Banksy’s Back in LDN

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The notorious Bristolian graffiti artist Banksy returned to London this week with not one, but two new pieces. The work is in homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, an American artist (and an inspirational figure in the NYC graff scene) whose work is currently on exhibition in the Barbican.

Banksy is well-known for making an ironic statement with his work and this is what he had to say about it [via Instagram]: “Major new Basquiat show opens at the Barbican – a place that is normally very keen to clean any graffiti from its walls.”

The new pieces can be found on Golden Lane, just off Beech Street, which is about a 5 minute walk from Barbican Underground Station.

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Luckily I stumbled upon the new Banksy work today by chance. I had the day off work and was heading to the gym (trying to be all healthy and that), when at Finsbury Park station I was browsing through social media, as you do, when I stumbled upon an image of what I instantly recognised as a Banksy. I then did a Google search and saw a lot of articles about it, which also confirmed it to be fresh and real. So instead of continuing on to the gym, instead I headed for Barbican via King’s Cross.

I only recently saw the Banksy down in Dover and did not expect to see a fresh piece anytime soon. So as soon as I heard there was a new one in town, the adrenaline started rushing through my body and the only thing on my mind was ‘I have to see this…’.

As comes with the territory with something like this there was a chance that it could have already been covered up or painted over, so I had to act fast. As you’d expect, the word had spread and there was plenty of street art enthusiasts in the area trying to get a perfect shot of the graff. There was also a bit of media attention and the odd member of security too; the latter of which probably trying to ensure this Banksy lasts longer than 24 hours, unlike his last one in London.

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The work – which features Banksy’s classic stencil style – pays tribute to Basquiat’s Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump (from 1982).

Anyway, I won’t ramble on anymore. Below are some snaps from Banky’s latest appearance in LDN.

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Some passers by didn’t realise what they were missing out on…


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While others got involved…

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The circus is coming to town: this Banksy features Basquiat’s iconic crown symbol

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So the last thing to say is make sure you get down to Barbican soon if you want to see these Banksys before they vanish. Furthermore you should also try and see the Basquiat exhibition to soak up what this is all about.

For further Banksy reading check out my other blogs:

Brexit Through The Gift Shop (Dover)

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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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?

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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

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’.

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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:

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Belleville, Paris: Spot the Andre the Giant poster?

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

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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