Well yet again this has certainly been the hardest post to compile in this years Annual Review series, attempting to select our favourite 20 works from a year absolutely crammed with an abundance of high-quality and entertaining artworks on London’s Streets. After much deliberation and with many more works we would of liked to include here, it really was difficult editing down to a mere 20 works, however here are the pieces that have really stood out for us this year. That said on another day with another assessment, some of these pieces would be different. Here’s to a great 2017 with a look back at our favourite works of 2016.
Formidable work by Axel Void in Walthamstow. We assure you our pictures really don’t do this magnificent and thought-provoking image justice. Just incredible work in subject and execution.
Incredible work by Pang in Tooting presenting the first taste of this artist combining her two main styles for painting on the street, realism and illustration, into one powerful whole, so much intensity and so much humour in this work.
Showstopping work ‘Absoulte Freedom’ by from Erase, Tretze, Miedo, Brain-Mash Crew members – Mezzo, Fanstaknado & Jovanny – Sckaro & Raturone, Juan2, Bonzai & Neist for Meeting Of Styles 2016 in the Nomadic Community Gardens. Not much else to say on this one, it speaks for itself and has it all.
‘Urban Jungle’ by Dan Kitchener & Otto Schade in Newham, presenting a stunning juxtaposition of styles with Dan Kitchener’s loose and fluid scene and the precise intricacy of Otto Schade’s ribbon Tiger.
‘Freedom?’ by Fanakapan & Louis Masai for Meeting Of Styles 2016 in Brick Lane, showcasing two beautiful and contrasting styles with Fanakapan’s mettalic overtones and the many colours of Masai’s creations sitting so harmoniously together. We also love the design of the fish tank by Fanakapan who has painted this wall many times in the past now and decided to incorporate the design into the walls features, with the central vertical bar of the fish tank aligned with an arch in the wall and the misty effect added to compliment the glare that can be such a pain when trying to photo this wall.
‘New New Facism’ by Nick Flatt & Punk One in Bethnal Green, with the piece being a defiant response to the rise of right-wing extremist and oppressive attitudes with in the United States, full of iconography some literal, some tongue-in-cheek which relates to the message of Nick Flatt’s & Punk One’s defiant and well articulated statement.
Work by Adnate in Bethnal Green, such striking and beautiful expression in his works that truly bring his subjects to life.
Fantastic work by Himbad in Shoreditch, that never fails to bring a smile to our face as we come into sight of this dominating cheeky character towering over Shoreditch. Panted entirely by rollers, just pure style.
Work by Jimmy C iin Southwark, with this striking portrait of William Shaespeeare set to a somewhat psychedelic swirling backdrop which seemingly projects from the colours the main subject is wearing, creating a sense of the energy flowing from the central figure.
Excellent work by JXC in Leake Street and without contest the best piece of artwork we have seen in this spot that plays host to a countless turnover of works.
Work by Banksy placed up in Knightsbridge, somewhere you really don’t see any forms of Street Art, directly opposite the French Embassy. The work was created and placed in such a location to criticize and draw attention to the measures the French authorities were taking to deal with refugees in ‘The Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais, namely the use of deploying CS gas as a form of crowd control on the thousands of refugees currently residing there, featuring the iconic image of Cosette from Victor Hugo’s historical novel Les Miserables, depicted shown with tears running down her face as she is engulfed in the fumes from the CS gas canister on the ground below her.
Beautiful work by Alice Pasquini, Himbad and Marina Zumi in Camden Town with a work which presents a stunning fusion of styles all set to the same minimalist colour palette which expresses itself through the levels of transparency and shading, with Africa providing the theme to this striking piece. Alice Pasquini on the left has painted a soulful portrait of a young girl, often the key focus in her works, sat alongside a powerful cheetah, seemingly acting as protector of the girl. They are both set amid the same calm and minimalist backdrop of the African plains in the rest of the work, with Himbad’s background style offering texture to the traditional dynamic in Marina Zumi’s landscapes of mist-ridden mountains, which along with the trees really create a sense of depth to the scene.
Work by Andrea Tyrimos in Holborn which stands out for several reason beyond it’s immediate aesthetic appeal, including that it was painted with oil based paints, that is is on a telephone box – a canvas rarely utilized as a canvas for Street Art and that it resides in an area otherwise completely devoid of Street Art.
Excellent work by Sokar Uno in Camden Town, with such an captivating and powerful piece presented in such a classical style and tradition.
Love the use of the space by Muretz in this piece in Finsbury Park with his delightful character sat missing the world pass by while scrolling through its phone.
‘Dead Dogs’ by Shok-1 in Walthamstow, with Shok-1 has creating an X-Ray of a dog’s skull that is just so realistic, and set to such a seducing and beautiful colour scheme.
Work by Dale Grimshaw in Shoreditch featuring his signature subject style maintaining a preference for strongly tribal subjects, all fused with that air-brushed effect that makes for such exquisite images enthused with a sense of passion and depth that is just fundamentally Dale Grimshaw
Work by Caratoes in Haggerston, whose work expresses the duality of freedom through a fusion of Realism and Abstract styles. The more realistic elements, such as the highly detailed faces, representing what we know and the tangible world around us. Adversely the abstract elements of the work represent sensations we don’t know but feel, the more primal dynamic of our nature.
Work by The Lost Souls: SPZer076, Captain Kris, Si Mitchell & Squirl with their “videogame mash up” inspired piece. Offering a distinctly fun and sligtly surreal twist on to a whole host of computer game characters that defined a generation of digital creativity, this is wall that really has so much going on within and is guaranteed to bring a smile to a face upon viewing.
Work by Mobstr in Bethnal Green, in which he and a friend set to play Naughts & Crosses on the space provided by this billboard, a game which resulted in a draw, and while in terms of the game there may have been no winners, it has to be said than when it comes to Mobstr’s interventions and running feuds he is very much always the only winner.
You can view our full review of 2016’s Street Art in London in our post (covered here).