Street art in Europe, the best artists and where to find them

We cover a lot of London street art here on Inspiring City,  it’s where we live and the street art we see is pretty cool.  A lot of it though from people from all over the continent, something that is a tribute to the talent which finds itself attracted to the street art scene of the city.

So with the UK getting ready to tear itself apart in the battle for the upcoming European referendum we thought it might be a good time to look further afield into Europe and pick out some of its best street art representatives in the first of our series on the best street artists in Europe.

The list of course is highly subjective, I’ve tried to pick artists who have not spent that much time in the UK although admittedly that’s easier said than done and in some cases our pick is an artist who is from the country but resident in the UK.  So here we have, the Inspiring City list featuring some of the best street art talent in Europe.

Ireland – Eoin 

A semi-regular visitor to London Eoin is a World traveller if ever there ever was one.   His swirling lines and ability to draw massive eyes have impressed audiences wherever he has worked.  Eoin is also an artist who thinks a lot about the placement of his work, often choosing to paint in remote and off the beaten path areas in order to give it a greater impact.  Have a look at this piece about the work he has done in the national parks of Hawaii.

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Eoin artwork in Ireland.  Photo via Morfes which also has a lot more examples of his work

Scotland – SMUG

Okay so it’s part of the UK but stands alone in it’s pursuit of high quality street art, the centre of which is in Glasgow with it’s vibrant scene.  In particular the artist known as SMUG whose large scale photo realistic yet slightly distorted images create such an impact of the viewer.  The result of a glorious combination of placement, talent and an eye for the dramatic.  Urban Kultur Blog captured his latest work in the city which soon went viral around the World

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Impressive work from SMUG in Glasgow.   Picture via Urban Kultur Blog.

France – Hopare 

Hopare’s striking portraits have always appealed to us here on Inspiring City.  Also known by his real name of Alexandre Monteiro, his use of realism with the striking colours and geometric designs blended altogether result in an impactful image.

hopare the vandalist

Hopare mural in Paris via ‘The Vandalist

Nomad Clan – England

We first met the Nomad Clan at the first Femme Fierce festival in London.  From the north of England they’ve been impressing us ever since, painting a number of times in the city but also around the country.  The duo features the artist Cbloxx and Aylo, both exceptional artists in their own right but combined the work they produce is really impressive.  To see more of their work have a look at their website here.

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Giant mural by the Nomad Clan in Liverpool via Art in Liverpool.com

Norway – Zina 

There is only one choice for us and that is Zina.  A regular feature on Inspiring
City she has been based in London for a number of years now although she still manages to travel.  Known for her blue hues and photo realism her work has also attracted the eye of a number of commercial supporters, eager to jump onto the Zina bandwagon.  We covered her work recently as she created a glow in the dark mural for Sony which you can read about here.

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Zina by her finished mural.  Photo by Rob Wilson Jnr.

Sweden – Amara

Amara has got to be our pick for Sweden.  Another artist resident in London,  Sweden often takes a zero tolerance policy to urban art so the chance of building a body of work in her home country was always going to be tough.  Now she’s established herself as one of the most recognisable artists on the London street art scene and is building a growing portfolio of work around the World.  Check out this article we wrote about her work.

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Amara Por Dios mural on Bateman Street in Soho

Holland – Leon Keer

An artist who creates giant 3D images on pavements around the World his images quickly capture the imagination.  According to his website, they are not meant to last but they do quickly get shared and command a global presence, which I suppose, is the whole point.  To see more have a look at his website here.

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Work from Leon Keer via ‘I Support Street Art’

Belgium – ROA

The incredible ROA draws black and white animals and birds and then places them into an urban setting as if they are reclaiming the small sections of the cities they inhabit.  Hugely popular, there are a number of ROA pieces still existent in London but his work can be found all over the World.  To find examples of his work in London have a look here and to find examples from elsewhere check out Brooklyn Street Arts post here.

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Catch of the day by ROA in Sweden.  Picture via Street Art Brooklyn who have an excellent selection on his work on their site

Spain – Borondo

It’s hard to look past Borondo who has been doing incredible things of late.  A popular visitor to London, we covered his work when his sell out show in at the London Newcastle gallery in Shoreditch really placed him firmly amongst the very best on the scene.  Now of course his work can be found all over the World and is another artist who seems to have mastered the art of placement.

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Borondo mural in Arcidosso in Italy as covered by Street Art News

Portugal – Vhils

Alexandre Farto, also known as Vhils is one of Portugal’s best known artists.  A wide traveller he has created some dramatic pieces in  London over the years. He creates his portraits into the very fabric of the canvas he uses whether that is brick or any other material.  A recent piece on Hewett Street in London is still there despite the development going on all around it.  By rights it should have been demolished along with the rest of the building on which it stood but such is the esteem in which Vhils work is held.  Have a look at this article from Wide Walls about some of the best Portuguese artists to find out more.

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Vhils work chipped into the side of a building in Sao Miguel in the Azores.  Picture and further reading via MyModernMet

Greece – Ser

The grand master of street art in Greece, Ser is possibly the best known internationally with his work exported around the World.  Often painting collaborations with his partner Simoni Fontana, the two combined have a unique blend and a style that’s hard to miss. We last covered Ser’s work a few years ago when he took part in the Moniker Art Fair in London.  His work then, a comical and surreal take on the Greek banking crisis, really caught our eye.  London Street Art Design have featured his and Simoni’s work more in this article.

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Collaborative piece between Ser and Simoni in Hearklion, Greece.  Picture via Pinterest

Italy – Millo

Millo seems to have started to corner the market in epic scale, giant wall black and white illustration.  Resident in London a few years ago it was always good to see his work pop up and the prolific nature of his painting has changed since he left, it’s just gone to a whole new scale altogether.  To read more we featured an interview with Millo as he exhibited in London alongside local artist Benjamin Murphy.

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Millo work from a in Barcelona via Street Art Barcelona

Germany – Mad C

Who else but Mad C who gets to London every now and again but not with that much frequency.  Her bright abstract colours are what attracts us to her work and they can dominate a wall especially if she goes big.  In London a particularly impressive piece can be seen in Shoreditch as well as in Dulwich.

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The epic mural from MadC on Chance Street in Shoreditch

Austria – Nychos

Nychos is another artist who has become popular during his visits to London.  Known for his surreal cartoon animals, they are often depicted as a dissection creating something that really should be macabre but ends up quite comic.  To see more of Nychos work have a look at the website here.

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‘Nachos the Weird’ mural via ‘So Bad So Good’ which also features several other examples of his work

Poland – Natalia Rak

Often painting big, Natalia’s work can be found around big walls in Poland and across Europe.  Her cartoonish characters are brought to life as she uses the environment around to determine the scale of her often epic work.  As far as we know she’s not managed to come and paint in London yet, but if she ever did we want to be there to see it.  To see more of her work have a look at her website.

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Giant Natalia Rak piece in Bialystok, Poland.  Picture via Street Art News

Russia – Lora Zombie

After meeting Lora Zombie recently at an all female group show in the Saatchi Gallery it’s hard not to be completely bowled over by her work.  Another artist who travels a fair bit, she has a huge following and yet hinted to me that she may well yet come back to London to paint in the famous Leake Street Tunnel.  Her work is sharp, edgy, possibly political and humorous often all at the same time, to see more have a look at her website.

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Lora lying next to her work in the Saatchi Gallery

Romania – Sweet Damage Crew

A group of graffiti writers who recognised that their styles blended together nicely, the sweet damage crew have become ever more known for their large scale and slightly surreal murals.  The crew consists of Cage, Biek, Reck, Seyr and Pandelee who joined in March 2015 check our their facebook page here.

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Sweet Damage Crew work in Bucharest via Nicolcarm