Graffiti tours turn London into an open-air museum


It looks like a scene from a science fiction movie. And yet street art is so common now in London's East End that many passers-by don't even seem notice.

Some pieces are hard to miss, but others you need a keen eye to notice.

So to make sure the works get the recognition they deserve, London Street Art guides take visitors on a tour of the city's more colorful neighborhoods.

Kareem knows a lot of the street artists and is one of the co-founders of the tour.

SOUNDBITE 1 Karim Saunders (man) Co-founder London Street Art (English, 17 sec):

"The route changes quite a lot, I have to say, it keeps me on my toes as well; if I see a new piece, I have to know who has done it and when it was done as well so I try and keep my eye out."

The route changes often because street art is a public gallery in a constant state of flux.

Some pieces are painted over or get lost among a chaotic mix of different styles.

SOUNDBITE 2 Vox pop (man) Australian tourist (English, 13 sec):

"There is the art that is meant to last, then there is the art that is, not meant to last. It is meant to be a short lived thing, so when you see it you appreciate it while its there, then it gets changed by either someone else, or the government, or whoever."

SOUNDBITE 3 Vox pop (man) Brazilian tourist (English, 11 sec):

"Art is not inside the museum or the galleries. I think the art is in every place you can imagine so this is how we prove that the art is everywhere."

The tour also provides that little bit of extra help to fully appreciate the creativity of some of the works on show. And it can go even further.

Many of Christiaan Nagel's works are not exactly eye-level. But he was commissioned to create massive bronze versions of his mushrooms by two foreign art collectors who first discovered his work while on the tour.

SOUNDBITE 4 Christiaan Nagel (man) 'Mushroom' artist (English, 14 sec):

"I mean as an artist you are by nature exhibitionist, right? I want to have my work seen everywhere, on the street, I think that is the best context to have it, on the street. The palette is endless.

Most of London's street artists still have to work in the shadows as it's technically illegal but streets and buildings can be too tempting a canvas for some to resist. And while they keep painting, street art tours will keep pounding the pavement to track these ephemeral works of art.



-PAN of piece of art on London street as people walk by

- CU of small paintings on street

- VAR of people attending Street Art London tour


- VAR of people attending Street Art London tour



- VAR of close ups of certain pieces

- VAR of Kareem explaining a painting to people on the tour

- CU of tour members putting on 3D glasses

- VAR of mushroom by Christiaan Nagel


- VAR of people attending Street Art London tour