Banksy, Street art, mural, Dover, Brexit, EU Flag, painter, ladder, stencil

New Banksy Appears In Dover

Another year, another Banksy, at last!  The port of Dover, a major port with the shortest distance between UK and the European mainland, found itself the proud home of the latest outdoor street art masterpiece by Banksy.    A huge version of the EU flag with a worker chipping away at one of the 12 stars greets inland arrivals coming into the port on the main road from London.

Banksy, Street art, mural, Dover, Brexit, EU Flag, painter, ladder, stencil

Banksy

When it reveals itself to you from about ¾ mile away on the hill descending into Dover, its audacious scale and  visibility is quite breath taking.  This isn’t tucked away on a back street facing somewhere anonymous, you simply can’t miss it.   By the end of this year this could be one of the most viewed single works of art in the country, perhaps even the World.

Close up the attention to detail is awesome.  Check the drop shadows on the chipped off pieces of the stars, look also at the cracks, they are stunningly painted and close up you can see each crack represented by two contrasting lines very precisely drawn alongside each other.

Banksy, Street art, mural, Dover, Brexit, EU Flag, painter, ladder, stencil

Banksy

The subject of the work is clear, it’s about Britain leaving the EU but is the piece perhaps a bit ambiguous?  Is the worker  “Leave” supporter taking great delight in symbolically destroying the EU or are his actions showing us how devastating the course the UK is seemingly irretrievably embarked upon is, in other words pro-Remain.    Context is everything with Banksy and his views are pretty clear if you think back to art he put up in Calais in 2015, Steve Jobs as an immigrant; a child gazing through a telescope across the channel to England but a vulture (death) perches on the telescope; and his “We’re not all in the same boat”, a raft borrowed from “The Raft Of The Medusa” by Théodore Géricault.   The issue was the refugee crisis but the clear message was more compassion was needed meaning open boarders, Banksy is pretty clearly a Remainer.

Banksy, Street art, mural, Dover, Brexit, EU Flag, painter, ladder, stencil

Banksy

Timing is a bit of an issue since the decisive vote which lead to our latest Prime Minister changing her mind completely from “remain” to “a red, white and blue Brexit” was 10 months ago.  The issue is central to our current general election process but only to the extent that the PM seeks a mandate to do as much damage as she can without subsequent recourse to the population.  Banksy’s mural seems to be more timely if considered in the context of the French presidential election which reaches its climax this weekend as the eminently sensible French electorate chose a centrist pro EU president rather than a far right candidate hell bent on wreaking further disunity and harm to the EU.

Banksy, Street art, mural, Dover, Brexit, EU Flag, painter, ladder, stencil

Dover – Gateway to Europe

The placement of this piece is magical.  Dover is defined in its present and its history by this country’s relationship with the continent, whether that means trade, migration, vacation or war.  Almost no one passes through Dover without registering that this is a point of departure, arrival and communication and it is all about the short cross sea link to France. It is hard to imagine a place in the UK where a Brexit piece could resonate more with its surroundings.

This post is an abridged version of a post I wrote for Graffoto blog, head over there for more views on the way Banksy may have created this masterpiece and similarities to older Banksy street art.

Chewing Gum Selfie

On the Shoreditch Street Art tour this afternoon our especially observant guest Ingrid spied a new Ben Wilson gum pic which I wasn’t aware off.  Ben paints a lot of diverse subjects, many of which are drawn from the immediate vicinity of the piece of gum but none can be quite as close to home as this self portrait.

London, Shoreditch, Old Street, Ben Wilson, gum pic, chewing gum man, selfie, self portrait, artist

Ben Wilson Self Portrait

It is a wonderful likeness, as you can see from this photo of Ben which I took last Summer he delighted guests on a previous Shoreditch Street Art Tour.

London, Shoreditch, Old Street, Ben Wilson, gum pic, chewing gum man,tour, group

Ben Wilson meets The Shoreditch Street Art Tour

This wasn’t the first time a tour guest found a gum pic I didn’t know about, in fact after I had described Ben’s work to top London “things to do” picker from About London Laura Porter  on an early tour Laura suddenly found one, the first I had ever seen and it took a guest on the tour to find it!

London, Shoreditch, Old Street, Ben Wilson, gum pic, chewing gum man

Ben Wilson, 2013

Recently we spotted another recent gum pic painted a couple of weeks ago, I wonder if T.S are the initials of the gentleman immortalised in gum having an outdoor ciggie break.

London, Shoreditch, Old Street, Ben Wilson, gum pic, chewing gum man,tour, group

Ben Wilson meets The Shoreditch Street Art Tour

Another unusual thing about Ben, apart from painting found chewing gum on the streets, he has no web presence of his own, no social media so, sorry, no artist link here!

London, Shoreditch, Street art, tours, Dr Cream, springbot, Spring, linoprint, linocut, animation, stopframe, timelapse, Shoreditch street art tours, paste ups,

DR CREAM PROCLAIMS SPRING

We love signs of Spring!  Today London bathes in well above seasonal average temperatures and blue skies, the cherry blossom has been out for several weeks and street art feels warmth in its bones.

London, Shoreditch, Street art, tours, Dr Cream, springbot, Spring, linoprint, linocut, animation, stopframe, timelapse, Shoreditch street art tours, paste ups,

Springbot by Dr Cream

Last Sunday Dr Cream heralded Spring literally when he introduced his Springbots to the streets of Shoreditch.   These jagged looking characters, linocuts on hand torn paper appeared in several locations around Brick Lane.

London, Shoreditch, Street art, tours, Dr Cream, springbot, Spring, linoprint, linocut, animation, stopframe, timelapse, Shoreditch street art tours, paste ups,

Springbot by Dr Cream

As usual for Dr Cream the final “art” in his project comes in the stop frame animation seen online not on the walls, here is his Springbot in animated action created by photographing the Springbots he pasted up on the streets.

Spring is here for sure – hip hip hurray!

London, Shoreditch, Street art, tours, Dr Cream, springbot, Spring, linoprint, linocut, animation, stopframe, timelapse, Shoreditch street art tours, paste ups,

Springbot by Dr Cream also feat The Rolling Fool, The Cat Rider and Robot Shark Army

All photos Dave Stuart

Artist Link: Dr Cream

Coming To A TV Screen Near You!

Just a little heads up, on 27th February – which at the time of writing is tomorrow – Bargain Hunt on BBC 1 features Shoreditch Street Art Tours guide Dave showing presenter Natasha around  some of the street art delights in the area around Spitalfields Market.

The program may even be repeated but the nation is not expected to come to a standstill 😉

Natasha and the contestants in Bargain Hunt at Spitalfields Market

 

 

London’s Alternative Culture 2017

Many thanks to the great team at Culture Whisper for featuring Shoreditch Street Art Tours as one of the coolest things to do in London in 2017. It’s an honour to be included among some recommendations for events sure to make London buzz this year.

photo: Cathal McNaughton, via Culture Whisper

photo: Cathal McNaughton, via Culture Whisper

Check the schedule online to see when the tours are running and we look forward to seeing you sometime soon.

 

 

Photography, streetart,zine, magazine, interviews, VNA, Very Nearly Almost, Issue 35, DFace, D*Face, Shepard Fairey, Shep Fairey,

Very Nearly Almost zine Issue 35 out now

Issue 35 of top street art magazine Very Nearly Almost just popped through the letterbox and it is another cracker.  Cover artist is DFace, the ranks of artists who make a 2nd VNA cover is extremely thin.

Photography, streetart,zine, magazine, interviews, VNA, Very Nearly Almost, Issue 35, DFace, D*Face, Shepard Fairey, Shep Fairey,

VNA Issue 35 feat D*Face, Shepard Fairey, photo Dave Stuart

The magazine is packed full of fascinating material, I find myself flicking first to the Diggin In The Crates feature and this time it is a gem featuring 19 Shephard Fairey images across 19 pages with great insights by Shephard Fairey into the whats and whys that went into some truly iconic art.

Photography, streetart,zine, magazine, interviews, VNA, Very Nearly Almost, Issue 35, DFace, D*Face, Shepard Fairey, Shep Fairey,

Cam Scales, photo by PIxels

The vital stats: 161 pages, 12 feature interviews, 100s of photos, 1,000s of words, £6.99 and available from VNA’s online store and quite a few disreputable real earth shops.

Photography, streetart,zine, magazine, interviews, VNA, Very Nearly Almost, Issue 35, DFace, D*Face, Shepard Fairey, Shep Fairey,

Issue 35 Contents, photo Dave Stuart

Photography, streetart,zine, magazine, interviews, VNA, Very Nearly Almost, Issue 35, DFace, D*Face, Shepard Fairey, Shep Fairey,

Jarus, photo via VNA

Photography, streetart,zine, magazine, interviews, VNA, Very Nearly Almost, Issue 35, DFace, D*Face, Shepard Fairey, Shep Fairey,

Tatiana Suarez, photo via VNA

Photography, streetart,zine, magazine, interviews, VNA, Very Nearly Almost, Issue 35, DFace, D*Face, Shepard Fairey, Shep Fairey,

Lonac, photograph Silkfatblues Photography

Photos: Feature image by Shamil Tanna/D*Face; others: Dave Stuart, Silkfatblues Photography, PIxels or “via VNA” (where their slack-as-always photocredits don’t permit narrowing the credit down to the specific photographer)

London, Shoreditch, Street art, tours, Stik, 3some, threesome, trio, stick figures, legal, free, uncovered, released

It’s A Stik Up

Stik’s three Shoreditch characters have been hidden away more or less since the week they were created, trapped under a sludge of canvas corporate adverts but with a leap and a bound suddenly they are free just in time for Christmas.  This is great news for the legions of Stik fans who are aware of this Stik but have not had the chance to see it.

London, Shoreditch, Street art, tours, Stik, 3some, threesome, trio, stick figures, legal, free, uncovered, released

Stik – likes a threesome

Stik has been freed for Christmas (perhaps) but don’t hang around, who knows how long it will remain uncovered before the next massive invasion of our eyeballs by a landscape hogging advert.

In September video was released on the Guardian website which features not only the painting of this mural but also the personal quest Stik embarked upon to establish what emotional traits this trio of Shoreditch characters should portray.  This is a fascinating video which touches on many issues affecting Shoreditch including homelessness and gentrification. Please be aware there is an interview insert in which a quite distasteful anecdote is told.  Although this video is hosted on the publicly accessible website of a hugely respectable quality newspaper, I must leave to you judge for yourselves the suitability of viewing the video on the Guardian website.

photos: Dave Stuart

 

London, Street Art, Tour, Walk, Space Invader, Reactivation, UK Reactivation Team, Art4Space, mosaic

Space Invader Strikes Back!

In our regular street art updates we have talked a couple of times about disappeared ancient Space Invaders reappearing, the so called “Reactivation”.   We were very lucky to secure the first ever interview with the UK Reactivation Team, check my other blog to see how and why these passionate extra terrestrial art restorers are doing what they do.

London, Street Art, Tour, Walk, Space Invader, Reactivation, UK Reactivation Team, Art4Space, mosaic

LDN_058 Reactivated

Bonus news – back in 2012 I was fortunate to be in a select audience for a one evening only private showing in a London hotel of a 24 minute documentary made by Space Invader.  It was an exciting little movie about his attempt to send one of his Invaders into space and film the result.  This week Invader has finally released the documentary to the public and it is very interesting.

Photos: Dave Stuart

Video: Space Invader