The once unloved warehouse walls of Shoreditch have become famous for colourful, creative murals. Street art (as distinct from the tags and text of graffiti artists) is to some degree now officially sanctioned here, with many artists having permission for their work rather than carrying it out under cover of night.
Bristol’s Banksy is one of the best known exponents, remaining anonymous despite his fame; in Hackney his witty, politically pointed stencil works include coke-snorting policemen and paparazzi rats. Hackney’s own Stik creates eloquent stick figures, whose vulnerable forms draw attention to issues such as homelessness. Shepard Fairey’s most famous work is the Hope poster depicting Obama; his work has echoes of classic Soviet propaganda.
If you see circus-style lettering on an east London shutter it is likely the work of Ben Eine. Belgian Roa produces monumental monochrome images of animals in the urban environment and French artist Zabou uses the wall’s shape and surface for her striking depictions of artists, masked figures and children.
On Redchurch Street and Rivington Street you’ll see a jumbled patina of stencilled pieces, freehand artworks, spray-painted shutters, political slogans, peeling posters and stickers; the first image here is by ALO. Or take a trip with Shoreditch Street Art Tours.