Just Her’s Guide to Brighton Street Art
There are a lot of amazing things about living in a city like Brighton, but the incredibly vibrant and thriving street art scene (and art scene in general) is definitely up at the top end of my list. There is literally art everywhere you look here. The walls, streets, buildings and even houses are filled with so much colour – you could say the city is a piece of art in itself – but the street art and graffiti scene here is particularly strong.
It’s actually kind of difficult for me to pick specific ‘pieces’ of street art because it is a living and breathing thing; it all changes so quickly and pieces that I fall in love with can sometimes be gone within a week and then replaced with something completely different. I guess one of the beauties of street art is its temporary nature. There are also so many amazing pieces that it is almost impossible to narrow it down, but hopefully, I can offer a small a taste of the incredible and eclectic art scene we have in our city.
One of the most prolific artists in Brighton, Unknown has a trademark style often including warped faces, which he describes as the ‘monsters in his head’ – while still maintaining the versatility to create a huge variety of pieces, ranging from raw street art through to abstract gallery paintings. His style seems to be evolving all the time and he recently created an incredible abstract work that would have been my current favourite piece in Brighton, but it was painted over so quickly that I couldn’t even get a picture of it!
Some examples of his (slightly older) work are his totem pole faces (which are actually on the street that I live on!), and a bespoke piece that he created for Glazed Coffee Shop, where he warped his usual faces into their trademark glazed donuts!
We have plans to collaborate on an exhibition together in Brighton this year too.
02. BANKSY / REQ
Obviously, a street art feature wouldn’t be complete without including the most famous piece in Brighton. Banksy’s ‘Kissing Coppers’ was painted on the side of the Prince Albert pub in 2004. However what some people don’t know is that the original piece was removed in 2011 and sold at auction and a replica put in its place inside a secure frame, which is the piece we see today. It still creates a huge amount of attention though!
Another reason it’s worth visiting this spot is that local artist REQ has covered the pub wall surrounding the Banksy piece with an incredible mural of pop icons.
Originally from America, Minty has been a staple part of the Brighton scene for a number of years. His pieces are incredibly stand-out due to their uniqueness, being pasted works, often taking a collage style format, with quirky characters and incorporating the simple and poignant message of “I Love You”. His pieces also change often, but two of my current favourites can both be found on the road leading to Brighton Train Station.
A recent discovery for me, Mazcan takes a more artistic approach to her street pieces, with beautifully crafted murals of women’s faces. Two of her recent works can be found on one of Brighton’s most prolific streets for art – Trafalgar Lane. They are incredibly striking.
05. COSMO SARSON
With religious undertones and a nod to Caravaggio, the “Angel of Brighton” is a fairly new mural created by Cosmo Sarson as a tribute to his late father, apparently involving a number of days on a cherry picker and a huge amount of glitter in its creation. The result is spectacular, particularly if you catch it in the morning or evening sun.
06. NAOIMH LOONEY
Throwing this one in as a bit of a bonus, as it’s not technically street art, it is, in fact, a commissioned installation created by Naoimh Looney in 2008, and over the last ten years, it has become a true icon of Brighton’s seafront. “I have great desire. My desire is great” is a fitting statement for Brighton, a city with a truly vibrant and welcoming community that is defined by a diverse set of desires. The piece is set to gradually bend and rust over time due to its seafront location, with the slow weathering bringing an extra dimension to the artwork which will become more and more absorbed in its surroundings as it ages.
There are a number of other incredible artists I would have loved to include here, including the chiselled alien style characters of Snub, one of the pioneers of the Brighton scene; or the classic graffiti style lettering of Reams, and the infamous junction box pieces by Cassette Lord. There is so much art on offer In Brighton that the only way to really experience it is to come and visit for yourself. We are waiting for you 🙂