Author Archives: Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Origami frog painted by street artist Airborne Mark in Shoreditch

Airborne Mark Origami Street Art Painting

A couple of Sunday’s ago the Shoreditch Street Art Tour group had the pleasure of coming across Airborne Mark in the early stages of a new origami spraypainting.  Mark was as charming as ever and showed the origami model he was using as the reference for his painting.

“Can you see what it is yet?” he challenged us, just like he does you the viewer in this awesome making of video.  As the lucky group that day will testify, for all its polish and multi angles, Mark improvises and films the video yet manages to paint a masterpiece at the same time.  This video is such a pleasure to watch, I do hope you enjoy it.

Our group passed through at the point where he have completed the model outline and was just working on painting the cardboard base, pretty much the point at 2 minutes into the film where Mark explains some the challenges in painting the outline. Yes, we guessed correctly that it was going to be a frog!

The Origami model of the frog painted by street artist Airborne Mark in Shoreditch

Airborne Mark shows Shoreditch Street Art Tours his model

We have had the pleasure of bumping into Airborne Mark painting a few times down the years, we wrote a nice feature about Mark with a lot of history HERE

Just to demonstrate our lack of planning and foresight, the featured image at the top of this post is…the same as featured at the top of our September Highlights blogpost, which I suppose reflects how much we like Airborne Mark’s street art.

All photos: Dave Stuart


wall in shoreditch with street art origami frog painted by Airborne Mark

Shoreditch September Street Art Highlights

September turned out to be a perfect goldilocks month for street art in Shoreditch, not to hot and not too cold, not too wet and not too dry, just perfect!  Here is a selection of some favourites from the past month, some of which are already no more, have ceased to be, expired (etc).

Last weekend our Sunday tour had the pleasure of bumping into Airborne Mark doing one of his characteristic Origami paintings.  Here is a look at the origami model he was using as the reference, the final masterpiece can be seen in the featured image at the top.

Street Art by Airborne Mark showing the origami frog used for reference

Airborne Mark

Another artist we bumped into last weekend was the ever friendly D7606 who reclaimed a long running spot with this glorious Princess Grace Kelly in a London phone box “two Margeritas, one four cheeses, an Americano and 3 garlic breads please.”

Princess Grace Kelly spotted in a phone box in Shoreditch by street artist D7606

“so, two Margeritas, one four cheeses, an Americano and 3 garlic breads please.”

There is a tendency for photos to bubble to the surface on my computer in reverse chronological order, most recent first so perhaps it is appropriate that another graffiti writer we at the weekend was writing their name backwards using a very long handled roller brush.

Walls in Shoreditch with graffiti by Helch, ONLY, DIET and TOKS

HELCH, ONLY, DIET and TOKS

Yet another artist we bumped into sprang a real surprise on us, reveal a new form of his art.  Ben Wilson is better known as the Chewing Gum Man.   I told him that the group I was with hadn’t seen any of his chewing gum pictures to which he replied “ah ha, have you seen my new mosaics and he spent 10 minutes giving us a personal guided tour of new paintings done in single mosaic pieces.

painting on a piece of mosaic by street artist Ben Wilson in Shoreditch

Ben Wilson

These are even trickier to spot than his chewing gum pictures (other than on the Millennium Bridge where it is hard to stop stepping on them).

painting on a piece of mosaic by street artist Ben Wilson in Shoreditch

Ben Wilson

An artist we met in action earlier in the month was Daniel K Swann.  Passing by the following day I found that the positive message David wished to convey had been painted all across the road.

Fierce Lion on a wall painted byh Daniel K Swan with additional positive love messages written on the road

Fierce Lion by Daniel K Swan

One artist we met twice was the recently relocated Wrdsmth from LA.

mixed media stencil and paste up street art byh artist Wrdsmith in Shoreditch

We will forever know who we love – Wrdsmth

Lest you think my time is spent beating street artists off with a stick, one street artist who was around who we didn’t see was Shepard Fairey.  He was present at the opening night of his show of collaborations with D*Face and Kai and Sunny at StolenSpace Gallery but the queue to meet the legend outside the gallery was daunting.  I visited the show a couple of days later when it was much quieter, you can read the review HERE.   Shepard Fairey left his mark with a significant collection of new stickers many of which we hadn’t seen previously in London.

Sticker in Shoreditch by street artist Shepard Fairey

Wake UP says Shepard Fairey

Sticker in Shoreditch by street artist Shepard Fairey

Gun firing a flower by Shepard Fairey

ED Hicks popped up with several new works in September, leaving aside the – cough – adverts, my favourite was this stunning John Martin meets Dali fragmenting landscape with portal and apocalyptical skyline everything but the kitchen sink piece.

Apocalyptical painting by street artist Ed Hicks in Shoreditch

Ed Hicks

Apocalyptical painting by street artist Ed Hicks in Shoreditch

Ed Hicks

Now for a couple which have already featured on my or less daily street art updates, I loved these bunny hands by Enigma.

Bunny Hands street art by enigma in Shoreditch

Bunny Hands by Enigma

Placement is often a significant contribution to great street art so this moth by Marie Alice was really spot on.

paste up street art of a moth perfectly positioned by a gas lamp in brick Lane Shoreditch by street artist Marie Alice

Moth by Marie Alice

All photos: Dave Stuart in month of September 2021


Martha Cooper, Selina Miles and Dave Stuart Q and A for film Martha A Picture Story

Martha A Picture Story Q and A with Martha Cooper

A bit of context to begin with.  All over the world there are graffiti writers who will testify that their introduction to graffiti began with one book, Subway Art written by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant.

Subway Art 25th anniversary hardback cover

Subway Art 25th anniversary hardback cover

In 2009 I queued with literally hundreds of other graffiti fans and graffiti writers to get the Cooper/Chalfant signatures on my new copy of this bible at a book signing held at the Black Rat Press gallery under the railway arches behind Cargo Nightclub as well as NY graffiti legend Blade whose subway graffiti features in some of the most memorable photos in the book.  I recorded the details of that night on my Graffoto Blog.

subway Art signing by Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant and Blade at Black Rat Press Gallery in 2009

Martha Cooper photographer! Also feat Henry Chalfant and Blade

subway Art signing by Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant and Blade at Black Rat Press Gallery in 2009

Mobbed book signing, Black Rat Press, June 2009

The documentary movie “Martha: A Picture Story” by Australian director Selina Miles does a brilliant job of combining some amazing archive footage with interviews and over- the-shoulder experience photography to present a much more rounded view of Martha Cooper’s life journey and achievements.  The film is being streamed free of charge for two days on the House of Vans website as part of their monthly Doc Nights series.  Somehow, I got to play the role of host for a 30 minute Q&A session with Martha and Selina (first name buddies now, ha ha), I was in London, Selina was in Australia and Martha was in New York so you can imagine I got the best of the deal in terms of timing!

Martha Cooper, Selina Miles and Dave Stuart Q and A for film Martha A Picture Story

Just as we ended the Q&A and the Docn Roll producer returned

Details on how to obtain access to the film and the Q&A can be found on the House Of Vans Doc Nights page HERE.  Unfortunately it is UK audience only, sorry to those of you outside UK.

Martha Cooper, Selina Miles and Dave Stuart Q and A for film Martha A Picture Story

Martha Cooper – photo courtesy House Of Vans

Martha Cooper, Selina Miles and Dave Stuart Q and A for film Martha A Picture Story

Selina Miles, Director – photo courtesy House Of Vans

For the curious, the other tags in the book are friends from Burning Candy who were exhibiting Subway Art art at the event and TRP members also present.

Photos by Dave Stuart except where stated.


Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

D*Face, Kai and Sunny and Shepard Fairey London art show “Unity”

Massive queues, a packed opening night at a gallery – is this 2008 all over again?  Actually no, it’s D*Face collaborating with two of StolenSpace’s long term friends Kai and Sunny, a double act counting as one friend, and Shepard Fairey.

Many may recall that D*Face’s gallery StolenSpace has hosted three major Shep Fairey solo shows in the past (Nineteeneightyfouria 2007; Sound and Vision 2012 and Facing The Giant, 2019).  What may be less well known is that Kai and Sunny, described by the gallery as having a “shared college experience” with D*Face, have been exhibiting at StolenSpace since New Year 2009, pursuing a style which back then was way too “design” for my tastes, not “street” enough.  See also 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020

View of Shepard Fairey's 2007 exhibition Nineteeneightyfouria at Old Truman brewery

NineteenEightyFouria by Shepard Fairey, London 2007

Kai and Sunny have also exhibited at Subliminal Projects in LA, founder….Shepard Fairey, so connections are tight.

Now that the free beer and artist in-person appearances of the opening night have passed there is time to peruse the art at leisure.  To appreciate who contributes what where, who combines with whom, it may be handy to really overgeneralise three massive careers in just three pairs of images.  D*Face does D*Dog characters with wings and corrupted pop art; Shepard Fairey does Andre The Giant and striking political illustrations, Kai and Sunny come from a gorgeous geometric op art and flower painting direction.

D*Dog sticker by D*Face on a love lock in Shoreditch

D*Face’s D*Dog love lock

Mural in Camden by street artist D*Face with Shepard Fairey sticker in foreground

D*Face mural from 2020 with Obey GIant and D*Dog stickers in foreground

Shepard Fairey Obey Giant sticker in shoreditch

Obey Giant Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey political paste ups on Brick Lane London in 2007 showing the strong propaganda illustration influence

Shepard Fairey, Brick Lane 2007

Kai and Sunny solo exhibition Shifting Times at Stolenspace Gallery in 2018

Kai and Sunny “Shifting Times”, StolenSpace 2018

With artistic collaborations there is usually one artist whose contribution dominates, who drives the idea and the collaborators “fill in”.   Great collaborators appreciate that sometimes they are the chief, other times they are the Indian.  I am indebted to City Kitty, or possibly Lunge Box (can’t tell them apart on their podcast) for this stolen and bastardised insight.   The online catalogue ducks the whole who collaborated on what intrigue by simply attributing one “lead artist” to each image.   Often what makes the art interesting, the “arty” or clever part of the art, is actually what’s added by the others.  With Unity Star No 3 below, the foreground is occupied by a D*Face winged Obey Giant but the piece is electrified by Kai and Sunny in the background

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Unity Star No 3

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Unity Star No 3 detail

A stand out feature is how Kai and Sunny absolutely illuminate a piece when their contribution appears to perhaps be the less significant.  I confessed earlier that a decade ago I really didn’t get their work, I am so pleased that recent shows and most notably this current one have opened my eyes to the flow in their art.

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Ghost D*Moon Flower

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Unity Obey Flower

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Unity Obey Flower (detail)

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Obey Rise Up (above), Ghost D*Moon Wave (below)

The whole notion of the catalogue of a show of collaborations, as in “not a group show”, attributing artworks on the basis of lead artist only does rather confound the concept of collaboration.  The collaborator redux appears to have challenged the compiler of the online catalogue as “Apply Unity” appears in both the D*Face section and the Shepard Fairey section.

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Apply Unity

More show images:

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Sure Shot Spray Can

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

D*Dog Icon

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Hope On The Tide

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Riot Everywhere

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

The D*Face Treatment

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Burning Brighter

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Burning Brighter Detail

The catalogue compiler has a curious concept of “lead artist”, “Magnified Unity” features Shephard Fairey’s Andre The Giant image but the main artistic device is the Lichtensein-esque benday dots and magnifying glass and which is a D*Faceification previously seen in his “Magnified Dog” painting in 2013.

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Magnified Unity

So, dudes all get on, artistic friendships have been put to the creative test and the artworks are genuinely harmonious interactions between the styles of the collaborators regardless of the lead artist nonsense.  Back to the City Kitty/Lunge Box aphorism, justifiably large egos have been set aside to produce coherent beautiful art which is certainly worth popping in to enjoy.

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

D*Faced OG Sticker

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

StolenSpace Gallery
17 Osborn St, London E1 6TD
10 Sep – 3 October 2021

Links:

StolenSpace Gallery website

D*Face website

Shepard Fairey website

Kai and Sunny website

All photos: Dave Stuart


Three policewomen all turn to stare at Perspicere's string art

Scenes from the Whitecross Street Art Party

After the Sunday tour this weekend I cycled over to the Whitecross Street Party, always a reliable live street art/music/food fest.  Here are some mainly work-in-progress highlights.  Most of the ground level art, particularly those pieces on hoardings were only on temporary display so I regret not being able to hang around to see the finished artworks.  

Street artist Neonite painting at the Whitecross Street Party in London

Neonita

Whitcross Street Party crowd overlooked by brand new portrait by street artist Mr Cenz

Stage watcher overlooked by Mr Cenz’s epic futurist portrait

Street Artist Gent 48 painting on a board at the Whitecross Street Party

Gent 48

Inflatable paint brush by street artist Filthy Luker with rainbow colours painted by Stikka ID at Whitecross Street Party

Filthy Luker inflatable paintbrush with floor painting by Stika

Boris the Spider Boris Johnson spins a web of lies as painted by street artists Spore and Mr Oliver Switch at Whitecross Street Party

Boris The Spider and his web of lies by Spore and Mr Oliver Switch

A choise singing Glory Glory Hallelujah in front of inflatable monster Goofs by Filthy Luker at Whitecross Street Party

Choir singing Glory Glory Hallelujah while Filthy Luker’s Goofs menace them from above

The featured image at the top shows Perspicere’s string art work in progress being admired by three passing policewomen.  Perspicere’s string street art has been a familiar sight over the last decade and these super complex string portraits are a new form of his art which have been appearing on the streets in the past year.

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Regrettably I could not get to Perspicere’s solo show at BSMT Space last month so this was the first chance I had to see the string portraits being created live and it is just jaw dropping.  Here is a short clip made yesterday at the Whitecross Street Party showing how magic is made.

 

Artist Links:

Perspicere  instagram

Neonita Website

Mr Cenz instagram

Gent 48 instagram

Filthy Luker website

Stikka instagram

Spore instagram

Mr Oliver Switch instagram

All photos and video: Dave Stuart


Canvas Paintings at Light Of Life exhibition in Shoreditch by street artist David Speed

“Light Of Life” David Speed Gallery Exhibition

Break out street artists are rare beasts.  These are street artists whose appeal grows way beyond the natural base of street art fans leading to popularity and commercial success.  Commercial success doesn’t preclude artistic success of course.

Pink neon street art spraypainted portrait of woman by David Speed

Soundwave, Shoreditch 2021

David Speed started his neon illuminated portraits and animal painting around Shoreditch a few years ago and has achieved such ubiquity that he is one of the few artists, other than Banksy and Helch, whose art is recognised by Shoreditch Street Art Tour guests exploring street art for the first time.

Pink neon street art spraypainted portrait of woman by David Speed

David Speed Neon face, Shoreditch 2018

David certainly wasn’t new to spraypainting at the beginning of this neon pink phase, his double life has him as Director of Shoreditch based spraypainting outfit Graffiti Life.  Lockdown bestowed gifts on David in two ways –the reduced demand for commercial spraypainting services seems to have allowed him more time to focus on personal and artistic development and if you check out his Creative Rebels podcast that certainly comes across strong.  There was also a significant increase in available street canvasses as business fearing a breakdown in law and order went for full plywood cladding as we went into lockdown in 2020.

Pink neon ponies on pandemic lockdown protective plywood by David Speed

Hoxton Ponies, Shoreditch 2021

David’s art exploded across Shoreditch property and caught a lot of attention.

Pink neon "Creation of Adam" homage in Shoreditch painted by street artist David Speed

David Speed neon “Creation” homage, Shoreditch 2019

Pink SKull framed in a bus stop window in Shoreditch painted by street artist David Speed

A long wait, Shoreditch 2021

Pink neon snarling tiger in Shoreditch painted by street artist David Speed

Neon Tiger! Shoreditch 2021

In the street art world, London at least, David is synonymous with this pink neon street art style so it was an amusing irony earlier this year that a mural advert was painted in David’s signature colour combination  by a rival spraypainted advert company.  Many people erroneously identified David as the artist so he felt compelled to put up a deliciously executed take out.

Pink neon spraypainted advert in Shoreditch NOT painted by David Speed

Biting Style, Village Underground 2021

Pink Neon spraypainted advert subverted by street artist David Speed

DS Style, Village Underground 2021

He currently has a self-organised solo show running in Shoreditch, it turns out the neon illumination theme suits canvas and paper as well as it does brick walls.

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A recent project that must have taken a long time to prepare was David’s “drop” of 1000 hand finished prints around the streets of London, to those with long enough memories this was a homage to Adam Neate’s 1000 print drop in 2008.  We came across one of David’s murals on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour that day at which point a guest pulled a pair of prints out of his bag with a flourish and declared “I found these on the street as I was walking to the tour!”  Lucky guy.

Various North, East, South, West

The show is located just a couple of minutes walk from where our morning Shoreditch Street Art Tour ends, so perhaps book a tour this coming Friday, Saturday or Sunday and complement it with a visit to the show.  Admission to the show is free.

 “Light Of Life” show runs until Sunday September 12th.

The Depot | 33 Boundary Street | Shoreditch | E2 7JQ

All photos: Dave Stuart

With all that pink and blue no attempt was made at colour correction in processing the exhibition photos!


Tour guide Dave in front of Banksy stencil of an arcade game claw at Gorleston Beach with added teddy bears by local street artist EMO

Street Art Highlights in August

August has been a month of surprises – it stayed dry – and as Banksy trumps everything in the street art world, this month’s review starts with a flashback to an exciting daytrip to East Anglia to witness Banksy’s Spraycation street art fest.  Banksy put up 10 new street art pieces, two were never found by members of the public as they were swiftly removed by council workers but the 8 we did find were thankfully on the whole in superb condition.  Sorry to spoil the photo of the Banksy piece at the top of this article.

Banksy stencil of a rat at a Lowestoft beach who is sipping a cocktail made from a pipe discharge

Banksy rat chills out at Lowestoft, August 2021

Seeing one new Banksy street art piece is a “Hold the front page” moment, EIGHT new Banksys put that spin to the coast spin right up among the most exciting art days I have ever enjoyed, that Banksy goodness is reviewed HERE.

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Banksy mini fire extinguisher graff on model village stable, Aug 2021

We also produced a guide to the locations which earned great feedback.


“Thanks for the directions on your website, they were the first proper ones we found and with 2 kids in tow we always appreciate not having to cart round for hours trying to find somewhere!”


News of the first ever private daytrip to space prompted street artist ODDO to speculate that Jeff Besos was boldy going forth in search of new tax avoidance strategies.

Cartoon street art showing Jezz Besos as an astronaut by street artist Oddo in Shoreditch

Jezz Bezos cartoon by Oddo

Vez, leading light of the “spoonerists” movement really got the full flower power thing going, dig that groovy dress daddio.

paste up street art in Shoreditch by Vez street artist

Spoons by Vez

We believe you can’t beat a decent street art collaboration so it a great to see two of our faves Face The Strange and Smiler getting something truly surreal up.

paste up street art collaboration in Shoreditch featuring street artists Face The Strange and Smiler

Face The Strange and Smiler collaboration

Butterflyman, the artist formerly known as Sell Out, had a prolific month with paper butterflies and oil pastels. He provided a police escort for The Postman’s Debbie Harry and we also loved the paper butterflies escaping the maw of Orrible’s shark.  Sell Out provides top quality street art “augmentations”, torn between the two and unable to choose we thought ok, let’s include both pics!  There is a crazy amount of great art in the photo of Debbie Harry’s police protection squad, you should be able to pick out 4 expressionist policemen (the 5th face isn’t a policeman) and 1 police dog!

layers of paste up street art in Shoreditch with Sell Out adding to Debbie Harry by The Postman's Art

Debbie Harry by The Postman rescued by Butterflyman’s policemen

Shark paste up by street artist Orrible augmented by Sell Out's paper butterflies stuck on with blutack

Orrible, augmented by Butterflyman752, also featuring Subdude

Jace has been out putting some of his great faces in more small places, he clearly loves the spot next to Stik’s Brick Lane couple which is where you will find Lola.

Street Art sculpture of a face in relief depicting Lola from german Film Run Lola Run

Lola by Jace

Tom from Tom and Jerry featured in Fat Cap Spray‘s art output this month, this shone neon bright but ever so brief, lasting less than a week!

Tom from Tom and Jerry painted in neon purple by street artist Fat Cap Sprays on Shoreditch streets

Tom by Fat Cap Sprays

Perspicere had a show at BSMT Space which to our huge regret we failed to check out, thankfully we did find this gorgeous example of his novel string art on a doorway of an empty and heavily graffitied office block in Shoreditch.

String street art face portrait by Perspicere

String Art by Perspicere

Just sneaking in at the end of the month is this beautiful painting in a very soft palette by Enigma.

Attractive blonde walks past street art shadow bunny by street artist Enigma in Shoreditch

Shadow hands by Enigma

Among the large amount of brilliant graffiti spotted this month a real jaw dropper was the piece by legend Vibes RT, check out the glitchy cloud detail.

Brilliant graffiti in Shoreditch by Vibes RT

Vibes RT graff

Detail of brilliant graffiti in Shoreditch by Vibes RT

Vibes RT graff detail

Allen Gardens is a location frequently explored as there is always fresh art and graffiti there, just this weekend this pair of pieces by Reves One and Sidok both featuring “split screen” letter design took my breath away.

Brilliant Shoreditch Graffiti pieces by Reves One and Sidok

Reves One and Sidok

Bonzai’s liquid mercury lettering is truly an eyeopener for guests whenever we come across it on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour.

Graffiti writing that looks like liquid mercury by artist Bonzai

Quicksilver Bonzai

As travel becomes more and more a reality we are looking forward to seeing an increased number of international artists beautifying Shoreditch’s walls and more tour guests from overseas would be nice as well!  Book HERE for the best street art tour and perhaps you will get to admire the candidates for September highlights in the flesh.

Links to all artists are incorporated in the text.

All photos: Shoreditch Street Art Tour guide Dave Stuart

 

 

 

 

 


Banksy Spraycation Street Art Locations Guide

The Great Banksy Spraycation resulted in what we now know were originally 10 new street art pieces in East Anglia. Early last week I headed off in a fever of excitement to explore the locations, the resulting photos and insights can be seen HERE.

A couple of the artworks proved rather tricky to find, one we had the wrong street intersection and for another, the description “beach” didn’t quite narrow things down enough.  For your ease and convenience, here is my guide to the locations of these Banksys.  In some instances, the location would be more accurately described as “site of former Banksy”, at the time of writing 2 have already met the buff and can no longer be seen and one has been badly damaged, though possibly not beyond repair.

The order they are presented in here is intended to allow a Banksy hunter to hit a number that are within relatively easy reach of eachother quite quickly, the last thing you want is to spend too much time on the far off remote one and find you run out of time to spend enough time enjoying the remaining pieces.

We’re All In The Same Boat

Woman photographs Street Art stencil by Banksy in Lowestoft of children in a boat and message We're all in the same boat

We’re All In The Same Boat says Banksy

Nicholas Everitt Park, on a bridge. Look for the path closest to the town side of the park that intersects the stream up the middle of the park.

Map (opens in new tab)

Greedy Seagull

Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Chip snatching Seagull, Banksy 2021

Lowestoft, intersection of Denmark Road and Katwijk Road

Map (opens in new tab)

Under The Paving Stones!

A seagull and people look at Banksy street art in Lowestoft

Under The Paving Stones – Banksy!

Intersection of London Road North and Regent Road

Map (opens in new tab)

Cocktail Rat

Banksy stencil of a rat at a Lowestoft beach who is sipping a cocktail made from a pipe discharge with beach goers nearby

Banksy Rat sipping a cocktail at a Lowestoft Beach 2021

Lowestoft, Links Road.  Look for North Beach Car Park

Map (opens in new tab)

Arcade Grab Game

Banksy Arcade claw machine with added teddy bears by local artist

Banksy arcade game grabber claw, teddy bears added by local artist

Gorleston Beach, not far from the pier end of the beach, at the end of Lower Esplanade

Map (opens in new tab)

Go Big Or Go Home – The Merrivale Model Village Stable.

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Go Big Or Go Home

Placed by Banksy at Merrivale Model Village, from time to time the Merrivale management remove the model from public view to protect it and the rest of their property.  They have now placed a padlocked plastic box over it, but it is not clear at the time of writing if it is on display throughout opening hours.   Check their Facebook page for possible viewing updates.

Merrivale Model Village, Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth NR30 3JG

Map (opens in new tab)

Bus Stop Dancers

Banksy stencil of two dancers and an accordian player placed on top of a bus shelter in Great Yarmouth

Bus interrupts Banksy Bus Stop Dancers

On the corner of Admiralty Road and Barracks Road, Great Yarmouth

Don’t get caught parking on the bus stop!

Map (opens in new tab)

Luxury Rentals Only

Banksy Stencil of a Landlord crab showing placard reading "Luxury Rentals Only" to homeless crabs at Cromer Beach

Luxury Rentals Only – Banksy

Cromer Beach Huts

Level with the very last of the colourful beach huts is a sea wall running into the sea, “Luxury Rentals Only” is on the side of the wall that faces away from Cromer.

We walked from Cromer Esplanade along the beach front.  Above the cliff are sea view private properties and there does not appear to be public access to the beach from Cliff Drive above the beach, report here if you find any!  From the centre of Cromer it is about a 20 minute walk, as we approached the end of the huts we had convinced ourselves it must have gone.  Despair not, you have to go past the sea wall and look back.

Map (opens in new tab)

Since we put this guide together, we have received improved directions from an intrepid explorer who used our guide:

“We visited the Cromer Banksy using the grid reference you provided on the website. The sat nav took us to a road called The Warren where we parked. If you go to the end (it’s a dead end) there is an alleyway to the left. Follow that and you come to a small green. There is a signpost for “National Trail” which leads to steps down to the beach. Turn right and the Banksy is just after the last beach hut. It’s probably a five minute walk.”  26 Aug 2021

The two new Banksy artworks that have already completely gone at the time of writing are:

Kids in Rubber Dinghy Peril

Banksy stencil of children in peril in a dinghy

Banksy Dinghy – photo Banksy.co.uk

Paddling pool, Gorleston Beach.  This was right opposite the Arcade Grab game artwork, its absence was noted in a photo included in our collection of insights published a few days ago.

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Ice cream Cone Statue

Kings Lynn Statue with Banksy cone – photo Banksy.co.uk

Junction of London Road and Guanock Place, Kings Lynn

The interesting news is that the council have the ice cream cone in their possession and have spoken to the press about the possibility that it might be reinstated.

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This was one of the most exciting days I have ever had pursuing my love of and obsession with street art.   I hope you find this guide useful, all in a day’s work for a specialist street art tour guide!

Links:

Banksy Street Art Staycation In East Anglia – our insights and lots of different photos

Banksy instagram “The Great British Spraycation”

Banksy Website

Merrivale Model Village Website

All photos: Dave Stuart except where stated


Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Banksy Street Art Staycation In East Anglia

East Anglia has in the past week or so became home to a spectacular trove of Banksy street art.  Banksy created a grand total of 10 new pieces of street art and to put this in context, there were only 5 outdoor Banksy artworks at his own Dismaland group show in 2015!

Street Art stencil by Banksy in Lowestoft of children in a boat and message We're all in the same boat

We’re All In The Same Boat by Banksy

With my son for company as navigator (who needs sat nav when you have a boy armed with a smartphone and supersized data allowance) I headed off last Tuesday to explore the Fens and surrounds hunting down the biggest collection of Banksy seen since New York, October 2013.


UPDATE – I have written a guide to the location of each of these Banksys, that has different photos to this appreciation of the art and you can view the guide by clicking HERE (after you have read this post!)


The Norfolk Broads is an idyllic network of creeks and lakes which on the day we visited was looking stunning with boats gently sailing here, there and everywhere in glorious sunshine and perfect breezes.  Nicholas Everitt Park sits at the inlet to Oulton Broad, a classic British daytrip destination full of playgrounds, bowling, tennis and ice cream vendors.  It does its best to turn away from the sour, grubby creek that runs down its spine but Banksy hasn’t.  “We’re all in the same boat”  has three children in a distressed Swallows and Amazons tableau, a skipper and second in command upfront scan the horizon while, at the back a third child bails their leaking tub.  The two children upfront have paper admiral’s hats suiting their privilege, the child dealing with the emergency in the bilges wears a worker’s beaney. Originally there was a decaying boat hull but that corrugated sheet of iron was hauled away as it was constricting the water course.

Street Art stencil by Banksy in Lowestoft of children in a boat and message We're all in the same boat

“We’re all in it together” our leaders promised, that was until Boris decided to throw out all the pandemic restrictions and impose on us a doctrine of “personal responsibility” despite a 3rd wave delta variant surge.  Banksy’s smartly dressed captain navigates blind to signs of imminent disaster while someone else, representing the NHS perhaps, heroically struggles to stop the ship sinking.  Coming the week after Boris decided that he didn’t have to isolate despite an office staffer who flew on a plane with him testing positive, Banksy mocks our political leaders’ inclination to shamelessly pick and choose which of the rules they can ignore.

Street Art stencil by Banksy in Lowestoft of children in a boat and message We're all in the same boat

In one of Lowestoft’s shopping drags, one of those that can’t decide if it is pedestrianised or not, a chubby child in a sunhat plays in the sand with a crowbar rather than a spade, the beach is the sand under paving slabs which the scowling but resourceful child has prized up.  The scene embodies the famous slogan from the French student riots of ’68 “Sous les paves, la plage!”, “Under the paving stones, the beach!”

A child points at Banksy street art in Lowestoft

Child delighted to find Banksy girl playing in sand

This piece places the council in a quandary we will watch with amusement… Banksy is a great tourist draw for an economy “building back” but holes in pavements are a nailed on dead cert public liability nightmare!  In appearance though not meaning, this piece recalls Banksy’s 2010 Tesco sandcastle at British seaside town Hastings.

Banksy stencil street art in Hastings girl playing with Tescos sandcastles

Tesco sandcastles, Banksy, 2010

Lowestoft has more, the largest of the bunch brilliantly reproduces that seaside promenade classic – the chip stealing seagull.  This is the best realised of the current collection.  The simulation of a bag of chips using cut up loft insulation and a rusty skip placed in situ without permission is next level, a real classic Banksy.

Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Chip snatching Seagull, Banksy 2021

We had the pleasure of chatting with a local who saw the work in progress.  He recalls shrouded scaffolding, a van and a bored looking young man keeping watch.  With nearly 2 decades experience of looking bored around street art, my boy could empathise with Banksy’s lookout.  Our local observer explained the building was owned by an absent owner in London who let it to council-guaranteed temporary residents and that it had been subject of complaints in the past few years about the accumulation of crap in the front hard-standing.  So locals were not in the least bit surprised at what looked like contractors carrying out maintenance though they were puzzled that the work required insulation.

Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Chip snatching Seagull, Banksy 2021

The size of the painting and the installation of the rusty skip give this enterprise a degree of planning that few apart from Banksy have the skill to pull off without permission.  It will be interesting to see what happens to that skip when the chips have been stolen, as they inevitably will be.

Outside Lowestoft we found a chilled rat reclining on a beach chair, sheltered under a parasol while enjoying a cocktail whose mix includes the drip from an adjacent outfall pipe.  The rat is staring directly at the pipe in anticipation of the next top up.

It’s nice to see a Banksy rat again, in this case the black colour is predominantly freehand painted over a stencilled white layer which is unusual but Banksy has used the technique in the past, despite what a particular high profile Banksy street art acquirer/remover said.  See for example the Basquiat tribute piece at the Barbican centre in 2017, though that is one that the art chiseller failed to acquire.

Banksy stencil or a rat at a Lowestoft beach who is sipping a cocktail made from a pipe discharge

All The Fun Of The Seaside in Lowestoft

“Au revoir Lowestoft, it was lovely visiting you” and “Hello” to Gorleston Beach with its newly decorated beach shelter now sporting an arcade grab machine claw.  By the time of our visit, this piece had been opportunistically added to by local artist Raphiel Astoria, who signs their art Emo.  Among the additions are a number of stencilled bears, a statement proclaiming this to be a collaboration between Banksy and Emo and most provocatively, a stencilled Banksy tag.

Banksy stencil of an arcade game claw at Gorleston Beach with added teddy bers by local street artist EMO

Banksy arcade machine claw with teddy bears added by local artist

The photo released on Banksy’s website shows the arcade claw before any additional artwork so the suggestion of collaborative intent on Banksy’s part can be dismissed.  Robbo and Danny Minnick have made far superior interactions with Banksy street art in the past.

The additional bears look like the kind of bait prizes that never drop into the hopper of the arcade game.   According to local news sources, experts apparently think the enhancements mean the Banksy piece “Makes more sense now”.  What Emo has done dramatically changes our point of view, our relationship with the artwork.   Stencilling the bears on the wall means we are now looking from the outside at a selection of prizes, which of course includes any poseur sitting on the bench, inside an arcade game.  What Banksy painted actually gamified the whole world.  We were all, the whole world, inside the game and the claw was selecting “winners”, the allegorical touch was a nod to life as a game that confers privilege on a select few while the rest of us flounder unwanted.  From that perspective this was until the additions probably the most conceptually accomplished Banksy of the whole East Anglia collection.  It still makes a great Instagram photo opportunity though.

Tour guide Dave in front of Banksy stencil of an arcade game claw at Gorleston Beach with added teddy bears by local street artist EMO

Booby Prize (Dave spoils view of Banksy Arcade claw machine)

Merrivale Model Village is a self-effacing Great Yarmouth beach front gem completely drowned out by the garish competition.  Even the slush puppy concession outside is a bigger eye magnet.  Inside is a different story – it’s big, it’s delightful and it’s brilliantly British in a classic wholesome way.

View of Merrivale Model Village

Merrivale Model Village

A clandestine Banksy addition to the model collection is a defaced stable in classic gingerbread vernacular style placed in a quaint village in front of a medieval castle.  The vandalism inflicted on this fairytale scene is a Banksy fire extinguisher tag and a Banksy rat who has written “Go big or go home”, a very witty slogan to put up on the side of a miniature property.  The rat defacing the property has been caught literally red-handed, like the “If Graffiti changed anything” rat in London in 2011.

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Banksy Fire Extinguisher

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Go Big Or Go Home

The Banksy tag is a model scale version of the fire extinguisher tagging hugely approved of by hard-core graffiti writers, reproducing the fire extinguisher effect at model scale is very impressive. The Banksy tag here is not an artist signing their artwork, the tag IS the art, which is a completely different thing.

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Banksy Fire Extinguisher tag

Things get a bit complex at this point, the model is only on display between 1pm and 3pm.  We had a lovely conversation with the son of the owner who told us that since word got out people were stepping onto the model village to get close up photos, so for the time the Banksy stable could only be displayed for limited supervised hours.  On Tuesday we did not know that!  However the owner kindly showed us behind the scenes and let us view the model close up, so what you see here is the empty space where Banksy left the model and a close up of the model photographed in another location.

Marrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth showing spot where Banksy placed his model

Site of graffiti blighted Banksy development

UPDATE 1 – it appears that the owners under advice have actually completely withdrawn the model from display.

UPDATE 2 – it seems that they may now display the model under perspex (plexiglass).  Perhaps it is best to contact them before travelling!

Frank Newsome (Jr), son of the owner, told us was that it took them several days to spot the intrusion, an alert guest asked them if the Banksy defaced model was genuine and it took them a while to figure out what the guest meant.  Their minds went back to an incident a few days earlier where a female guest had been particularly fascinated in the model making process and ended up backstage on a personal tour while simultaneously a drone intruded into the airspace surrounding the model village so they scrambled their air defences and knocked the drone out of the sky with a net.  Management believes these activities were a deliberate distraction for the staff to facilitate the surreptitious placement of the new construction.  Banksy’s Instagram account includes drone footage of the model village installation so the story truly deserves to become part of the Banksy legend and the model village folklore.

Banksy’s additions are an amusing comment on the ubiquitous intrusion of the modern form of graffiti into this idyllic setting, nowhere is safe.  This is a companion to the Banksy humour seen in modified oil paintings such as “Tox Cottage”.

Banksy painting showing graffiti on a cottage in an old painting

Tox Cottage – photo Banksy.co.uk

Close by the model village a stencilled dancing duo on top of a bus shelter trip the light fantastic accompanied by an accordion player.  All the characters look like familiar Banksy cast but the most impressive aspect of this somewhat routine Banksy is its placement, it is a clever interaction with the street furniture and you have to admire Banksy for executing this on top of a council bus stop without being caught.

Banksy stencil of two dancers and an accordian player placed on top of a bus shelter in Great Yarmouth

Banksy Bus Stop Dancers, Great Yarmouth 2021

Two aspects of the Banksy artwork that has appeared in Cromer that might deter those of a less completist nature are that it is a bugger to find and the schlepp from the others to this one piece is an hour through the flattest English landscape imaginable.  Don’t be put off though as this is certainly the most detailed and colourful of the set.  A hermit crab with three empty shells is refusing access to three naked and needy hermit crabs, a social commentary piece touching on privilege, property ladder manipulation and social exclusion.

Banksy Stencil of a Landlord crab showing placard reading "Luxury Rentals Only" to homeless crabs at Cromer Beach

Luxury Rentals Only – Banksy

Banksy Stencil of a Landlord crab showing placard reading "Luxury Rentals Only" to homeless crabs at Cromer Beach

Luxury Rentals Only – Banksy

The arrangement and the placard device contain stylistic similarities with the 2014 “Migrants Not Welcome” piece in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex.

Banksy Stencil in Clacton on Sea of native birds waving placards telling exotic visiting birds to go home

Migrants Not Welcome – Banksy stencil

So all told this is a very impressive and above all enjoyable collection of street art.  The blending of political cynicism with humour is pure Banksy and above all, the execution bears Banksy hallmarks particularly the use of the scaffolding reported for the chip snatching seagull.  The distraction strategy reported for the Merrivale Model Village installation may be new but it feels consistent with the degree of planning that characterises Banksy’s illegal street art.

Banksy street art stencil in Lowestoft showing seagull snatching chips from a packet which is actually insulation in a skip

Seagull attacks badly parked mini cooper 2021

Interestingly two of the pieces in particular involved vandalism and dumping on public land, each of which could result in council jobsworths waving invoices for repairs to the pavement and removal of an abandoned skip in Lowestoft.

Banksy’s big reveal on instagram included two pieces which no one knew existed, they had not been spotted.  The first one is a small one colour stencil image of kids by a paddling pool in peril from an inflatable dinghy.  By chance I happened to photograph the pool where that stencil was placed, it had already been buffed by Tuesday and it seems probable it had gone the weekend before.

Banksy stencil of children in peril in a dinghy

Banksy Dinghy – photo Banksy.co.uk

Great Yarmouth Beach Scene with Banksy missing from the paddling pool

Paddling pool but no Banksy

The council has stated that its contractors removed that one quickly because of an unfortunate resonance with the tragic death nearby of a young child a few years ago, they stated they thought that the stencil may have been an unfortunate coincidence rather than tastelessly intentional.

The other new Banksy was in Kings Lynn.

Statue with ice cream cone and tongue in Kings Lynn – photo Banksy.co.uk

It is possible to fit in the 8 remaining (If you include the Merrivale Model Village) East Anglia Banksys in a day, it’s exhausting but hugely enjoyable.  It was a real pleasure that the pieces were not totally mobbed by crowds as is always the case for a new Banksy in London and also, other than the unfortunate augmentation of the arcade grab piece and the loss of the boat hull on another it was great to find them in pristine condition.

Links:

Banksy instagram “The Great British Spraycation”

Banksy Website

Merrivale Model Village Website

Our guide to the location of each of these East Anglian Banksys HERE

All photos: Dave Stuart except where stated