Over the years, graffiti in London has taken on the posher, more acceptable name of Street Art, in order to hide its illegal roots. But we like to keep it real here at Movebubble, which means calling the fantastic drawings and writing by these great artists by the original name: graffiti.
London just so happens to have its fair share of fantastic graffiti. And while many of the artists might remain nameless, the capital is home to works of art that Banksy would be proud of.
But where can you find London’s best graffiti spots?
We have put together a guide of well-known areas in London where you can find cutting-edge graffiti that showcases the talents of the capital. Whether you fancy yourself as a budding graffiti artist or simply admire the styles, read on and find out where to see London’s best graffiti.
One of the most iconic spots in London for works of graffiti, Stockwell is a honing ground for creatives to showcase their work legally. Over the last two decades, the Stockwell Park Graffiti Pen has been the destination for some of the best art in the capital.
People from all over the world visit and leave their mark, though new pieces appear regularly and replace the old ones in the process. In the summer, there can be up to 20 new works a week. The pen temporarily shut down because of the regeneration of Stockwell Park Estate, but it reopened to the public in May 2019.
Leake Street is the home of Waterloo’s world-class graffiti and was the site of Banksy’s 2008 Cans Festival. It’s one of the easiest places to create paintings in London, which means that new art doesn’t last long before it’s repainted over. Legends such as Tizer, Cept and Parlee have all left their mark here.
Referred to as London’s graffiti tunnel, Leake Street is a free-for-all brick canvas for people to express themselves. There’s something quite fitting about one of London’s best graffiti areas being tucked away from one of the busiest transport stations in the UK.
Brick Lane, E1
Brick Lane has cemented itself as a global phenomenon and is often on lists for “must-see” places in London. Graffiti has played a huge part in its evolution, along with the international food markets and lively bars. Banksy’s French Maid caught the eye back in 2008, but it’s the organisation, Global Street, Art who has helped bring the area to the fore as a graffiti hotspot.
They have commissioned over 850 legal murals, and hundreds of artists travel to Brick Lane each year so they can leave their mark. There’s even a yearly event, which is called A Day When Art Lets its Hair Down for the Day.
Camden has always enjoyed a reputation as an edgy area where creativity thrives. It won’t come as a surprise to learn that graffiti and the NW1 postcode go hand in hand. In fact, the popularity of graffiti has seen the emergence of local street tours - where experts show you more than 100 artworks.
Bambi, otherwise known as the female Banksy, is arguably the most popular artist in the Camden, after rising to prominence with her drawing of famous singer Amy Winehouse on a Camden Door. There is plenty of graffiti to see in the NW1 postcode, from the areas near Mornington Crescent all the way to Camden Road.
West Kensington, W10
At first glance, Kensington isn’t an area you would typically associate with graffiti, yet it has one of the most important works of art in the capital. The Trellick Tower has commemorated the tragedies of the Grenfell Tower fire with artists displaying works of art that pay homage to the people who so tragically lost their lives.
The tower is also home to regular Graffiti Jams, where people come to express themselves and hang out together. Today, the location is one of the few legal places where people can paint and is known as the capital’s graffiti “Hall of Fame”.
Just a stone’s throw away from Stockwell is Brixton, where you will find the famous graffiti shine to David Bowie. There’s even more to admire than amazing works of the influential musician, however: the Brixton Skate park often sees new work spring up that captures the imagination of our times.
The Brixton Skate Park is well known as a location for the latest expressions of art, but there are plenty of areas in the SW9 postcode that show-off the best talents around - including works from Neequaye ‘Dreph’ Dsane and Nathan Bowen.
What do you think of our graffiti hotspots in London, and which ones do you plan on visiting? Have we missed any areas that you think display the best graffiti in the capital? Sound off in the comment and let us know your thoughts on London’s graffiti scene.