Top 10 street artists of 2021

OK, the title of this article may be a bit misleading given that all art is subjective and everyone will have their favourite street artists but bear with us. As 2021 drew to a close we had a look at the stats for our The Street art Directory website to see which artist gallery pages were visited most often during the year. Just as we found in 2020 the top 10 was a a varied and interesting mix of artists and not just the ‘big hitters’ that one might have expected would dominate the popular searches. With over 1400 artists now featured we give all street artists a platform and exposure, not just the big names. It is great to brilliant see up and coming artists and those not yet on everyone’s radar taking some of the top spots.

So here we go – the most visited artist gallery pages of 2021 in the time-honoured tradition of reverse order…

10. Savant

In 10th place we have the ever busy Savant. Each time we venture to East London we can guarantee there will be new selection of his printed or spray-painted pasteups on display. We particularly like the ongoing series of stencilled text character works, such as the one below, which are instantly identifiable and enhance any wall.

Savant is on Instagram at @savantart.

9. Aydar

Aydar describes themselves as “Just a simple Parisian street artist” but their artworks are anything but simple. When this native American figure appeared on East London it caused quite a stir and has been much appreciated – and thankfully (last time we looked at least) has not been tagged over or otherwise ruined.

Aydar has a presence on Instagram at @a_ydar.

8. Fuer Panda

Simple but endearingly attractive panda pasteups started to appear in London during COVID lockdown. The design was originally created early on during the pandemic to bring a smile to the people of London but the Pandas can now also be found further afield in Britain – Bristol, Brighton & Exeter at least – as well as overseas in Lisbon, Barcelona, Porto, Kraków and Riga. The panda invasion started our with fairly small wheatepaste designs but over time the portfolio has expanded and there are now much larger stencils and painted works hitting the walls whilst retaining the delightful panda graphic. The panda design is also, commendably, being used to raise money for charity. We have to agree with the artist that these pandas do indeed bring a smile to the face.

Find out more on Instagram at @fuer.panda.

7. Emanuela Montorro

Italian artist Emanuela Montorro is our 7th placed artist for 2021. Her works, largely presenting the female form, are very much in demand and a number of pieces are available for sale via the excellent Secret Art Gallery in London. We feature a few of her lips pasteups on our site.

Emanuela can be found on Instagram at @montorroemanuela.

6. Fosh

Fosh hit our list at number 2 last year. With a limited range of wheatpastes and stencils centred around either the portrait depicted below or the “Have you seen Fosh” motif, Fosh’s work became instantly recognisable. A number of people contacted YouTuber Max Fosh so see if the street pieces were his (they aren’t) and Max contacted us to find out more about the artist. We couldn’t help much other than to point him to Fosh’s Instagram: @forshurr.

5. Nicky Nailed It

We don’t know a lot about Nicky Nailed It either but these child’s face pasteups have been quite prominent in East London at least for some time now and have landed the artist at No 5 in this year’s most visited galleries list. According to their website, “Nicky Nailed It has been created to encourage the spirit of childhood in the sense of curiosity, freedom and the innocence that drives us to do what makes us happy regardless of outside influence” and the Instagram page @nickynailedit indicates the brand embraces ‘carpentry, skateboarding, creativity, adventure, and good vibes’.

4. Jake Ghost

Ghost is a self-taught artist originally from South Wales. He has a fondness for portraits and there’s an anti-establishment theme to many of his pasteups which we have photographed on the streets of East London.

Ghost is on Instagram at @_ghostgallery.

3. LT66

Lee Tokeley, the artist behind the LT66 moniker has been nothing short of prolific over the last year. We probably have added more work by this artist to the website than any other (with the possible exception of Oddo!). LT66’s stencil portraits hit the walls as wheatpastes, typically on newsprint. Usually, but not exclusively, illustrating female characters – from unknown faces to celebrities (Amy Winehouse and Emma Raducanu make an appearance) – the style is very bold and distinctive. LT66 can be found on Instagram at @lt66art.

2. Humor

Although we only feature one piece by Humor on the website he has been consistently popular, taking 6th place in last year’s list and up to the silver medal spot this year. The piece we feature is a tribute to the late artist Pow and was to be found in a prominent position in Allen Gardens, off Brick Lane in London. Humor is a very talented portrait artist and we love his recent painting of the much-missed comedian Sean Lock in Brighton (which we’ve not been able to get to the south coast to see yet). Humor’s Instagram account indicated on the mural is now defunct but he can be found at @humorstreetart.

1. Cliff Phillips

In fourth place last year but it is top spot this time round for Cliff Phillips. Cliff is one artist we have aways admired and we have have enjoyed finding his pasteups. We have photographed Cliff’s work mainly in Manchester’s Northern Quarter but have also found a few pieces in Shoreditch. We were really pleased to catch up with Cliff during the year and publish an interview with the artist which you can read here. Cliff does not currently have an active presence on social media.

The Street Art Directory is an independent website showcasing the works of the world’s street artists. The site currently presents gallery pages for 1400 artists with works from 5 continents. More artists and works are being uploaded all the time. You can receive The Street Art Directory posts by signing up here.

Many thanks to all the artists and website visitors for your support. We are looking forward to exciting 2022 full of new and vibrant street art.

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