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

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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

 

Paris est beautiful

Paris1

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:

Paris-gate

Arc de Triumph

France-flag

Boulion-Chartier

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.

Ben93

‘Beware of words’ by Ben 93.

Paris-Seth

Beautiful work by street artist Seth overlooking Paris.

Paris-street-art2 Paris-Mural

C215

Street art by C215 in Nationale

OBEY-paris

Huge piece by OBEY in Nationale

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The stunning Pantheon

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Le Pantheon

Paris-building Paris-river Paris-Bikes Street-art-Nationale

Invader-Paris

Work by the famous Parisian street artist Invader

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View-of-Paris

A see of stunning white architecture

Sacreceour3 I-love-Paris

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

Vibes

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!).

ROA

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

Brick-Line-

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.

UP

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

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:

Dismal-queue

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.

Dismal-queue5

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.

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

Street art daily: day five

If you’ve been paying attention to the news this week you may have noticed that there was an arrest warrant out for Shepard Fairey, aka OBEY.

The American street artist, best known for his ‘Andre the Giant’ posters and the ‘HOPE’ campaign behind President Obama’s election campaign, was arrested in Los Angeles on Monday after Detroit Police issued a warrant for his arrest.

This came after Shepard Fairey was in Detroit painting his biggest mural to date – which he was commissioned to do – by the way. Like any other street artist, OBEY didn’t stop there stating ‘I still do stuff on the street without permission, and I’ll be doing stuff when I’m in Detroit’.

Shepard-Fairey-mural

Impressive: OBEY paints his biggest mural to date in Detroit. Image credits: nytimes.com.

This seems like a massive contradiction by the Detroit authorities, who later retracted the arrest because ‘they don’t extradite on lower-level cases like this’. Can you really pay a street artist to produce a huge piece of art, and then arrest them for doing the exact same thing on another building without permission?

Now unless he drew a penis, or something really offensive this seems a bit hypocritical in my eyes.

Anyway, I salute you Shepard Fairey. Here are some of my favourite OBEY finds:

Paris street art 9

Belleville, Paris: Spot the Andre the Giant poster?

obey-paris-

Nationale, Paris: An incredible mural by Shepard Fairey on the side of a block of flats.

OBEY Shoreditch

Shoreditch, London: Another amazing piece by OBEY, just opposite Shoreditch High Street station.

Is street art a crime? What’s the difference between street art and vandalism? Is it money?

It seems like whenever there’s a new Banksy the authorities will do anything to keep it protected as they know it’ll be worth a few bob. Does street art only become accepted when someone’s willing to buy it? Discuss!

Feel free to share some of your thoughts, favourite OBEY street art and let me know where you think to Shepard Fairey’s arrest.

Peace x