As I was sitting on the metro, as I almost always do- I stared out the window in a trance. When I suddenly started noticing interesting graffiti, once I noticed one mural I started noticing more. It occurred to me I was essentially enjoying free art that was unique and exclusive to my city. Street art isn’t just something you can use as a backdrop for your new profile picture… It’s is something to be admired and shared with your community.
This is one of my favourites that I managed to snap during my commute. After a quick Google session, I found that it was by Mexican artist, Bayrol Jimenez, who painted it in 2015, as part as the ¡Vamos! Festival. The comic-strip style images use bright, yet pastel colours to brighten up an otherwise dull and mundane metro station.
‘El Patio de mi casa’ – which translates as ‘My House’s Backyard’ by Bayrol Jimenez. Found at North Shields metro station in Newcastle.
After my epiphany, I began trawling through different street art online and for the purpose of this blog I have condensed my findings into a few of my favourite artists and some street-art hotspots. Who knows, you might live near some of them.
ROA is a Belgium street-art muralist that has recently been splashing his eerie animal inspired art around the walls of London (although his work can be find from Belgium, Cambodia to the US). His work continually cropped up, and continually caught my eye. His style is very specific and rather feral.
ROA told Hi-Fructose about his challenge-seeking addiction with graffiti - "every wall is different; the environment, the social life around it, the extern conditions, the size, the depiction, the challenge is always there"
For Birmingham, it is the streets of Digbeth that brag majestic street art. The custard factory, in particular, may ring bells for B—towners as it is known as the creative sector. The street-art that has livened the once bleak walls of Digbeth may be one of the main factors for its regeneration.
Photo: Francesco Falciani. [ Image: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/finest-street-art-spot-birmingham-11457502 ]
For Manchester it’s all about the Northern Quarter (shock) so next time when you’re in the area getting a coffee make sure you pop round to Stevenson Square to have a quick look. As every three months a nearby art shop Fred Aldous sponsors new artists to cover the once public toilets with a fresh mural. You’ll be glad to hear, this isn’t the only space where you can find street art in the northern quarter. It is brimming full of fantastic art often commissioned by the council to give the whole area an extra ‘edgy’ vibe.
If you’re a regular at the old abandoned Victorian house/nightclub/venue, Antwerp Mansion (Rusholme), it might be an idea to next time notice the actually rather expressive art splashed all over the walls. Antwerp Mansion is a free-for-all for graffiti and artists and as no limits apply it has resulted in some pretty cool and impressive artwork.
Based in Valencia, Spain
Escif is a Spaniard street artist based in Valencia. Once, anonymous now only slightly in the public eye- creates minimalist artwork that aims to convey messages. I liked this one in particular.
[ Image: http://www.widewalls.ch/artist/escif/ ]
Recently, Escif spent time in a Gypsy ghetto Font de la Polvora in Girona, Spain. In keeping with his social commentary style, he painted this mural of lemons addressing the dark reality of the Ghetto’s dependence on drugs. However, on the surface the bright, fruitful colours add a jovial pop to the impoverished street.
Created by urban/graffiti artist, Nychos in 2005 is the Rabbit Eye street-art movement. What was once just a concept, is now located in the centre of Vienna in the form of a shop and art agency. What I found cool about the movement is they are creating a community within a community by fuelling people’s street-art talent. It’s inspiring and they’ve also been behind the can on some really amazing projects.
“I created the ‘Rabbit Eye Movement’ as an homage to all the “Rabbits” out there who are active in the Urban Art Movement. It doesn’t matter what kind of mission they are following.” –Nychos
Born in Paulo Alto, grew up in Barcelona, now spray-painting all over the world. Aryz giant murals focus on its characters rather than a particular place or political message. This allows scope for the surreal which is my favourite thing about his work, but it also has a hint of street-art style pop-art.