Last Updated on 8. March 2021
This post is your guide to over 50 of London’s street artists. Each of them gives London’s street art a special flavour with her/his style. There are several places in the city where you can find real hotspots for murals. To help you distinguish the different artists next time you take a stroll in London, I created this post. It includes the most important information about the artists and their styles. Since most of them post their work on Instagram, I’ll also share the link to their IG accounts. Have fun discovering the best street art scene in the world!
Street Art in London – the Stencil Artists
What is the stencil technique?
The artist creates a stencil, which is then used on site. After attaching it to the surface, the artist sprays the colour. For multicoloured pictures or to add shadows, several stencils are combined. Advantage of this technique: the stencil can be used several times. Disadvantage: you can’t be too spontaneous. Stencil artists whose work can be found in London include the following.
The best-known stencil artist is probably Banksy, who has left his artwork not only in London, but also in Bristol and Nottingham.
- Banksy at Cargo Nightclub
The artist who became famous with the “fallen angel” shortly after the death of Amy Winehouse is Pegasus. I’ve met the American-born artist twice, a very nice guy who was a good friend of Amy. He is a royalist and many of his works show parts of the royal family. Pegasus also has colourful stencils with icons from the world of acting and singing.
- Queen Elizabeth as pin up girl
- Prince Harry as rebel
- Amy Winehouse by Pegasus
Loretto often portrays celebrities in a very sarcastic way. For example, I know several works featuring former Prime Minister Theresa May, depicted either as Marilyn Monroe or Mother Theresa. In addition, he also takes up socially critical themes, e.g. war and poverty.
Bambi is one of the few female street artists in London. She is sometimes referred to as a female Banksy and explores the topics of feminism and politics; she has produced work of Amy Winehouse, Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) and Lady Diana (in the entrance to Neal’s Yard). There is also a container for recyclable clothes in Topshop on Oxford Street which has her work on it.
- Kunstwerk von Bambi am Neal’s Yard
Charles Uzzell Edwards is Pure Evil. The artist has opened a gallery of the same name in Shoreditch, where he shows and sells many of his works. A striking detail of his pieces is the elongated spot under one eye of the main character. I wonder if this is supposed to be a long tear. The shape reminds me of a wooden spoon and I guess I’ll have to discuss this theory with Charles directly.
The Dotmaster is another artist who has been using the stencil technique for a long time. He started spraying in Brighton back in the 1990s. To me, his black and white works look very realistic and almost photographic. He has some work in Notting Hill and has also embellished the façade of the Graffiti Gallery there.
Another stencil artist whose main topic is love is Unify. I have discovered most of his bright and colourful work in Shoreditch.
Sam T Kerridge
Sam T Kerridge is one of my latest discoveries. In September 2020 I found one of his London Spirestars near London Bridge. I like the way he arranges the sights of London and uses the Thames as a connecting element. Of course, the fact that he also uses The Gherkin in the process earned special points.
Stra is backwards for Arts and that’s almost all that is known about the French-born artist. I’ve seen a lot of his work in Hackney Wick.
Wrdsmth is from Los Angeles and his trademark is the typewriter that has alternate text clamped into it. One work has been hanging on Hanbury Street, at the top of a house, for some time now.
Jaune is a Belgian male street artist from Brussels. His work always revolves around people whose jobs are usually overlooked by society. Along Brick Lane, for example, he has put up many men in orange council workers uniforms.
RIP is a stencil artist whose work can be found around Brick Lane. The “urban vandal” is originally from Staffordshire.
Catman is a stencil artist whose signature is very distinctive. It shows a cat’s head with big sunglasses. The artist lives between London and Kent. I discovered the work “The usual suspects” in Notting Hill a few years ago.
Christian Guemy aka C215
C215 is a French stencil artist whose work always impresses me with its fine details. The cat is on a house on Brick Lane.
The paste-up artists
The paste-up technique
Paste-ups are pictures or posters of different sizes that are stuck with glue onto house walls, doors and other smooth surfaces. They become exciting when several layers are stuck on top of each other and wear off due to the weather. In my opinion, this is one of the disadvantages of this technique. It is not particularly durable and can also be easily removed. On the other hand, of course, that’s what makes it so appealing, to create something ephemeral that will age with the elements and possibly interact with other posters. In London, I found the following paste-up artists.
The Postman Art
The artist collective of The Postman Art take well-known personalities and colour them. The finished images are then pasted up on walls, electricity boxes and lampposts.
- Elvis Presley
It’s hard to find out who exactly is behind Sten and Oli. The name suggests that they are several artists, but I can’t confirm that. Their paste-ups can be found along Brick Lane and its side streets.
London artist Endless Artist fits into both the paste up and stencil categories as he does both. His themes are consumerism and commerce, but the Queen is also often used as his model.
I first noticed Ghost9652 on Brick Lane in September 2020. Specifically, the work featuring Amy Winehouse caught my eye. The painting of the singer coloured in turquoise and pink, which looks like a photograph, was simply impossible to miss.
I haven’t yet found out who exactly is behind Qwert, but you can recognise the figures everywhere in London by their oversized eyes. They are also colourful and somehow put you in a good mood.
D7606 is a British artist who often works with phone boxes, into which he then adds personalities such as David Bowie.
C_3’s style is easily recognisable, as her female figures with striking red hair are often pasted onto yellowed book pages.
Street artists with small sculptures
There is hardly any limit here. The artist creates small sculptures and then glues or attaches them to walls, lampposts and windows. These works are usually very eye-catching. Unfortunately, they are often stolen or just fall off. There are few such artists in London and each one is so unique that you are guaranteed to recognise and distinguish them quickly.
Broccoli Man Adrian Boswell
Along Brick Lane you’ll find some colourful broccoli placed here by artist Adrian Boswell. He has a small showroom in Trumam Brewery and if you’re lucky, you might even meet him there. Recently he has also started using Romanescos as a base, so you can look out for both vegetables.
- Colourful broccoli by Adrian Boswell
Old Father Thames
Old Father Thames is a very special artist to me because he/she uses things found while mudlarking and puts them onto small wooden boards. Sometimes he/she also builds little works of art with the found objects, for example there was a Big Ben built from handles of Victorian tobacco pipes. The Instagram account is unfortunately no longer active, so I’m not sure if the artist is still active.
The grey person by Kai Art
Along Brick Lane and in Shoreditch, grey picture frames with a figure always stand out. This genderless and religionless little doll is It, created by the artist Kai to be able to communicate with people in any language.
Invader is a French artist who wishes to remain anonymous. He is known worldwide for his colourful mosaics. He keeps meticulous records of every work of art he installs and evaluates them. In London, for example, there are 150 of his Invaders.
The can artists of Me Lata
Me Lata is a duo of artists from Catalonia who wish to remain anonymous. Their works pop up from time to time all over London and you recognise them immediately because they use drink cans as canvases to write words or motivational sentences on them.
Ben Wilson – the chewing gum man
Ben is known as the Chewing Gum Man because he started using spat out chewing gum as a canvas years ago. You’ll find most of his work on and around Millennium Bridge. Near St Paul’s Cathedral there was even my personal chewing gum artwork, which I got through crowdfunding.
Art Drops – Street art to go
Art drops are a special variation of street art. The artist leaves a piece of art on the street to be found and taken for free.
My favourite artist in this field is Sean Worrall, who paints on pieces of wood or cardboard that he finds on the streets. You can find out more about Sean in his interview
for my Meet the Londoner series.
- My art drop by Sean Worrall
Quiet British Accent
Sharon and Jason Gale are the artist duo Quiet British Accent and they are known for their penny drops. This involves leaving artfully decorated pennies for one lucky finder. In an interview
, they told me more about their work and the idea behind it.
Spray Paint Murals in London
There are many artists who work with a template but otherwise freehand.
The Chilean uses two signature styles: the Ribbon Style and the Orb Style. I am a big fan of his orb style but I also saw him creating a ribbon style – a very interesting process. And he is a nice guy, too. Find out more about the artist in the interview with him
Jim Vision is into large-scale paintings. I happened to be in Shoreditch when he sprayed an entire wall.
- Jim Vision nahe der Brick Lane
Jimmy C – the one with the pointillist style
James Cochran aka Jimmy C has a special look in his works as he uses a pointillist style. The closer you stand in front of the painting, the more precisely you recognise individual blobs of colour that unite to form a large painting. His David Bowie memorial in Brixton and the Shakespeare in Southwark are very well known.
Fanakapan – the 3D artist
I am always amazed by Fanakapan’s works because they look so realistically vivid. He has changing locations. At the house of Pickywops pizzeria on Brick Lane, a pizza-eating Pac-Man adorns the house.
Stik – the stick figure sprayer
Stik is a veteran of the London street art scene who has become known worldwide for his stick figures. He is a strong advocate for disadvantaged areas in London and regularly donates money from the sales of his paintings to charity. A sculpture of him has been in Hoxton Square since the end of 2020.
- An oversized Stik in Shoreditch
Behind Fin DAC is Irishman Finbar Notte, who depicts the beauty of Asian women.
I have several works by Nathan Bowen at home. I like his style, which at first looks like a quick scribble. Then the characters emerge with the distinctive Bowen look. You’ll often (but not exclusively) find his work on building fences.
- Nathan Bowen and his unique style
Dan Kitchener, aka DANK, is mostly recognizable by his Asian inspired paintings with geishas or streets with cars and people, all looking very realistic.
Dreph is an artist who immortalises people in large works of art on the street. For example, he created an oversized Michelle Obama in Brixton. In 2017, his 10 works of women with African or Caribbean roots drew admiration. For “You are enough”, he painted women who are strongly committed to their community.
Mr Cenz’s large female heads can be found in the East End as well as in Hoxton and Camden. Once you’ve noticed them, you’ll recognise them everywhere.
- Mr Cenz and his massive female heads
- Mr Cenz in Spitalfields
- Mr Cenz Hanbury Street
Woskerski is a London artist. His work is colourful, sculptural and a little crazy. I really like the work below that he made for the Mural Festival 2020.
- Woskerski beim 2020er Mural Festival
French artist Zabou is one of the few women who keep popping up on the streets in London. She paints large, colourful portraits.
ROA is a Belgian artist about whom almost nothing is known. Except that he has always been fascinated by animals, so he paints them oversized in places where they are or once were native. Since 2010, the crane has been on a house wall in Hanbury Street. It was initially meant to represent a heron, but the artist changed it to a crane because this is a sacred animal in Bengali culture. As a reminder, the area around Brick Lane is home to many people with Bengali heritage.
British artist Ben Eine is best known for his letters, which are on shutters in the east of the city.
Neon artist David Speed
Since 2020, artist David Speed has been attracting attention in London with bright neon pink paintings. These look very vivid and as if they have been illuminated. He often shares videos on his Instagram channel. It’s very interesting to follow the process. Most of his work is located in Shoreditch.
Born in France, Thierry Noir has lived in Berlin since the 1980s, where he painted parts of the Berlin Wall. You can recognise his figures by their big lips, googly eyes, fat noses and bright colours. There are several works in Shoreditch, the building in the photo below is from Hackney Wick.
- Thierry Noir in Hackney Wick
Shok-1 has been a street artist since the 1980s. His style is unique as he sprays body parts that look like they’re on an x-ray. Totally rad for me, I admire his work a lot.
Dale Grimshaw is known for his tribal faces, which he often paints on large scale on house walls. The eyes, the facial expressions, it all looks like a photograph. In September 2020 I met Dale in person at one of his exhibition openings in Hoxton. A very nice guy.
From Luxembourg’s Daniel Maclloyd, I found this painting of pigeons or parrots (?) near Commercial Street in 2019. He paints many animals in bright colours.
Hayley Welsh is a British artist whose work features fluffy creatures with big eyes giving sage advice. Most of her work is in black and white. However, on the wall of the Dark Sugar shop near Hanbury Street (a good address for hot chocolate and fancy chocolates, by the way), one of her little animals is in shades of blue.
D*Face paints entire house walls and asks on his website “Whoever said that size doesn’t matter?”. In London, he painted a house wall at Theatro Technis (an independent theatre near King’s Cross Station) for London Mural Festival 2020.
- D*Face auf dem Mural Festival 2020
The first work I noticed by Philth Blake was a portrait of Amy Winehouse that he had sprayed in 2017 as part of the Amy Winehouse Trail in Camden.
Angry Dan is an artist who works a lot in Walthamstow. He combines colourful murals with self-designed verses. Find out what’s behind his name, and his tips for London, in his interview
in the Meet the Londoner series.
London also has some street signs embellished by Italian artist Clet Abraham. Even more reason to look up while wandering the streets of London.
What about you? Are you already a street art fan? Who is your favourite artist? Let me know in the comments below.
If you are an artist and I have missed you in this post, please also get in touch.
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