @HoaiPhai, Thanks so much for sharing that! That’s really interesting! What a great idea to have buildings with graffiti be so intentional. I would love to see those!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:37 am

  36. Now here is some fun with color, texture, subject. Nicely done, thanks and kudos on getting Freshly Pressed!

    June 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    • @Maria, Thank you so much! There is so much out there to explore! We’re glad you appreciate our findings!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:35 am

  37. J Roycroft

    Since when does art incorporate damaging someone’s private property? My idea of art would be a photograph of the blood flowing from one of these graffiti predators faces after being caught defacing my property.

    June 5, 2011 at 12:51 am

    • @J Roycroft, I can understand how upsetting it would be to have someone spray paint something that was your private property. We don’t wish harm to come to anyone, however. Sorry if you’ve experienced something where your property was damaged.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:35 am

  38. Thanks for posting these very interesting and full of life pieces. It’s too bad that we can’t hang these on our walls at home!

    June 5, 2011 at 1:44 am

    • @Sister Earth Organics, You’re so right! Wouldn’t that be awesome if we could have that in our houses! Thanks so much for sharing! Stop back by for more!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:32 am

  39. spacefuels

    Street artists rock. Great blog

    June 5, 2011 at 2:31 am

  40. Live in the west burbs but worked all over the city. Some of the art is organized like the train walls and is there for a purpose. I have not been around the west loop lately. Must get there to take a look. Nice photos.
    Congrats on being FP!

    June 5, 2011 at 4:06 am

    • @Harold, thanks so much for sharing! It’s a great city, isn’t it? Art is everywhere you look around here.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:30 am

  41. Wonderful pictures!

    June 5, 2011 at 6:02 am

  42. nice pixs!

    June 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

  43. Those images are amazing, please keep sharing them with the world.

    Love it.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

    • @cypruslifeinpictures, You’re so kind! We love sharing! Keep checking back- there’s a lot more art to come :)

      June 6, 2011 at 12:24 am

  44. Awesome thanks for shareing

    June 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm

  45. amazing! brazilian hugs ;**

    June 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm

  46. nice post! love the colourful art!

    June 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm

  47. thor27

    Street Art is something else. The walls trains
    freight trains it’s unique in its variety. Come visit

    June 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm

  48. very nice nice.. :)

    June 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm

  49. eve B

    I love street art! Thanks so much for posting. A perfect little Sunday blog to browse. Regards to the Windy City! xo

    June 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    • @Eve, thanks! We love street art too. It keeps things so colorful and fun.
      We’re glad you like the blog- keep coming back for more Windy City fun!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:19 am

  50. Nice,…but I think it’s also a bit weird!

    June 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm

  51. Nice…but I think it’s a little weird.

    June 5, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    • @G Wizzz thanks so much! the weirder the better! It keeps things interesting.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:18 am

  52. You should see the street art in Melbourne – alleyways brimming with graffiti that is most definitely NOT a nuisance but a public work of art. (I have some on the photos pages of my blog: I always enjoy “seeing” the walls of other cities. Thanks.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:04 am

    • @c & s W, WOW you weren’t kidding! Great pictures and thanks for sharing!

      June 6, 2011 at 3:51 am

  53. Phil Tyler

    I’m over on Kimball and Milwaukee. Now that the weather is nice, I’m going to go shoot. You inspired me.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:34 am

    • @Phil Tyler, We’re glad we’ve inspired you to explore the area!

      June 6, 2011 at 3:50 am

  54. Eva McCane

    very cool!

    June 6, 2011 at 3:44 am

  55. very colorful. Great art work

    June 6, 2011 at 4:19 am

  56. Gives the bland walls some nice colour. :)

    I live in Melbourne, Australia, where street art is a big thing. We have some great art here.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:30 am

    • @Kitten of Doom, I’ve never been to Australia- but I’d love to go. I had no idea that street art was big there! I’ll have to check into that! Thanks so much for the feedback. We love it when people share with us.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

  57. Nice. One of the things that always fascinates about graffiti is that there’s never (or at least rarely) any authorship. They’re just anonymous contributions to society, for all to see, and no one to claim.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:57 am

    • @thestreampress, that’s such a good point. I feel like the world would be such a brighter place if that were the case in so many other areas.
      Thank you so much for sharing that insight. It really makes me think :)

      June 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm

  58. Lovely artwork and photography. I’m going to Chicago for the first time this summer and could not be more excited.

    I’m actually new to wordpress, and blogging in general ;p
    Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:13 am

    • @ Laura, you’ll love the city! There is so much to see and do! Keep checking back with us to see what we’re discovering! Maybe you’ll see some stuff you want to do here.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

  59. Love it. I love street art in their various forms and colours. It adds that something extra to the streets..

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 am

    • @ Fashion-esque, you’re so right- that’s a big part of why we love street art so much! Thanks for sharing!

      June 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

  60. It seems as though most of the figures are created in paper and stuck to the walls (as opposed to being painted straight on). It’s very unusual. I love street art, instant exposure for the artist, instant transformation of the space and always so temporary. Thanks for sharing.x

    June 6, 2011 at 6:49 am

    • @ Pollyanna Darling, You’re right! It’s a technique they talk about quite a bit in Exit Through The Gift Shop. It’s a documentary on street art- if you’re interested, you should check it out. It’s on Netflix. Thank you so much for sharing! We’re so pleased that you liked the post.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm

  61. Anastasia

    Beuatiful photos :) These graffities are unique pieces of ART!!

    June 6, 2011 at 9:25 am

  62. Wow! Amazing!

    June 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

  63. I just spent almost a week & a half in Chicago & I was hard-pressed to find any street art/graffiti at all. I got a few pics, but the city seemed pretty void of of street art, for the most part. I was disappointed. In such a big city, I would figure it would be everywhere. Your pictures are pretty good, though – thanks for sharing.

    June 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    • @ ucunlimited, In our search for street art, we’ve found you have to go to more obscure places. There definitely isn’t much graffiti down town, but there is a lot in the smaller neighborhoods around the city. We hoped you liked visiting Chicago! It’s a great city! Thanks for sharing!

      June 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm

  64. dreamiliscious

    If you haven’t seen the doc…. “Exit Thru the Gift Shop”, please do! Interesting street art and even more intriguing characters.

    Also the movie “Basquiat” Story of an incredible young NYC street artist in the 80s.

    For your soul… check out any historic murals by Diego Rivera you can find. Detroit, NYC, San Francisco to name a few cities where you can find his work. Important in terms of where the art form started and the social meaning of street art. XO

    June 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm

  65. Awesome pictures! There is something very artistic about the figure of a women behind a dumpster, and I do not mean that in any way to be a sarcastic statement.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm

  66. your pics are inspiring, keep it up! make me want to go and take some now…lol

    June 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm

  67. i have seen some of that person’s stuff too! I really like that style of graffiti, because no one can really get mad about it, it’s just pasted on the wall. have you seen the banana guy on the milwaukee/damen/north 5 points? i don’t think it is the same person, but they are all over too. by the way the photography is just lovely.

    June 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm

  68. marianepontejos

    Interesting art style.

    June 10, 2011 at 5:30 am

  69. The pictures you posted are a much better version of “wall art.” They should actually commission some of these people to cover some of the walls to prevent them being defaced. I’m just not too fond of the ones that look like gang markings.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:21 am

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