As the 32nd longest serving Prime Minister in UK history Boris Johnson certainly provided plenty of material to fuel the imaginations of street artists in his 3 years and 44 days in charge of the country. On 6 September 2022 Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson stepped down from the role and handed the metaphorical baton to Liz Truss. Now seems a good time to bring together a selection of the many and varied pasteups, murals and other artwork he inspired that has been shared on our streets over the last few years.
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We’ve been busy photographing art over recent months and it is now time to let some of these loose on the website. We have just added three new artist galleries which help flesh out the rather impoverished ‘Z‘ section of The Street Art Directory. Two of these – Zurdie and Zippy were snapped in Belfast earlier this year are works completed for the ‘Hit The North 2022’ street art festival. Alongside these we include Zezão‘s beautiful piece from under a bridge in Hackney Wick and a series of new pasteups from Shoreditch by Zone Two.
The Street Art Directory is an independent website showcasing contemporary street art from around the world. Get updates to The Street Art Directory direct to your mailbox by signing up here.
We’ve just completed and overhaul of Dan Kitchener‘s gallery page on The Street Art Directory. Showcasing his amazing mural works with photos going back to 2015 we have now arranged the photos by year and to bring it right up to date have included Dan’s painting in Colchester, Essex, which was completed just a few days ago.
Her art focuses primarily on characters set in a world of blue shades, combining colours that inspire a peaceful atmosphere and invigorate a sense of calm and wellbeing. She uses a variety of techniques to create her artwork and tries to make use of eco-friendly materials and fabrics.
Following a trip to Northern Ireland back in December we are pleased to be able to add multi-disciplinary artist Carla Hodgson to The Street Art Directory. Carla is based in Co Down and graduated from the University of Ulster with a BA Honours degree in Fine and Applied Arts in 2001. Through her training she has been able to explore all avenues of art and she regards herself as an artistic allrounder able to work across all media.
In the biography section of her website Carla says:
A growing part of my practice is large scale murals, indoor and outdoor. I am growing more and more committed to making socially engaging art, involving local community to create projects that have a positive impact on the public. I feel it is vital in these times to animate dead spaces and bare walls.
Whilst in Bangor, Co Down, before Christmas we found one of those dead spaces with a bare wall that had been well and truly animated with a stunning purple octopus reaching a tentacle across the footpath and round a nearby rock.
In 2021 we wrote about Noah whose art project, choreographed by his stepdad Nathan, during the first COVID-19 lockdown became a media sensation. Noah, a young teenager who paints under the name Background Bob, was born with hydrocephalus and he also has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The art project was a way to provide a focus and some structure during the COVID restrictions.
The idea was that ever smiling Bob – Noah – would paint some A4 cardboard (easily sourced, easy to post) backgrounds and invite artists to collaborate by adding their work. A simple yet great idea that snowballed into an international project with contributions from many established street artists. The resulting exhibition – Background Bob and his Amazing Friends – held at Firstsite in Colchester, displayed all 240 of the works. There was a sellout book with proceeds going to his local children’s ward and the works were all sold in a frantic eBay auction and raised almost £100,000 for the Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity. A truly amazing achievement and a proper good news story to come from the pandemic.
The project went so well and was so well received that Noah and his family decided to do it all over again in 2021. The new exhibition, again at Firstsite, has just finished its run. Taking the title “Background Bob and his amazing friends – guess who’s back?” it is the product of another 250 artists, care workers and members of the general public who responded to the call in spring 2021 to team up with Noah. The lineup this time is no less impressive than the first time around with a whole host of street and urban artists clamouring to be involved. In a wander round the gallery last weekend we were met with a smorgasbord of works including collaborations with 7th Pencil, RX Skulls, Ben Eine, Zabou, Fanakapan, Akut, Lost Hills, DS, Jay Sharples and Alice Pasquini. Once again there is a book cataloguing the artwork (available here) and the pictures will all be auctioned at the end of March 2022 to raise, we hope and expect, lots more money.
There aren’t enough superlatives to express what Noah has achieved over the last couple of years. In the future we will hopefully have COVID-19 behind us and we will remember the tough times we and our loved ones have had to endure. But we will also remember the good things that were catalysed by the pandemic. The enthusiasm of Noah and his family, along with the almost 500 artists who have contributed to date, Firstsite for hosting the exhibitions and those involved in producing the books are right at the top of that list.
TheStreet 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 (so far) 5 continents. More artists and works are being uploaded all the time. You can receive emails with news about updates by signing up here.
The walls of Shoreditch have for some time been the epicentre of London’s street art scene and the go-to place to find murals, stencils, pasteups and other delights. Until recently pasteups have been largely relegated to quiet cul-de-sacs and side streets where they can be installed without drawing attention and often being pasted over in a matter of hours or removed (sometimes within minutes) by fans selfishly wanting a piece of the damp artwork for themselves. A few months ago, in a breath of fresh air for the genre, there was a well publicised legal pasteup event on Cheshire Street, just off Brick Lane. Here the wall alongside the Secret Art Gallery was covered in colourful work from a range of artists, organised by the gallery itself with help from prolific paster Subdude.
The LIPF was held from 4th to 7th Nov 2021. With the help of many of the artists a series of dedicated street locations in East London were covered with an amazing array of paste up artwork. All these locations were conveniently just a short walk from the Hoxton Gallery, which hosted the event, and held an exhibition of selected artists’ original artworks and a pop up store selling prints and the like. The festival also included a guided walk around the sites and live pasteup sessions.
The artists involved in the festival included: Donk, Luap, Wrdsmth, Dr Cream, Ben Rider, Carla Mata Hari, Shuby, Hellothemushroom, Endless, Subdude, Apparan, Tweet, Apparan, ‘Orrible, AKC, Morgazmik, Neon Savage, Oddo, Mort, Werck1, The End Of Animals, Ezura Forest, Bentoghoul, DD Regalo and Lucie Flynn – along with very many more. We have already uploaded some of the work from the LIPF to The Street Art Directory and we have lots more to add in the coming weeks.
A massive well done to everyone involved in making the festival a huge success. We are now looking forward to the next LIPF – is 2022 too soon?
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In our ramblings we have come to love Bentoghoul‘s skull-design stickers and paste-ups. As well as his solo work Bento has also collaborated with a number of other street artists and we share a selection here. Most of these were photographed on the streets of Manchester’s Northern Quarter and the the Brick Lane area of London.