Brighton has a superb art scene and whatever you’re into from poetry to sculpture, you can find it going on in the city. There is also a fantastic street art scene which lurks on the border between the legal and illegal and if you want a taste of the forbidden fruit, we can steer you in the right direction.
We’ve got 14 Awesome Brighton Street Art Street Artists of Brighton to share with you and they are Snub 23, Req 1, Aroe, Cosmo Sarson, Sinnaone.com, Cassette Lord, Glimmertwin, The Postman, Minty, Unknown, Mazcan, Fugly and (sort of) Banksy. We’ve also got 3 street art galleries and a street art tour of Brighton to round things off with – check it out!
14 Super Brighton Street Art Street Artists
There are way more than 14 street artists in Brighton, but we’ve collected the best-known and most reputable together to give you a crash course introduction that won’t be overwhelming. There is real talent out there everyday creating new and memorable art on every street in the city and we’re glad they’re there.
Snub23 is probably the biggest player on the Brighton Street Art scene. He’s happy to make his mark, quite literally, anywhere with almost any material. Graffiti is his primary talent, but you can find stencil art, stickers and even drawings that bear his handle.
He says he was inspired by fellow street artist Pablo Fiasco to get started and that he loves the freedom to create where he wants to create. Nowadays, a lot of his work is legal, but he still occasionally hunts down the thrill of an illegal mark up when the whim takes him. He says that he never leaves home without his sketchbook.
You know that Req 1’s work is in high demand when you Google his name and find that Saatchi Art are selling off some of it. He’s been doing street art for a very long time and he began working in spray paint back in 1984 and his style is often known as “spray paint realism”.
His artwork adorns the covers of many Mo-Wax recordings and he had his own music career too and cut discs for Skint and Warp records. He says that “art should always be beautiful.” When he’s not creating beautiful works of art, Req 1 is leading tours of Brighton’s underground art scene on the streets and you can find out more about these tours below. You can also check out his latest stuff on Facebook here.
Aroe’s work adorns many a wall in Brighton and he’s been in the graffiti game since he was 13. He says his inspiration came from seeing Malcolm McLaren’s “Buffalo Girls” video when he was watching the music show Top of the Pops. His activities skirt and sometimes downright infringe the law but he’s always managed to stay out of trouble though we’re sure he has occasionally had to run for it.
He draws entirely by hand and frowns upon the use of stencils and the like. He’s also a member of a well-known LA-based graffiti crew, the Mad Society Kings and has worked hard to try and re-establish British graffiti as a force to be reckoned with in Europe. He says that his art has made him ruthless in pursuit of his goals.
Cosmo Sarson is not a Brighton native but rather a recent import from London, his best loved work by far is the “Angel of Brighton” which was a tribute to his father. However, it is his “breakdancing Jesus” for which he is most famous. He took 12 years break from adorning the streets with art, came back with breakdancing Jesus and it went viral and since then he’s not stopped creating.
Each of his artworks is a major creation and he often has to stage the scene in real life and photograph it before he can paint it. As you can imagine, that gets quite expensive and that’s why Cosmo Sarson’s not as prolific as some of the other street artists in the city.
Sinna One is an artist (and sometime, muralist) based in Brighton and he is inspired to create “graven idols on paper” (and other objects as he sees fit) in order to break a religious commandment and complete the rebellion of his childhood. Fortunately for everyone involved, his work is actually pretty good, and the angry post-teen-angst is all his own.
The best piece that Sinna One had created was the “dog wall” which was part of the project “For the Love of Dogs” back in 2016, sadly, it’s been removed now but his mission to create great street art in Brighton still lives on.
Cassette Lord is an old hand on Brighton’s graffiti scene and his distinctive cassette shaped graffiti makes his work incredibly easy to identify when you’re out and about. There’s probably not a green phonebox in the city which hasn’t had a visit from his creative hands.
He’s quite unusual for the street art scene in that he’s a firm advocate of legal rather than illegal art though this hasn’t stopped him from occasionally straying across the boundaries and he told the Brighton Argus that he once had to flee the police after he spray painted on a police van!
Glimmertwin is something of a commercial success and is regularly hired to fly around the world and put together his graffiti masterpiece murals for coin. He can produce a work of any size as long as you’ve got the money to pay for it and you’ve got a wall to put it on.
He’s a major exhibitor in the One Zee Art gallery (featured a bit farther down the page) and if you want to see just how impactful his work can be, that may be the best place to see it.
The Postman is an art collective from Brighton about whom not much is known. There are two of them and they travel the world (as well as the local scene) creating unforgettable moments of creative joy.
When they’re not daubing walls, they create original works of art that can be bought for a reasonable price from many different galleries around the globe.
Minty was originally from Detroit in the USA but moved to Brighton where he seems to be working to ensure that every street has one of his incredibly distinctive wheat paste-ups. His work drips with symbolism and is often signed off with “I love you” which makes it even easier to identify one of his pieces when you’re wandering around Brighton.
His work has an authentic raw quality that few can touch, and this may be down to his self-taught approach to art. He is always learning and growing and once you’ve seen an original Minty, it’s hard not to want to see more.
Unknown is truly anonymous but is also one of the best-known street artists in the city. How can you identify their work? Well, by the “monsters in his head” which he brings to life with his paints. There’s a decidedly abstract feel to everything he creates.
You might want to visit the Glazed Coffee Shop which paid him to warp everyone’s faces into umm… donuts and it works surprisingly well too.
Mazcan is a woman and that makes her the only one of the 14 street artists on our list and it might explain why her murals are usually of women’s faces. They are striking and easy to spot. One of the best known is on Trafalgar Lane.
Fugly’s work is well, Fugly. It appears more that Fugly has an obsession with getting up high and scrawling on stuff than creating any kind of masterpiece. However, he’s so prolific nowadays that it’s impossible not to give him a shout-out on our list.
Banksy is not a local artist, at least we don’t think he is as he doesn’t do a huge amount of work in Brighton, but he was responsible for the Kissing Coppers piece which was originally found on the Prince Albert Pub in the city. It is an excellent example of the technique of stencil graffiti.
Sadly, given that it is considered to be among his best work and certainly his most iconic, it was regularly vandalized by homophobes and eventually, they decided to sell the original piece to someone who would care for it and it changed hands for $575,000 at an auction in Miami.
Because of the mystery surrounding Banksy’s identity nobody knows whether the piece was intended to support the LGBT community or to mock the police or both.
Three Top Notch Local Galleries To Buy Street Art In Brighton
Brighton has many art galleries and many of them are excellent but it only really has 3 galleries that are heavily supportive of the street art scene and they are:
Art Republic is a serious experience for a serious art lover. They specialize in hard-to-find prints as well as carrying limited editions and exclusive works. They’ve featured everything from local street artists up to pieces by Damien Hirst and Sir Peter Blake.
Their collection is one of the largest in the UK and you’ll find that it’s beautifully organized and very easy to browse. As you’d expect the lighting in the gallery really helps bring out the best in every piece.
They say they’ve over 25 years’ experience in helping people new to the arts to discover exactly what it is that makes them happy. They’d be happy to talk to you about your interests and help you work out what the perfect print for your wall is.
They are members of the “Own Art” scheme. This is an Arts Council sponsored initiative which allows you to pay for art in a series of instalments which is very handy when you fall in love but don’t have all the money in the bank to take your piece home with you.
They can also deliver to anywhere in the UK if you order from their website. Art Republic is an essential stop if you’re exploring Brighton.
One Zee Art
One Zee Art is Brighton’s newest and flashest gallery and it specializes in street art. It’s owned and managed by Barry Surtees who himself specializes in (and created) “Op Art”. This is about taking three-dimensional pieces and building them into bigger designs.
However, he soon learned that this wasn’t an entirely new idea and that he’d been basing his art on a European concept known as “retro d’affiche” which had been all the rage in the 1950s.
The collection in the gallery is not yet complete and Barry is searching for pieces that show the full range of street art as an entertainment medium as well as each type of street art. Seven local artists form the centre point of what is available in One Zee Art.
The emphasis is on selling prints though they do have occasional originals available. The print runs are always small and limited and are mounted on DiBond (which is a sort of aluminium backing board) for optimized hanging on your walls.
Studio 45 Art
If you’ve not got a huge budget for art but would really like to get your collection going, then Studio 45 Art might be the place to begin. You won’t find any Damien Hurst or Banksy pieces here but what you will find is passionate people supporting the local art scene.
It’s unlikely that everything will be to your taste (it’s a very Bohemian-style vibe and for every future Andy Warhol there are dozen Andy Who?’s to be found) but what does appeal tends to be very good, indeed and without a big ticket price tag.
They also have a real thing for street art and you can find plenty of graffiti-style masterpieces going for a song at Studio 45 Art, check them out on your next visit to Brighton and see for yourself.
Enjoy A Street Art Walking Tour With Req
Brighton is, as we’ve scene an absolute hotbed of creativity and the city’s street art scene is vibrant and exciting. But how do you best find your way around it? Well, Req 1 and the Art Republic gallery have been working hard to create a two-hour tour which helps you get under the surface of things and really understand how graffiti in Brighton brings the city to life.
Req 1 knows the city and the art scene incredibly well and you’ll find yourself ducking down tiny alleyways to appreciate pieces that you might never have discovered by yourself even with an infinite amount of time to explore.
Insights Even Locals Are Amazed By
Better still, he can provide real insight into what drives and motivates each artist and what any given piece is trying to communicate. Req 1’s own contributions to Brighton’s art scene can also be discovered during the tour.
If street art is important to you, you have to go on this tour. You’ll admire Req 1’s passion and enthusiasm and the depths of his knowledge and years of experience. Even locals who go on his tours are amazed at how much they can learn.
The World As A Canvas
You’ll wind through backstreets and side passages and find yourself seeing walls in the same way as an artist comes to appreciate them as a canvas for something much greater. In fact, these tours have probably inspired one or two local talents across the years.
Brighton also has a hot crossover scene with artists regularly coming in from other cities to share their talents and Req 1 is on top of who’s been visiting and what they’ve contributed. We can’t think of a better tour to join if you’re passionate about art.
Beers With Req 1
Better still, when the walking’s done, the tour is not finished. You can join Req 1 for a drink and the first beer’s on him! What more could you ask for?
We hope that our 14 Awesome Brighton Street Art Street Artists of Brighton have whetted your appetite for this under-appreciated art form. Not all graffiti is mindless vandalism, in fact, much of it has a higher purpose but it takes time and effort to understand how important this modern cultural technique is to the art of the 21st century. Brighton is the perfect place to begin or continue your street art appreciation journey.