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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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.

Weston-seafront

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 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!

Invader2

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

Invader-3

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.

Invader4

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.

Invader6

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!

Invader7

More Invader work in Paris

Invader8

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

Invader9

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

Invader5

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.

Invader10

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:

SKULL-6

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

SKULL5

Work by #EDMX in Camden

SKULL4

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

SKULL1

Hanbury Street: Skull by DesX.

SKULL3

Artist not known: please add if you do!

SKULL2

Artist not known: please add if you do!

SKULL9

AMAZING! Colourful skulls on Brick Lane by @fanakapan.

SKULL8

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

Street art daily: day ten

Camden Town, London.

Camden is the hub for all things alternative and it’s one of London’s major attractions for those looking for something a bit different to Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament and The London Eye. 

Like Shoreditch, and East London in general, Camden is becoming an top spot for street artists from all over the world to ply their trade. Just minutes from the tube station there’s some amazing murals to be found by the likes of Jimmy C, Otto Schade, Irony and Boe and Dan Kitchener (and many more).

Camden-Cranio-2

Work by the unmistakable Brazilian, Cranio.

Camden-Cranio

And here he is again!

Camden-Dan-Kitchener

Beautiful work by Dan Kitchener

Camden-Himbad

Work by Himbad

Camden-Home-Street-Home

Camden really is ‘home street (art) home’.

Camden-Irony-and-Airborne-Mark

Piranha’s made out of rolled up cash. Maybe that’s an interesting look on our government? Work by Irony and Airborne Mark.

Camden-Jimmy-C

This is an absolutely incredible piece by Jimmy C. It’s worthy of any gallery and yet we have his work on the streets of London for free.

Much of the street art in this post is in an area in Camden soon to be demolished and turned into accommodation (with extortionate rent no doubt), so get down to Camden and explore the streets instead of the markets for a change. You never know, you might just like what you see.

Where do you think is the best area for street art in London? Is Camden better than Shoreditch?

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

And follow me on Instagram @rickmacmacca!

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

King-Robbo

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…

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 seven

Berlin8

STREET ART SUNDAY

If you’re looking for a cheap street art retreat look no further than Berlin. Not only is the German capital the home to some of the most incredible urban art I’ve ever seen, it’s easily the best place I’ve ever been, too. I went for a week back in May 2013 and I still can’t get over how good it was. I need to live there.

The history on its own is enough to make anyone want to visit. There’s the Olympic Stadium, built by the Nazis in the 1930s, which is now home to the Bundesliga side, Hertha Berlin (it also held the 2013/14 Champions League Final). There’s Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag, Berlin Zoo, The Holocaust Memorial, Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum (a concentration camp just north of the city, in Oranienburg), The Berlin Wall and as much currywurst and bratwurst as you can shake a few euros at.

Kreuzberg is the home of the hipster and Berliner’s just ooze ‘coolness’. The street art scene in Berlin is second to none, and just when you think you’ve seen the most incredible mural, you go down another street and see something even bigger and more amazing.

Here’s a few of my favourite pieces of street art in Berlin:

Berlin2

Work by the Brazilian twins ‘Os Gemeos’. This was one of the first pieces of Street art I saw in Berlin, from then on I knew how good it was going to be. Look out for their collaboration with Banksy in ‘Banksy does NYC’.

Berlin5

I love this – street art of street art. Recognise the Os Gemeos piece?

Berlin3

This stunning mural can be found on the side of the East-Side Hotel, just opposite the Berlin Wall.

Berlin1

‘The Pink Man’ by Italian street artist, Blu.

Berlin4

This huge Russian doll-inspired is another fantastic example of the street art scene in Berlin. Not sure who the artist is, if you know please add in comments.

Sadly these last two pieces by the Italian artist, Blu, are no more (so I hear), but they’re definitely without a shadow of doubt the best pieces of urban art that I’ve seen.

Berlin6 Berlin7

What do you think of the Berlin street art scene? Are there any better places to go in the world that match the German capital? 

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

Peace x

Street art daily: day six

Today’s street art daily post is all about the incredible Belgian artist, ROA, and his amazing work I’ve found in Bristol, Berlin and London.

ROA is best known for his large black and white mural’s of rodents and animals. 

His most popular piece in London is the ‘big bird’ on Hanbury Street, which I’ve mentioned in a few of my previous blogs.

Here’s some of my favourite ROA captures:

roa1

This one can be found just off Brick Lane

Work by ROA

Work by ROA in Bristol city centre – unfortunately this piece is no longer there.

ROA3

Mega piece by ROA in Kreuzberg, Berlin.

ROA2

Hedgehog by ROA opposite Shoreditch High Street station.

ROA Hanbury Street

The famous ‘crane’ on Hanbury Street

What do you think to ROA’s work? Feel free to share your favourite ROA pieces and share any other street art you like.

Enjoy your weekend!

Peace x