The Most Influential British Street Artists Working Today
Britain hasn’t had the international acclaim that the US has had for street art. Despite this, british street artists are some of the best around.
Nobody in street art has the kind of clout that Banksy has. He’s by far the biggest artist in the world with Shepard Fairey maybe being the closest second. He’s a veteran of the scene. His social and political statements mixed into pop culture imagery has made him the face of street art even though we haven’t seen his face.
Street art has always faced unfair criticism for being more juvenile than other art forms. Despite Jean Michel Basquiat going from street art into the world of high art, a division still exists. Mr. Jago follows in Basquiat’s footsteps by blurring the line of art hierarchy. He came up through street art culture, taking influence from early hip hop and B-Boy culture.
Bringing Stencil Art to Bristol and, in all honesty, Britain as a whole in the eighties, Nick Walker’s impact on other British street artists can’t be understated. He’s an influence for everyone with his style being a clear forebearer to Banksy. He’s adept at putting together pieces that mesh together multiple different art styles, all while disguised behind a bowler hat.
Working in ceramic and mosaic, mainly from scavenged pieces, Baroness Carrie Von Reichardt has been a voice on the scene for nearly two decades. Her work remains subversive and intentionally obscure. It has kept her from reaching the heights of some of her peers but if feels like that’s kind of the point. While her work hasn’t brought her huge fame, it has made her a huge influence on the alternative street art scene at home and abroad.
Sickboy is Lowry crossed with Hieronymus Bosch seen through a pop art lens. His work is madcap and colorful scenes packed with elements that need to be carefully studied. It’s not hard to see the impact his style has had, not only on other street artists but also on the art world at large. E4 title cards, advertisements and more all borrow heavily from Sickboy.
The muted energy of Phlegm’s work reveals a sharp artistic eye when you pay attention to it. The artist started out in magazines and comics which he self-published before graduating into murals. He’s kept his style throughout his career and only expanded it rather than abandoning it. He pops up all over the world. His huge murals in abandoned buildings seem to capture the souls of the places in the creatures he makes.