London Street Art

London Street Art 03

London street art (er, “graffiti”).

Since relocating to London, I’ve been repeatedly astonished by the quality and sheer preponderance of street art. The stuff is everywhere, especially in my neighbourhood of east London. It’s gorgeous, inspiring stuff, too, not just illegible tags (not that there’s anything wrong with illegible tags, except that it’s kind of a private club, what with the illegibility and all). Which is why it’s so nice to see all these elaborate murals; capering characters; tiny, easily-missed tableaus…

A few of these artists are close to household names, people like Roa, Invader, Christiaan Nagel, and of course, Banksy. But wait, there’s more: If you’ve got money to burn, there are people you can hire to give you a tour of the art. Barring that, you can even download an official street art iPhone app.

On the other hand, many of London’s local councils consider the artwork garden variety vandalism—meaning the artists are criminals and ne’er-do-wells. Once their stuff is deemed graffiti, it eventually gets plastered over.

Then there’s the recent controversy in which one of Banksy’s stencils, done to coincide with the London Olympics, was chiseled off a north London wall, only to resurface on a Miami auction block—priced at £450,000 (sheesh). The sale of the piece was eventually blocked, however, following outrage from the local community, who had grown to love it.

Needless to say, there’s a story behind each of these. Damned if I know many of them, though; I just take pictures on my way to the library. Some of my favourites:

London Street Art 01

London Street Art 04

London Street Art 05

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London Street Art 25

London Street Art 29

London Street Art 24

London Street Art 26

London Street Art 10

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London Street Art 12London Street Art 15

London Street Art 09

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London Street Art 19

London Street Art 17

London Street Art 18

London Street Art 20

London Street Art 21

London Street Art 13

London Street Art 22

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9 THOUGHTS TO " London Street Art "

  1. Andrea says:

    These are amazing photos. Hope all is well with you in London. When you come over to the states are you coming anywhere near Florida? My husband taught “Dust City” this year to the group that you Skyped with here in DeLand last year after “Zorgamazoo.” They would love to Skype with you again. Don’t know if we could work it out! I’ve got to get a hold of a copy of “Prince Puggly. . .” Take care and thank you for being such a wonderful presence in the YA world!

    • Glad Dust City is getting some play down there. It gets tricky, particularly as a writer for children and young adults, when your novels diverge wildly in tone and style—so never let it be said I do things the easy way. If it can be arranged, I’m happy to to do a Dust City-related Skype visit. In the meantime, hope you enjoy Puggly!

  2. Andrea says:

    Great! May I give my husband your email? You are amazing– Thank you for writing what you write, and I am so glad you are continuing to grow and experiment.

  3. Liesel says:

    Be careful when posting pics of street art! They’re arresting people in Montreal for that kinda thing…

    http://boingboing.net/2013/04/04/montreal-police-arrest-young-w.html

  4. Liesel says:

    I was kidding! Just thought it was funny that I saw your post the same day this story has been all over the news…gotta love my province smh

  5. Jason says:

    Great collection of photographs. Europe seems so more accepting of street art than usa.