London is one of the best known cities for street art, attracting artists from all over the world. The London Street Art scene is as wide ranging as it is diverse. You’ll find it on the walls of shopping centres, on bridges, and even on the shutters covering shop fronts overnight. You will of course have seen a Banksy in a London painting or photograph of London at least once. You can find memorials, portraits, tags, and what appears to be simple graffiti, which actually hides a deeper political message. Urban art has become an integral part of London’s character. Artsper has brought together the best places in London to see Street Art, hidden in back streets or out in the open in vibrant, sprawling neighbourhoods.
1. Touring the Brixton murals
The street art scene in Brixton is growing rapidly as street festivals become more common amidst the brightly colored murals. You don’t have to walk far from Brixton station before you can find works from the likes of Louis Masai, Jimmy C, Sweet Toof, and many more. Be sure to also check out the Stockwell Hall of Fame, an old sports field which is now one of the premier spots to (legally) paint in the city. Last but not least, Brixton is also home to the famous walls of the Duke of Edinburgh pub and the Brixton Jamm.
2. Heading to Hackney Wick
East London boasts one of the biggest collections of street art in the world – some commissioned, some not – and Hackney Wick is a key part of this region. It’s a bustling, up and coming area, housing industry and flocks of creatives alike, with numerous warehouses. It has been thoroughly invaded by art, with work from artists like Thierry Noir and the emblematic Stick decorating abandoned buildings all the way along the canal in the Olympic district. You should also look out for Old Ford Lock, Bream Street on Fish Island, the towpath around the Hertford Union lock, and the Crate Brewery area.
3. Stopping to look at Dan Kitchener and Cranio’s work in Camden
Camden is one of London’s best known tourist areas, with a cool reputation and Street Art on almost every corner. That said, thanks to ongoing renovations and redevelopment, much of its distinctive urban art is now under threat. To be sure to find some, get to Chalk Farm and Mornington Crescent tube stops. Between Hawley Mews and Hartland Road you can find Dan Kitchener’s A Rainy Night in Tokyo, Amara pauvre Dios, Gnasher Murals, Irony, Cranio, Señor X, Vanesa Longchamp, Nomad Clan, and Captain Kris.
4. Taking a detour to look at the walls of Shoreditch
A buzzing, dynamic district, Shoreditch is the perfect place to search for Street Art in London. You’ll find the Shoreditch Art Wall on Great Eastern Street, and on Holywell Lane the Village Underground boasts an ever changing mural. If you’re on the hunt for big names, you can’t miss Rivinton Street. There you’ll find graffiti paintings by Banksy, but also Ben Eine, Stinkfish, Craino and Rolla. Finally, head to Redchurch Street to check out Jim Vision, Nathan Bowen, Shepard Fairey, Mr Cenz and Aylo.
5. Walking to Brick Lane to see the graffiti
Brick Lane is the epicentre of Street Art in London, nestled between Whitechapel in the north and Bethnal Green and Shoreditch to the south. Head straight to Commercial Street, where Toynbee Hall has just added a stunning new graffiti portrait, with hair that blends into the real ivy covering the building. Next, get yourself to Hanbury Street, where you can find the famous Big Rower. Finally, don’t miss works by Bicileta Semfrayo, as well as D*Face’s car and another piece by Banksy, all at Corbet Place.
6. Our last stop – the Leake street tunnel
This 300m long tunnel under Waterloo Station is completely covered in some of the best Street Art around. It was made famous by Banksy during his Festival of Cans, and since then has become a legal site for Street Art. Styles blend together effortlessly on the curved walls, and many artists go there to practice and refine their style, so it’s almost certain that you’ll catch an artist at work. Its worth going more than once if you can, because you’re bound to see new pieces whenever you go back.