Genius Street Art: Tom Bob’s Uncanny And Transformative Talent

Ashley - May 24, 2023
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Unicorn PEZ Dispenser

We’re not quite sure what the inspiration behind this particular piece was or even what the unicorn was painted on, but we do know it’s an adorable blast from the past. Who remembers the craze of PEZ dispensers in the 1990s? Everyone in elementary school had one, and you were the bomb if you had a solid collection of them. The unicorn painted here gives this area a nice pop of color and is guaranteed to bring a smile to the residents of this area.

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Sprinkled Donut, Anyone?

Let’s set the stage for you. It’s a beautiful day in New York. You’re walking through a park, chatting with a friend, when you come across a giant sprinkled donut on the ground! It’s the perfect spot to stop and admire the artistry, take some pictures, and post them on social media. Tom Bob used this donut to cover up an ugly foundation for an old piece of equipment that had been removed from the park. We think his donut addition was exactly what this park needed!

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Aim For The Spider

Public parks are known for their basketball courts. Children and adults spend ours at these courts; shooting hoops, shooting the breeze, and just generally having a great time. But the basketball hoops often fall victim to sun bleaching and other weather-related wear and tear, so they tend to look pretty dull and unexciting after a while. Tom Bob managed to bring this basketball hoop back to life by painting an adorable spider on it! You just aim for the spider the next time you go to play. It definitely makes this space feel more exciting and almost gives it an arcade-like feel.

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A Giant Toaster

This one is guaranteed to draw a laugh out of even the most serious person. How else can you possibly react when you’re walking down the street and come across a machine that’s been painted to look like a giant toaster? This must have been one of Bob’s simpler pieces since he only really needed to paint the cord and the slots on top, but it certainly delivers just as much impact as his most intricate pieces.

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Frying Eggs On The Sidewalk

We’ve all heard of people frying eggs on the sidewalk during a heatwave. In fact, this practice became something of an internet sensation during recent heatwaves in Arizona over the last few years. The temperatures in New York wouldn’t heat up the concrete enough to actually fry an egg, but that’s no reason to lose out on the fun! Tom Bob masterfully transformed this sewer cover into a frying pan with a couple of eggs cooking, and the result is stunning! Now New York can be part of the trend too.

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All We Need Is Love

One of the most common themes in Tom Bob’s work is adorable creatures spreading joy. The happy caterpillar we saw earlier in this list is just one example, and here’s another one for you to enjoy. These two pipes have been transformed into adorable cartoon snakes. The snakes are clearly happy to have each other, and you can tell by the way they stare lovingly into each other’s eyes. The little hearts painted above their heads really seal the deal and will make every passersby’s heart warm.

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Delicious French Fries

What do you do with an old parking lot that has these little parking bumpers strewn all out of order? Most people would just shake their heads at the eyesore and move on with their day, but not Tom Bob! Our favorite New York street artist knew he could create something fun and hilarious out of this mess, and he didn’t disappoint. We present you with French Fry Girl. She’s a girl who loves eating french fries! Good thing there are plenty of those French fry-looking parking bumpers around for her to munch on.

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Water Buddies

Many people enjoy walking along the harbor. It’s a great opportunity to get some fresh air, enjoy the view of the water, and potentially see some marine life. You’re probably expecting to see some fish or seagulls while strolling along the dock, but Tom Bob decided to spice things up here by painting a couple of octopuses! Not only does this give the harbor an excellent pop of color and creativity, but it’s also created an excellent photo-op opportunity!

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Photo Op With Your Favorite Character

You wouldn’t expect to find Bart Simpson in the streets of New York since the famous cartoon supposedly took place in Springfield, Oregon, but Tom Bob figured there was no reason he couldn’t just drop in! The artist masterfully completely altered the scope of this wall by painting Bart Simpson dropping in with a parachute over a common urban eyesore. The look on Bart’s face really seals the deal for this piece. Make sure you go get your picture taken with him the next time you visit New York!

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Wear Your N95

Our society couldn’t fully escape the pandemic, even through outlets like art. The pandemic affected our favorite television shows, upcoming movies, and even street art. Tom Bob must have wanted to paint a permanent reminder of what their city went through and the essential heroes who kept things running even when the majority of the world shut down. This painting of a nurse wearing an N95 mask is a reminder of what we went through, and a reminder that things are slowly returning to normal!

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Don’t Pet The Flamingo

This is a painting Tom Bob did in the quiet streets of Massachusetts. We love that his art has spread past New York, especially when he does gorgeous paintings like this! Tom turned this electric box into a beautiful pink flamingo, which you would obviously never see just wandering the streets of Massachusetts. It’s adorable, and we couldn’t blame you if you were tempted to pet it. You probably shouldn’t pet this flamingo since it’s technically still an electrical box underneath!

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The Holder Of The Hoses

Ever heard of an octopus-looking pirate that likes to hold hoses? Well, you have now! Anyone who comes across art like this from Tom Bob must wonder what inspired his fantastical creations. This piece is truly mind-boggling because most people would agree they’ve never seen anything like it! What an amazing way to alter this space and bring a little fun to the gloomy industrial area.

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He’s Nuts For Nuts

Squirrels are the perfect choice for adorable cartoon characters, especially when you’re working with a tree! Somehow, this tree grew around a large slab of concrete, leaving an ugly core. Rather than leave the tree looking sad and unnatural, Tom Bob took the opportunity to give it a little extra personality. He painted a squirrel happily munching on an acorn to cover the concrete. Honestly, we can’t imagine a better cover-up!

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A Busy Bee

Tom Bob is certainly a busy bee with all the paintings he’s done around New York, California, and Massachusetts. It’s impressive to see how far his art has spread and the impact it’s had on the residents of each town. Perhaps Tom was thinking of his own journey when he painted this busy bee, or maybe he was inspired by the gorgeous flowers. Either way, we think this bee was placed in the perfect spot, and he certainly appears to be happy among all those flowers!

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Want Some Watches?

Who remembers seeing guys like this in movies and tv shows? It was common to come across men in New York who sold things right out of their coat pockets, and watches were a particularly popular market. Of course, people rarely sell things this way anymore. The internet has largely taken over for reselling items, and people usually just put up booths on the side of streets now. Still, this painting is an interesting glimpse into the history of the streets of New York City, giving us just the right jolt of nostalgia!

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A Giant Walkman

Speaking of nostalgia, check out this painting of a giant Walkman! These devices were hugely popular during the late 80s-90s. The Walman was the first reliable device that allowed you to listen to music while on the go, and it set the stage for the rise of mp3 players and iPods. We have to love Tom Bob’s nod to the past in this painting, especially since the girl looks so happy while listening to her tunes. It’s exactly how many people felt while listening to their Walkmans, which makes this art piece extra relatable.

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A Construction Jack-O’-Lantern

Those who have spent a lot of time in New York know the construction is never-ending. As soon as one pothole is fixed, five more pop up in its place. All of that construction means the city is constantly overrun with awkward construction barriers. These barriers don’t add much pizazz to the city, but Tom Bob easily remedied that by turning this barrier into a spooky Jack-O’-Lantern! It looks impressive and it will definitely get the attention of any drivers or pedestrians trying to move past.

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Lightsaber Fight

Whether you’re a fan of the famous Star Wars series or not, you’ll appreciate this cute painting. The light bars in this parking garage were looking a little lonely, so Tom Bob came along and gave them a whole new lease on life. He painted two of the most popular characters from the Star Wars series, and it looks like they’re engaged in quite a battle! Kids will love admiring this piece, and it warms our middle-aged hearts too!

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Light The Way

Tom Bob is a creative genius, and we seriously think every residential building needs to paint something like this! It’s important to have some outdoor lighting on the outside of an apartment building where people are coming and going at all hours, and Tom has found a way to make the light fixture look cozy and welcoming. Whenever the residents of this building come home late at night, they’ll see their way lit up by a helpful, smiling lightning bug. We love it!

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Pufferfish

New York City is the focal point of urban landscapes throughout the United States, and this concrete jungle is full of abandoned metal pieces and structures that have fallen into disrepair. These pieces of metal tend to rust and degrade over time, giving the city an almost neglected appearance. Tom Bob is a master at finding these pieces and converting them into stunning pieces of art. This old metal plate was transformed into a pufferfish, and the rust on the plate even resembles the brown dots on these iconic poisonous fish.

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Up For A Game Of Pool?

These old metal containers aren’t doing anything except slowly degrading on the side of the street. Rather than leave these eyesores to continue to rot, Tom Bob stepped in and proved that anything can look awesome again with a little creativity. He turned the face of these containers into pool balls, which instantly lit up the space. Perhaps he’ll turn the surrounding containers into bowling pins?

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The Big Apple

Everyone wants to try a bite of “The Big Apple.” This nickname has been around since the 1920s, and it became heavily popularized during the 70s, thanks to the New York tourist agencies. The city wouldn’t be complete without Tom Bob’s stamp of approval on its official nickname, which is why New Yorkers will instantly love this piece. Not only did the artist paint an adorable worm eating an apple on the face of an otherwise drab building, but he also painted it right underneath the window of a mom-and-pop shop. Those shops have been the backbone of NYC for a century, and it’s a wonderful nod to the community.

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Rollercoaster Ride

Most of Tom Bob’s art has focused on transforming the sides of buildings or objects around the city, but he stepped away from that with this fascinating piece. Every day, when the sun shines down against this fence just right, you’ll experience the full perspective of this art. He painted little shadow people sitting in cars as if they were going for a rollercoaster ride along the side of the fence. It’s a very cool piece and an interesting step away from his typical work.

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The Escape Artist

What was once a dull corrugated fence has been transformed into a conversation piece. Anyone who glances at this fence while passing by will feel compelled to stop at stare, partially because it’s such a great work of art but also because it raises so many questions. Who is this escaping convict? Will he survive the frigid waters? Perhaps only Tom Bob knows the answer to these questions, but we love experiencing such evocative art!

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A Pair Of Turtles

Here’s another example of Tom Bob’s unique ability to see unused metal pieces in the ground and envision something beautiful. These plates were transformed into adorable turtles crawling along the street. You probably won’t see real turtles wandering down the sidewalks in NYC, but this is a great alternative! Can you imagine walking down the street and seeing these cute little friends in your path? It’d be enough to put a smile on almost anyone’s face.

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Exhausted Traffic Cone

The temperatures in NYC may not get high enough to literally fry eggs on the sidewalk, but it certainly gets hot enough to cause traffic cones to collapse like this! This is a fairly normal scene in the hot NYC summers since construction is a never-ending project around the city. These traffic cones often get left behind until they’re needed for the next project, but Tom Bob decided to do something special with one of the abandoned orange cones. He painted an exhausted face with large sweatdrops running down its forehead. Everyone passing by can empathize with that cone!

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Find Your Way

Another abandoned metal grate has met Tom Bob’s impressive creativity in this photo. The grate looks pretty grimy and unkempt sitting in the middle of the road like that, so Tom Bob made a piece that covers up the eyesore and helps people find their way around! This compass looks fabulous, and the hands are pointing in the right direction. If any tourists get lost while wandering down this road, they can always look at Bob’s compass to help them find their way.

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The Cutest Frog

Some of Tom Bob’s work around the city is more simple than others, but it still packs a powerful punch! While painting this cute frog may not seem as wild as some of the other transformative pieces on this list, it’s still an impressive display of creativity and talent. The frog’s eyes easily cover the little circles in the building, and it even looks as though the frog is sitting on a tree stump. We love this happy cartoon frog and the positivity he’s spreading.

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Revitalized Drain

Drains are there to serve a purpose, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look shiny and cool while they’re hard at work! When most of us look at a drain cover like the one in this picture, we don’t think twice about what we see. But Tom Bob’s mind works in different ways, which is what allows him to see beyond the physical objects in front of him and imagine what they could be. He transformed this drain cover into a shiny new screw, which looks great!

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A Favorite Childhood Activity

How many of us remember spending hours outside every day playing with friends? Most kids love engaging in a few rounds of jump rope with their friends! Tom Bob turned this average bicycle parking space into a nostalgic art piece showing a few young kids playing jump rope. Not only does the art piece look great (just like all his pieces!), but it also triggers that comfortable feeling that takes us back to childhood.

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Let’s Go Snorkeling

You can’t help but feel inspired by the way Tom Bob manages to transform dull, everyday objects into something creative. He reimagined this drain pipe into a snorkel and painted an adorable kid going on a snorkeling adventure. We love the tube he painted around the child because it’s very reminiscent of the types of tubes you’d see in the early 90s. There’s that nostalgia hitting us again!

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Follow The Caterpillar

Several of Tom Bob’s pieces around the city feature cute little caterpillars, but this has to be one of our favorites. He used the light piece as the inspiration for this artwork, turning the lights into the eyes of the caterpillar. He even incorporated the light’s wiring as one of the caterpillar’s antennae! When you need to find your way through this building, just follow the glowing eyes of the caterpillar. That actually sounds a little creepy, but it looks awesome!

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Captain America

Out of all the major cities in the United States, NYC seems like the perfect place to find Captain America. This Marvel Avenger is known for his strong moral values and his dedication to protecting the innocent. NYC can be a dangerous place, but when you have Captain America watching your back, you know everything’s going to be okay. We love the creativity displayed in this piece and the message it sends to the community.

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Have A Chocolate Bar

We’re going to round out this list with another example of Tom Bob’s unique creativity and connection to his community. He found an oddly textured piece of this building and painted an image of a young boy enjoying a nice chocolate bar! Not only did he transform the building of yet another mom-and-pop shop, but he also gave that business a significant boost. Can you imagine how many more people must stop and go in after admiring this piece of art? Tom Bob is helping residents of this community through his art in a variety of different ways and we’re here for it!

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