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

Ashley - May 24, 2023
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Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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.

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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!

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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!

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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.

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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?

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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.

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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.

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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!

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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.

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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!

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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.

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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.

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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!

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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.

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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!

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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!

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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.

Photo Credit: instagram.com/tombobnyc

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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