I think I won’t be exaggerating if I’d say London is the Capital City of Street Art in Europe. Probably everyone saw a piece of Banksy’s political and satirical street art, who started in Bristol, England and spread throughout the world in a short time.
Even though Banksy changed the world of street art and made it a recognised form of art, the hype around Banksy is strongly criticised by many street artists and street art lovers. I also found the shameless commercialising of Banksy in London rather a turn off.
No matter how you define him, a political activist or a street artist or a successful PR gag, one thing is for sure that he opened a door for street artists to combine their art with a revolutionary political activism which is reachable for everyone.
Some very good examples of this kind of street art by well known artists such as Banksy, ROA, Stik and many more can be found in Brick Lane – East London which became home to Bengali families who migrated to London during 20th century and since late 90s the area turned into a youngster – hipster area.
Here is a collection of the street art I’ve seen in the Bangladeshi neighbourhood in Brick Lane during my visit in London in November 2015.
I love these stick people. The stick figures by the artist Stik convey complex emotions despite their simple shapes. This piece shows the religious and racial tension we face in Europe lately.
Belgian artist ROA is known for his black and white paintings of animals which are native to the area being painted. This crane, obviously not native to England, is an homage to the Bangladeshi community living in Brick Lane – East London.
I’ve seen his art for the first time. First I recognised the Queen motives all around London and then recognised his signature “Endless”. His slogan is “possibilities are endless” and in social media he promotes with #brandwars.
His slogan is ”Τhe streets are the biggest gallery in the world, open 24/7 for everybody to see for free”.
Spanish arstist PEZ (it means fish in Spanish) started painting his smiling fish character in Barcelona and since then is spreading the good vibe all over the world.
Stinkfish is a Bogota based Colombian street artists who recreates photographs as street art murals. He believes that street art has no limits and gives any one the opportunity to participate.
Almost every sign in Brick Lane was a piece of art thanks to Clet Abraham, the French artist who messes around with road signs.
I decided to separate the street art I’ve seen in London’s East End – Shoreditch – Spitelfields areas into two posts as Brick Lane and Rivington Street for a better overview in case you want to take it with you as a map, when you visit London.
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