You probably don’t know about all the hundreds of different street artists that have worked in London, but I’m sure you’ve seen most of their works around. I’ve always been interested in the street art of London, but I have to say that in the past few years, I erally learned a lot about the different types of art works and all the artists that make ‘my’ city so incredibly unique.
Today, I’d like to show you my most favourite artists and of course I’m very curious which works speak to you the most!
There is a bit of a spoiler alert though… even though I like Banky’s work, there is not a lot of it around, because most works are immediately removed and sold a couple hours after him (her? they?) posted it. (no joke). So in this post, I’ve mostly focused on those artists that are a bit easier to see works from in the city. Although I cannot guarantee the works are still there where you get there, because street art just isn’t meant to stick around for ever. Walls keep changing and changing, and perhaps that is the beauty of it all…
While this list definitely isn’t from most to least favourite, Belgium artist Roa (read name unknown), is pretty high up there for me. This dude used to be interested in taxidermy as a kid and paints animals in all cities around the world. Very recognizable in his black-and-white and very detailed work. The animals are always typical to a city he is in, so in London… mostly foxes, hedgehogs, herrings and… well… rats.
This was meant to be a herring, but because of the local Bangladeshi people, he turned it into a crane (holy bird for them)
London = Rats. Sorry!
Ok, here’s another one of my toppers: Dale Grimshaw. Born in Lancashire, North-England, Dale had a difficult childhood and his art soon became very important to him. He is a schooled artists, which you can see by looking at the incredible works below. He’s been in many galleries. His work is strongly influenced by his humanitarian beliefs and he always has a political message in his work. In London, you’ll see many portraits of different Tribal people who are under treat in one way or another. I can only say: these photos don’t do the works justice at all, so go out and see it for yourself!
Mr Cenzone (Mr Cenz)
Although apparently, this artists isn’t regarded so high by other street artists in London (oh no! he earns a living from his work! such a shame!), I do love his works. Very sci-fi, amazing woman’s portraits. If only I could paint like that!
You probably know this French artists and you might have seen some of his ’tiles’ around, somewhere in the world. Although Invader is being copied a lot, in London, you can find quite a few originals by him. You might recognize the images from the retro (read: my childhood) game Space Invader. What I like isn’t so much the quality of his work (because… eh… tiles), but the fact that you have to look around a bit in the city in order to spot them somewhere high on a building. Just like a game!
James Cochran (Jimmy C)
This Australian artist can be found in East London a lot. Our guide thought this was her favourite artist, because he conveys emotion so well. I love his technique (what a lot of work!), especially from up close. A true contemporary impressionist! Jimmy gained fame with his work of David Bowie in Brixton, where people still bring flowers every day. I still have to go and visit, hopefully soon!
Ah, I can go on forever, but LOVE this one too! Otto draws these massive moons with black silhouettes in front of them (although our guide saw some kind of key hole in it, also possible). If you start to pay attention, you can find quite a few of these in the city. This artist comes from China and besides his talent with a spray can, he’s also an architect. He did shows around the world with his work and is also very famous for his works of animals wrapped in ribbons. Check his site, I’m sure you’ll recognize those!
Stik was probably one of the first artists that I started to recognize in London, because of his fun stick-men with brightly coloured backgrounds. It’s a British artist living in London and his works have -even though they are so simple- often a strong message.
apologies for the pee-nus
Super recognizable are the black-and-white works (mostly animals) of Thisone. I really couldn’t find much about this artist, but you can find him all over the place, so if you have more info, let me know!
French artist ZABOU (who lives in London) has quite a diverse range of works, but you can still recognize her style well. She always has a message that makes you think about our world, a bit of feminism in there as well. She uses a combination of stencils and painting by hand and always makes sure her works blend in with the surroundings. She once said she has a mission to cover as much of the city with her works as possible, so I’d say: bring it on!
This British artist I only discovered recently, during my Strawberry Street Art Tour in the East of London and I love this! He makes these X-ray works, which are so detailed! He makes everything with a spray can, so incredibly well done, no way I could ever make this.
More Famous Street Artists
Of course, I cannot mention everyone here, but here is a list of some other artists that you can spot in and around London:
Alice Pasquini (AliCè)
Alexandre Farto (Vhils)
Christian Guemy (C215)
Did I forget someone you love? Let me know!
This post is also available in: Dutch