Alternative London Street-Art tour

Last week I went to London for a trip of a couple of days. In company of two lovely ladies from Brazil who were visiting me in Paris, we planned to have a general view of London, including all mainstream places. It was a very short time to enjoy the city, specially a so exciting and cosmopolitan city as London. I also got some tips from my British friend Demian Smith who suggested me to have a beer on Soho, to visit the Primhose Hill close to Regent’s park for a beautiful view of the city and also to visit the East End of London to enjoy the creative community and of course to see street art.

Work by Flip from Sao Paulo on East End London

On the second day, while my travelling mates were spending some pounds at Harrods’s  I booked an street art tour for myself promoted by Alternative London.

I disagree with the provocative and hilarious Australian street-artist Lush, that last May wrote with spray cans on the walls of London that “Street art tours are gays”, justifying that street art tours are unnecessary once even alone if you just walk in that area you are able to discover a lot of street art  without being on a tour with a guide. For a short trip, to book a street art tour is definitely the best way to see the most important pieces of street-art, get fresh information about the artists and also to learn the history of one specific area, usually home of a creativity community.

I also like to discover street art in an intuitive way, for example last August when I spent 10 days in Amsterdam just biking around the city I was able to collect pictures from more than 150 works. In London, with the street art tour, I saw more than 50 different works just in 2 hours, isn’t it spectacular?

Work by Lush last May in London – Photo by ecosystem.org

The Alternative London Tours is the pioneer to offer street-art tours in London, they are very passionate and have a huge knowledge about Street Art. Our meeting point was in front of the Spitalfield market, a place in East End of London where you can clearly see the fusions of the of Victorian splendor and contemporary architecture also the financial center that has been invading the community area.

The East End has always been recognized for the wealth of culture represented. Historically it has played host to a transient community, primarily for new immigrants. It’s an area known for its spirit and strong sense of community. It’s quite shocking to look in one direction and see the Christ Church, Spitalfields that was built in the 1741 and also the Spitalfield market that has been working since 1638 beside that so many contemporary buildings as 30 St Mary Axe also know for “The Gherkin” built in 2004.

Christ Church, Spitalfields  East End of London

During the 2 hours tour, the guide Doug Gillen showed us a lot of very sophisticated street-art including well known artists as Ben SlowROA, Pablo Delgado, Flip, Stick, Dscreet  and many others. I was really surprised during all the tour beyond the explanation of different styles, techniques and the street-artists concepts, the guide gave us a lot of insights about the history and culture of that community that have made the area what it is today, witch enriched so much the tour.

Alternative London walk tour –  Background work by Stik

Work by Ben Slow

Work by Jana & Js and Dscreet

Work by Mear One

Work by Malark  and ROA

Work by Vilhs, Ronzo and Mobster

Work by D’Face and  Ronzo

Work by ACE

Work by Dibo & Pez

Work by Jimmy C.

Work by Olek

Work by Nether and Swoon

Work by Jimmy C.

Work by Pablo Delgado

Work by ROA

Work by Pure Evil

Work by Eine

Work by Eine

When the tour finished I still took the chance to go back and check on a interesting  unicorn painted by Lush which is on the area.  Alone I walked there to appreciate the work and have my own picture. On the way back to take the subway on Liverpool Station, just a few meters from Lush work something really magical happened. I met the American artist Nether on the exact moment he was pasting up on the street. An amazing coincidence!!!!! I had interviewed him one week ago in Paris,  with my colleagues  from Alternative Paris (that has no connection with Alternative London by the way). We also followed and recorded Nether pasting up around Paris for a street art video that we are working on and will be available soon. Meeting him in London while acting, definitely wanted to tell me something really special.

Work by Lush

Nether pasting up on East End – London

Yes, if you are planning to go to London I rightly recommend you to book a tour with Alternative London. More than just see great and impressive street-art, you will be inspired by the creative atmosphere of the area and maybe something magical can happen with you as happened to me. For more information’s click on the link here. The tour is operated on a pay- what-you-like basis. 

In front of Liverpool Station with the “The Gherkin” on the back

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Street Art Tour of Paris

Last week I joined the Street Art Tour at the Belleville neighborhood promoted by the Alternative Paris, commanded by the journalist and enthusiastic of the world of street art Demian Smith. In a grey Saturday morning, our group walked around 3 hours at this creativity atmosphere, surrounded by the Parisian architecture, to discover great works as graffiti’s, stencils and posters that brought so many colors to our day.

Usually when I go out with my bike, I’m always with my eyes very awake to see street art and document this in a spontaneous way, but making this tour brought me in a incisive path with great projects and some hidden street art works.

Better than just appreciating street art during the tour, was all the explanations that the guide Demian could give us. He has been involved in street art since 2005. Time that he managed, for more than 3 years, a street graffiti shop that later was also a contemporary art exhibition space called Frisson Gallery in London. He has also joined his knowledge of fine art and graffiti to intermittently teach spray-can art and silk-screen printing to young people, often in under-privileged environments.

Demian also opened my eyes to pay attention to the trucks in Paris when he explained during the tour that Paris is the city that has the most number of graffiti trucks in the world. I realized that in my research to document all messages that come from streets for this blog, trucks has the power to stay at the street as the graffitti’s on the wall but with a peculiarity to circulate around the city spreading this cultural movement.

I really recommend for everyone this great experience. As a open sky museum, the tour brings you to appreciated some nationals and internationally  well know street  artists as Invaders, Nick Walker, Fred Le Chavalier, Ludo, Konny, Clet Abraham…. And some recent projects as Zoo Project and Act Up LGBT. The tour happens every Saturday at 11am and it’s for Free (it’s nice to tip the guide in the end of the tour). More information at Alternative Paris website.

Fred Le Chavalier

Clet Abraham from Italy

Leo & Pipo with speech bubble by konny Steding

Ludo

Nick Walker from England

Syriani done for Act Up LGBT festival

Ouvrier painting Le M.U.R.

Unknown artist

Dast

Zoo Project

Jana & Js (small figure on top by Leo & Pipo)

Nosbe

Unknown artist

Kouka – grayscale portrait

Jana & Js and Invaders on the top

La Forge commune and Zoo Project

La Forge commune and Zoo Project

left to right: Mac1, Ben slow, Nick walker

Nick Walker with smoke by SheOne

Le Frichez Nous-Paix gallery