Some of the Artists you might see on the tour.
Banksy is a Bristol born graffiti artist, painter, political activist and film director best known for his distinctive stencils which can be found on public surfaces throughout the world. He began his career in the early 90's but was inspired to stencil in 2000 when he was hiding from police under a rubbish truck and noticed the stencilled serial number. Banksy's stencils feature striking and humorous images occasionally combined with slogans using subjects like rats, apes, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly to get across anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment messages. Banksy does not sell photographs or reproductions of his street graffiti, and this has led some unscrupulous art auctioneers to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder.
Eine first earned his fame as a highly credible writer in the underground London graffiti scene but is now more notible for his graffiti typography. If you see any sort of alphabet lettering on shop shutters in London's Paris, Stockholm, Hastings and Newcastle upon Tyne you can be sure that its Ben Eine. In May 2010 he painted a complete alphabet on Middlesex Street in East London, which was then re-christened Alphabet Street by the residents and described in The Times as "a street now internationally recognized as a living piece of art ". His paintings sell for tens of thousands and last year he joined forces with Virgin Airways who exhibited his paintings in First Class lounges. Definitely an artist whose works are worth seeing.
Paul Don Smith
UK born but with strong links to Borneo where he got his love of open spaces and design, street artist Paul "DON" Smith has been painting the streets of London for over 27 years. From Brick Lane to the South Bank skate park down to Richmond his attractive stencils paying homage to classic art and portraying popular characters from TV, music, cinema and sport, are so enthralling that they ensured his first solo show at Graffik Gallery caused the longest queue outside the gallery in Graffik's history.
The hugely talented Belgian street artist from Ghent, is renowned for his giant monochrome animal street art. Roa's animals may be found slumbering on the sides of semi derelict buildings and peering out from shop shutters in city streets all across the world from New York to Berlin and Warsaw to Paris. He has visited London on a number of occasions and left his mark on a number of walls across Shoreditch and, in particular, around Brick Lane. Because of the scale of Roa's art the majority of his 'canvasses' were used with permission so his work tends to stick around for longer than some others.
A world renowned British Sheffield-based cartoonist and illustrator Phlegm is as well known for his self-published comics as for his highly creative monochrome street art. Phlegm's work features in the urban landscape, and can mostly be seen in run-down and disused spaces. He creates surreal illustrations and his storybook-like imagery is half childlike, half menacing fantasy. In the dream world he creates the viewer comes across impossible flying machines and complex networks of levers, pulleys and cogs, set beside telescopes, magnifying glasses and zephyrs. Each drawing forms part of a grand narrative that extends worldwide, in countries including Norway, Canada, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, USA, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, Italy, and Australia
Christian Guémy is a Parisian street artist who has been described as "France's answer to Banksy". He goes the moniker of C215. A graffiti artist for over 20 years his work consists mainly of close up stenciled portraits of people - typically beggars, homeless people, refugees, street kids and the elderly - in an attempt to draw attention to those that society has forgotten about. C215 has developed a style of illustrating and stencilling that shows an impressionistic illumination of his subject's character.
Alice Pasquini is a visual artist from Rome who works as an illustrator, set designer, and painter her work frequently displaying acts of love, hope, and affection, creating art that is about people and feminity, especially strong and independent women and their relationships, human feelings and exploring different points of view. Her skills as a street artist have created poetical and hopeful artworks across the globe.
The pseudonym of a well-known French urban artist, he took his name from the 1978 arcade game and much of his work is inspired by video game characters composed of square ceramic tiles to create his social commentary. His distinctive invasions can be seen in many highly-visible locations in more than 60 cities in 30 countries. Invader estimates that more than 15% of his early pieces, ones that were small and placed rather low, have been removed and so to combat their removal or damage by building owners, thieves or fans, Invader places many out of easy reach high above street signs.
Barcelona born and bred, Pez is a fish character with a huge smile. Pez is all about creating and spreading joy, good vibes and happiness to people all around the world. His message is so popular it led him to found Happy Style whose motto is "Giving away smiles on the street since 1999" and his work has expanded to include several other characters such as demons, angels, giraffes, and Martians - all with a huge and infectious unique smile.
Born 1980 Irish-born street/graffiti artist Conor has quickly become internationally recognised as an artist without peer. His huge outdoor painted murals straddle classical and contemporary art and consistently take on new and inventive forms of art. He uses realistic images of people and incorporates abstract elements to create a piece of work that often depicts conflicts found in the modern male identity and its role in the "gender crisis."
Best known in Newcastle, Mobstr's street art is prolific and highly original - a tongue-in-cheek look at the world that has passers-by smiling, advertising agencies gritting their teeth and local councils pulling their hair out. His written word usually makes a very large impact with very little, not only adorning walls and property but also taking on the large road side advertising billboards. Using stencils, a large dose of sarcasm and a quick wit his sound bites are now finding their way onto the walls, streets and billboards of London.
Gregos, grew up in the northern suburbs of Paris and started experimenting with different sculpting and moulding techniques in the late 90's. By early 2003 he had also begun to experiment with the use of acrylic and oil paints and today he combines all these self taught techniques to create his own unique 3D concept by creating a replica of his face with different expressions and moods and gluing them onto walls. Each of his sculpted faces is a sort of self portrait of his day and over 1000 faces have been installed through out the world.
Teddy Baden is all about dogs. He views them as 'Hairy Aliens, living amongst us' and his street art is a celebration of the relationship between man and his best friend. Baden considers each of his stencilled works as leaving his mark on walls and furniture for others to decipher in a similar way that a dog will leave his scent. His dog based imagery is often quirky, sometimes politically charged but always brilliantly executed.
A 125 ft (38.2 metre) high mural painted on a condemned council owned tower block in Acton, West London is the tallest street artwork in the UK and was created by UK street artist Stik. His name is derived from his habit of painting stick figure-like people as street art. Working mainly in the London area his paintings can be found in authorised places as well as unauthorised places. He works with organizations including Amnesty International, British Waterways, the Mutoid Waste Company, Queeruption, and Reclaim the Streets and his art reflects a traditional, romantic ideology of the street.
Fabio Oliveira, better known as Cranio ("Skull" in English) grew up in Sao Paulo in the late 80's to early 90's where he began to cover the gray walls of his home town with his creative and humorous work. Cranio gets his inspiration from life, cartoons and the famous painter Salvador Dali and his characters, including his famous blue indian, are lively and colourful whilst conveying messages of import in subtly funny ways.
If you see a random, brightly coloured, giant sculpted mushroom sitting on top of a high place in East London, you can be sure the area has been visited by Christiaan Nagel. His mushrooms serve as a metaphor for Pop Art and like there living counterparts they tend to pop up at night, everywhere across the city. One of only a handful of noted sculptural street artists Nagel's iconic mushrooms are always a pleasure to find.
The son of an artist and himself a trained English wood carver, Ben Wilson grew up in a creative environment and attended art school, so it was no surprise that his art was always going to be something special. Combine his talent with his distaste for industrial waste, cars and rubbish and you have something a little bit different and a whole lot special. He creates tiny works of art by painting chewing gum stuck to the pavement in an effort to beautify the urban environment. He has created more than 10,000 of these works on pavements all over the UK and parts of Europe, the subject matter ranging from personal requests to animals, portraits or whatever whimsy pops into his head such as "Gum Henge", a miniature chewing gum painting of Stonehenge.
With a background in architecture, London based, Chilean born Ottoschade was always interested in the Surrealists and abstract paintings. Each piece he creates is distinctive in its own right with an artistic style that bounces between surrealism and abstract, the themes for his works are generally related to political issues as well as Ottos private stories, offering a unique insight into his dreams and obsessions. Otto's paintings show a unique style, proving an inventive imagination as well as a refined technique resounding with a particular touch of humor and satire.
Not a lot is known about Bortusk Leers early life but what we know about his current art is it is all about fun. He creates his pieces at home, on sheets of newspaper before taking them into the street and pasting them there to brighten up your day. His almost manga style, cute and appealing naÏve figures, spray painted onto bits of newspaper gave birth to the concept of art comedy and his little aliens are a joy to find.
Dank -Dan Kitchiner
London based professional mural artist / Illustrator / painter and animator Dan Kitchiner abbrievates his name to Dank because he wants to use his name on his work. Strictly on the legal side of the street art and graffiti world, Dank isopen with who he is and the work he does and having worked for some major clients including Sir Paul McCartney, Kylie, Calvin Harris, Il Divo, Carlsberg, MTV, ITV and Ministry Of Sound, exhibited artwork all over the world and with a growing base of avid collectors from Australia, Japan, America, as well as all over Europe it is easy to see why. Hard to catagorise, there doesn't appear to be one avenue of artistic engagement which Kitchener hasn’t exhausted. His creations crowded with dragons or elegant geishas have been found in iseveral branches of technology, from digital paintings to stop frame animation, music videos to AV displays, video games to commercials, graphic novels to graffiti.
French street artist Thierry Noir gained notoriety by being the first street artist to paint the Berlin Wall in April 1984. In 1992 the Berlin Wall was declared a historic monument and in 2009 Noir repainted several of his original works as part of an initiative by the local government to address issues caused over the years by vandalism, weather and theft and restore 1300 meters of the wall. Since the 1980s, Noir's exploits and highly distinctive visual creations have become world famous and immortalised in popular culture such as Wim Wenders' 1987 film Wings of Desire and the cover of U2's album Acthung Baby and Noir is increasingly recognised as a key forerunner of the modern street art movement.
A relative newcomer but a pioneer of a street art movement iCON is a street artist from South East London who only began his street work in 2009. Regardless of his few years on the street art scene he has managed to produce some thought provoking and sometimes controversial works on a daily basis and his now infamous Mario 'Stop and Search' piece has been published in books and magazines all around the world. Mostly working with contrasting styles of cartoon and reality and a unique mix of controversy and humour, iCON manages to deliver messages of social commentary with a heaped spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.
The Italy-based French artist, Clet Abraham, has been injecting a little humor and redesigning street signs all over Europe, much to the local councils displeasure. It is very tongue-in-cheek but Clet has a serious message to get across about the message the original signs were delivering. Clet hopes that as well as giving passers by something to smile about that his strategically placed stickers will challenge the way we are given and blindly accept instructions.
London born Cityzen Kane creates unique polymer sculptures and is sticking them all over the city. He creates his pieces at home and each one is time consuming and expensive to make so the world will have to wait a little longer for him and for now, London is the only place you can see his visually stunning pieces. Created with plaster of paris and decorated with metallic paint glitter and Swarovski Crystals, Kane likes to play with light and fabric and his creations are designed with no particular message in mind, just to create beauty and intrigue in the mind of the observer.
Portuguese street artist Alexandre Farto, also known as Vhils, gained prominence when his work of a face carved into a wall appeared alongside a picture by street artist Banksy at the Cans Festival in London in 2008. Since then his poetic and ambitious relief forms, chiselled into old plaster or countless layers of posters and dirt have been causing more and more of a stir. A typical Vhils rendering originates as a hand drawn concept in a sketchbook and he breaks most of his portraits into three colours to help provide depth before beginning his carving process with chisels, hammers, drills, etching acid, bleach, and other tools.
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