Extended Alternative London Street Art Tour

Crazy street art tour last Saturday with "Alternative London" tours! Caught five(!) artists painting, including Stephard Fairey (the guy who created the iconic "Hope" image of Obama, that also features in "Exit through the gift shop")! Also visited the Moniker art fair, which featured some great works by C215 and many others. Also learned a lot about the artists' techniques, but also about the history of East London and its current struggles. Enough said - pictures! (Careful, loads of them)

Meet our tour guide Doug. To the right, he is pointing at a mural by American artist Mear one, that has been white-painted just a few days ago. The picture was showing figures of rich bankers playing monopoly on the back of kneeling slaves. However, since some of the bankers had explicitly Jewish features, many people felt that the mural was antisemitic. It sparked a huge controversial debate among politicians and journalists before eventually being painted over by the council.

This spot just across Brick Lane is pretty famous for street art (I am sure it features in one on my earlier posts). On the left, you can see a mural by Alexandre Farto aka VHILS, who is working in an utterly amazing technique. Just watch this video! On the right, you can see Banksy's famous pink car in a box of plexiglas (Banksy is the only street artist whose work is being protected throughout London as soon as it appears).

On the left, still the same spot. You can see at least six different street art pieces by famous artists here, including the tribute to Banksy's pink car by D*Face, the credit crunch monster by Ronzo and a huge black and white piece by Space Invader. However, while all of these pieces have been around for quite a while, the "HIFI"-mural in the background was still being painted by Shepard Fairey when this picture was taken. Unfortunately, he disappeared from view a second before I could capture him. On the righthand side, another piece by Stepard Fairey, which I photographed the day before after accidentally stumbling upon it in Shoreditch High Street.

This is almost certainly Dan Kitchener at work. Looks almost finished, but you never know with street art.

The iconic image of Usain Bolt was made by James Cochran aka Jimmy C, who has created quite a few amazing portraits across East London in his very distinct style. Maybe some time soon I will head back here to find out what the guy on the right was about to create on the black wall underneath Bolt's portrait. We just saw him measuring the size of the wall and spraying the first four dots and two lines. :)

On the left - don't know if the mirror is supposed to be street art, but it was a good opportunity for a self portrait. On the right, Doug is awe-struck in front of a paste up by his idol Shepard Fairey.

Street art is sometimes pretty weird. Olek's bicycle and Mr. Hin's seesaw. Whatever. :)

Next stop was the Moniker art fair in Village Underground, the same place where we saw the "Street art against slavery" exhibition just a week earlier. Seeing street art on canvas is rather strange, I can't make up my mind about it, even though some of the works looked pretty amazing.

However, the best part of the art fair for us was the show-painting outside the gallery. We could watch Ben Slow and Amanda Marie creating a mural in collaboration, working in very different techniques. Ben, apparently, could not make up his mind whether to paint the wall or his jeans. :)

After the tour was over, we continued on our own, only to discover more street art on every corner. In the middle is a door painted by STIK, who certainly deserves a separate post which I will hopefully write up one day. His matchstick figures which can be found all around London are, in fact, beautifully melancholic. Right and left of Stik are stencils by the renown French artist C215. The girl on the right should look familiar if you look at the pictures from Moniker art fair above...

The author of the cowboy is the Colombian street artist El Mac. The blue Mondrian-style mural is the work of Remy Rough. And the two images below, which we stumbled upon south of Whitechapel, belong to Dan Kitchener (the guy we met painting a geisha portrait earlier) and... some unknown artist with a sense of humour. Note the inscription on the letterbox.

Phew, that was quite a tour. I left out the visit of two huge galleries inbetween, which were both very noteworthy, but had little to do with street art, and anyway I had to stop myself, otherwise I would be writing this post forever. Hope you enjoyed the tour, I intended to write less and to say more, but somehow it did not work out. :)


  1. Seriously awesome...makes me wanna come back again, and again, and again...
    Pity, I did not get to go on THIS tour when last I visited London...huuuuh... ;)

    1. Indeed. Well, hopefully next time. Meanwhile - let's check out the street art scene in Munich! Might be just a bit underwhelming after London, I am afraid... :)

  2. I wouldn't remember any of these names. Good research! :)
    This is how the Moniker Art Fair wall looks at the moment: