Miami Ranks Only 15th in the World for Street Art

El Mac's mural on the Wynwood 25 building.
El Mac's mural on the Wynwood 25 building. Photo by Douglas Markowitz
Not even a pandemic could keep Miami street-art aficionados away from Wynwood's painted exterior walls. Come to this gentrifying arts district any day of the week — a Tuesday morning, even! — and you'll have to elbow your way past influencers, tourists, and earnest profile-photo-shooters for a slice of kaleidoscopic mural with which to take a selfie.

Now, none of that necessarily sounds like immediate grounds for a first-place ranking in the world street-art category. But the rigorous methodology of a recent analysis (shared with New Times via a press release) would seem like a shoo-in for the Magic City: "Each city’s hashtag was input into Instagram accompanied by ‘street art’ to find the city with the most hashtags to determine which city was the most Instagrammable. For example, #londonstreetart was used to determine the number of hashtags in London, United Kingdom."

Somehow Miami — a city famed the world over for our superficial gloss and duck-face Instagram selfies — ranked 15th in the world in hashtags of city names accompanied by the words 'street art.'

To anyone who (ahem) works in Wynwood and endures the gauntlet of street-art selfie-takers (SASTs) as they forage for lunch every single weekday, such a showing seems pathetic — and impossible.

How could there possibly be a single city in the world — much less the alleged 14 — with more people hashtagging its city's name and the words 'street art' on Instagram?!

And yet.

And yet reports that out of the 3 million Instagram posts analyzed, only 57,407 tagged #MiamiStreetArt.

#LondonStreetArt raked in more than half a million posts (515,883) to top the list, and #ParisStreetArt was not far behind, with 468,327.

Also finishing ahead of Miami: Melbourne, Berlin, Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal, Sydney, Toronto, New York, Bristol, Denver, Lisbon, and Amsterdam.

Lisbon, we can maybe swallow. But Denver?

The glass-half-full types might point out that 15 is pretty darn good for a burg that only became known for its street art during the past decade.

The glass-half-empty types, though, would wonder how smug we ought to feel, given the rate of superficiality and gentrification Miami residents have endured in exchange for 15th place.

We prefer to believe that our street-art hashtaggers misspelled #miamistreetart 450,000 times.
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Jess Swanson is the news editor at New Times. She graduated from the University of Miami and has a master's degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism.
Contact: Jess Swanson