As ideas about graffiti begin to stray away from previously held prejudices, the city’s streets have become impromptu galleries for London street art. With artists like Banksy capturing the public imagination and challenging the limitations of street art at every turn in London, it’s no surprise that many stunning and meaningful pieces have popped up all over the city. Here’s where to find some of our favourites below.
🇬🇧 “Less cleaning, more street art” (And beer) • Work by @zabouartist • London, UK ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #wallart #instaartist #rsa_streetview #rsa_graffiti #royalsnappingartists #streetart #urban #urbanart #murals #murales #muralart #dsb_graff #dopeshotbro #grafflife #graffporn #graffitiwall #graffitiporn #graffitiigers #graffitiartist #tv_streetart #urbanartist #wallporn #streetartandgraffiti #zabouartist #bricklane #shoreditch #londonstreetart #streetartlondon ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
It’s impossible to wander down Brick Lane and not find something that catches your eye, as every available surface seems to be a site of artistic expression. A visit to Brick Lane is a look into the heart of the city’s thriving street art scene with famous artists such as ROA contributing to the urban gallery amidst the throng of vintage stores and cafés.
The Sacred Crane
ROA, a Belgian street artist known for his hyper-realistic black and white style, frequently leaves traces of his presence in the nooks and crannies of London. His towering forty foot tall crane can be found in Brick Lane on Hanbury Street, watching over the hipsters pounding the pavements. The piece started off life as a heron and then transitioned to a crane, a bird sacred to Bengali culture and some of the residents that live there.
While most of Banksy’s London works have been removed and sold or faded away, some of the artist’s earliest work can still be found. The mysterious artist’s illegal piece reclaims a wall with a sign declaring it a designated Graffiti Area, complete with what seems to be a security guard walking a poodle. It has since been covered with plexiglass to preserve it and is a great example of Banksy’s distinctive stencil work.
Never has a work of street art felt more relevant than today. This minimal piece depicts a man holding hands with someone wearing a niqab, a message of tolerance and inclusiveness amidst an increasingly divided world. Located on the door of a construction site on Princelet Street, it has been widely accepted as a permanent addition by the local Muslim community.
David Bowie Mural
When news broke that David Bowie had passed away, this mural by artist James Cochran was transformed into a place of mourning with fans leaving tribute messages and flowers at its base. Painted on the side of Morleys department store in Brixton, it continues to be a popular spot for street art enthusiasts to take photos of and is only just across the road from Brixton tube station.
William Shakespeare Mural
Painted by the same artist behind the David Bowie mural, Australian artist James Cochran created a mural of Britain’s most famous writer to celebrate his four hundredth birthday – William Shakespeare. Tucked beneath the railway tracks on Cannon Street, the psychedelic portrait is particularly poignant as it’s nearby the Rose Theatre and The Globe; two popular theatres that Shakespeare’s plays were famously performed in.
The Shapes Mural
East London is increasingly becoming a hub for the coolest cats in London and unsurprisingly, Thierry Noir’s Shapes mural can be found there too in Hackney Wick. Noir rose to prominence during the occupation of Berlin, when he used to paint the Berlin Wall in open defiance with his bright, bold characters. The Shapes mural is one of his biggest pieces in London with two musicians playing guitars in vibrant colours.
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