This week I was lucky enough to join one of London’s best street art tours, which also happens to be run by volunteers on a pay-as-you-wish basis, giving us all access to the creative dexterity that East London has to offer. The Strawberry Tours Free Street Art and Graffiti Tour takes visitors to London’s East End, a place that has become the focal point for famous artists and art lovers alike.
Artists come from all over the world to showcase their work in this area and Strawberry Tours offers their most charismatic and knowledgable guides to take us on a journey through the art, and hear stories of this underground scene that has encompassed London for many years.
Street art and graffiti has often been a convoluted topic amongst those for and against, but as my guide Antonio says “If Coca-Cola can make their points shown by putting up billboards wherever they want, then why too can’t artists express their views and opinions by putting art wherever they want”
Street art is a form of expression and here are some of my favourite pieces and artists who paint colours and satire all over London’s East End –
James Cochran – A.K.A Jimmy C, played a key role in the development of the underground graffiti movement in Australia during the early 1990’s, hence the inspiration from aboriginal dot style art technique.
Zabou – Female French street artist and graphic designer based in London who was asked to paint this mural depicting Jack The Ripper, Britain’s most famous unidentified serial killer.
And also one of his victims
Jana & JS – A street art duo currently based in Austria who specialise in detailed stencil work, often depicting people with cameras or couples sharing intimate moments.
Roa – A street artist from Gent, Belgium renowned for his giant paintings of urban wildlife.
Goak – Popular London street artist who recently received some criticism for being what the underground calls a ‘sellout’, someone who collaborates with businesses and corporations in exchange for branding exposure. Sellouts will often have their work painted over or otherwise tagged by the ‘sellout’ artist. (second image)
Otto Schade – Chilean artist based in London who specialises in painting abstract and surrealist concepts as well as meaningful urban art.
An image depicting the plight of a refugee through a rifle. (A favourite of mine)
The death of innocence (Another favourite)
Alo – An Italian artist based in London expressing deep emotions in many of his pieces.
Mr Cenz – A London based graffiti artist who’s recent work focuses on female faces creating interesting and mysterious compositions.
Miscellaneous – Some of the other satirical, expressional and quirky art pieces around East London.
If you’re interested in finding more about the London free street art tours or any other tour visit the Strawberry Tours website.