A close friend of mine is a London Blue badge guide and that means all kinds of perks – like free personal tours around all the best London museums like the British Museum and the National Gallery… or a street art tour of Shoreditch!
I joined the Street Art walk with London Walks, my friend Alex taking the role as guide. The walk meets every Sunday at 1.45pm at Liverpool Street station and you can join for £10 per person (kids free, concessions £8). We set off and the first spot we visited was the Ben Eine wall shown above, on Petticoat Lane market.
Alex is a great guide and took us from Petticoat Lane into Shoreditch proper to explore all the varied street artists on show. This tour is a constant learning adventure for the guides – the art changes week on week as people paint over things.
This bird sticker added to the road sign is by Clet Abrahams – a French artist living in Italy. He adapts all sorts of street signs by using stickers (as it’s highly illegal he needs to be quick!).
This vomiting rainbow – you might have seen it on my Instagram account recently – is by Ronzo.
This sunset image is by Otto Schade – he is also famous for images drawn using ribbons, you’ll definitely see more of his work around Shoreditch and Camden.
The artist for this painting is Connor Harrington – his niche is historical figures.
As Alex is a proper Blue Badge London tour guide she also showed us some of the significant buildings on the way – including this church – Christ Church at Spitalfields – even this is getting hipster-fied!
Around the corner in an area that used to house Huguenots you find this Paul Don Smith tribute. He does memorial pictures of people who have died and is called the gentleman artist – he normally signs his work and adds the man with the hat and tap/rotor blades as his signature. This one is quite a large signature! Quite frequently his work is done as ‘throw ups’ – meaning it is produced on paper and then pasted up quickly when no one is looking.
All around in Shoreditch you can spot different types of street art – if you look closely above you can see the sausage banana by HNRX, the queen in a baseball hat with Endless written on it (that’s the artist) and a face in relief by Gregos, a French artist.
Remember to look down too! This marking looked like a normal sign at first glance – but then we saw the car being thrown away. There was a whole series along the side of the street where people obviously parked. I like how street art is basically a commentary on things around you and things that impact the artist.
Look beyong the orange buffalo stand at the Truman brewery – can you see the black and white space invader and Andre the giants face in the cream and black picture? Shepard Fairey is the artist for Andre the Giant, he is US based and also did the Obama Hope poster.
Another space invader on a smaller scale – Invader is the appropriately named artist! He is a French mosaics artist and ‘invades’ different cities with his art work of space invaders. If you look on his website you can see which cities have been ‘invaded’ – have you spotted any? The lower piece is by Cityzen Kane – more on him later…
Jonesy is the artist that makes these brass figurines at the top of poles all around the Shoreditch area, remember to look up to spot more unusual things…
This picture captures three different pieces – the pink car is a Banksy (hence why its in a plastic box!), the bow and arrow is a piece that was put up for the Olympics and the white car with the green winged Drone Dog on top was done by the artist Deface.
This portrait is by Dale Grimshaw – he does fine art pieces inspired by minorities, this one represents the people of Papua New Guinea.
The swan on the far wall is by Rower – he paints animals that are native to the country that he is painting in.
This one is pretty spectular – Martin Ron uses buildings to be the structure for his art work. This one shows a Queen’s guard and apparently in the street lights after dark the shadows look super realistic!
This street scene in the rain is by Dan Kitchen – you can see examples of his work all around London (for example in Camden!) Look closely – can you see the Gregos faces?! He makes impressions from his own face with 6 different expressions and scales them down. It’s cool as his work always stays up when people paint over other’s work.
The lighting wasn’t in the best place for a photo to do justice to this piece – the balloon fish and sharks are hyper realistic. This was done by Louis Masai.
This piece isn’t by Robbo – it’s a tribute to him. Alex did a great job taking us through the history of Robbo as one of the first ‘big’ street artists and his feud with Banksy. I’d highly recommend you watch the documentary Graffiti Wars for more information.
Cityzen Kane uses polymer clay to make his pieces. He never starts with a preconceived idea of what is going to make when he starts – but all his pieces are symmetrical. This black and red one was very striking, even with the tags over the top – this piece was dedicated to his late son and is very intricate.
Our final stop on the tour – there was a Banksy in this yard too, but I liked the sentiment of this one!
And finally on my way back home I spotted an another Gregos and couldn’t resist a selfie!
There is sooo much more than I’ve included in this post – check out my Instagram @whatskatiedoing for more pictures and let me know what you’ve spotted. Remember to look up and down!
Don’t forget London Walks do all sorts of different walks around London. If you prefer a personalised or private tour then Alex can cater for that too – check out her website http://www.alexlacey.com/