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David Bowie mural in Brixton
© Rob Greig

Ten street art tributes in London you should seek out this spring

By
Tarn Rodgers Johns
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You know someone was kind of a big deal when a graffiti artist turns their face into a mural. London may be full of art, but unlike portraits found in the National Gallery street art is likely to disappear at any moment as buildings are demolished or repainted. With the arrival of spring, now is a great time to go and pay an al fresco tribute to some of the lates and greats. 

Carrie Fisher - Peckham Road, Camberwell

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The Artful Dodger painted this tribute to the rebellious spirit of Princess Leia aka Carrie Fisher on the side of a closed down pub a few days after her death.

Shakespeare - Clink Street, Bankside

Street artist Jimmy C painted this psychedelic portrait on a railway arch near Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It appeared in 2016, just in time for the bard’s 400th birthday – possibly making him one of the oldest people ever to be commemorated in spray paint.

Carrie Fisher - The Winchester Pub, Angel

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The Artful Dodger wasn’t the only street artist to feel moved after the death of Carrie Fisher. This piece by Pegasus also features the actress in character as Princess Leia, with a stylistic nod to the Virgin Mary.

 Amy Winehouse - Camden Lock

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This stencil of the late singer appears in her native Camden, overlooking the canal. This is actually the second version to be painted by Pegasus in the same spot, after the first was whitewashed when the building was converted into a Starbucks. 

Terry Pratchett - Brick Lane, Shoreditch

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This 2015 mural by Jim Vision and Dr Zadok celebrates the children’s author as well as artist Josh Kirby, who did the artwork for Pratchett’s books. Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy series included 41 novels, and the huge piece includes many references to characters and scenes.

David Bowie - Brixton

After Brixton boy Bowie’s death this Jimmy C mural became a shrine to the singer as hundreds of people laid flowers and notes underneath it and wrote his lyrics on the wall in tribute. It’s now been given protected status by Lambeth Council.

George Michael - Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch

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This stencil was painted by Pegasus after the singer’s death and features an eerily appropriate lyric from his song ‘Careless Whisper’.

Winston Churchill - Croydon High Street

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This 20ft mural of the late PM by Brooklyn-based artist David Hollier appeared in Croydon town centre in 2016. It’s made up of fragments from Churchill’s famed ‘We Shall Fight On The Beaches’ speech.


Prince - Turnpike Lane, Haringey

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This purple-framed homage includes two doves (obviously) and Prince’s own love symbol. 

Salvador Dali - Commercial Street, Spitalfields

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French artist Zabou commemorated the surrealist painter earlier this year in this piece featuring the famous melting clock spilling onto the pavement.

Have you seen the street art on Turnpike Lane?

Check out the rest of London’s best street art.

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