Tag Archives: guided

No Rest For The Wicked

Do you think street artists take a break over Christmas? Not a bit of it, we found some lovely fresh street art on the tour today which all appeared since yesterday.

D7606 was spied around town, for him it’s a pretty long trip to visit London and this time he brought this gorgeous collaboration with City Kitty of New York

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D7606 (UK) & City Kitty (NY)

Several new stencil and paste up multimedia combos from US West Coast WRDSMTH also appeared overnight, this modern world romantic twist was a new one not seen here before:

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WRDSMTH – instagram validation

It’s always good to see street artists seeing out the old year in style, look out for the Shoreditch Street Art Tour annual review appearing in the next few days.




All photos: Dave Stuart aka NoLionsInEngland

Awarded Certificate Of Excellence

Shoreditch Street Art Tours is delighted to announce that it has been awarded the prestigious and prized Tripadvisor 2015 Certificate of Excellence.

This award is testament to two things, the most important is our wonderful guests who have chosen to share their appreciation of the Shoreditch Street Art Tour activities with the public through Tripadvisor. The second, and we blush here, is down to the quality of the tour.

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Tripadvisor Certificate Of Excellence

At this moment a quick glance at Tripadvisor shows that since its first review appeared in July 2013, Shoreditch Street Art Tours has received 601 reviews and a massive 587 – that’s 98% – of those are 5 out of 5 stars. The other 14 of course are all 4 stars.

The art always changes, the route may changes, the message often changes but the quality of the experience is unwaivering.

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photo: Ron de Vos (guest)

We thank all the guests who have provided feedback through Tripadvisor and the other locations where independent reviews can be placed, here are just a few snippets from recent Tripadvisor reviews:

“I brought along my husband who didn’t have a previous interest in the subject and at the end he said, “This is the best tour I have ever been on in any city”. ” – Annie Y, 16 May 2015

“Don’t skip the Tate. But this is even better. ” – Gutflam5, 15 May 2015

“with Dave’s expertise, we were able to understand and decode the messages hidden in the work” – Maria V, 12 May 2015

Certificate courtesy Tripadvisor

Group photo: Ron de Vos

London, Shoreditch, Street art,tour,tours,walk,walks,guide,guided, street artist, spraycan,paste ups, paper, Skeleton Cardboard

Street Artist Skeleton Cardboard Brings Day Of The Dead Early

A burst of activity by English street artist Skeleton Cardboard resulted in the discovery of a number of new nuggets by several Shoreditch Street Art Tours over the weekend.


We found the above painted doors yesterday morning on a route which we hadn’t explored since Saturday morning. A pair of skeletons exhort us to abandon various false media, perhaps we have to learn from their example, look where too much TV, too much responding to the junk mail, living on the never never got them!
Skeleton cardboard is not one of those globe trotting street art mega stars who gets high profile permissioned murals where ever he goes round the world, he has been doing small and generally witty pieces on Shoreditch walls and we can see a clear trajectory of improving street art over the past two years or so.


Just a couple of weeks ago Skeleton Cardboard had a solo show in Monty’s Bar on Brick Lane. The walls were peppered with dark, day-of-the-dead skeletal characters who mocked those stern proclamations prohibitions issued by various authority figures or found on product packaging which we are expected to read and heed. “Nothing of value stored in here” or “invalid if opened” takes on a darker meaning when juxtaposed with a grinning skull on a dancing skeleton.

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A couple of tour groups over the weekend also found new paste ups of skeletons painted on found vintage magazine paper. The magazine in question was a supplement to Amateur Gardening, a respectable gardening periodical it seems and the content was Percy Thrower’s picture guide, to what isn’t stated but we guess gardens. There is no date on the paper but Percy Thrower passed away in 1988, he bestrode the worlds of TV and horticulture like a garden centre goliath but those were days when a man mimicking various bird calls was prime time TV.

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Good street art pops off its background and Skeleton Cardboard has certainly found a couple of gorgeous locations for placing these paste ups.

We have previously found free art by Skeleton Cardboard on the streets, see here

Very Nearly Almost Zine Launch Issue 26

Once a quarter a new edition of street art/urban art/illustration mag VNA hits the streets and excitement is unrestrained.  The launch is heralded by not one but two launch parties.  Thursday 22nd May sees a launch at Lazarides Outsiders Gallery on Greek St, Soho then on Saturday the festivities move to Weapons Of Choice Gallery in Bristol.



Cover artist for Issue 26 is multi talented Robert “3D” del Naja, artist and musician with Bristol’s seminal Massive Attack (my cue to put Heligoland on the hi fi right now).  The magazine comes in four versions including a glitter sprinkled limited edition featuring a heavyweight cotton tote bag, featuring one of 3D’s iconic knife and fork prints, and some tasty postcards of his work.

Very Nearly Almost Zine Launch Issue 26

Cover 2

Facebook event pages for the two launches are available here:

Bristol Launch – Weapon Of Choice Gallery – Saturday 24th May – 6-9pm www.facebook.com/events/672665359467071

London Launch – The Outsiders – Thursday 22nd May – 6-9pm – www.facebook.com/events/456982974436187

Having read the Robert del Naja and Aida interviews we can say that VNA’s impeccable coverage of the scene is sustained through this issue.  Artists featured in this issue include Numskull (Aus), Augustine Kolfie (LA), Calma (Brazil), Buff Monster (NY via LA), Katrin Fridriks (Iceland), Greg Lamarche (NY), Ernest Zacharevic (Lit), TenTen (Poland), truly an international roster of the highest pedigree.   VNA issue 26 also contains the usual slew of great photographs from Mark Rigney, Paul Grey, Claude Crommelin and (cough) NoLionsInEngland, as well as Chasing Ghosts’s photo feature on stickers and street art from Singapore.

Very Nearly Almost Zine Launch Issue 26

Both Covers

Cruise the party, get the mag.  VNA Issue 26 is here, details of an online lottery to get the ridiculously cheap special limited edition are due to be announced by VNA shortly.

VNA Bristol Launch

VNA Bristol Launch

Busy Easter Bunnies

There was no break over the Easter weekend for street artists in Shoreditch, productivity was high and a number of super new pieces of street art appeared.

This year’s star Borondo lived up to his soaring reputation in the London street art scene by painting the iconic Sclater St car park wall.   Previous pieces on this wall by Jimmy C and Dal East lasted roughly 10 months and 11 months respectively so hopefully Barondo’s new piece will prove equally enduring. At first glance the intertwined bodies suggest the aftermath of a roman orgy but as someone on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour pointed out over the weekend, it might also be a body pit, a mass burial grave. You decide!


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The Shoreditch Street Art Tour also chanced upon the Portuguese talent Furia ACK completing a wonderful portrait in charcoal and chalk.


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Furia ACK

Otto Schade was also spied out on Brick Lane with the slightly curious task of painting a yellow ribbon based acid smiley map of London over….. a yellow ribbon based acid smiley map of London! This is at least the 4th painting Otto Schade has created on this particular wall, the new version is a tad larger than the old and a misty fire now smoulders at the bottom of the wall.


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Otto Schade

We don’t see much street art composed as a dyptich but that seems to be exactly what Lex Dura has done with this “Life is beautiful”/ ”So is my Mum” two parter.


London, Shoreditch,Street art, graffiti,walk,tour,guided,tours,Lex Dura

Lex Dura

Jim Vision made huge strides on a mural of a white horse thundering through the shore break on a beach but the continuous rain in the latter part of the weekend means this is yet to complete. Many other artists were out making clandestine marks on Shoreditch’s walls over the weekend ensuring continual change to the bright, colourful and interesting street art.

all photos: NoLionsInEngland

Jef Aerosol New London Street Art 2014

French stencil legend Jef Aerosol surprised the Shoreditch Street Art Tour when he strolled past in a hurry after creating some fresh street art. By chance we happened to meet right at a spot where in 2008 Jef Aerosol put up a long lasting stencil of John Lennon and Mick Jagger.

Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,John Lennon, Mick Jagger

Brimful of excitement, the group was amazed later to find a new piece of Jef Aerosol work on the streets. This pasted image shows two Moroccan Gnawa musicians, Jef visited Morocco last month and it made a deep impression on him and the composition is an interesting addition to the many popular musical legends who have been a mainstay of his work.


Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,Morocco,musicians,gnawa,stencil, paste up

Jef Aerosol – Moroccan Gnawa musicians

Further East Jef has done an even better piece of art on the dilapidated and boarded up exterior of an old fishmongers. The images are stencilled onto the wall, not pasted and in addition to a couple of his urchin children there are two fishes rising up and escaping their normal aquatic boundaries, and interesting response to the former use of the site.

Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,stencil, flying fish

Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,stencil, flying fish Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,stencil, flying fish Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,stencil, flying fish

You can view a photographic survey of Jef’s London street art over the years  here.

Jef has had several significant shows in the UK over the past decade, our favourite was probably Spray It Loud in Islington back in 2008.

all photos: NoLionsInEngland

Banksy old, Banksy New

Lots of excitement in Banksy World at the moment with new pieces of street art appearing and old pieces being stolen.

First the two new new pieces, one has gone up in Bristol and has in effect been confirmed as a Banksy by its appearance on his website, from which these two photos are borrowed with thanks:

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mobile lovers, Bristol

Banksy,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,theft,

photos: Banksy.co.uk

The second piece is a brilliant composition mocking government surveillance of our phone calls and social media interactions, as described fully by The Guardian in various Pulitzer Prize award winning articles.  Everything from the subject matter to the style of the stencils, the colours, the humour, the use of the specific furniture and fabric of the street screams Banksy but as yet it hasn’t appears on his website.  The location is particularly brilliant, this piece is in Cheltenham, home to the UK government spooks at GCHQ.

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photo: flickr user SaLLy

Everyone seems agreed it is a Banksy and I’m joining that crew!  This photo was taken by flickr user Sally, thanks Sally.

The new Bristol Banksy has already been removed though not without some controversy.  The piece was taken in “to prevent any vandalism or damage” by Broad Plains Boys Club based next door to the property with the Banksy on, they believe they can sell it to raise much needed funds that would help them avoid closure due to funding cuts.   Certainly they seem to believe that it may have been deliberately placed there by Banksy for them to use for fund raising, even though that isn’t really his usual modus operendi for contributing to deserving causes.   In their favour it seems unlike Banksy to install a nice piece like this in such a casual way that a couple of dozen easily removed cross head screws are all that stand between it and liberty.  Perhaps he did want them to take it.  There is a debate that the door actually belongs to the council and isn’t the Boys Club’s to remove or sell.  On the other hand, reports suggest that the wood sheet it is painted on was placed there by Banksy and therefore didn’t belong to the council.  Doubtless this one will run awhile until facts become fully established and lawyers chip in.


Meanwhile, in a seemingly unrelated development, a video has appeared by StealingBanksy.com showing the recent removal of a Girl With Balloon Banksy piece from a wall in Shoreditch, sometimes our tour swings by this spot.

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The organisation behind its removal is part of the Sincura Group.  Whispers started circulating two months ago that this Girl with Balloon was to be put on display in an exhibition this April with six other pieces of Banksy street art after which the pieces were to be auctioned.  If we heard that rumour, you can be certain Banksy heard it too.  We expected a publicity blizzard to blow up around this display of street Banksys but Banksy himself has hijacked the agenda by launching his own pre-emptive newsworthy stunt, cutting right across the promotional efforts to pump up the show of the street Banksys.

If Banksy hadn’t appeared on the walls at exactly this point in time, all the press coverage surrounding Sincura’s publicity hype would have focussed on “Banksy has done hardly anything in the UK recently”, now Banksy has prevented that train of thought developing steam.  Great timing Banksy!

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I Hate This Font, Banksy, May 2012

Curiously, StealingBanksy.com seems to be somewhat over-reaching in a strange attempt to dress up their activity as some kind of glamorous vandalism.  Illegally stolen? Not if rumours that they bought the wall off the legal wall owners are to be believed.

Sloppy errors of fact relating to Banksy’s street art are littered across the StealingBanksy blurb. There were more than just the two Girl With Balloons they claim in London.  What is their objective, to attach some sense of scarcity value to their Girl With Balloon?

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Girl With Balloon, 600 yards from King Johns Court, Shoreditch (buffed)

 Banksy,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,theft,

Girl With Balloon, honest (buffed), 300 yards from King Johns Court

 The film also claims that the Girl With Balloon from King Johns Court was painted in 2006 but we know for certain it dates from well before that.

Banksy,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,theft,

Girl With Balloon, photo ArtOfTheState, 2004

Banksy certainly dislikes his street pieces being removed and sold like this, he’d much rather they lived a natural life on the streets, even if falling victim to the buff is their fate.  If speculation that he intended the mobile lovers in Bristol as a life saving gift to the Broad Plains Boys Club is in any way accurate that would be a radical change for the Master!

UPDATE: the always excellent Vandalog street art blog has just published a fascinating interview with a Director of the Sincura group, well worth reading here

Thanks to great friends ArtOfTheState and HowAboutNo for fact checking and opinion sharing and use of ArtOfTheState’s photo with kind permission, to Sally for kind permission to use her Cheltenham Banksy photo and to Banksy for use of his photos.

ACE Start to 2014? Exciting Street Art Competition

Take a tour with Shoreditch Street Art Tours anytime from 1 Dec 2013 to 5 Jan 2014 and be in with a chance to win A.CE artwork!

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A.CE is one of London’s finest street artists.  He has been active on the streets of London for over 10 years and was first pick when our principal guide Dave NoLionsInEngland was asked to put together an article on Shoreditch’s top street artists.  A.CE’s colourful collaged paste ups have always featured prominently on Shoreditch Street Art Tours and if you want to get an idea of the excitement that lies behind the clandestine dark art of illegal pasting, you could not do better than watch the short film on his website of A.CE in action in London.

We are excited to announce that A.CE has generously given us a street quality original artwork for Shoreditch Street Art Tours to offer as a prize to its wonderful guests.  All tour guests who take a tour in the month of December (and that tiny bit of January which is basically still holiday) will be entered automatically into a prize draw to be made on Monday 6th of January 2014.  That’s one entry per person not per booking!.  This wonderful prize will be mailed in a nice tube to the winner.

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An A.CE a way to start 2014!


Shoreditch Street Art Photography Workshop – Sameena Jarosz beats the challenge

Sameena Jarosz took a load of fantastic photos in Shoreditch, London on our Street Art Photography Workshop on 25 Aug.  After going through a whole bunch of  tips and hints on how we might interpret a broad variety of street art photography opportunities, we take to the Shoreditch streets for about 90 minutes to stroll around trying out a variety of techniques.  Just for fun, participants are given a flyer with a challenge to photograph six specific situations, such as a reflected piece of street art, street art with an artist in shot…and more.  Sameena has produced a superb set, I particularly like this reflection shot which also ticks the “passerby” challenge too.

Shoreditch London Street Art tour workshop photography reflection roa

photo credit: Sameena Jarosz

You should check out Sam’s great blog post with her full set of pics here.

One thing photographs taken by the participants reinforce it is that not only does the street art constantly change, there are also so many different great ways to see each individual piece.  For instance, after checking out Sam’s on her blog, take a peek at Will Edgecombe’s taken on the same workshop, same day.