Banksy, Roa, Eine, Stik, Invader…all are increasingly household names from the world of street art. But for every Mr Brainwash there are a dozen talents who’ve yet to reach general public awareness. You’ve probably seen their work while walking round the streets of the capital. Here, our friends at Global Street Art highlight five of the best street artists practicing in London, whom you might not yet be aware of.
They say love is better the second time around. Judging by the attention Parlee’s getting, art is too. A long-standing member of the first generation UK graffiti crew Essex Rockers, Parlee changed his artist name when he picked up a spraycan a few years ago after a long hiatus. You can often find his trademark large robots, cute children and an array of other characters in Stockwell and Leake Street (by Waterloo Station). His illustrative style translates well from outdoors to indoors and his newer work is often on Perspex sheets (good luck picking one up – they sell quickly every time we see them in a gallery).
Tom ‘Inkfetish’ Blackford has been painting on the streets for over a decade. He has a strong graffiti background but is becoming best known for his twists on familiar characters. He paints throughout London and you can often see his work around Brick Lane, in West London and in Stockwell. Tom’s first solo show, Imaginary Friends, launches at Blackall Studios on 18 October (see www.inkfetish.co.uk).
Louis ‘Masai’ Michel is a staunch animal-lover. He paints large-scale photorealistic animals throughout London and many are infused with fabric patterns from their native countries. He’s brightening up large walls around Caledonian Road (one of very few artists to paint publically in that neck of the woods), and currently has a large tiger gracing the car park wall by Sclater Street (next to Brick Lane). Masai’s solo show is coming up in November – check out his site for more info.
Born in Nebraska but raised in London, Tizer is a venerable graffiti king, with his own distinctive lettering style and a suite of inimitable characters. Hugely humble, there’s no part of London he’s not painted and we get very chirpy whenever we see a new piece of his. You can find him in Dalston, occasionally around Brick Lane, in Stockwell, West London and pretty much anywhere else where you can take a spray can. When people think of real hip-hop in the UK they think of Tizer.
5. Milo Tchais
Born in Sao Paulo but living in London for a number of years, Milo Tchais has developed his own style, combining round patches of colour to make natural landscapes. Much of his art is inspired by the interactions between man and nature. You can often see his work around East London, from the Brick Lane area to Bethnal Green Road and beyond.
By Lee Bofkin / Global Street Art