UP Magazine's 10 Most Read Articles Of 2023

Written by UP Mag Staff

It’s always interesting, to look back on the year and see which stories are the most read. Rarely is there a clear-cut pattern, or rhyme & reason to what makes the cut. For us as editors though, that’s part of the excitement – seeing which stories gained the most traction. This year we featured our most diversified set of stories, with more international coverage, and so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised to see pieces from the Phillipines, Berlin, Bristol and London on this list. Not to mention, more think pieces and event coverage as well! That being said, scroll through to see our most read stories of 2023!

We’ve published a lot of great pieces this year, but some stood out to our readers. Listed in order of views, here are UP Magazine’s 10 most-read articles of 2023!

UP Published 207 Stories in 2023

Rankings are based on page-views and internal analytics. 

10. Beyond the Streets London: 40 Years of Mode 2

Written By Melissa Chemam // Published March 16th, 2023

Melissa Chemam speaks to elusive and charismatic graffiti writer Mode 2, whose work spans from the violence of colonialism to the joy of overthrowing it. Melissa caught his work at the Beyond the Streets show at Saatchi in London, and you can too up until May 9.



9. Two Sides of Paul Richard

Written By J. Scott Orr & Photography Daryl Ann-Saunders // Published January 9th, 2023

Paul Richard, the artist New Yorkers love for his sidewalk drip-paintings, brings his fine-art portraiture and other works to the new Street Art Suite on the 44th floor of Soho’s Dominick Hotel.


8. Venazir Martinez, Baguio City’s ‘Anthro – preneur’

Written By Emma Riva // Published February 6th, 2023

Meet Venazir Martinez, a street artist creating beauty, depth, and advocacy on the walls of Baguio City in the Cordillera region of the Philippines. Martinez’s mission is to highlight indigenous communities in the Philippines and make viewers ask: What does it mean to be Filipino?


7. Wide Open Walls: 2023

Written By Vittoria Benzine // Published June 5th, 2022

Wide Open Walls mural festival is returning with a new approach for their eighth consecutive edition. After painting California’s capitol city with 200 murals, they’re further enriching Sacramento’s landscape by enlivening local schools with artworks. In 2023 alone, Wide Open Walls has painted eight schools, sometimes near entirely, inside and outside alike, depending on each building’s architecture. Their latest work at Rosa Parks Elementary concluded May 22.


6. Diamonds in the Rough – Dirty Jewels Berlin

Written By Andi Schmitz // Published October 23rd, 2023

The creative forces behind Dirty Jewels Berlin share their journey from fragment to fashion and their labor intensive process of upcycling graffiti walls into jewelry.


5. The Weird and Wonderful World of Gus Fink

Written By Emma Riva // Published February 27th, 2023

Artist and filmmaker Gus Fink’s stylistic mixture of the creepy and the cute doesn’t bring to mind meditation and mindfulness at first. Frequent figures in his paintings are Tim Burton characters, hollow-eyed skeletons, and Alice in Wonderland-esque cartoon interpretations of horror movie icons. But if you look closer, the way that Fink balances the kitsch of childhood with the macabre and the gothic requires an artist with his own sense of inner balance.


4. Keeping the Faith: Artist Kollier Din-Bangura Explores Adversity, Hope, Humanity

Written By Written by Elizabeth Blosfield & Photos by Ethan Mast // Published July 13th, 2023

Kollier Din-Bangura stood frozen under the African sun at the corner of Sani Abacha Street in Freetown, Sierra Leone, for more than two hours. It was October 2020, just seven months after global COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns had begun. Dressed in all black, hands extended, and forearms drenched in sweat, he appeared to onlookers to be praying, or meditating, or simply a neighborhood character. Read about the artist’s story of performance and perseverance.


3. Bristol Street Art History: Forty Years of Graffiti Arts – Where It All Began

Written By Melissa Chemam // Published May 23rd, 2023

As the Saatchi Gallery in London celebrates four decade of Graffiti history, Melissa Chemam retraces the history of the artists who emerged from Bristol, in this three-part series.


2. ZoGa: A Love in Color

Written By T.K. Mills // Published November 27th, 2023

Medha Gandhi, co-host of Z100’s ‘Elvis Duran and The Morning Show,’ and her boyfriend Brandon Zornes, who collectively paint under the moniker ZoGa, transitioned from a long-distance relationship to living together under lockdown during the pandemic. What started as a creative outlet during quarantine evolved into an artistic journey, and now, they are set to showcase their artworks in their first exhibition “A Night in Color” at Inked Tattoo & Art Gallery on November 30th.

1. The Racialization of Beauty and Whitewashing in Anime

Written By Chun Park // Published January 12th, 2023

“Is it just me, or has anyone else also thought that the Japanese anime characters don’t look very Asian?” Chun Park examines the uncomfortable truths around how anime, a global art market, doesn’t actually depict its audiences in its continent of origin.


Happy new year, and thank you for supporting UP!

— T.K. Mills, Emma Riva, and the UP Mag Staff