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 has been no easy feat. 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 2018 with a look back at our favourite works of 2017.
Work by Fanakapan in Brick Lane, with a touching design with a beautiful message painted for the most tragic of reasons – in response to the 23 adults and children killed and 250 people injured following the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande on May 22nd. In the days after the attack Fanakapan set to paint a piece in respect of those lost and those effected by the Manchester bombing with his chrome hands set in the international gesture of peace and set atop of Peace slogan with the glowing light set between the two offering a hint of the warmth peace can bring.
Work by Sonny in Croydon, with this beautiful and poignant painting for his ‘To The Bone’ Project which sets to draw awareness to as well as raise funds for endangered species around the world before it is to late. In this case presenting a work featuring a rhino and a child set harmoniously side by side, highlighting that it is the children of the future who will miss out once such creatures are no more than a rare specimen in a zoo or photograph in a book.
Work by Dan Kitchener in Newham, with his largest London based work to date and depicting a futuristic vision of Tokyo as a city port punctuated by the ships and junks docking and flying around the bustling city skies in this electric world and all overlooked by the ‘Queen of Neon’ who represents the spirit of Tokyo, epitomized by the cables and neon signs entwined in her hair, becoming very much part of her construction and being. She stands proud at the centre of the city around her, the very essence of her surroundings.
Work by Dreph in Penge, with the fourth work in the artists ‘You Are Enough’ series which looks at female empowerment through his subjects, all of which are people he knows or has met. In this case his friend Mimi Fresh. If it can be said anyone has taken the year by storm it has to be Dreph for two reasons, firstly the brilliant aesthetic effect with which he brings his subjects to life, and secondly the inspiring story each piece had to tell.
Work by Trafik in Brick Lane, with a formidable scene depicting a chimpanzee deliberating over a game of chess in which no opponent is visible. Painted to striking black and white palette what commands the most about respect with this work however is the way Trafik painted this three-story wall on a ladder purely with a mini-roller and some black and white paint, most impressive.
Work by Boe & Irony in Walthamstow, s always making exemplary use of the space available the pair have created a gorgeous scene depicting a larger-then-life hedgehog seemingly peering over the wall of the surface it adorns.
Work by Conor Harrington in Brick Lane, with a powerful hyper-realistic portraiture depicted in a very classical painting tradition incorporating abstract and obscured elements to accompany his bold Military subjects. Harrington often focuses in great detail on certain parts of the figure while obscuring others through his use of techniques including bold line work, shading, drip work and a striking colour palette to accompany his rich painterly style.
“Grandma’s House” by TRUST.Icon – Level 17 for his exhibition ‘Street Artist’ around London, and for us by far the best use of a space by any artist in London this last year.
Work by DRT & Stinkfish in Camden Town, certainly our favourite collaboration of 2017, such energy and harmony between the two artists in this work.
Work by Jimmy C & Seb Humphreys in Hackney, with Jimmy C painting the pair of portraits in distinct ‘Aerosol-Pointillism’ style and Sebastian Humphreys creating the flowing almost cosmic swirls that engulf the two characters it is certainly a fantastic fusion of styles. This excellent work can be found on Horatio Road, Hackney, and was put up with sup
Work by David de la Mano in Brick Lane. working with a rather minimalist aesthetic to explore notions of the ‘other’ and the social or anti-social behaviors prevalent in their culture to provoke visions of the human state within society, as is the case with this mural entitled “The Wave” with a scene provoking a sense of humanity’s desire to conquer the natural world at all costs.
‘Paradise Lost’ by Jim Vision in Brick Lane, depicting as the name suggests a scene in which paradise as represented on the left is a scene of natural contentment and harmony is the turned into a scene of destruction consumed by the merciless fire damage. Taking center stage is a tribal warrior whose vary form is merged with the natural world he has lost, offering a stark reminder of the plight mankind has reeked to the natural environment and what has been lost and is also set to be lost in time.
‘Pennywise’ by JXC for the ‘Gimme Shelter’ Paint Jam in Soho, with an excellent work depicting Pennywise the clown from Stephen King’s ‘IT’ with additional real life red helium balloon placed up in the absolutely most perfect location for this sinister piece.
Work by Annatomix in Wandsworth, with an excellent Avian driven scene depicting five indigenous British birds all of which are on the Endangered List. Annatomix’s works are always so captivating with her geometric designs which always have so much flow and life infused about the scenes she creates.
Work by SPZero76 & Cloakwork in Shoreditch, with a brilliant collaboration featuring SPZero76’s mischievous characters about to apprehended by Cloakwork’s Officer Grumpy Cat & Officer Batman Dog for painting on a tube train.
Work by Bailon in Poplar, with an absolute brilliant use of the lovely brickwork canvas, with his birds and plantlife set bursting out of the wall.
Work by Dale Grimshaw in Brick Lane, with a fantastic work features a Papua New Guinea tribesman as its subject and is yet again a real delight to gaze upon. The work featuring Dale Grimshaw’s signature subject style, maintaining a preference for strongly tribal portraits, on this occasion accompanied with graffiti presented as part of the warriors decorative presentation. 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 Mr Cenz in Brick Lane, with such a striking female portraits created in his distinctive sci-fi and cosmic-fueled styling, seemingly imbued with that translucent quality that defines his works.
Work by Samer in Brick Lane, certainly an artist that has also really made his mark around London throughout 2017 and this is our favourite work by the artist from the last year, with a beautiful and captivating series of botanical birds set side by side.
Work from Jim Vision, Dr Zadok, Neist, Xenz, Balstroem & Twesh for Meeting of Styles in the Nomadic Community Gardens and representing the pinnacle of the potential of collaborative Street Art & Graffiti.
You can view our full review of 2017’s Street Art in London in our post (covered here).