STREET ART IN LONDON: HOT SPOTS AND NEW ARTISTS

Graffiti depicting graffiti removal by Banksy. Created in May 2008 at Leake Street in London, painted over by August 2008.

London has always had an exciting and active street art scene. Whether it’s graffiti, painting or even art installations, this city is undoubtedly full of talent.

Anonymous artist and legend Banksy ruled the streets in the UK for many years, making vibrant, thoughtful and provoking pieces all over the place. He became the most popular, yet most mysterious and controversial street artist with works like the one that shows two policemen kissing, or the chequebook vandalism, etc.

Stik's creations are based on simple shapes but normally express complex body language and emotions

And although Banksy is still working on his art around the world, in the last few years we’ve seen a new generation of talented artists emerging in the UK like Eine, Stik, Alice, Roa, The Toasters, just to number a few.

Eine is known for his spray-painted typographical letters, which can be seen across East London. He’s not exactly a secretive artist anymore, having exposed his work in

Art installation, "Traffic Light Tree," by Pierre Vivant, in London's Canary Wharf. (Credit: Image courtesy of ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

many galleries over the years and participated in many projects.

Stik has been creating Stik people around London for more than ten years, particularly around the areas of Shoreditch. You’ll find his supersize graffitis mainly on walls and shop shutters.

Apart from graffiti, art installations are pretty much everywhere in London. There is the 4th Plinth boat on Trafalgar Square, the Traffic Light Tree (pictured bottom left) and the art installations around Old Spitafields Market.

As for hot spots, the East End is still prominent in the urban art scene. The Leake Street Tunnel is now considered one of the biggest and the best legal graffiti spot in London. Since 2008, any graffiter is welcome to paint anything they want and enjoy themselves. Old Street, Shoreditch, Brick Lane remain equally popular, so if you go for a walk in any of those areas you don’t have to seek any further to spot some wicked works.

And remember, street art is constantly changing, which means there is no guarantee these artworks will be on display for long! Go to Street Art London and UK Street Art for more information.

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About Madalena Araujo

Journalism Graduate from Portugal currently studying at the London School of Economics. Interested in international affairs and life in general.
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