Examples of street art are countless in London. Walking through the city you’ll expose yourself to gorgeous labours of love, iconic street art figures, and hastily scrawled tags. Works range from Reuben D.’s instantly recognisable works (who famously ‘farted in yoga’) to John Bulley’s long-standing Camden Lock iconography, not to mention Stik’s ubiquitous stick figures. Oh, and the occasional Banksy, of course! There’s even the Leake Street Arches, which is full of incredible street art, and never looks the same from day-to-day. No surprise, then, that the city can also lay claim to two works that are currently in the running for best street art in the world.
Street Art Cities, which defines itself as “the largest urban art community in the world”, compiles an annual list of the best street art in the world. Over the past year, they shared 100 murals a month through their social channels. Off the back of the internet’s response to those posts, they have in turn published a list of the top 100 pieces of street art in the world from 2022. The works come from over 90 cities in 30 countries. London’s two nominated pieces are Sophie Mess’s piece for the Whitecross Street Party, and Mr Cenz’s instalment on the blind wall at the Prince of Peckham pub.
The London nominees for Best Street Art
Sophie Mess painted her piece back in July, at 126 Whitecross Street, Old Street EC1Y 8PU. Her work as a street artist has taken her from Bristol to London, from Paris to Gothenburg, and beyond. She has even collaborated with cocktail bars! She takes florals and blows them up into larger-than-life, powerful works that burst with intense colours.
Meanwhile, Mr Cenz painted his artwork in May. It was his third instalment at the Prince of Peckham. His work has graced the pub walls four times so far, even going so far as to be augmented by AR technology. The artist describes his work as ‘futuristic space funk’ on his Instagram page, a fitting description of the bold colours and futuristic, trippy imagery.
How to vote for your favourite piece?
Voting opened on January 1 for the public to choose the best street art of 2022. Voting will run through to January 30. On January 20, ahead of that, the Street Art Cities will reveal the shortlist of the Top 10. To vote, just download the Street Art Cities app, select the Best of 2022 list and pick your favourite. It couldn’t be easier!
Last year the winner was the artist Diego As, with a mural titled Julio César in Lugo, Spain. This year, Diego As has once again reached the top 100 with another mural in the same city. Clearly, Spain is not to be missed for fans of street art. A total of 29 murals from the country made the top 100 shortlist. The United Kingdom represented with more than just London works, though, with pieces from Aberdeen, Belfast, Greenock, Bristol, and Margate also reaching the top 100. But we’ve got our fingers crossed for a London winner! We’re only slightly biased…