Banksy caught on camera?

Portobello Banksy

If you’re like me and don’t want to know who the man (or woman, for that matter) is behind the infamous works of Banksy then you might want to stay away from social media for the next few days/ weeks/ months. It looks like there’s pretty strong claims out there that the illusive Bristolian street artist has been uncovered… 

#Banksy was trending when I logged into Facebook this evening, and to my disappointment it wasn’t because a new piece had been discovered in London or somewhere close to me, it was because someone claimed they captured him on film while doing his thing in the Herzliya Mall, Israel.

Plenty of news outlets are covering this at the moment and that’s because he is unveiling an interactive exhibition at a hotel in Bethlehem.

You can see the footage here

However, if you don’t care about all that nonsense and just want to find out where you can find his best kept work in Bristol and London then just read my blogs below:

Banksy Hunting in LDN (London)

The one and only Banksy (Bristol) 

Dismaland Opens for Business (Banksy’s 2015 dystopian theme park)

Leave Banksy alone.

Peace X

Banksy’s ‘The Drinker’ is back

Over ten years ago, Banksy hit the streets of central London with his statue entitled ‘The Drinker’. This piece was then stolen by the artist under the name of AK47 back in 2004 (said to be valued at around £300,000) during an ongoing dispute with the Bristolian street artist.

Fast forward to 2015 and the highly talked about statue returns home, to a familiar spot just off Shaftesbury Avenue.

This is Banksy’s latest work (though in fact it’s almost 12 years old) to grace the streets of England’s capital, which is no stranger to some seminal art work by the infamous artist. The romance behind this piece makes it even more exciting to find.

Getting there: Head on the central line to Tottenham Court Road or Holborn and take a short walk to Shaftesbury Theatre.

It was great to finally find this piece, though it’s a shame that AK47 has made some slight amendments to it – renaming it to ‘The Stinker’ and adding a toilet seat. That said, this is street art, and this is what happens. Come back to London soon Banksy…

The-Drinker-2The-Drinker-1The-Drinker-3The-Drinker-4

What do you make of the new/ old Drinker statue by Banksy? Feel free to share your favourite Banksy pieces in the comments section!

Peace x

 

Urban Art: East LDN

Brick-Lane

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you’re ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ prosper and you don’t end up giving up on dry January by the second week – like I probably will.

Anyhow…

It’s been a while since my last street art post, and a while since I’ve had the pleasure of strolling around the graffiti hub that is East London. After spending a couple of weeks back in the motherland of Leeds over Christmas – where the closest thing to street art is normally a something like ‘jon waz ere’ tagged on a wall in the city centre – it was good to be finally back in London Town.

Brick Lane, E1

The vibrant Brick Lane is a place that gets under your skin, and once it does, you’ll never want to leave. There’s always something going on; be it the famous Market on a Sunday, eating cereal in the hipster cafe, or simply just getting harassed to go for ‘London’s best curry’ in one of the many restaurants on the curry mile.

The street is also well-known for street art, and the likes of Banksy, OBEY and Invader all have work (past and present) on Brick Lane and the surrounding area.

As it’s about a month since my last visit not much had changed –  it was almost as if the street artists had taken a break for the festivities of December too – though there was some pretty good new pieces too:

Sakia-and-Bitches

Work by Sakia and Bitches 

Nerone_LeCocktail

Nerone LeCocktail 

Otto-Schade

Chilean street artist, Otto Schade, knows how to create truly thought-provoking work. This is one of his latest in the East End.

C125

c125 has plenty of work around London, look out for his unique style. 

And finally, here’s a new piece by Trust Icon, up near Broadway Market in Hackney.

Trust-Icon

‘Nothing to see here…’

Do you have any favourite pieces of urban art in East London or any other cities? Share the street art love here. 

As always, graffiti lovers & artists, add comments, share your favourite street art, and any info I’ve missed.

Peace x

 

 

 

Dismaland opens for business!

Dismal

“The fairytale is over, the world is sleepwalking towards climate catastrophe, maybe all that escapism will have to wait.” – Banksy

The wait for Banksy’s latest exhibition is finally over as Dismaland opened to the public on Saturday 23rd August. If you’re a Banksy obsessive like me this event is a must!

The Bristolian street artist (and his PR crew) built up so much hype over the event that six million crazed fans crashed the Dismaland website on Friday trying to get hold of a £3 ticket. I was one of those fans attempting to get a ticket as soon as Friday dawned at midnight.

After trying my luck for an hour or so I realised that nothing was actually happening on the website and gave in. I was checking Twitter simultaneously at this point and it seemed it wasn’t just me staring at a JPEG of a calendar.

I thought to myself, would Banksy really allow for such organisation with one of his events, or is this all just part of his genius plan? I believe in the latter.

The website has since apologised to people who tried to get tickets and states they will go on sale on Tuesday 25th August – we shall see…

Tickets

I was already in Bristol on the opening weekend on Dismaland as I was visiting some of my old work mates for a bit of a piss up. So as news broke through the week that Banksy was in town I knew I had to make it. After trying, and failing to buy tickets online (and becoming part of the dismal experience) I decided on Dismaland’s opening day I would head over to Weston-Super-Mare anyway and have a look, and maybe have an ice cream and build a sandcastle on the beach too.

Weston-seafront

Approaching the seafront in Weston-Super-Mare

Weston-seafront-2

The view from the front

Dismaland-

My first glance of Dismaland!

As I walked down the seafront I could see the Cinderella Castle in the distance. Now my only hope was buying a ticket (if they even existed?!) and getting into the Bemusement Park. I joined the rather huge queue at around 11:30, it was massive. There must have been at least 1,000 people there already.

I didn’t let that put me off and took my place at the back of the queue, and was slowly joined by more and more eager Banksy fans. To be fair the queue moved down quicker than I expected which made it a little less dismal.

This is what my three hour queueing experience looked like:

Dismal-queue

This is what the queue looked like at 11:15 on the opening day…

Dismal-queue2

An hour in and the ticket office was getting closer. As you can see it was a classic British summer day.

Dismal-queue3

13:00 and my £3 ticket was in spitting distance

Dismal-queue4

The best three notes I’ve ever spent!

At last, I had my ticket. There was just another hour and a half of queueing to go…

For those who want to buy more than one wristband, or a ticket for another day from the ticket office, you can’t. Nor can you take in pens (so no tagging over Banksy’s work). After purchasing my ticket I joined the back of another massive queue. The Weston-Super-Mare sun came out for the second part of my queuing extravaganza and I was sweating my tits off. My neck is now ridiculously sunburnt. When you’re British you just can’t win; it’s either too hot, or too cold.

Dismal-queue5

Just after one o’clock and almost two hours into my Dismaland experience I was almost there…

Dismal-queue6

14:00 and I found myself in the next group to go into Dimsaland!

Dismaland-entrance

After three hours queuing and standing around in the sweltering sun, the time had come for me to enter Dismaland.

The experience wasn’t just about the creations of Banksy and the 50 other artists (including Damien Hirst), the staff also added to the truly dismal atmosphere. Walking through security the staff mocked everyone and did their best to make it as uncomfortable as possible.

The guy on the entrance mocked my moustache and appearance in general. I was pretty hungover that day so I was expecting something. Before entering Dismaland you have to go through Banksy’s security checkpoint where the ‘guards’ ask you a series of questions and set the scene for what’s to come.

Dismaland-security Dismaland-security2

Dismaland-security3

After surviving the security interrogation I was free to enter the Bemusement Park! When you enter the park you’re greeted by someone handing out brochures, which you have to really pull to get out of their hands! The staff are all about being dismal, from the expressions on their faces to their attitudes, and it’s all part of the Dismaland experience.

Dismaland is fucking amazing! And I’m going to give it a very dismal 10 out of 10. 

It was like walking into Banksy’s mind and at points I didn’t know whether it was real or if I was still dreaming.

Dismaland is worth the hype, it’s worth the wait and I feel privileged I got to experience it on the day it opened to the public.

Here’s some of my favourite bits from Dismaland:

Mermaid2

Cinderella’s Castle: Here’s one for you Disney fans!

Police-van

Hotdog

Exit-through-the-giftshop Punch-and-Judy Selfie-hole Puppets Police-van2 Sand-castle-1 Horse Ferris-wheel Being-British Boat David-Cameron Lorry-sculpture- Stencil Migrant-boat Topple-the-anvil Cinderalla's-cart Winning Sandpit Whale Terrorists Exit-sign

Dismaland was as dark as it was inspiring, and as bleak as it was beautiful. Banksy, we salute you.

Did you make it to Dismaland this weekend or are you planning to go soon? Share your thoughts and dismal experience with me!

Follow me on Instagram:  @rickmacmacca | @loveeastlondon | @black_and_white_ldn

Peace x

Back in Bristol

STIK Nelson Street

Following on from my last blog post about Banksy hunting in London I thought I’d do another quick post on the Bristolian artist.

I’ve just returned from a weekend retreat in the west country and I’m pleased to say I was able to hunt down one of Banksy’s newest pieces,  ‘The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum’.

It’s over a year since I was last in Bristol and it was good to be back. It’s a city I hold close to my heart and I love spending time there. If I didn’t like east London so much then I’d consider moving over that way.

There’s only one or two Banksy’s still left for me to find in the west country and last weekend it was my intention to find the piece he did at the back end of 2014. Most of the Banksy work I’ve found has been a few years old so it feels pretty good to find something more recent.

I’ll get onto the Banksy piece shortly, but first I’m going to talk about some of my other favourite Bristol sights from the weekend.

One of the coolest areas in Bristol is a place called Stokes Croft. It’s not far from the city centre and up there you’ll find some incredible street art. It’s a really laid back area full of some really friendly folk, vintage shops, independent shops, lots of graffiti and a Banksy or two.

Stokes croft 10

Iconic street art in Stokes Croft by Columbian artist Stinkfish.

The Prince of Wales pub in Stokes Croft was one place that caught my eye, so much so that I had to go in for a pint.

Prince of wales

One place in Bristol city centre that’s home to some massive murals is Nelson Street. I’ve spoke about this street in a previous blog post but it’s worth mentioning again. On my return to Nelson Street I was gutted to see that one of my favourite building’s in Bristol has now been torn down.

RIP colourful building

Nelson street street art

Superhero mural by SatOne

Nelson Street was used as part of the city’s See No Evil street art festival in 2011 and 2012 where Germany’s SatOne painted this colourful mural (above), and a whole host of other artists from around the world got involved; including Stik, ROA, Otto Schade, My Ayrz and Pixel Pancho, to name a few.

This area was one of the reasons I fell in love with street art and if it wasn’t for the graffiti on Nelson Street I wouldn’t be sat here writing about urban art. Luckily some of my favourite Nelson Street work was still there:

Work by Mr Ayrz and Stik

Work by Mr Ayrz and Stik

Another great piece I was pleased to see still standing:

Work by Italian artist Pixel Pancho

Work by Italian artist Pixel Pancho

Bristol’s newest Banksy 

Banksy’s ‘Girl with the Pierced Eardrum’ can be found on the side of a building on Hanover Place (BS1 6XT) in the Albion Dockyard.

It’s about a 30 minute venture from the bottom of Park Street (where you can still find Banksy’s ‘Well Hung Lover’) and it’s not far from where his famous Grim Reaper used to be, on the side of the Thekla boat and nightclub.

The walk to find Banksy’s latest hometown piece is pretty scenic and you get some really stunning views of the harbour. If you’re into photography and architecture then I recommend having a good wonder around this area.

Bristol harbour

After a stroll down the harbour taking in plenty of sea air and scenery you’ll be getting closer to an outstanding piece of street art.

Banksy’s ‘Girl with the Pierced Eardrum’ can be found on the rear of the white building on Hanover Place and it’s a truly remarkable piece. He might have taken inspiration from the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, but he does it in his own style. Banksy has added his own unique spin on this piece using the alarm on the wall as the girl’s earring.

This is probably my favourite Banksy to date; one because it’s the most recent piece I’ve found meaning I’ve stood on pretty fresh ground (which makes me happy). And two, because of the condition of the piece, and although some idiot tried to ruin it by throwing paint on it, it actually added more character to the painting.

The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum by Banksy 

Banksy New 1 Banksy New

When I was taking a few (hundred) snaps of this piece there was some old dears sat having an ice cream a few hundred yards behind me on a picnic bench. Whilst I was trying to find the right angle to capture this beauty I heard them saying ‘oooh I wonder what he’s taking pictures of’. If only they knew that the work in their presence was worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The fact that I was the only person there appreciating the Banksy made the moment even more special. No crowds, graffiti tours or tourists, just me.

So that’s it from my short break in Bristol, if you haven’t been there yet, you should.

As always, graffiti lovers & artists, add comments, share your favourite Banksy’s, and any info I’ve missed. Peace x

Banksy hunting in LDN

If graffiti changed anything

‘If graffiti changed anything it would be illegal…’

The infamous Banksy has put his mark on the world with his unique and incredible street art style. Not only does he create amazing pieces of urban art, his work also reflects the state of our society. His messages are powerful and full of meaning, and we should be honoured that this legend’s graffiti is still around for us to see… for free.

The rich and famous pay millions for a Banksy but I think there’s something more special about going seeing his work on the streets as it was meant to be seen.

London, one of the greatest places in the world, is home to some fine Banksy street art. Over the years much of his work has been tagged over, taken down, or taken away by those that want to make a quick buck.

Luckily plexiglass has saved some of Banksy’s most iconic pieces and you can still find his urban art in areas like Shoreditch, Stoke Newington, and Notting Hill. And to save you from trying to find Banksy’s that no longer exist,  I’ll show you which ones are worth your while.

Shoreditch 

There’s no better place to start Banksy hunting than in east London. Not only will you find a few pieces by the famous Bristolian, there’s also a lot of amazing street art by some of the best in the business.

Less than 10 minutes from Shoreditch High Street overground station you’ll find a couple of perfectly preserved Banksy pieces. Head to Rivington Street (EC2A 3AY) and in the garden area of nightclub ‘Cargo’ you’ll find not one, but two Banky’s.

Nearest tube: Old Street or Shoreditch High Street (overground) 

This piece is aptly named ‘Prison Guard Poodle’ was added to the wall in 2003 and it’s still in good condition today.

Rivington Street1

Also in Cargo’s garden area is this piece named ‘HMV Dog’. I didn’t actually realise this Banksy was in the same place as the one above until a while after – so don’t make the same mistake I did.

Rivington Street 2

Bethnal Green

Staying east and about a 20 minute walk away from Rivington Street, you’ll find Banksy’s ‘Flower Painter’ on Pollard Street (E2 6LR). This piece was added onto the side of a private property in 2007 just two weeks after Hackney Council said they would remove any Banksy work on council houses. They couldn’t do anything about this one though.

Though the ‘flower painter’ himself is now badly damaged and there’s quite a lot of tagging on the wall; the flower is still looking good and it’s definitely one to visit.

Nearest tube: Bethnal Green 

Banksy Flower

Stoke Newington

Stoke Newington is another cool place that lies in the borough of hipster Hackney. Even if you’re not fussed about graffiti hunting, Stoke Newington is a place that won’t disappoint.

And if you want to find a Banksy head to Church Street (N16 9ET) to find his 2001 piece ‘Clown House’. Now almost covered in black paint there’s not much left left to see, however you can still see the ‘clown’ royal family.

Nearest tube: Stoke Newington (overground)   

Bansky Clown House

Poplar

Hidden away in east London’s Poplar is a piece not as common with Banksy enthusiasts entitled ‘Phone Tap’. This piece can be found in a small car park behind a set of flats on Chrisp Street (E14 OEA), just two minutes away from All Saints DLR station. In this area you’ll also get some stunning views of Canary Wharf.

This is one of my favourite Banksy pieces to date. No one’s tried to steal it or tag over it and it’s not even covered in plexiglass (though last time I saw this piece was September 2014).

The caption reads ‘oh no, my tap’s been phoned’, perhaps this Banksy piece was a take on the phone hacking scandals that were all over the media in 2011. Anyway it’s a classic piece and worth the trek.

Nearest tube: All Saints (DLR)

Phone Tap

Islington 

A short walk down from Angel tube station you’ll find Banksy’s ‘Very Little Helps’ on Essex Road (N1 8NE). This piece has been covered in plexiglass, however it isn’t in the greatest condition. Silver spray paint has ruined some of it, and the Tesco carrier bag has been tagged over by Team Robbo. Still, it’s a good example of Banksy’s stencil style and the rivalry that existed between the graffiti legends. RIP ROBBO.

Nearest tube: Angel 

Tesco Bag

There’s another two Banksy pieces to be found in the borough of Islington and both are only a few minutes walk away from each other. Farringdon Road (EC1R 4SQ) is the place go to, though neither of the pieces are in the best condition, so it might only be worthwhile trip for the most hardened of Banksy lovers. The piece called ‘Cash Machine Girl’ is covered in plexiglass but has been all-but ruined by white paint.

There’s a Banksy rat that’s still visible though…

Nearest tube: Farringdon

Cash Machine Girl Farringdon Road 1

Barbican 

Moving towards central London the Banksy’s are pretty spread out so it’s worth planning your route before heading out on a day of Banksy hunting. In Barbican you can still find another one of his famous rats knocking around. Some of the Banksy rats I found had weathered pretty badly and you could only just make out their outlines. This one on the other hand, on Chiswell Street (EC1Y), is still in good condition and is another piece to receive a ‘team Robbo’ tag.

Nearest tube: Moorgate or Barbican 

Barbican Rat

Central 

In central London there’s a couple of Banksy’s that lovers of this graffiti legend will surely appreciate. If you can make it through the chaos that is central London – avoiding oncoming tourists and shopaholics – you should be just about able to find these masterpieces.

The first is on piece is on Tottenham Court Road (W1T 5AN) and is one of few ‘Banksy’ stencils left in London. This stencil has been on the lamp post over 12 years now and is still nicely visible today.

Nearest tube: Euston Square or Warren Street

Stencil

The next and more recent (2011) Banksy piece is about a 10 minute walk away from the stencil on Tottenham Court Road on Clipstone Street (W1W 5D1) just opposite the Tower Tavern. It’s protected by plexiglass but it’s receiving more and more unwanted tags.

If graffiti changed anything

Another one of my favourite Banksy pieces ‘Shop til you drop’ is minutes away from the capitalist, consumer-based high streets like Oxford Street and Regent’s Street. You’ve got to love the irony behind his work.

This Banksy is just high enough from ground level to avoid any tagging or damage and it’s still in near perfect condition today. ‘Shop til you drop’ can be found on Bruton Lane (W1J 6PT).

Nearest tube: Bond Street or Oxford Circus

Shop til you drop

Notting Hill 

Next up jump on the central line and head towards Notting Hill Gate and the posh end of town. Beautiful white buildings fill the streets, as do luxurious cars. The Banksy piece in Notting Hill is located on Portobello Road (W11 2DY).

Portobello Road is a pretty cool place and has markets every weekend. The smell of weed runs rife through the air and you might think it looks more like Brick Lane than Notting Hill. The weekend stalls sell everything from vintage clothes,  fresh fruit and veg, jewellery, street food, antiques, vintage furniture and all that sort of thing. There’s some decent pubs, independent coffee shops, too. There’s even a few shops selling Banksy canvases and memorabilia.

You don’t see much street art in the west end but there’s a few pieces down Portobello Road and the streets nearby.

Anyway, at the bottom of this famous street is another timeless Banksy piece, ‘Master Artist’. Again it’s protected by plexiglass and it’s pretty much in perfect condition. This piece was added to the wall in 2007 and was almost very short lived with the owners of the building putting the wall up for sale on eBay. The bidding war reached over £208,000 but the owners finally pulled the plug on the auction due to a public outcry. When they do come to selling the property I’m sure it’ll add a few extra zeros on the price tag, so I’m sure they’re not too upset.

Nearest tube: Notting Hill Gate

Portobello Banksy

Southwark 

The final Banksy I’m going to talk about is in south London and not too far from the tallest building in western Europe, The Shard. This piece dates back to 2010 and is situated on the side of a café on The Grange (SE1 3AD) just off Grange Road.

This Banksy, inspired by artist Keith Haring’s ‘Barking Dog’, has been preserved under the life-saving plexiglass and remains in excellent condition today.

While you’re in the area I highly recommend taking a trip to Borough Market and sampling a bacon sandwich from ‘Roast to Go’. Best I’ve ever had.

Nearest tube: London Bridge or Bermondsey  

Kieth Haring Dog

There’ll always be more Banksy hunting to be done and there’s still more pieces I want to find in London, Bristol and the rest of the world. It’s a great feeling to be standing in the presence of street art done by the Picasso of graffiti, to see something that art collectors would pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for, and to see his work on the streets of London in such Instagrammable condition. Thanks Banksy.

To get you in the mood for some Banksy hunting I recommend watching: Exit through the gift shop, Banksy does New York and Channel 4’s documentary about King Robbo and Banksy, Graffiti Wars.

Before I leave please let me know if I’ve missed any Banksy pieces in London and as always, graffiti lovers & artists, add comments, share your favourite Banksy’s, and any info I’ve missed.

Peace x

Kieth Haring Dog Portobello BanksyShop til you drop If graffiti changed anything StencilCash Machine Girl  Barbican Rat Tesco Bag Phone Tap Rivington Street 2 Rivington Street1 Banksy Flower                                          Bansky Clown House Farringdon Road 1

Welcome to London

Shoreditch At the back end of 2013, after work had taken me from Leeds to India, then down to Bristol for a few months, I started working in one of the greatest cities in the world – London. Ever since I was a young lad I’ve wanted to live in the big smoke, so to finally do so was a cliché come true. One of the greatest things about London is that there’s always something to do. You can never get bored in foggy London Town. There’s the markets, the museums, the shops, the sights, the food, the pubs, the culture, the views, the nightlife – oh, and some pretty amazing street art too, done by the likes of Banksy, Invader, Stik, Obey (aka Shepard Fairey), Theirry Noir, Jimmy C, Otto Shade, ROA, Jim Vision and many, many more top artists. East London I’m going to start on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. It’s the place where I fell in love with street art in London, and it reminded me very much of Nelson Street in Bristol. It’s so colourful and vibrant and it just creates an atmosphere that’s is difficult to explain. Shoreditch is the place to see lots and lots of street art and is probably one of the best areas in London to visit. Redchurch Street is just up the road from Shoreditch High Street station and it’s a good place to start your graffiti sight seeing. It’s also 30 seconds away from the top of Brick Lane, so I recommend grabbing your self a famous salt beef beigel first. And yes they do call spell it ‘beigel’ for some reason. On Redchurch Street you’ve also got Allpress Espresso who roast up some pretty decent brews, that’s another place to visit while you’re in the area. The graffiti is forever changing in east London, some work can be there for months, whereas others are gone in days or weeks. I like it though, it means no matter how many times you take a walk around the streets of the east end it’s always different and has a new story to tell. Some of the pieces in this post and future posts are no longer there, but that’s the life of the world of street art. Anyway, here’s some of my favourite pieces (past and present) of urban art on Redchurch Street:

Jim Vision redchurch st

Work by Jim Vision.

Stik shoreditch

Stik! See how many times you can spot this guy in London.

Tag Redchurch st

Not sure who this tag is by, but it’s one of my favourites.

Redchurch Street – the place for huge pieces of street art. It once was – this wall has pretty much been replaced by shop fronts now. 

Mural redchurch st

This wall on Redchurch Street has played host to some incredible murals like this one by Jim Vision.

Mural 4 Redchurch st

Mural 3 redchurch st

Fresh graffiti, again another one by Jim Vision.

Mural 2 rechurch st

Again, another amazing piece of work that left without a trace.

As you can see, there’s some impressive work on Redchurch Street and it continues to change and evolve over time. It’s a great place for any lover of urban art to start their graffiti hunting, and you’re right in the centre of the hipster capital that is east London. There’s plenty to do and a shit load of street art to find. Shoreditch will not disappoint.

Graffiti lovers & artists, please add comments, share your favourite spots in London, and add any info I’ve missed.

Peace x

The one and only Banksy

Bristol

I don’t think it would be right of me to move away from Bristol until I’ve posted about the graffiti legend that is Banksy. I didn’t manage to find all his work during my time in the west country, though I did find a fair bit of it. Some pieces I wanted to find were no longer there – tagged over in some cases – but most of them are still in perfect condition. I will be back to find more soon. If you’re going Banksy hunting in Bristol then I recommend the Banksy Bristol Tour App.

As I mentioned in my initial street art blog post the first Banksy I found in Bristol was ‘Well Hung Lover’ on the bottom of Park street. It’s probably one of the easier ones to find as the centre of Bristol is about a fifteen minute walk from Temple Meads Station, or if you’re going on the Mega Bus, the stop is only a couple of minutes away. Though I recommend never going anywhere on the Mega bus.

Park St is right near The Waterfront in the heart of the city and there’s plenty of places to go for food and drink. You might want to top-up your energy levels before venturing on a Bansky Quest, I suggest by sampling some local ales in No. 1 Harbourside. I’ve had my fair share of drunken nights in that place.

1) So here it is, Banksy’s ‘Well Hung Lover’ on the bottom of Park Street, Bristol.

Banksy2s

I think this is one of my favourite Banksy pieces for a number of reasons. It was the first Banksy I saw in Bristol, the first piece of street art I posted on my Instagram account and one of the main reasons I fell in love with graffiti. It’s also a well thought out piece of art, as is all of his work. There’s always a reason behind what he does, which just adds to his genius. This one in particular was done on the side of a sexual health clinic, ironic?

2) Staying down near the harbourside there used to be another famous Banksy piece, ‘The Grim Reaper’.

Banksy-Grim-Reaper

Luckily I managed to find Banky’s ‘Grim Reaper’ during my time in Bristol, which was done on the side of the Thekla Social boat in Bristol harbour. Upon doing some research for this blog post it saddens me to read that this piece of work is no longer there. In 2014 it was removed by the cities council as it was deteriorating due to the weather and murky waters. It’s now living safely in a museum somewhere in the town, no doubt you’ll have to pay a few quid to see it now.

3) The next Banksy I came across in Bristol was ‘Blowpop Records’. You wouldn’t even really know it was there unless you knew what you’re looking for.

Blowpop-records-

The building’s now pretty derelict and it’s surrounded by fencing, and the graffiti itself is pretty faded. But still, it was done by Banksy so it’s worth the trek. You can find it on what used to be the walls of a cool Bristol night club and record label.

From the ‘Blowpop Records’ Banksy I made my way towards the hipster area that is Stokes Croft. This place is very different from anywhere you’ve ever been, it thrives from a local community of creative and diverse people. It feels free, and the smell of weed is rife in the air. It’s the kind of place that’s against commercialism and when they opened a Tesco there in 2011 it was met by a huge protest. There’s also some really amazing street art up in Stokes Croft that’s definitely worth seeing. Stay tuned for a Stokes Croft blog post.

4) ‘Take the money and run’ is the first Banksy I discovered up in Stokes Croft find and it was a great find. It’s located just down Bath Buildings. What I like about finding Banksy’s in Bristol is that the majority of them are in perfect condition and aren’t covered in protective sheeting like the one’s you see in London.

Take-the-money-and-run

5) Last and by no means least is ‘The mild mild west’, which is up there with some of his finest work in Bristol, and maybe one of his most iconic pieces – as well as being one of my favourites too. This Banksy is also up in the heart of Stokes Croft  and you can’t miss it.

Banksy

And that just about sums up the works of Banksy that I managed to find during my days in the west country. I did try and find another one, got piss wet through in the process only to find it was no longer there. So just to warn you, if you go to Bristol in search of ‘Sniper’ by Banksy on Colston Street, please don’t make the same mistake I did.

No doubt I’ll be returning to Bristol at some point this year and I’ll make it my mission to go and find the rest of his work. I have found more Banksy’s in London, which I’ll be going onto in further blog posts, as well as lots of other London street art by some amazing artists.

Graffiti lovers & artists, please add comments, share your favourite Banksy’s and add any info I’ve missed.

If you’ve not been to Bristol yet, then you need to.

Peace X

Which is the right way?

Nelson streetFollowing on from my first blog post I’m going to stay in south west of England and in the fine city of Bristol. If you’ve never been to Bristol before then I highly recommend you do. Even if you’re not a graffiti addict like me, there’s still plenty to see and do. Just so you know I don’t work for Bristol tourist information so I’m not going to sit here and tell you everything about the place! I’ll keep this strictly street art, promise.

There’s so many awe-inspiring pieces of graffiti in Bristol that it’s difficult to know where to start. But I think going back to Nelson Street is the perfect place to begin. From Bristol Temple Meads train station it’s a good 10-15 minute walk to Nelson Street, you’ll walk up from the station towards the city centre, over the River Avon and head towards Broad Street.

At the bottom of Broad Street you’ll see a gothic looking church, this is the city gate and I’ve read it dates as far back as the 14th century. Anyway, enough history. If you walk under the city gate this will take you onto Nelson Street.

You’ll see Bristol’s Community Bike Cafe and the rest is history. . .

Bristol cafe

Nelson st2 Nelson st3

These were some of the first pieces of street art I saw in Bristol and they inspired my graffiti love affair. Who ever knew it could be so amazing? There’s a host of big names who have their work on Nelson Street too, including ROA and the famous Stik.

Work by Mr Aryz

Work by Mr Aryz

Work by ROA

Work by ROA

The famous STIK

The famous STIK

Another view of Nelson St.

Another view of Nelson St.

So if Nelson Street isn’t the perfect place to showcase some amazing street art then I don’t know where is! In such a short space there’s some truly unique pieces of work that are fit for anyone’s Instagram feed.

If you’re looking to discover some incredible street art then I suggest taking a trip to Bristol and Nelson Street. Just make sure you go loaded with a fully charged camera/ iPhone battery.

Graffiti lovers & artists, please add comments to give credits to anyone I’ve missed, and share your favourite graffiti spots.

Peace X

Street art is everywhere

Banksy

Hello, and welcome to my new blog streetarteverywhereblog.wordpress.com, nice and easy to remember right? Due to my ever-growing love for urban art I thought that it was time I wrote a blog about my favourite pieces of street art, amazing graffiti hot-spots and the people behind the work.

My love for street art first started when I went to the beautiful city that is Bristol, the west country and home of cider. This is also quite apt as it’s the home of the world’s most famous street artists.

Before working in Bristol I didn’t really have as much exposure to graffiti. Although I grew up in one of the most thriving cities in the country, Leeds, there’s not much of a street art scene there. If you’ve never been to Leeds, it’s definitely worth a visit, great beers and places to eat, and a half-decent football team (not so much anymore).

I didn’t really get into Banksy until visited Bristol. I mean, I’d heard of him, seen his books and knew bits about him, but that was it. It wasn’t until I saw his work in the flesh that I connected with it. The first Banksy I laid my eyes upon was ‘well hung lover’ on Park Street, Bristol. It was subtle, just there on the bottom of the street. I imagined hoards of tourists taking photos and selfies, but there wasn’t. Well, there was a few people taking photos but not to the extent I pictured in my head. Bristol’s a pretty chilled out place, and the fact that there’s a number of Banksy’s in the city just adds to its coolness.

Banksy2s

‘Well hung lover’ is one of many great original Banksy pieces in Bristol, I’ll cover more Banksy’s and west country graffiti in another blog post.

Back to Bristol, and the city itself. The place as a whole just has an amazing buzz, lots of students, travellers and foreigners make for a great atmosphere in the city centre. There’s the Waterfront with bars on the river, King Street with more cool bars, old pubs and old buildings, and a decent curry house too! Then you’ve got Broad Street, with stunning architecture including the famous Grand Hotel (I spent many nights there whilst working in Bristol), and some stunning views in the distance. St Nicholas Market is just round the corner and has some amazing street food stalls, my favourite was Grillstock. If you like pulled pork, wow.

Broad street 2

Other places to mention in Bristol are of course, Park Street, a huge street full of more bars, independent shops amongst other things. They do an annual water slide down there in the summer which looks mental. Stokes Croft is also another place full of life, more incredible works of street art are up that way, as well as some cool coffee shops. I know if I didn’t live in London then Bristol is a place that would definitely steal my heart. One day.

Nelson Street

The first place that really caught my eye in Bristol was Nelson Street, just at the bottom of Broad Street. I worked on Broad Street when I was living in Bristol and this is where I first experienced street art at its finest.

I remember walking down there one night after work, it was dark, but the graffiti just made the place feel so vibrant and alive. I certainly didn’t feel like I was anywhere in England, in fact it felt like another country (until I walked past a Tesco’s and a bookies). There was just something about it, something unique.

Nelson street street art

Graffiti on Nelson Street

This was just one piece of creative street art on Nelson St, just as you walk past one piece of graffiti, you see something even better in the distance. As soon as you put your camera away you find yourself reaching for it again to capture another work of art.

Bristol is definitely one of the greatest places I’ve been in my years, and I can’t recommend it enough. Street art-wise, it’s an iconic city, birth place to one of the all time greats in the trade, and it takes some beating.

In my blog I’ll talk about Bristol, Berlin, London, Paris amongst other places I manage to get to in order to find my passion.

I hope you enjoy my street art blog. Artists/ street art lovers, please feel free to add any comments and credits to artists if I’ve not mentioned their names.

Thanks for reading.

Peace x