Tag Archives: Stencil

Banksy, Cheltenham, CGHQ, stencil, phone box

Banksy GCHQ Reduced to Rubble – Or Is It?

A mist of news, rumour and myth swirls around Banksy and at times he doesn’t actually need to do anything to cause it.

 

Back in 2014 Banksy executed one of his best pieces, a trio of spies eavesdropping on the conversations of people using a phone box in Cheltenham (written about here).  Cheltenham is home of GCHQ or to give it its full official title and description, the UK Government Communications Headquarters which is “the centre for Her Majesty’s Government’s Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) activities”.

Banksy Spies - photo Martin Bull

Banksy Spies – photo Martin Bull

The subject, the placement and the execution were absolutely top notch as can be seen in the photograph above by Martin Bull (author of the highly recommended Banksy Locations and Tours Vols 1 and 2, among other books).

 

News broke yesterday that someone had removed the wall on which the Banksy spies had been painted, photographs show a rectangular cut out from the wall where one of the spooks had been and a pile of rubble on the ground.  There is a lot of uncertainty about what actually has happened to the Banksy and you perhaps should just read the BBC article here.

Banksy, Cheltenham, CGHQ, stencil, phone box

photo: from BBC report (link above)

A perhaps less noticed twist was that the Banksy incorporated the BT phone box into the piece, so anyone seeking to remove the piece and there are such people, see Mr Robin “Bankrobber” Barton mentioned in the BBC link, would need to strike a deal with both the owner of the property and BT.  Of course a phone box could be simply purchased though it would be unlikely to be the original phone box, so the piece would be not completely original.

 

Another little morsel of intrigue and curiosity is that it turns out the seemingly undistinguished end of terrace Victorian property on which the Spies piece was painted was a Grade II listed building.  Technically the owners would have been obliged and could have been compelled to remove the Banksy to restore the property to its previous condition.  However as can be seen in this BBC report a retrospective planning permission was given to incorporate the Banksy into the building’s listed status so that it could remain where it was.  That actually means that the owner of the building would have to preserve the Banksy, making the whole episode just a bit more murky.

 

This is the second time (to my knowledge) that a Banksy work has been protected in a planning application, I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

WRDSMTH and Megzany In London

A few weeks ago (I have been trying to find time to write this post for quite a while) London was visited by two artists from LA, Megzany and WRDSMTH.  WRDSMTH is no stranger to London, this by my recollection could be his 4th visit to London for the purpose of putting up some street art.  On his last visit just before the New Year he collaborated with a number of street artists from the UK.

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Working with mixed media stencil and pasted paper, WRDSMTH’s work has charm, occasional pathos and a subdued humour often tinged with romance.  His work is thus, very popular. On this occasion, WRDSMTH put up his largest typewriter piece on his visits to London.

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti, Wrdsmth, stencil, paste up, typewriter, wall

There was also the small matter of his words appearing on large paste ups on the back of London’s iconic red telephone boxes.

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti, Wrdsmth, stencil, paste up, phone box, wall

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti, Wrdsmth, stencil, paste up, phone box, wall

The same day these new WRDSMTH pieces were spotted, a large crisply sprayed biplane with a curious message appeared on a wall on Brick Lane.  A bit of searching online revealed the artist to be Megzany, also from Los Angeles.  Megzany certainly knows how to spray a clean single layer stencil and her stencil construction technique has a lot of similarities with WRDSMTH’s.

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti,  Megzany, stencil, paste up, phone box, wall, Biplane

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti,  Megzany, stencil, paste up,  phone box, wall, bi plane

Apart from stencils, Megzany also pasted up images evoking sentiment about objectification exploitation of women and errr mermaids, placing them in vending machines.

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti,  Megzany, stencil, paste up, mermaid,  phone box

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti,  Megzany, stencil, paste up, mermaid,  phone box

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti,  Megzany, stencil, paste up, phone box

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti,  Megzany, stencil, paste up, phone box, wall, dancer

London, street art, Shoreditch, guided tour, graffiti,  Megzany, stencil, paste up, mermaid,  phone box

A fellow LA artist Kai Aspire has also been putting up loads of art over the past couple of months in London in entirely different forms, that may be the subject of another port sometime but it is great to see artists from a city so noted for its creativity coming all the way to London to brighten up a rather dull Summer.

All photos: Dave Stuart

Banksy, street art, stencil, Les Miserables, Knightsbridge, London, French Embassy, Calais, Refugees, Calais Jungle

Banksy vs French Embassy In London

After a long long wait (since mid 2012 actually) Banksy has sent us scrambling with a new piece of street art in London.

Banksy, street art, stencil, Les Miserables, Knightsbridge, London, French Embassy, Calais, Refugees, Calais Jungle

It is a stunning piece, combining political content, perfect placement and the big “wow – how did he pull that off?” factor.

Banksy, street art, stencil, Les Miserables, Knightsbridge, London, French Embassy, Calais, Refugees, Calais Jungle

The piece references the gassing of refugees in the Calais Jungle by French Police earlier this month.  It is placed right opposite the French Embassy, under the watchful gaze of their armed security guards and CCTV cameras.

Banksy, street art, stencil, Les Miserables, Knightsbridge, London, French Embassy, Calais, Refugees, Calais Jungle

Sadly this morning developers refurbishing the premises the art is place on were implementing a plan to preserve the work and solve health and safety issues arising from its placement, i.e., they were going to have it.  The removal attempt was temporarily aborted and they have resorted to covering it up with plywood.  so relieved to have got there in time.

Banksy, street art, stencil, Les Miserables, Knightsbridge, London, French Embassy, Calais, Refugees, Calais Jungle

There is a more detailed assessment I have written on Graffoto

all photos: Dave Stuart aka NoLionsinEngland

Otto Schade: Busy In Shoreditch

London dwelling Chilean street artist Otto Schade was busy yesterday replacing older Otto Schade works with new.  Continuing his theme of kids and weaponry, we get the chilling sight of a mother with her two children caught in the cross hairs of a rifle’s telescopic sight.

London, Shoreditch,street art, street artist, Otto Schade, stencil, Chile, tour, tours, walk,walks

This replaced a piece with young kids firing catapults in a one sided battle with military attack helicopters.  About a week ago this one was defaced with the tag “Fashion Is Fake”, Otto was quick to replace tagged with new.

London, Shoreditch,street art, street artist, Otto Schade, stencil, Chile, tour, tours, walk,walks

2014

The other piece painted yesterday has armed children taking on a court jester.

London, Shoreditch,street art, street artist, Otto Schade, stencil, Chile, tour, tours, walk,walks

 

This replaced an unfinished and rather half baked image from the same theme series.

London, Shoreditch,street art, street artist, Otto Schade, stencil, Chile, tour, tours, walk,walks

2013

Nice to see Otto busy in Shoreditch creating a quality of stencilled artwork which owes little to the rush of stencil bombing and a lot to accomplished stencilled street art.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, stencil, Bambi, Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, “Don’t do it”, “Just Do it”, “Don’t Shoot”

Bambi Hits Shoreditch Against Ferguson Missouri Cops

London street artist Bambi has created a powerful new stencilled piece of street art on a ”virgin” (bare brick, un-painted) wall in a high profile location in Shoreditch.

The subject is Michael Brown, though the image looks more like Obama (the ears?) repeated 5 times in a manner which ironically is a bit reminiscent of Warhol’s multiple gun toting Elvis image . The wall is right opposite Cargo night club and sits facing a couple of famous Bansky images, which also reminds us that Bambi has been often acclaimed (without foundation) as the female Banksy.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, stencil, Bambi, Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, “Don’t do it”, “Just Do it”, “Don’t Shoot”

Bambi is an interesting artist in so far as she collects column inches by the gazzillion (have a few more on us) yet shuns the normal street art capitol of Shoreditch in favour of North London locations such as Islington and Camden. Her repertoire is dominated by popular contemporary female icons and a dry sense of hmour and this has been sufficient to win her a loyal fanbase stretching way beyond the normal “scene” collectors”.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, stencil, Bambi, Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, “Don’t do it”, “Just Do it”, “Don’t Shoot”

“DON’T SHOOT” screams large blood red stencilled lettering repeated across Obama’s portrait and the logo on his clothing reads “Don’t Do it”. 100 yards away at the corresponding location on the next alley, Nikelab’s Shoreditch  premises proclaim “Just Do It” on a railway bridge wall in huge letters.  The raised hand brings some ambiguity to the image, is it “stop”, or is it a greeting?

The text around the images reads

“You abuse your powers again and again

Another innocent unarmed soul is murdered in your name

Filthy blue lies flow and flow

You shot him six times for just jaywalking home

Left in a pool of blood on the street

But you think it’s just another day on the beat

Come on justice must be done or anarchy will bite you on the bum

Bambi”

 

Update: It seems Bambi returned to make her message clearer by repeating the poetic refrain on the black surface of the building next to her stencil artwork. It wasn’t there in the original photographs, indeed it wasn’t there when we passed on Sunday at lunchtime but lo, come Monday lunchtime there was the fresh addition right under a sign warning “You are being filmed, if you graffiti our building you will be prosecuted”.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, stencil, Bambi, Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, “Don’t do it”, “Just Do it”, “Don’t Shoot”

The clearer surface means we can now update the text above where it wasn’t legible before.

Sadly, the cops aren’t learning much as the news comes through today that Graffiti writer Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez died in Miami yesterday after being mown down by a cop in a car.  The president of the Miami Police union was reported to have said “..for every action there’s a reaction. If he would have not been committing a crime and then running from law enforcement, this could have been avoided.”

The owners of that particular wall aren’t keen to join in the street art fun and by Tuesday evening, the fresh work had been buffed – painted black. They have previous in hiding their sense of humour under a bushel, this retort by Smif 6 years ago didn’t last long either.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, stencil, Bambi, Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, “Don’t do it”, “Just Do it”, “Don’t Shoot”

all images: NoLionsInEngland

 

Banksy v Roa – the World Cup’s got nothing on this!

Who would win in a fight between a Roa hedgehog and a Banksy rat?  We might find out as there’s a fascinating week in prospect in the world of London galleries who show artists who are more at home on outdoor walls.

 BANKSY: The Unauthorised Retrospective, Curated by Steve Lazarides

London,Shoreditch,street art,walks,walking,tour,tours,Banksy,Roa,Trust.Icon,stencil,art

Banksy canvas: Avon and Somerset Constabulary; image courtesy Sothebys website

Steve Lazarides in conjunction with, or thanks to, or despite Sotheby’s is staging a “selling show” of Banksy print and canvas artwork. Steve Lazarides is famously known as the svengali who co-piloted spaceship Banksy to enormous heights until the relationship ended a few years ago. “He’d hate it. It’s about as far removed from something he would contemplate as you could get” says Lazardis though it’s probably not as far off the Banksy Christmas card list as a show exhibiting Banksy’s street works in a boutique hotel basement.

What you will get are about 70 prints and canvasses by Banksy, supposedly the largest exhibition of his work ever but it will be asurprise if it matches the scale of the epic 2009 Bristol Museum and Art Gallery show (which of course was “authorised” Banksy).

Chances of getting to see the private view are virtually zilch, especially if you are reading this the day after tomorrow. “Go and see it when it’s quiet” said my friend on the inside. The last time anything “quiet” happened with Banksy was back in ‘05 when our whole family trotted along to the Crude Oils show with the live rats and just walked in off the street over the weekend. It may be a little different this time.

11 June 2014 – 25 July 2014

Monday – Friday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 June 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Sotheby’s S|2 space

31 St. George Street, London W1S 2FJ

ROA: ‘PROJECTUM 06’

Roa has to be one of the few street art talents who can rank up alongside Banksy and he has an original show opening head to head in London in the same week as the Banksy retrospective!

ROA first exhibited in London at Pure Evil’s gallery in 2008, a show that propelled him to stardom as we fell in love with these dishevelled, skinned and disembowelled creatures painted on anything but conventional canvas. Stolen Space’s first show in what has now become their home was the cracking 2012 Hynagogia staged before the gallery became the cleaner, whiter two roomed permanent gallery home it is now. This return to Stolen Space sees the Belgian painter create another installation based show which is sure to have us gasping at its unconventional surfaces and grubby dirty creatures. Can’t wait.

London,Shoreditch,street art,walks,walking,tour,tours,Banksy,Roa,Trust.Icon,stencil,art

“Deer”; image courtesy Stolen Space

MAX RIPPON: “Pentimento”

Also opening at the same time in the other Stolen Space room is “Pentimento” by Max Rippon aka NY street artist/graffiti writer RIPO. Expect top quality graphic art with a graffiti twist.

London,Shoreditch,street art,walks,walking,tour,tours,Banksy,Roa,Trust.Icon,stencil,art

max Rippon aka “RIPO”; image courtesy Stolen Space

A huge heap of talent there in those two rooms. Both shows:

13 June – 6 July (private view 12th, 6pm)

STOLEN SPACE GALLERY
17 Osborn Street
London E1 6TD

 

TRUST.ICON: “Tears of a Clown”

Meanwhile, on the far side of town, Trust.Icon opens Tears Of A Clown, RSVP required. Some of Trust.Icon’s street artsuch as this recent location specific single layer stencil image is top notch. Some not so!

London,Shoreditch,street art,walks,walking,tour,tours,Banksy,Roa,Trust.Icon,stencil,art

Trust.Icon (photo: nolionsinengland)

London,Shoreditch,street art,walks,walking,tour,tours,Banksy,Roa,Trust.Icon,stencil,art

Tears Of A Clown

12 – 26 June (private view 6.30 pm, 12th)

Graffik Gallery,

284 Portobello Road,

London, W10 5TE.

Jef Aerosol New London Street Art 2014

French stencil legend Jef Aerosol surprised the Shoreditch Street Art Tour when he strolled past in a hurry after creating some fresh street art. By chance we happened to meet right at a spot where in 2008 Jef Aerosol put up a long lasting stencil of John Lennon and Mick Jagger.

Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,John Lennon, Mick Jagger

Brimful of excitement, the group was amazed later to find a new piece of Jef Aerosol work on the streets. This pasted image shows two Moroccan Gnawa musicians, Jef visited Morocco last month and it made a deep impression on him and the composition is an interesting addition to the many popular musical legends who have been a mainstay of his work.

 

Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,Morocco,musicians,gnawa,stencil, paste up

Jef Aerosol – Moroccan Gnawa musicians

Further East Jef has done an even better piece of art on the dilapidated and boarded up exterior of an old fishmongers. The images are stencilled onto the wall, not pasted and in addition to a couple of his urchin children there are two fishes rising up and escaping their normal aquatic boundaries, and interesting response to the former use of the site.

Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,stencil, flying fish

Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,stencil, flying fish Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,stencil, flying fish Jef Aerosol,London, Shoreditch, street art,graffiti,tour,guide,guided,walk,stencil, flying fish

You can view a photographic survey of Jef’s London street art over the years  here.

Jef has had several significant shows in the UK over the past decade, our favourite was probably Spray It Loud in Islington back in 2008.

all photos: NoLionsInEngland

London,Shoreditch,street art,free art,found art,Alex Trema, French, street artist, stencil, stencilist

French Street Artist Alex Trema Free Art Found!

 

French street artist Alex Trema is in London placing pieces of free art on the streets as part of a project he dubs “Take me”.  Today Shoreditch Street Art Tours’ guests came across a piece of Alex’s art packaged up on the streets and they did exactly that, they took it!

London,Shoreditch,street art,free art,found art,Alex Trema, French, street artist, stencil, stencilist

Alex conceived his project while in New York in late Spring of 2013 and has placed free art in Paris, Marseille, Napoli, Lille, Milan and now London!   The London version consists of an image of the late West London icon Joe Strummer, singer with The Clash.

London,Shoreditch,street art,free art,found art,Alex Trema, French, street artist, stencil, stencilist

Ours now!

Alex likes to see the public becoming a part of his project with their participation in photos of them with the art on the streets, so in his terms our guests are officially a piece of art, but they knew that anyway!

London,Shoreditch,street art,free art,found art,Alex Trema, French, street artist, stencil, stencilist

La Famille Javary

French stencil artists remain a cut above!

Previous “Free Art” found on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour include works by Mr Farenheit and Skeleton Cardboard

Web link: Alex Trema

All photos by NoLionsInEngland using a Nokia Lumia 1020