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.
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.
We’ve just added Iain Macarthur to The Street Art Directory. Iain is a London-based artist and illustrator and we found some of his black-and-white tiger pasteups in Hackney Wick. The artist’s biography suggests that his pieces are made from chaotic elements of patterns and nature and depict a sense of beauty and surrealism. We think these impressive tiger heads fulfil the remit.
We’ve just added Cali O to The Street Art Directory. Cali O is a London based Designer and Animator who creates digital and print designs, animations and ceramics.
The 8″x8″ ceramic tile featured here was photographed in East London. It is one of 40 of this design which were liberated on the streets of London and Paris. Titled ‘Diamonds’ it is produced with laser printed ink (inset glaze) and was for sale as a (now sold out) limited edition of 6 pieces with 3 artist’s proofs.
We have already published the list of most visited artist galleries in The Street Art Directory during 2021 and now it is time to reveal the year’s most visited feature items which were published on the site. The major UK story of the year was undoubtedly Banksy’s visit to Norfolk and Suffolk in the spring to spread some love. It is no surprise to see the ‘spraycation’ featuring in this list as we were quick enough off the mark to be able to photograph most of the works before they had been dismantled, covered in perspex, removed to be sold overseas, painted over or otherwise defaced.
So here we go – the most visited posts in 2021 – in the time-honoured tradition of reverse order…
We missed a couple of pieces. It’s amazing how fast councils can get to work to remove valuable tourist attractions when the mood takes them. Still, Most of Bansksy’s spraycation works were shared in all of their glory in this article with full details of how to find them.
The late Mark E Smith, founder and only ever-present member of The Fall is an iconic part of the Manchester music scene. Since his death in 2018 a number of tribute artworks have appeared on the walls of the city including this one on the side of a chippy in his home manor of Prestwich. This article from 2019 takes a look at the public MES gallery.
Fosh once again featured in the artist gallery top 10 for the year and this feature about some of Fosh’s artwork on the streets of London was also popular. We know little about Fosh but this recently snapped sticker confirms the diminutive lightweight slap tagger artist has no posse.
We found this Flying Kiwi piece in Manchester, right next to some of the Mark E Smith tributes (see above). OK, the wingless bird is parachuting rather than flying but we are sure the sensation must be in many ways similar. We’ve since found more of this artist’s work in the city and maybe it is time to update the article for 2022 with a few more examples.
We’ve not done many interviews with artists to date but hope to do a few more in the coming months. Our most recent chat was with Cliff Phillips. Cliff is one of the few active artists not to have a social media profile or website but we enjoy his work so much we had to track him down and find out more about him and his work.
Young Noah, aka Background Bob, has taken the art world by storm over the last couple of years. Noah has smiled his way through his medical challenges and has created an array of A4 colourful backgrounds that have provided the basis for collaborations with top street artists worldwide. These works have been immortalised in a book and the original pieces sold to raise a bucket load of money for his local hospital projects. We like Background Bob.
Our first interview for The Street Art Directory was with the creative Dr Cream. Amongst angsty vitriolic political street art you can find Dr Cream’s charming pasteup characters, each of which forms a frame of a simple animation. We find out more about the artist’s career to date and look forward to his new projects.
It is hard to visit Sheffield without bumping into at least one mural by Bubba2000. One standout piece, in the north of the city is of former Pulp frontman – the lyricist, musician, radio DJ and raconteur Jarvis Cocker who hails from the city.
The paint was (quite possibly) still wet when we toured the Norfolk and Suffolk coast to try and see some of the Banksy-style street art that had sprung up in Lowestoft, Gorleston and Great Yarmouth. We were learning about the locations as we went on, getting hints from some of the intrigued onlookers about where other works may be found. It was all quite exciting and felt very inclusive, with lots of lovely people rocking up to the towns to admire the new murals. And of course it wasn’t long before Banksy confirmed these were indeed his handiwork.
The most viewed article last year was the 2019 post about Bambi’s iconic Princess Di mural near Covent Garden in London. The mural is still there today, protected from the elements under an archway. It depicts Prince George and Princess Charlotte looking up to the Poppinseque form of the grandmother they never had the opportunity to meet with the caption “You can be as naughty as you want just don’t get caught”.
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 (so far) 5 continents. More artists and works are being uploaded all the time. You can receive emails with news about website updates and features 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.
We’ve just added CANEMORTO to The Street Art Directory. CANEMORTO is a trio of anonymous Italian artists. The collective has been active since 2007 and have produced works all around Europe. The imagery of Canemorto mixes the language of graffiti with the cult of an evil dog deity called Txakurra, who influences the works and choices of the group.
We captured a few photos of a monochrome mural by CANEMORTO in Hackney Wick, London, in 2021 which was painted way back (in street art terms) in 2012. It is suffering a little from being tagged over lower down and is part-hidden by a large Buddleia bush but remains a magnificent piece.
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.