Spotify turns to street artists' work to inspire its employees

Spotify hired local street artists to give the walls of its New York City offices a cutting-edge, local flare.

Spidey wall

Web programmer by day, Peter Parker at night: Kostas Seremetis created this 60-foot mural that deconstructs Spider-Man. It decorates Spotify's break room.

"The initial idea was to get the street flavor [of the city]. It's a way to give the office geographic relevance, but also have some fun with non-traditional art," said Merv Garretson, Spotify's design manager.

Artist at work

Seremetis is just one of several of New York's great street artists that Spotify hired to beautify the company's New York office.

Photo by Redboy via Instagram

The energy of rock

Spotify hopes the art inspires its employees, incite them to greater creativity, and even spend a few more hours at work improving Spotify.

Shown here: The ASVP collective's take on the Gorge Amphitheatre in Quincy, Washington.

Street art primer

A relatively recent phenomenon, street art is a close cousin to the decades-old underground urban arts of tagging and graffiti, though with a more pop-art twist.

For the street artist, the idea is to get your name and style out in front of the people. With enough (time and practice), an artist can get into the galleries, and in front of people willing to pay premium dollar for commissioned murals.

This is a collaborative piece by ChrisRWK, Herb Veng Smith, and ECB in Brooklyn.

The curator

Garretson hired Redboy (shown here), a photographer, DJ, and all-around man about town.

Since the early 1990s, Redboy has exhaustively documented the work of New York street artists. He assembled a dream team of local talent for the Spotify project.

(Like many street artists Redboy goes only by his nickname).

No confusion

Up and coming street artist ChrisRWK created 16 playful smaller pieces around the office. (RWK stands for "Robots Will Kill.")

Open door for art at Spotify

Spotify was cost-conscious with the project. Commissioning the artists didn't increase the company's overall budget for opening the office, though some money "had to be moved around," to make the project happen. Artists kept the copyright for their works.

This is ChrisRWK's Magneto.

Gaming inspiration

Old school street wheatpaste artist WK forged this 30-feet-by-15-feet piece -- for the company's game room -- from wood, paint, and wheat-pasted paper.

"In my humble opinion WK is truly one of New York City's classic street artists. He generally does massive (read as: entire city block) installations and rarely does commissions" said @Redboy, curator for the project to bring street art to Spotify's New York City office.

Artist at work

"So many offices get caught up in bad stock photography," said Spotify's Garretson, who oversaw the New York effort.

This photo shows ChrisRWK hard at work at Spotify.

Rock on...

Each of Spotify's 24 conference rooms is named after a famous U.S. music venue.

The ASVP collective did a wall for each conference room, each one drawing from that club's most iconic imagery.

In this one, meeting participants can look up and be swept back (if only momentarily) to the heady days of The Fillmore music venue in San Francisco.

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors