The walls of Shoreditch exhibit the best street art of London, known as one of the greatest open air galleries in the world.
Shoreditch has transformed from being one of the poorest areas in the United Kingdom to a vibrant, ever-changing district in the East End of London. Street art is the main responsible for it because its beauty attracts a huge amount of tourists which generates money for the local economy.
But what street art is? The first thing people tend to think about when they listen the word “street art” is graffiti. However, while graffiti is vandalism, street art is commissioned and artists paint during the daylight rather than at night.
Gregory Simpson, who has been giving tours in Shoreditch for four years along with documenting and painting, explains the main differences between street art and graffiti in the following video.
Although in the past street artists were judge for how often they were out painting walls, nowadays social media is a big part of street art as it is how artists get known worldwide. In the following video, Simpson illustrates the impact of Instagram on street art.
A street art tour with Gregory discovers some of the walls covered with great art:
Joes Kid, located in Fashion Street near Joe’s Kid Café, is one of the pointillist style portraits of James Cochran, known as Jimmy C in the street art community. The piece was painted entirely from dots and dashes of spray paint. In the picture, Joes embraces his three-year-old granddaughter before dying.
This piece took Dank 15 hours to paint. Dan Kitchener is an English urban artist who started painting geisha models around the streets of London four years ago. He has a solo show coming up on the first of April in London entitled “Queen Of Neon”.
This massive mural is from Phlegm, the most well known street artist of the United Kingdom. His work can be found all over the world but most of it is in the UK. Painting walls has become an addiction for him, as he tries to paint as many walls as possible in every country he travels. Phlegm doesn’t need a tag in her pieces because he is very famous and can be easily identified for his black and white cartoons.
Roa is known for his giant black and white animal street art. In this case the Belgian artist painted a huge hedgehog in Brick Lane. He also painted pigs and rats around London on many occasions.
To explore in depth many other pieces book your street art tour in this website.
National and international street artists are continually changing the way Shoreditch looks. Furia Ack pointed out that “the constant change of street art is one of the good things of it.” “It keeps on mutating, it’s not a permanent thing”, he emphasised.
Furia Ack is a Portuguese street artist based in London whose work is about political and social issues. The council has recently removed his last piece, an egged mural of Donald Trump. “It’s a political work and the council doesn’t like to take side on political issues”, he said.
The piece, painted on the 24th of January, provided the public with the opportunity to express their feelings by throwing eggs to Trump’s face. “Everyone showed their discontent toward his comments about foreigners, religious minorities and about London. I provided the tools for people to express this same discontent”, he explained.
When asked if Donald Trump should be banned from the UK, he replied: “I don’t think he should be banned from any country. I just think it is wrong to give him honorary degrees and votes of trust in public institutions. No one with his xenophobic views should be given that privilege.”
The following photo gallery displays Furia Ack’s paintings of several social activists that were either killed or tortured or had to live in exile due to their political views along with social issues pieces.