When writing a recent post about my favourite street art around the world I realised I had never paid much attention to the magnificent work in my own city. I’d always seen it as a backdrop to other activities I was taking part in, like shopping or drinking!
This weekend I sought to rectify that mistake and booked a place on a The London Street Art Tour. The tour covers the ever changing artwork found along East London’s Brick Lane and the surrounding streets of Shoreditch.
Steph, my guide, was an American expat with a clear passion for the subject as well as impressive knowledge of the most prolific and talented artists in the area. She shared her knowledge over the course of an hour and half and the fee to take part was just £10 per person. Below are some of my favourite artworks along with a few interesting facts Steph taught me about them.
Spanish artist Borondo has been hard at work in the East End. We covered a few of his pieces on the tour including the man in stocks seen at the top with the word ‘cheese’ above his head. This piece stood out because it has been painted with house paint instead of spray paint, you can feel the texture on the wall. Borondo’s latest work is a giant mural called ‘Triade’ which was completed on a wall in Sclater Street just days ago. (Pictured below.)
Paul Don Smith uses stencil to portray his combinations of popular characters and classic art. I appreciated the way he used his own hashtag on the work so that all us sharing the picture on social media could credit him correctly! (Check out #PaulDonSmith on Instagram to see the impressive collection.)
It was great to see Melbourne street art being represented in London. I had admired Rone’s work back in Melbourne (he’s the man behind this lady in the sunglasses) and love this glamorous purple lady he’s painted on Hanbury Street too (see picture top right.)
Thailand was also represented in this piece below by Bangkok based artist Alex. The fire hose his characters are holding says ‘Made In Thailand’ – just to confirm!Other names I know to look out for now include Nathan Bowen, who paints the little militia/construction men in one smooth spray and Otto Schade who uses a lot of circle imagery. (See Mickey above and the boys with slingshots below.)
There were some names we all recognised too. Steph took us to see some early Banksy works in the garden of Cargo (drunk there many times and had no idea it was there) and we also spotted a few pieces by Shepard Fairey who the group know from his Obama Hope poster and I recognised from his work at Wynwood in Miami.
After the tour I went for a wander on my own and fell in love with two different shutters, many local businesses have begun commissioning street artists to decorate their properties. I also learned that T2, my favourite Aussie tea specialist, has just opened in Shoreditch – so all in all it paid off being in a tourist in my own city for a change.
Find out more about The London Street Art Tour. I discovered the company via Google and would highly recommend the experience.
Which is your favourite of the London street art featured above?