Street art - I'm obsessed. Last year our followers voted out of a long list of new tours for 2018. Street art topped the survey comfortably and so we launched a 10k and 5k running tour all about it. After extensive research, I still can't get enough of discovering the beautiful work that brightens up the walls of London. Lunchtimes, evenings, weekends - they are now for tracking down the latest piece of work by my ever-growing list of favourite artists.
Of course, Instagram is the natural place for street artists to showcase their work online. And it's a great way to keep your eye out for new work to hunt down. So I've put together a list of the best artists with work in London who also have banging Insta profiles:
Internationally renowned Austrian artist HNRX has been to London 3 times, and each time set about on a whirlwind of activity. His last visit was July 2017 and there is still plenty of work to see around Shoreditch and beyond. His Instagram contains some show-stoppers from other cities where he's been able to command huge walls and buildings for his work.
2. Jimmy C
Jimmy C's aerosol pointillist style makes his street art instantly recognisable - see all the small dot-drips that make up his work? In London we have Jimmy C to thank for the David Bowie mural in Brixton, the amazing Shakespeare along the Southbank and a number of beautiful pieces in the East End. But follow him on Instagram to see even more incredible work in London and worldwide.
3. Thierry Noir
French artist Thierry Noir claims to be the first street artist to paint on the Berlin wall - he painted on it illegally every day with bold, cartoon like images. This was an act of protest - he wanted to make the wall look ridiculous and help destroy it. He's kept these characters for all his work, and you'll see them all over Shoreditch and the South East, but his Insta account of international work is spell-binding.
4. Christiaan Nagel
If you start looking up around Shoreditch (especially near Shoreditch High Street station), you'll start to see a number of mushrooms. Yes - mushrooms. These fun structures are by Christiaan Nagel - built to challenge what we count as street art. His Instagram account is full of all things mushroom including videos of mushroom-making and the coolest places he's put his mushrooms around the world. Love it.
Zabou is a French artist, now living in Shoreditch - I'm a huge fan of her portrait work! Keep an eye on her Instagram so you can track down her latest work in London, which never disappoints. Although I'm already planning holidays to Cyprus, Paris and Israel to see her incredible work there. Why Zabou? Her name's Elizabeth but people always called her 'Zabou' from the middle part of her name.
6. Clet Abraham
Clet Abraham is a classically trained artist who lives in Florence - in the middle of the night, he sneaks up to road signs and alters them. The message? Think twice before the next time you blindly follow an instruction. You can find some Clet Abraham signs on Brick Lane (on the corner of Fashion Street) but his Instagram account shows the fun he has with sing posts all over the world.
7. Nathan Bowen
Nathan Bowen is one of my favourite street artists - you'll notice his distinctive figures all over London, and I particularly like the numerous collaborations he has with other artists that make for really interesting walls. If you're a fan of the Apprentice, you may recognize his work from the 2012 series - contestants had to sell his work in a Pop-up Gallery.
8. Space Invader
You may have noticed little Space Invaders made out of mosaic tiles (or kitchen tiles) around London. Start looking and you won't be able to stop. Liberation is the key word to Space Invader's work. Let's liberate art from its usual form of art galleries. But also, let's liberate those poor Space Invaders from the confines of the video game screen. There are two in Old Truman Courtyard (one big, one small) and a number as you jog up Brick Lane.
To see work by all these artists and more, why not try out our street art themed running tours?
5k Street Art tour - every Thursday at 7am
10k Street Art tour - October 6th and 7th (3 paces available)