London is an El Dorado for art lovers. It features over 250 museums and more than 40 million enthusiasts visiting them annually. However, the most popular exhibition is the most underrated – the street.
This city is somewhat of a magnet, drawing artists from all around the globe to the English capital. It has been turned into an international open air art gallery for ceative adults. Street artists such as Invader, a French artist who puts up tiny tiled mosaics of space invaders in cities around the world, is just one example of the diverse street art scene in London.
East London especially has seen the flowering of street art. The population is young, dynamic and imaginative and therefore a real audience. The legacy of Shoreditch’s fragile low buildings opens up as a perfect environment, in which artists can work without difficulty. With its old ramshackle warehouses, East London provides a canvas upon which street artists can display their work and increase their commercial value. Beyond that, East London’s vicinity to the global financial centre enables an economic source of support for the artists and designers. In spite of this, many street artists not only create their pieces for self-display and money, but for the people because for some it is a part of a philosophy that art should be accessible and free.
Street art is everything, but timeless. A painting can last up to 30 years, but it can also be destroyed or painted over at any minute. It is frail and forever temporary. Furthermore the combination of various pieces of art is random and unpredictable whether its content or location, which means that each day, presents new and unique combinations of work within the streets. So the best way to discover London’s variety of street art is by going for a walk. And one of the best walks is organised by streetartlondon.co.uk.
Street Art London Tour Review:
I enjoy walking around London, but this tour shed a new light on the city’s streets. The two-hour walking tour cost 10 pounds and covered areas such as Shoreditch, Spitalfields and Hackney. We met at Old Street tube station and started our tour at 10 am. The tour guide, Griff, was very experienced and had a broad knowledge of all artists. He explained everything in detail and made us understand what street art is and how the scene works. The tour comprised artwork of more than 40 various artists, including Invader, C215, Ben Eine, Roa, Phlegm, Pablo Delgado and of course Banksy. However, since Banksy is at war with King Robbo and other artists, a lot of his work has been painted over so I did not see many of his pieces. I would never have discovered these paintings, paste-ups and graffitis without doing this tour. I totally recommend the walk to everyone, but especially for Londoners. It is a very good way to spend your spare time and I can say that I will never look at streets in quite the same way again.
Book your ticket: streetartlondon
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Story, pictures and review by Steven Hornik