Liverpool: One Of The North’s Street Art Capitals

Written by Leila Jones on behalf of TransPennine Express.

Liverpool is known for its culture. Whether it’s music, football or even a hybrid between a lamb and a banana sculpture, it’s all welcome. Street art is no exception, and Liverpool might just be the only place where you can see John Lennon, Mo Salah and Michael Jackson all in the same day.  

New research by TransPennine Express has discovered that Liverpool is one of the top cities in the north for street art, ranking 4th behind Manchester, Sheffield and Glasgow. The study also looked at which murals are getting the most attention on Instagram in the city right now.

Here’s a quick round up, keep scrolling to read more about each piece of graffiti:

‘For all Liverpool’s Liver Birds’ by Paul Curtis

Every Liverpudlian Instagrammer worth their salt has a picture with this piece of art by Paul Curtis, with enormous wings encapsulating the spirit of the famous Liver Building and the birds that adorn it. It’s located on Jamaica Street if you’re the 0.01% of the population that doesn’t have a photo with it…

Curtis himself was asked why he thinks this piece is so popular:

 “For all Liverpool’s Liver Birds” was done a few years ago (before the massive flood of wing murals that have flooded Instagram), and I guess people like the interactivity of that and the fact that they become the star of the piece.”

‘Irony’s Straw Girl’ by Irony

Credit: @jeanettej552

His work is usually found on the streets of East London, but elusive artist Irony’s ‘straw girl’ piece came in at number two. It’s said to portray the daughter of a member of the Secret Society of Super Villain Artists. This mural is another Baltic Triangle based piece, found on Jamaica Street.

‘John Lennon Mural’ by Jules Muck

Credit: @saturnmoons19

One of the city’s most famous exports is immortalised on Cropper Street, painted by Jules Muck, whose work is more commonly found in the sunnier climes of Venice Beach, California. This distinctive piece is perfectly in sync with her work across the Atlantic.

‘Lovers’ by Neil Keating

Credit: @benheaton92

Liverpool-based Keating has lots of pieces of street art all over the city (he also created the infamous ‘Avocado is Bae’ mural for Love Thy Neighbour) but his most Instagrammed is ‘Lovers’ on Bold Street, a sweet treat that always attracts attention.

‘Ode to Mo’ by Guy McKinley

Credit: @leapyearbabe

This art was commissioned by the Rapid Response Unit to sit next to Musa Okwonga’s ‘Ode to Mo’ poem, which celebrates all that the Egyptian King brings to Liverpool. After using Arabic influences and painting through a typical Northern downpour, McKinley’s piece became a favourite with fans and tourists alike.

‘Jürgen Klopp’ by Akse

Credit: @licklelillie

Liverpool’s favourite enthusiastic manager Jürgen Klopp was depicted by artist Akse in 2018. You’ll find this lifelike piece in the Baltic Triangle, just over the road from the delectable Baltic Market. Swing by on a weekend and you’ll see just how popular this piece is with the Reds!

‘Abbey Road’ by Paul Curtis

Credit: @h4rryharry

Paul Curtis makes the top 10 again, this time with a piece to celebrate 50 years of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. The artwork was commissioned by The Beatles Story and can be found outside Cains Brewery on Grafton Street.

‘All You Need is Love’ by unknown

Credit: @harleethedachshund

Sometimes the simple pieces say it best, and this mural on Hope Street has just five words – ‘all you need is love’, in pink text. Ranking at number eight in the top 10 and being the third piece to be associated with the Beatles, you can’t argue with the fact that the Fab Four are still a crucial part of the city’s culture today.

‘Michael Jackson Moonwalker’ by Paul Curtis

Credit: @theoggdogg

With his third piece in the top 10, Paul Curtis honours MJ’s iconic Smooth Criminal video, paying tribute to his classic dance moves. Located on Colquitt Street, this piece (like the Liver Birds) was not commissioned and was a gift from Curtis to the city.

‘Philth’s Contrast Muralfest Mural’ by Philth

Credit: @c4rl05160

Painted as part of the Contrast Mural Festival, where international artists gather to create their best work, this artwork depicts a stunning girl in monochrome. It can be found on Kempston St in the Fabric District, and is relatively new to the street art scene, having been painted during the 2019 series of the festival, back in June.

You can see all of Liverpool’s most Instagrammed street art, as well as other pieces around the North, via the TransPennine Express website.

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