The Beatles. If anybody mentions Liverpool to you, the Beatles cannot fail to pop into your head perhaps accompanied by an iconic melody or two. Yet there is so much more to this city than the world’s first boy band. Liverpool has a popular and diverse street art scene that echoes the positive vibes and artistic buzz that flows throughout the city.
Speaking of the Beatles, an iconic mural of the foursome was created in 2008 on the corner of Croxteth Avenue in Bootle. In monotone black and white, the faces of Paul, John, Ringo and George peer out from the side of a wall. This epic piece of street art exudes the pride that Liverpool has in its identity.
Renowned street artists have flocked to Liverpool to put their stamp on a brick wall or a lamp post or an alleyway in the city. Banksy’s simple love plane mural can be found next to the Liverpool War Museum along with his ubiquitous little black stencilled rat. Set against the drab, beige rendered wall of Rumford Street car park, the image jumps out to any passer by with its playfulness.
It’s not just Banksy that has ventured up to Merseyside to contribute to the burgeoning street art scene. Taking a little trip to Grafton Street and you will witness the work of Akse, a Manchester based street artist. Like the monochrome Beatles mural, Akse has created an almost photographic black and white portrait of Al Pacino. It’ll probably be the only time you’ll see the star of ‘The Godfather’ in the streets of Liverpool.
Liverpool has taken street art into its hearts, recognising the value it gives to the city. Liverpudlians are passionate about the art that graces their streets and cannot praise it highly enough. They are proud of their heritage and understand the cultural significance and community cohesion that urban art can promote.
Street art is at its most powerful when councils and artists come together to create something to benefit everyone. This is seen on the main shopping street of Walton, in the suburbs of the city where the street artist, Whoam Irony was commissioned to create a mural to brighten up the façade of an abandoned shop. What emerged was a huge, striking image of a girl with rainbow coloured hair. To the one side is B&M and to the other is a local cobblers. This is the essence of street art.
Liverpool is undergoing a huge regeneration but at the same time it is not forgetting its past and what makes it such an iconic city. If you want to see powerful, large scale street art that demonstrates a harmony between old and new, then put Liverpool on your list of places to visit.