BRITAIN: Streetart Manchester – Between Madness and Genius!

Thanks a lot for the contribution of the awesome photo material and nicely written article by Frank Hofmann:

Warning! Anyone who despises really good, graphically designed and strongly staged pictures on house facades can stop reading here. Manchester is an open-air gallery of the highest quality. Here the great nationally and internationally renowned street art artists have left their mark. Armed with adjustable lifting platforms and colour cans, they have done their work bravely throughout the city. The high-profile representation in the field of street art is dotted with various visual forms, motifs, colours, techniques, and combinations of artistic diversity. From portraits to animals, figures as well as abstract, critical and contemporary art with a massive message, this urban space offers everything the heart desires. The city invites you to marvel and admire. Magnificent MURALS adorn the city and individualize the red brick factories and street trains.

A clear revaluation that gets the city to feel and culturally massively enriched. Sensational Street Art. With tears, your eyes are filled with joy. Excellent class, ladies and gentlemen. The cream of the cream. The cherry on the cake. That would blow Cheech & Chong’s skull blanket away. You can get your ass off the couch and get around Manchester. At this point, it would be time for applause. Otherwise, this is clear, Street Art can make addictive. In short, it is desirable and desirable in all cities.

The CITIES OF HOPE festival made a big contribution in the years 2016 and 2018, which is again envisaged in 2021. There, leading international street artists are invited, who are unique in their genres and styles. On nine days, not only are paintings painted, but landmarks are created. The city can truly adorn itself with it and is freshly cleaned out. Cultural eye feast. The brick tris-tesse in some places is so inspired and of high quality. Brilliant. In particular, the NORTHERN QUARTER district was given even more life. The street art harmonizes very well with the many restaurants, individual shops and pubs. Fortunately, there is also a bar or pub in every second house. But other neighborhoods have also experienced the charm offensive of art. The line of outstanding artists is long.

TANKPETROL (Manchester, UK) is a Polish graffiti and stencil artist based in Manchester. It has a broad repertoire. He uses different techniques, such as stencil, typography and traditional painting. Everything is represented, from hands-free MURALS to fine woodwork. The emotional complexity of women with different character traits is one of his priorities. Anxiety, anger, nostalgia and self-satisfaction can be understood in terms of emotional complexity, among other things. In Manchester, the Russian soldier has definitely stuck to it. Very sexy. Really horny spot and beautifully framed by other street art. The women’s warrior and the elf queen are also strong works. Here TANKPETROL used stencil. Usually 3 layers, so the motifs have three colors (plus background) or grayscales. The images of TANKPETROL can be viewed worldwide like in Russia, Germany, Iceland or France. They are very striking and memorable. Really strong start on our tour!

The next in the alliance is QUBEK (Manchester, UK) aka Russel Meehan. His basic motifs are bees. Bees, bees again and again bees. The whole city is swarming with them. Manchester was a centre of the industrial revolution. At that time the city gave itself a new coat of arms, on which a world globe surrounded by bees can be seen. Today, the bee can be seen all over Manchester, including on 600 paper baskets that the city had set up in 2014. It is a symbol of solidarity and strength and has a long tradition. QUBEK has many smaller spots in the city. The bees can be seen in NORTHERN QUARTER or GAY VILLAGE. One example is the NEW UNION Pub. Of course, a big MURAL must not be missing.

Let’s stick to the local sizes for the time being. The NOMAD CLAN (Manchester, UK) consisting of the women’s duo CBLOXX and AYLO does really fine things. They are works of art with a lot of charisma, charisma and historical atmosphere. The great strength of the two artists is the embedding of their works in the environment and surroundings. There is a strong significance with the surroundings in which the painting sits. Celebrating local history is the theme. On many pictures, people with a local background can be seen, the environmental influences of the city and the people who live in it are also immortalized in the works. Strong style in colorful or in a color group and great characters. The city as an input and output in one. The NOMAD CLAN benefits from the influences of the vibrant city and we benefit from the NOMAD CLAN. That sounds like a neatly closed circle-run.


One of my favourite motifs in the city comes from SNIK (Stamford, UK). The English couple, consisting of a woman and a man, perfectly succeeds in freezing a dyna-mixed action. The work SERENETY is a falling, sleeping, floating or dancing woman in a red dress. This is in the perspective of the viewer. Wonderful to look at. It is unusual in the scene that a couple together produce pictures. But as long as it looks like this, please get more. ” SNIK” focuses on post-industrial generations and their challenges. Phenomenal work. ” SNIK” are traditionalists. They do not use digital techniques, laser cutter or the like. They continue to attach importance to “hand-cut” and acquire their style through their hands. This is why it is also a very elaborate and realistic work, which has been pulled completely over a house façade. The spot harmonizes brilliantly with the old factories and winding streets. It’s really super fantastic nice!

Without question one of my favorite street artists and for me already a legend is PHLEGM (Sheffield, UK). In Oslo I was already very impressed with his works. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass his works in Manchester in person. Little time problem. That’s why a trip to Manchester is actually planned again. His two black-and-white crackers with grayscales are then an absolute must for me. The city in the water bottle and the city with the bird towers are detailed, playful, dark and strange in one. The character style is excellent and exactly to my liking. PHLEGM (as I experience in) remains true to his line in black and white (gray levels). There are many details and messages hidden in the pictures. Hidden. There is a lot to discover. The town with the bird towers is made up of several houses, which appear twisted and turbulent.

The tower top plus tower bricks and parts of the round structure consist of a bird’s head, which is kept in the building style. Departed and well-radiated. The city in the closed water bottle seems inconspicuous. On closer inspection, there is immense de-tail wealth. The city seems gloomy, tight and forced on me. Simply superb what the PHLEGM does. Big Respect!

But there are many more. FAUNAGRAPHIC (Sheffield, UK) is positively creativly crazy as well. The freelance artist, painter and graphic designer Sarah has placed her gigantic great tit surrounded by plants in the NORTHERN QUARTER. A friendly and beautiful picture. Birds are the favorite motif but also small creatures that can make the difference. Her style focuses on nature, wild life, the cosmos and environmental influences. Sarah aka FAUNAGRAPHIC likes to make complete house facades, which is very nice. She also paints commissions and what is very useful and good, Sarah teaches painting with color cans at schools for future generations to artists. That’s great!

They invite the world’s leading street art artists to Manchester, and they all come from England? Is this a joke? No, it’s not. Don’t worry about it. It’s about to become international. According to DALE GRIMSHAW (London, UK). That’s what I promised. But there are just a lot of good artists. The super photo-realistic style of the artist, born in Lancashire, England, is awesome, looks damn sharp and convinces from the first moment. His native in red, white and black is madness. The tribal member of an African tribe was created by stencil influences plus freehand painting at the CITIES OF HOPE- Festival in 2016.  DALE GRIMSHAW has many natives or tribal members with war paintings. He likes to choose a colourful background, e. g. red or blue, and depicts people of all ages and sexes. From children to the elderly. The images are about strongly shaped human beliefs.

His political messages are always lined with a strong empathy for the subject and strong direct emotions of the subject. In short, the faces express a circumstance that encourages reflection. Very impressive and striking. Dale has studied art in many fields. Art is an essential part of his life. He exhibits around the world and promotes other street artists. One of the most powerful and talented street artists in the scene, some would say. Definitely very high ni-veau.

If you like the mixing of hyperrealistic subjects, graphic elements and page-specific interactions, you should definitely check out INHUMAN BARRIERS by NEVERCREW (Lugano/Bellinzona, Switzerland). From a distance it looks like a giant drop or crystal. The works of Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni are very special. The street art duo bases its pictorial concepts on the environment and social aspects. The understanding of human attitudes, conditions of being or existing conditions has a broader spectrum in the presentation of the “NEVERCREW”. A blue and white ice glacier is peeling out of the city. The remains of the old city hang black on the edge of the representation. Like a piece of shell that could fall off at any time. All visible people fall out of the city below like ants on a platform. It looks like a new age, a catastrophe, a new dimension of natural power.

The picture is strong and absolutely worth seeing. It has a lot of room for interpretation. A similar crystal exists in Mannheim. With other quirky details, but a similarly unmistakable structure. The subjects are natural or natural. mechanically with a narrow confrontation in the space in which the subjects were realized. The boys travel around the world a lot. In addition to Mannheim and Manchester, New Delhi, Cairo, Grenoble, Vancouver and Miami are among their playgrounds.

PICHIAVO (Valencia, Spain) is an artist duo that has been working together since 2007. The two boys combine classic elements with modernity. Very interesting, three-dimensional style. Classical athletes of antiquity, e. g. from Greek mythology, serve as motifs. The backgrounds are made of colourful lettering. PICHIAVO gives their painted sculptures dynamism and vitality. This is good on every house fiber sade, on roller shutters, actually on all items. The modern element is defi-nitively the color scheme, which are matched in detailed, colorful and super-coordinated color variations. A real treat. PICHI and AVO have an innovative appeal for an artistic merger. They do not commit a break in style, but combine antiquity and modernity in their own way. That’s great. The combination of Male-rei and sculptures is a good mix. The mixture of classical and urban art cannot be overlooked. Interesting and crispy.


 CASE (Frankfurt, GER) really has something on it. His specialty is photorealism with a touch of surrealism. He is considered a pioneer in the urban, photorealistic scene in Germany. As a member of the MCLAIM crew, he has been shaping the scene through his style for two decades, means 20 years. Just porn! Really crass and good! One of his main motifs is overlapping hands. Hair-sharp, detailed and excellently staged. In Manchester, there’s no shortage of hands. In the picture you can see a man holding on to a pole and I can only say that not only the hands are ab-so well drawn. Class MURAL which CASE staged there in 2016. I think his art is just excellent! In Berlin, I also examined his spot with overlapping hands. Predicate: World class!


There’s a lot going on in Manchester. That can be put discreetly like that. It’s not just the PICADILLY RATS that create a good atmosphere. C215 (Paris, France) is doing the same. Stimulation, dude! Just because he does stencil doesn’t make him the French answer to BANKSY. He just takes great pictures. The smoking man is already casual. It’s good on brick. The style of the stencil is individual and the black and white, har-monises well with the red background. Beautiful picture in any case. I already know C215 from Oslo. It has a very distinctive abbreviation. At Oslo train station in the direction of Barcode he painted quite a few small stencils in different colours on a building. But also along the river was or was. C215 is very present. In comparison, the smoking man is huge and gigantic. Fat spot in the NORTHERN QUARTER.

Last mentioned, but not last: MARTIN WHATSON (Oslo, Norway). Unfortunately, Martin’s picture was already gone when I arrived. Well, not really gone, but different. He likes to mix his stencil work with tags. Calligraphic fonts, quite colourful on black-and-white (grayscale) motifs. This is his unmistakable style. I like that very much. The type who meets one tree was probably regarded as an invitation to grease into the work. It’s a shame. This is why it is important to travel to the cities from time to time, because street art is transient. MARTIN WHATSON has perfected his style over the decades. It is almost flawless when it comes to describing the case and resurrection of the road. There’s a real gun.

Street Art culture in the UK and Ireland is simply fabulous. It’s really juicy on the island. Manchester is definitely a prestigious and highly decorated open-air gallery. This will be the starting point for the next CITIES OF HOPE Festival 2021 and will further develop the city visually and culturally. That is why it is mandatory to visit Manchester again in 2021. Really horny town. Between Genius and Madness. Unbelievable!


C215 (Paris, France):

CASE MCLAIM (Frankfurt, Germany):



MARTIN WHATSON (Oslo, Norway):

NEVERCREW (Lugano/Bellinzona, Switzerland):

NOMAD CLAN (Manchester, UK):

PHLEGM (Sheffield, UK):  Instagram:

PICHIAVO (Valencia, Spain):

QUBEK (Manchester, UK) aka RUSSELL MEEHAN:

SNIK (Stamford, UK):

TANKPETROL (Manchester, UK/ Poland):

Photographer & Author: Frank Hofmann


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