Brexit Through The Gift Shop

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23rd June 2016 was a shit day for most of us Brits as this was the day that marked the UK’s decision to leave the E.U and thus officially creating Brexit. 

Fucking politics…

Anyway, the Brexit-inspired mural appeared on the wall of the derelict Castle Amusements building in Dover back in May this year, around the time of the general election, in which the Tories remained in power. Fucking politics.

To highlight the state of what is currently happening in the United Kingdom, the piece depicts a worker chiselling away a star from the European Union flag, oh the irony. The beautiful thing about this piece is not only its representation of the UK leaving the E.U, but also the fact that the building itself is actually cracking right underneath the worker and his chisel. A nice and subtle double meaning behind this masterpiece.

Today I took the journey from London to Dover to see the work for myself. Getting to Dover from St Prancas International is a straight forward journey and it will set you back about £40 for a return fare.

From St Pancras, you can either get a direct train into Dover Priory, otherwise you have to change at Ashford Int. The journey takes about 1 hour 40 minutes so it’s not too bad.

Once you get into Dover the Banksy is about a 12 minute walk from the station. Like most seaside towns in the country the place feels a bit run down and in need of some TLC. That said, it is rather picturesque down in Dover, so if you make the journey there leave yourself some time for a bit of a wonder around.

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In the town centre there’s some nice old buildings – if you like that sort of thing – and in the distance you can see the English Channel and the famous white cliffs.

Dover Town Hall [below] sits in the middle of a rather small town centre, which has a typical high street, you know, Carphone Warehouse, McDonald’s, Sports Direct, Boots and all of that. So don’t go there expecting a good shop, let’s put it that way.

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Dover Town Hall

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White Cliffs of Dover

Walking away from the town centre is the way to go if you want to see the Banksy. It’s on York Street and is in the direction of the seafront.

Once you’re heading the right way you’ll see it a mile off. This was the first new Banksy I’ve seen in over a year so once it was in sight I was getting goosebumps. There’s always something pretty special about finding work by the infamous Bristolian graffiti artist.

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Approaching Banksy’s mural on York Street

As soon as I got closer to the piece I was literally in awe. It is truly incredible. Not only is it in pretty much perfect condition, it’s also huge, which for me makes it one of the best Banky’s I’ve found to date. I also liked the fact I was the only one there taking photos and other than that the place was pretty desolate.

I took a ton of pictures, but still didn’t feel like I had taken enough. It felt like a great accomplishment seeing this work in person and I think that’s what it’s all about.

Here’s some snaps of the ‘Brexit’ Banksy:

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Unfortunately, due to the nature of the street art scene, nothing lasts forever. And especially not when it’s a Banksy as people will pay insane amounts of cash for them.

Not only that, this piece is on an old, derelict building that doesn’t look like it will be there much longer. There’s already talks that the work could be sold, which is a real shame in my opinion.

So my recommendation is get down to Dover and see it for yourself and appreciate this inspiring ‘Brexit’ mural by the one and only Banksy.

If you’ve got a minute head over to change.org and sign the petition to save this piece.

For further Banksy reading check out my other blog posts:

Banksy in NYC (New York)

Banky’s ‘The Drinker’ (London)

Banksy Hunting in LDN (London)

The one and only Banksy (Bristol) 

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

Feel free to add comments and share your favourite street art/ artists.

Peace

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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…

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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

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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:

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Work by Sakia and Bitches 

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Nerone LeCocktail 

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

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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.

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‘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

 

 

 

Paris est beautiful

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In light of the terrible events that have happened in Paris over the weekend (and earlier on this year) I wanted to write quick blog post highlighting how beautiful and incredible this city is. 

Why anyone wants to bring harm on the lives of the innocent is beyond me.

My thoughts go out to those who have lost loved ones and to the many affected by these acts of mindless violence. There is no place on our planet for inhumanity. I hope the rest of us can stick together and unite against extremism. Give peace a chance.

Paris is beautiful:

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One of the best restaurants in Paris. Proper Parisian cuisine.

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Je Suis Charlie tributes shot up all over Paris after the tragic Charlie Hedbo shooting in January.

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‘Beware of words’ by Ben 93.

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Beautiful work by street artist Seth overlooking Paris.

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Street art by C215 in Nationale

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Huge piece by OBEY in Nationale

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The stunning Pantheon

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Le Pantheon

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Work by the famous Parisian street artist Invader

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A see of stunning white architecture

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I’m saddened again to hear about what’s happened in one of my favourite cities. Paris is such an incredible, multi-cultural and welcoming place and it’s shocking to hear the horror that has taken place. I hope the Parisians and the country of France remain strong and know that they have the rest of the world on their side.

#PrayForParis

Street art daily: East London vibes

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It’s been a while since my last blog post so here’s a quick one highlighting some of my favourite pieces in the east end of London Town. 

No matter how many times you take a wonder around the streets of Hackney and beyond, you’re always safe in the knowledge you’ll see work by the world’s best urban artists. There’s never a dull day in London, that’s for sure.

There’s some amazing new work in the east end at the minute, but here’s a ‘Thursday throwback’ to some of my faves. Apologies if I haven’t mentioned the artist (I do try credit artists when possible!).

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One of many pieces by the Belgian, ROA. This piece can be found just off Brick Lane.

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Another piece just off Brick Lane that’s been there for a year or so now. Not sure who it’s by but I love it.

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One of my favourite street artists, Stik, can be spotted all over East London and beyond.

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Stik adding value to this property at the top of the world famous Brick Lane.

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Sadly this UP street art has now disappeared from this wall on Old Street. Definitely up there with my favourite pieces of street art. Who Doesn’t love a Disney movie?

VHILS

Work by the incredibly talented VHILS. This skilled street artist carves his art into the building, leaving behind a stunning, life-like image. Not seen anything like this before. His work isn’t as common so when you find one, it’s worth admiring.

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

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:

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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 nine

Underneath the London Transport Police Headquarters on Regent’s Canal in Camden is the place the street art war between Banksy and King Robbo started.

The feud resulted in them destroying each others work, most notably, Banksy ruining a 25 year old Robbo tag, and London’s oldest piece of graffiti. The street art war between Banksy and King Robbo was documented by Channel 4 in a programme called ‘Graffiti Wars’.

During the filming of the documentary, Robbo had a life-threatening head injury leaving him in hospital in a critical condition.

After spending three years in a coma Robbo sadly passed away, and although his original piece is long gone, a tag still stands in his honour under the police HQ.

RIP KING ROBBO

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Watch Channel 4’s Graffiti Wars here.

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

Peace x

Street art daily: day eight

Since I’ve been living in London I’ve been lucky enough to find some amazing street art by some of the best artists in the business. I’ve also seen some incredible art come and go in the blink of an eye. 

Here are some of my favourite East London captures…

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Broadway Market, Hackney: This colourful skull is no longer there – but it was one of my fave’s to grace Broadway Market. In its place is an amazing piece by French street artist, Zabou.

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Another on Broadway Market: Next to the colourful skull was this beautiful piece by Boe and Irony.

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We all used to love Pokemon but I don’t remember Pickachu looking anything like this! This piece was on Redchurch Street, Shoreditch.

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What’s not to love about a dinosaur in a suit with an umbrella?

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Nostalgia: Here’s some Mutley street art that was once on Brick Lane, Shoreditch.

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Classic: I love this piece on Old Street, East London. It’s Carl Fredricksen from Disney’s brilliant Up. Probably one of the best films ever! So the street art is right up there too.

And that’s it for Monday’s street art round-up. What’s your favourite piece of urban art, and why? 

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

Peace x