When we caught wind of a new East London street art commission – Happenstance Gallery’s home territory – we got excited about the opportunity to cast light on some of the local talent embedded in the North/East warehouse scene. In the end, the project went to a corporate outfit but we had such a great response to our call out that we decided to honour the street artists of our realm recommended by the good people of Fountayne Road, Manor House and Hackney Wick.
First mention may not yet go by ‘His Majesty’, although he can’t be that far away from inheriting some sort of lavish throne… Itaewon’s bright and dramatic paintings bash together familiar architectural references whilst the striking geometrical patterns serve to slice and pull out abstract forms. At first glance these images describe a surrealist landscape, a far away kingdom in an alternate universe. But then we become flooded with a sense of nostalgia and familiarity as we move to recognise the places within the pictorial fragments – patches and echoes of our East London neighbourhoods.
From Itaewon’s jaunts to Blackall Street we are transported from the eerily familiar to a psychedelic cosmic landscape; check out this collaboration between Itaewon and Joey Baker.
Joey Baker’s collaboration with Itaewon lands as the perfect match, with the pair intertwining their futuristic worlds. Climbing inside this work we get a taste for Baker’s interest in ancient philosophy, as indicated by the worlds’ patterned inhabitants. To get a clearer vision of Bakers style check out his illustrative works.
From a future world to the end of the world: Ali Campbell’s illustrative works speak of ecological disaster. The Mural above reminds me of Ali’s Iconic work: The Great Flood (see below). Ali’s earlier personal work is prescient, warning us of the threatening but not impossible disastrous times to come.
A more detailed account of these fascinating narratives can be heard on request, contact Ali through his website. Before moving on let’s have a look at one of Ali’s commercial works:
Ali’s dynamism has lead him to work across surfaces from paper, brick walls and human skin (that’s right, he’s a trained tattoo artist too). Ali, a man of many talents has just completed his MA in Scene Art and Illustration at the Old Vic, Bristol. So, if lockdown has got your creative juices flowing and your planning your next script, be sure to hit Ali up.
Ali’s Mural work at Upfest 2019
Now this next chap’s giants will certainly give you a Run for your money:
You usually have to travel to get your eyes a glimpse of the above masterpiece, however we’re in luck, Run has kindly given us local treats to feast our eyes upon too (so we won’t have to break travel restrictions any time soon.) His powerfully poetic works bring a colourful and vitalising breath of life onto the streets of East London, and for this reason his work has a special place in our hearts.
Hackney heart, buffed by the council three days later, Feb’12
Container, Hackney Road with Mustafa Hulusi
Next up and this artist causes quite the Riot with social issues and politics on the agenda. Frank Riot’s bold works have a huge impact, delivering a frank conversation (pun intended) on social justice issues to the streets.
In this Shoreditch, Frank highlights the increasing need for foodbanks.
This girl has some serious style – this piece was designed and painted after reading about the colossal fires devouring the Amazon.
With outstanding work and a fiercely quick response, Frank Riot is definitely one to watch.
Smiling faces. Masked Faces. Sometimes… Many Faces is a master and that is the undisputed truth! Don’t believe us? Check out his Instagram and you shall see the many faces of Many Faces all over the Instagram and all over our streets!
(Now I know these faces are everywhere, there really are Many faces but the important thing is do not panic.)
I repeat, do not PANIK
So, I told you not to Panik and you go and do the opposite.
This great artist sensed the times-a-coming and he’s giving us a stark message:
Whilst we all go about our daily lives adjusting to the new normal, his titles remind us of looming problems elsewhere. See more of his works here
I know it’s scary,
And it seems like its the end of the world (hmm I can sense a theme amongst our talented artists) but there is no point in hiding
Thanks Roots Graf Iti,
Its time we take a leaf out of this artist’s book and be Brave ….Brave like Scotty Brave and brave like this guy:
I heard being brave is what adulthood is all about; it’s a well-known, best kept secret.
Not so secret: Tizer is one of East London’s Graffiti legends!
(I fancy myself a dip in that waterfall.)
From London Legend to World Nomad, meet Luke Grey.
This man, born colour blind, uses a weave of black and white patterns and textures within his drawings rather than tonal layering. His style is inspired by the complex and intricate drawings found in South East Asia. Inspired by his expansive travelling this artist is drawn to themes of religious ritual, occult mysticism and hallucinogenic visions.
Speaking of visions, catching a glimpse of Rae Smith. Her work is a fantastic sight and catching her down the Skatepark won’t go amiss too!
A skating enthusiast, you can catch Rae at the local park, that’s right Rae – you’ve been spotted!!
Now check out this fantastic portrait of Little Simz by MrOliverSwitch
Impressive! Although I can’t imagine how intense it would be to have a portrait so big staring at me.
Staying with the female theme, Hazard sprays a range of beauties:
With the street name as Hazard, Harriette Wood has been voted by the Guardian as one of the top 5 graffiti artists in the UK!
From the women on the street to woman on the street, Pixie London dedicates this one to her dad:
And this one to Karma Cola:
We have by no means provided an exhaustive list of street artists, but supplied a few choice names on our radar. Here’s a few more to watch out for:
Ed Worley known for his works that celebrate pop references; think bugs bunny’s gang meets snoopys. His illustrative style has bold bright colours and line.
Whereas Jonny Ashmore uses stunning dreamy colours that swirl us back to the eternal stretching summers of childhood and balmy nights spent at teenage raves.
– Written by Emma Brassington