Last Saturday Jeana and I were in London visiting our daughter. We decided to join a free street art and graffiti tour (we ALWAYS do free tours because we think, rightly or wrongly the guide has to perform well to get their fee- in our experience they always do).
This was no exception, indeed it was at the top end of the scale. Of course, you have to have an interest in street art to start with. I do.
We met at the excellent Exmouth Coffee Company in Whitechapel High Street where we enjoyed a discount.
Our tour guide was Gregory, an accomplished graffiti artist himself, and it was obvious from the off that he knew what he was talking out with very clear explanations of the art of ‘the tag’, the difference between street art and graffiti, the lengths artists have to go to (tagging) to gain a reputation and respect from their peers and then a brilliant tour of tucked away gems in the streets of Tower Hamlets (Brick Lane, Shoreditch and the likes).
It’s a cracking two hours with some real highlights.
Take this beautiful commissioned piece, which began our tour, by comic artist Phlegm who’s based in Sheffield. It beautifully follows the counters of the wall in which it is painted.
Gregory told us about the fact that tagging over art like this is called ‘Fame bombing’.
Next up was this tribute to the film ‘Up’ by Fanakapan who specialises in ‘helium’ art.
We visited the incredible Nomadic Community Garden, near to Shoreditch train station just off Brick Lane with its legal street art and graffiti wall where we saw the brand new work of PAD.
In the garden we saw some great stuff…
The Nomadic Community Garden’s feature wall is the highlight, and is ever changing.
Random stuff in Brick Lane.
This concrete sculpture by Portuguese artist Vhils is incredible. He actually carves INTO the concrete to create 3D images that are stunning.
A cheeky wee Banksy.
This technique is called ‘Pissing’: water bottles are filled with paint and you squeeze them betweeen your legs: it makes for an easy way to paint at height.
Here we are on our tour beside this great piece by Ben Eine which sticks a finger up to the Shoreditch property developers whose office overlooks this piece (Extortionists).
Look at how this piece by Long Island spray paint artist BK Foxx uses the jagged bricks of the building to create the hat. Amazing.
And this Heron/crane by renowned artist Roa is just beautiful.
And my old mate Clet Abraham is hard at work on London’s street signs.
We finished the tour at King John Court and New Inn Road at the HQ of Colt where the biggest street art mural in Britain has recently been completed by 16 artists.
And this piece by Nomad Clan.
I spotted a few more beauties after the tour was over.