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Travel Photo: Elephant Octopus Mural in East London

London’s East End has to be one of the most cool neighborhoods not just in London, but probably Europe. Shoreditch has historically been a popular hipster hangout and though much of that has moved into new areas, Shoreditch is still pretty damn cool. This is the same area where the legendary Brick Lane is located. Long an area for immigrants, artists, bohemians and anyone who didn’t fit into the compressed confines of central London, the East End has a reputation for “unusual” and “quirky.”

And where there’s creativity and class systems, there’s very often expressions of that on the city walls. Shoreditch and much of East London has long been a place to find amazing works of graffiti and street art. Those pieces both commissioned and thrown up under cover.

This piece, however, is relatively new. In June, the Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz put up this mural of an elephant-octopus. His works are characteristic of highly detailed animal hybrids. It’s so easy to get lost in the mesmerizing details of his work, but then taken as a whole, it’s equally fascinating. I can’t decide if they’re best viewed from up close or from down the street.

Either way, you can view more of Alexis Diaz’s work on his website.

Shoreditch mural by Alexis Diaz

Elephant Octopus

Shoreditch is one of London’s most dynamic neighborhoods with a lot of vibrant street art. You’ll find many street art tours running daily, many of them on and around Brick Lane. But for those that want a real taste of the neighborhood’s alternative culture, consider staying in a hostel or hotel. Use Hostelz.com to do a meta-search of hostel prices from a variety of booking sites, and check their London directory for neighborhood filters. Look for places near to the Shoreditch overground station to be right in the epicenter of “cool.”

  1. Maria says:

    Incredible imagery and very well rendered. This is a great find!

  2. Sam says:

    Gorgeous! It’s unusual to find street art that is so detailed and well thought out. Looking forward to seeing this one myself when I’m back in my hometown soon!

  3. SO awesome! I love street art- this one is really amazing! So much detail!

  4. Cheryl Howard says:

    What a beautiful piece! Love it.

    • Adam says:

      Cheryl – you should definitely look at the artist’s other works. I think you’d love them as well!

  5. Lizzie says:

    Love it.. Especially how the brickwork adds to the texture!

    • Adam says:

      I think that’s often an important part of street artists’ work as well – to adapt to the local surroundings.

  6. Jaime says:

    Holy Shit… this is an amazing piece of street art. Just wow… I love it like a lot. I’d frame this if I had taken the photo…lol. You know I love street art for a million reason, but the one that always gets me is how talented people are to create some amazing pieces. Like this one.

  7. Muza-chan says:

    Very cool picture :)

  8. Ryan says:

    This graffiti is so rad, love it. Such wild detail, thanks for the close ups too mate!

    • Adam says:

      Yep – I think this piece especially it’s important to see the level of detail put into it. So much street art goes up quickly and it’s done fast, but this was obviously a piece that took some time and fine brushes (and obvious skill).

  9. Latitude And Longitude says:

    What part of east London was this, I might want to see it:)

  10. ross says:

    That mural is so cool, i was in Shoreditch a week ago, made a note of where it is not to go and see it properly next time! :)

    • Adam says:

      Hope you find it on your next visit to Shoreditch, Ross. Let me know if you do!

      • Ross says:

        I will do Adam, I will be back down that way in December, it kinda reminds me of some of the cool artwork in Melbourne when I lived there! :)

        • Adam says:

          I’ve heard some great things about the street art in Melbourne!! Actually I just met Aussie artist R-O-N-E a few hours ago here in Berlin :)

  11. Joshua says:

    This is pretty cool. Although I’d hate to walk past it on a dark night after a few too many beers! I’ll keep an eye out when I’m back in London

    • Adam says:

      Definitely check it out Joshua – plus there’s plenty of other amazing street art in the area as well. I’m fairly certain there isn’t a blank wall in Shoreditch.

  12. Pasquale says:

    I was there while Alexis was completing the Mural. It’s AMAZING!

    • Adam says:

      Oh wow – that’s really cool Pasquale. Did you happen to get any photos of him working on it?! I’d be really curious to see the method behind it. It’s just so stunning!

  13. Rebecca says:

    I used to live in this area, I love it! such a cool, hip arty place

  14. Wow, fantastic art work. I can’t imagine being that talented!

  15. Ayngelina says:

    I really don’t like London but I’ve never seen this so maybe I’m hanging out in the wrong end of town.

  16. Alex says:

    After my first trip to London I said I wouldn’t mind if I never went back again. Of course I did go back again because I have loads of friends there, and one of them who was determined to make me like it brought me on a graffiti tour of Shoreditch. She melted my heart towards London just a little bit that day :)

    LOVE this piece!

    • Adam says:

      Oh I’m so glad to hear that Alex! It’s funny how few tourists end up making it out to Shoreditch. A real shame considering how cool and exciting it is over there!

  17. Erica says:

    It appears as though you may have just inspired Shaun to get yet another tattoo. <3

  18. […] may well be my favourite, which I’d never seen before (except here). Feels very China Miéville to […]

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