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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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

 

 

 

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…

Skull1

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.

bo-and-irony

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

PIKACHU

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

T-rex

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

Mutley

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

UP

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

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

Street art daily: day three

Mixing of styles

Today I’m going to take a look back at the ‘Mixing of Styles 2015’ that happened in Shoreditch on Saturday 11th July. 

My weekends usually consist of wondering around East London, drinking a flat white here, eating a bagel there (or should I say ‘beigel’) and generally doing things that you should do in the hipster capital of London. So unsurprisingly, my afternoon stroll lead me to Shoreditch and the home of lots and lots of graffiti.

As I was walking down Redchurch Street (home to an incredible mural by Jim Vision) a friendly guy handed out a flyer for an event happening in the Nomadic Community Gardens just off Brick Lane. I’ve been there a few times and for those of you who don’t know about it, it’s a park area (next to the overground line) that’s currently been transformed into a street art haven. The gardens will be developed into property in the near future, so in the meantime it’s currently a creative space for artists to do their thing.

Luckily for me, as I was on a street art hunt anyway I decided to go and check it out. I made sure I treated myself to a famous Brick Lane salt beef beigel first, obviously.

The weather was amazing and Shoreditch was absolutely buzzing on Saturday. There was street art going up all over the place, and the crowds were watching, instagramming and basking in the glorious summer sun.

Some of the top street artists around could be spotted at the Nomadic Community Gardens including the likes of Jim Vision, Dan Chase, Trafik and the Lost Souls Crew. It was an exhibition of urban art and the artists all came together for a true mixing of styles.

Cheap food and beer was on offer (£2 a pint – in London!) and there was a really cool vibe, everyone was friendly and there to appreciate one thing – art. Graffiti and creativity was happening all around, from artists collaborating on a cherry picker spraying a huge mural, to artists painting on vans to… well one guy constructing an unbelievable sculpture out of wood that he found on the floor – respect.

Redchurch St

In action: fresh graffiti going up on a wall next to what used to be All Press on Redchurch Street.

Brick Lane3

Huge crowds took to the streets of Brick Lane to witness the street art extravaganza

Improvisation

Improvisation: a nomadic traveller creates this masterpiece out of bits of wood found laying around.

Mixing of styles 3

Going up: An impressive street art collaboration on this huge wall in the Nomadic Community Gardens

Talent: An artist sprays this amazing piece on the side of a van.

Talent: An artist sprays this amazing piece on the side of a van.

Mixing of styles 5

Stunning: A fine example of the work on show

Done: An artist evaluates  his finished piece

Done: An artist evaluates his finished piece

Mixing of styles 7

Action shot: This guy had a massive crowd watching as he painted this exquisite mural.

Mixing of styles Collage

Did you make it to the Mixing of Styles 2015? What did you think? 

Feel free to share some of your favourite street art and let me know where you think are the best cities for urban art.

Peace x

From Jack the Ripper to street art central

Brick-Lane-

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog post so I thought I’d write something short and sweet about some of my favourite urban art pieces to have graced east London’s Hanbury Street.

Hanbury Street, just off the one and only Brick Lane, is currently home to some incredible street art. Many of the world’s greatest artists ply their trade around the streets of Shoreditch, including the likes of Invader, OBEY, ROA and Banksy, to name but a few.

Back in the day

Over 100 years ago, Jack the Ripper murdered his second victim, Annie Chapman, behind 29 Hanbury Street. He brutally slashed her throat, ripped open her abdomen and removed her uterus. Pretty gruesome, right?

The only thing that remains from the horrific days of 1888 is the stunning architecture around Spitalfields like Christ Church, which opened in the 1730s, and the beautiful old houses.

That’s enough history for one blog post. I’m here to talk about some of my favourite street art to appear on the infamous graffiti wall on Hanbury Street. This wall can be found just before Blitz Vintage and it’s on the same side of the street as the huge ‘crane’ piece by Belgian street artist ROA.

Two staple pieces of street art on Hanbury St. The left is a stunning piece by Argentinian, Martin Ron, and on the right is ROA's 'crane'.

Two staple pieces of street art on Hanbury St. The left is a stunning piece by Argentinian, Martin Ron, and on the right is ROA’s ‘crane’.

Here are some the best pieces of urban art to appear on the vibrant and colourful Hanbury Street. Enjoy.

This is probably my favourite all time street art in London. It's such an incredible piece by Alexis Diaz.

This is probably my all time favourite piece of street art in London. It’s such an incredible piece combining an elephant with an octopus. Work by Alexis Diaz.

Another fantastic spectacle to appear on Hanbury St, was this piece by Aussie artist, RONE.

Another fantastic spectacle to appear on Hanbury St, was this piece by Aussie artist, RONE.

Another great piece that was on Hanbury Street for brief period.  Artist unknown.

Another great piece that was on Hanbury Street for brief period. Artist unknown.

This awesome piece was added to the infamous wall on Hanbury St this year and it's absolutely incredible.

This awesome piece was added to the infamous wall on Hanbury St this year and it’s absolutely incredible. Work by PIXEL PANCHO & EVOCA1.

This piece was added by Alexis Diaz and Elian Chali as recent as June 2015. It's another great example of the incredible talent on offer in East London's street art scene.

This piece was added by Alexis Diaz and Elian Chali as recent as June 2015. It’s another great example of the incredible talent on offer in East London’s street art scene.

And that’s a round up of a few of my favourite murals on Hanbury Street. It’s a unique street in the heart of hipster Shoreditch. The scenery is always changing and you’re guaranteed to find some London’s best street art in this area.

As always, graffiti lovers & artists, add comments, share your favourite street art spots, 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