16 Incredible Celebrity Murals Spotted Around NYC

Photo via @gabriellesirkin.
Street art in New York City combines two of our favorite concepts: beauty in all its colors and forms, and stuff that's free. While even the most affordable of museums are still, well, not-so-affordable, elaborate graffiti is always accessible to New Yorkers at no cost, and can be just as spectacular — if not more so — than what's stored indoors. 

Murals that pay homage to cultural icons are especially cool players in the street art scene. They take portraits that are often ubiquitous, commercial and frankly, a little tired, and give them a welcome wink. Wild prints transform Audrey Hepburn's conservative coiffure; abstraction and Anna Wintour's injunction on head-to-toe black make for a stunning collision; and quirky caricatures memorialize faces we can no longer see IRL

Of course, spotting incredible street art isn't as easy as ogling the everyday graffiti outside your local bodega. With a little help from the experts at Street Art NYC, we've mapped out the Big Apple's best celebrity murals, for the ultimate New York tour de face (and maybe even a cool #OOTD snap, too). 
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Photo via @musketroom.
Who: The Notorious B.I.G.
Where: Soho; outside The Musket Room, 265 Elizabeth Street (between Prince and East Houston streets).
Art By: Fumero

Biggie is no stranger to NYC walls, but he is a newcomer at New Zealand-inspired restaurant The Musket Room. “Biggie is more than a rapper," the eatery's chef and owner, Matt Lambert, told Food Republic. "He impacted so many people in real, positive ways. He was original. He made disruptive art. He changed a whole industry and inspired a lot of my generation to just go get it. Who doesn’t want to be Biggie in the ‘Hypnotize’ video?”
2 of 16
Photo via @gabriellesirkin.
Who: Audrey Hepburn
Where: Little Italy; outside Caffé Roma, 385 Broome Street (between Mott and Mulberry streets).
Art By: Tristan Eaton for the L.I.S.A. Project

"Little Italy is a classic, historic place, and Audrey Hepburn encapsulates classic beauty," artist Tristan Eaton said after he painted this 12-by-7-foot mural of the star. The work was revealed as part of the Little Italy Street Art (L.I.S.A.) Project's 2013 crop.
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Who: Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld
Where: Soho/Little Italy; outside L'asso Pizzeria, 192 Mott Street (at Kenmare Street).
Art By: Bradley Theodore

Bradley Theodore, who most recently collaborated on two downtown murals with the OBIE Awards presented by The American Theatre Wing, has also painted the likes of Grace Coddington, Coco Chanel, Kate Moss, and Marc Jacobs.

“I was inspired. Everything just came together. I thought about Karl and Anna, how these two are the last standing of those who have been there from the beginning. And, I knew I had to paint them together,” Theodore told StyleCaster, after seeing the two demigods IRL.

You can watch the artist paint in Soho here.
4 of 16
Photo via @nyc_dane.
Who: Billie Holiday
Where: Downtown Brooklyn; Grove Alley (between Fulton and Livingston streets, entrance via Hanover Place).
Art By: Danielle Mastrion

"I’ve noticed from seeing pictures of me working that I always start with the eyes. Sometimes I wish I could just stop at the eyes, because sometimes when I’m painting someone famous, people walk by and they’re like, 'I already know who that is,' and I think that’s so expressive. I think if you don’t have the eyes right when it comes to making portraits, then you might as well not continue," Mastrion said.

You can find another Mastrion portrait of legendary vocalist Billie Holiday on First Avenue in Harlem.
5 of 16
Photo via @ajdont.
Who: Maya Angelou
Where: Astoria; The Welling Court Mural Project (between Main and 30th avenues).
Art By: Peat Wollaeger (a.k.a. EYEZ)

Aside from their crazy talent, Maya Angelou and street artist EYEZ have one very important thing in common: They both moved to New York from St. Louis. This mural is called "Eye Rise," a pun on Angelou's inspirational work, Still I Rise.
6 of 16
Photo via @aquastonethrone.
Who: Frank Sinatra
Where: Bushwick; near the corner of Irving Avenue and Bleecker Street.
Art By: Danielle Mastrion

A young Frank Sinatra's mug shot appears to have inspired this Bushwick garage mural, which Danielle Mastrion painted on the iron curtain outside of her home.
7 of 16
Photo via @boogaloo_pete.
Who: Joe Strummer
Where: East Village; outside Niagara Bar, 112 Avenue A (at East 7th Street).
Art By: Dr. REVOLT

The original version of this portrait of punk icon Joe Strummer was taken down in 2013. It took artist Dr. REVOLT four days to paint a new rendition. Clash guitarist Mick Jones helped reveal the mural, which now appears to be plagued by graffiti.
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Photo via @slimjim72.
Who: Jay Z
Where: Bushwick; Dodworth Street Mural Project.
Art By: Danielle Mastrion

Artist Danielle Mastrion reported via email that this tribute to New York's greatest has been vandalized. Hopefully, the restoration will pull through faster than the nearby J/Z line.
9 of 16
Photo via @spreadart.
Who: Muhammad Ali
Where: Bushwick; The Bushwick Collective, Troutman Street (at St. Nicholas Avenue).
Art By: Zimer

For this knockout mural of Muhammad Ali, Zimer collaborated with fellow artist Rocko, who specializes in Arabic and Latin "calligraffiti" (a mash-up of calligraphy and graffiti). The painting can be found at the Bushwick Collective, which also features an immense portrait of The Notorious B.I.G.
10 of 16
Photo via @archaicmusik.
Who: Madonna and Michael Jackson
Where: Times Square; near The Cubes Building, 120 West 42nd Street (between Sixth and Seventh avenues).
Art By: Chor Boogie

Believe it or not, the corporate real estate behemoth Equity Office commissioned this star-studded mural by San Francisco artist Chor Boogie. On his blog, Chor Boogie reveals that he was allowed to paint whatever he wanted, so long as it didn't get the corporation into any trouble. Naturally, he chose the king and queen of pop to grace Manhattan's most overpopulated square.
11 of 16
Photo via @slimjim72.
Who: Sophia Loren
Where: Little Italy; outside Alleva Dairy, 188 Grand Street (at Mulberry Street).
Art By: Lexi Bella for the L.I.S.A. Project

The ever-glamorous Sophia Loren was born in Rome, so she fits in perfectly in New York's Little Italy. Bella used spray paint to create this black-and-white portrait of the movie star.
12 of 16
Photo via @terigen.
Who: Robin Williams
Where: East Village; outside B Cup Cafe, 212 Avenue B (at East 13th Street).
Art By: Antonio "Chico" Garcia

After Robin Williams' shocking death in August 2013, two east-side murals went up in his honor. Chico's may be a bit ironic: Funnyman Williams isn't smiling, but we're supposed to be.
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Photo via @2mac8.
Who: Derek Jeter
Where: Yankee Stadium; outside Stan's Sports Bar, 836 River Avenue (at East 158th Street).
Art By: Lexi Bella

"Business isn't always about economic gain, but adding something to the community," Stan's Sports Bar owner Mike Rendino told the Daily News before this Derek Jeter mural went up. We doubt Yankees fans are soon to forget the legendary shortstop's characteristic grin, but this portrait can't hurt.
14 of 16
Photo via @cruz_chronicles.
Who: The Beastie Boys
Where: Lower East Side; near the corner of Ludlow and Rivington streets.
Art By: Danielle Mastrion

Danielle Mastrion decided to paint this mural outside the now-shuttered Paul's Boutique after the death of Beastie Boy and Brooklyn Heights native Adam "MCA" Yauch. "As I was painting it, [Beastie Boy] Mike D walked by! I was literally working on his face," Mastrion told The Village Voice.
15 of 16
Photo via @streetartnyc.
Who: John Lennon
Where: East Harlem; near the corner of 105th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Art By: Manny Vega

A blue mosaic of John Lennon — in a cab-colored tank top — is just one of the figures who appear in Manny Vega's Harlem creation "Espiritu." "The purpose of my art is to create a place for all people to recognize themselves as members of a global community," Vega writes in an artist's statement Lennon would certainly have supported.
16 of 16
Photo via @untappedcities.
Who: Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth
Where: Yankee Stadium; outside Stan's Sports Bar, 836 River Avenue (at East 158th Street).
Art By: Lexi Bella (Gehrig) and Danielle Mastrion (Ruth).

Teammates painting teammates — we love that artists Bella and Mastrion worked together to enshrine these baseball Hall of Famers. "The Yankees are so iconic. They're such an important source of [New York] pride," Bella said.
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