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

New Street Art

 

IMG_8839As a street art blogger, other than finding graffiti and writing about it, it doesn’t get much better than reading a decent book on the subject too. This week I received a press release copy of a must-have new book called New Street Art, and it’s the bible for any graffiti enthusiast. 

The book, set for release in May this year, is Written by Claude Crommelin (aka Claudelondon) and it’s pretty much an A-Z of London street art by artists old and new (150 in total, including some stunning photography).

Claude has been dubbed the ‘David Attenborough of street art’ and he’s been documenting the London street art scene since 2008, after moving to the UK from The Netherlands. As a professional photographer, he’s seen his contemporary artworks in the likes of Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Centraal Museum Utrecht and Boymans van Beuiningen in Rotterdam.

This book showcases some of the best street art in London, by the world’s top artists. It shows us the incredible passion Claude has for street art. He’s made a name for himself along the way and is recognised by many as been ‘the first on the scene when anything new arrives’.

New Street Art provides a great insight into the world of graffiti and includes the work of 150 street artists on the scene today, making it an essential book for your street art collection.

Artists included in the book in no particular order are Banksy, Invader, ROA, Stik, Dscreet, Otto Schade, VHILS, C215, Jimmy C, Dan Kitchener, Mr Fahrenheit and more.

‘Claude Crommelin is the David Attenborough of Brick Lane street art’ -Stik

Check out some of the pages from the book below, and don’t forget to pre-order it!

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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

 

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.

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Approaching the seafront in Weston-Super-Mare

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The view from the front

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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:

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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:

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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

Street art daily: day twelve

Invader was here

One of my favourite street artists is the one and only Parisian artist, Invader. Like Banksy his identity is kept secret and only a select few know who the man behind the retro-game-inspired work actually is.

His unique mosaic street art can be found all over the world and I’ve been lucky to see some of his amazing work in Paris and London… so far. To make finding his work even more fun he created a smartphone app: flash invaders! You get points for each piece you find and the app uses your location to tell you which you found. It’s pretty clever and makes finding his work even more addictive.

His work can be found in the last places you would expect. For example, on a recent trip to Paris we went to see the Sacre Coeur and as we left this iconic French piece of architecture we spotted work by Invader on a house just opposite the landmark. So always be on the look out. Look up, instead of checking Twitter.

Here’s some of my favourite Invader pieces to date:

Invader-1

Invader work just opposite the Sacre Coeur!

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Brick Lane: This piece is slightly damaged but still remains on the famous East London street.

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One of my favourite Invader pieces. This tribute to Star Wars can be found just off Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch behind the American Car Wash.

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Can you see it? This piece blends in pretty well with the grey wall but you can see it’s red eyes staring back at you. This Invader is in the Belleville area in Paris.

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Real or copycat Invader? Certainly looks like the real deal however we were told there are a few Invader copycats in Paris. If only I had the Flash Invader app on my iPhone at the time!

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More Invader work in Paris

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This Invader piece is in Brixton, just above Shaza’s Fried Chicken joint!

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A huge Invader piece in Shoreditch, just off Brick Lane. It’s nicely placed next to a huge mural by OBEY.

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This must have been his 100th invasion of London, as this Invader is accompanied with the number ‘100’. Again didn’t check it on my app, but I will! This one can be found on Broadway Market, just opposite the Cat and Mutton pub.

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This little Invader piece can be found in between Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus.

How many Invader pieces have you found, and which is your favourite? 

As always, graffiti lovers & artists, add comments and share your favourite London street art.

And follow me on Instagram @rickmacmacca, @loveeastlondon, @black_and_white_ldn!

Peace x

Street art daily: day eleven

STREET ART SKULLS

Everyone loves a skull, right? Whether you’re an artist, a tattooist or a bit of an alternative – skulls are very much anti-establishment and against the mainstream.

They look just as good as a tattoo as they do on the wall of a building. With that in mind, here are some of my favourite street art skulls:

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Skull by Alexis Diaz – just off Brick Lane – a few minutes from the Cereal Killer Cafe!

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Work by #EDMX in Camden

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Another piece by Alexis Diaz, this time with the help of Borondo.

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Hanbury Street: Skull by DesX.

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Artist not known: please add if you do!

SKULL2

Artist not known: please add if you do!

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AMAZING! Colourful skulls on Brick Lane by @fanakapan.

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Artist not known: please add if you do!

What’s your favourite skull street art in London? 

As always, graffiti lovers & artists, add comments and share your favourite London street art.

And follow me on Instagram @rickmacmacca, @loveeastlondon, @black_and_white_ldn!

Peace x