Tag Archives: Street Art

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.

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, 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

Artist, Street art, charity, auction, Phillips, Stik, Shoreditch Street Art Tours, Magpie Social Centre, Bristol

Stik Street Art Auction

A piece of street art by ever popular London street artist Stik is to be auctioned tomorrow at Phillips, London with Stik’s blessing.

From a message issued by Stik:

30 Nov 2016: Street Artist Stik has agreed to authenticate and approve the sale of a street art piece he once painted on the front of the Magpie Social Centre in Bristol. This piece appeared in 2009 on the front wall of the not-for-profit social centre which was evicted earlier this year and is currently looking for a new premises.

Artist, Street art, charity, auction, Phillips, Stik, Shoreditch Street Art Tours, Magpie Social Centre, Bristol

Magpie – Stik, photo via Stik

Stik states: “The Magpie Social Centre was one of the free spaces that actively encouraged street art and helped me to become the artist I am today. I don’t generally approve of the sale of street pieces but here I will make an exception. It gives me great pleasure to authenticate this piece so that Magpie can continue to support the next generation of artists.”

Stik only authenticates street artworks when all proceeds benefit the community they were painted for. The artist was approached by the community centre earlier this year and helped set up the sale with London auction house Phillips. The piece titled ‘Magpie’ has been preserved, framed and logged and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

End message quote

 

The following news arrived In a later message which came in today:

Stik met with the director of Magpie Project Space this week to authenticate the fundraiser sale on Thursday 8th December at Phillips Auction. Seen here at the private view the sale is expected to raise enough funds to rehouse the community centre.

Artist, Street art, charity, auction, Phillips, Stik, Shoreditch Street Art Tours, Magpie Social Centre, Bristol

Stik with Natty Lee form Magpie Social Centre at Phillips Auction Private view. Photo via Stik

Details of the piece are:

STIK – Magpie

Lot 90,

Phillips New Now London Auction
8 December 2016

Signed, dated and authenticated ‘STIK 2009 2016’ on the reverse. Spray paint on wood, in artist’s frame.
139 x 29.8 cm (54 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.)

Executed in 2009. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the artist’s studio.

Estimate £8,000 – 12,000

To participate in this rare opportunity to acquire an authenticated street piece:

Contact Specialist
Simon Tovey
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

or check online HERE

It’s not so easy to see from the photo of the Magpie Social Centre that the Stik piece being auctioned is one of the pieces visible on the Magpie wall but here is a photo I took back in 2010 which shows the same piece much more clearly.

Artist, Street art, charity, auction, Phillips, Stik, Shoreditch Street Art Tours, Magpie Social Centre, Bristol

Stik at Magpie, photo Dave Stuart

 

On the surface it feels like this has a lot of similarities with the famous case in Bristol where Banksy’s Mobile Lovers was removed by the proprietor of the Riverside Boys Club and which ultimately led to Banksy authenticating the street piece and using language very similar to Stik’s to confirm that he was ok with it being sold as a fund raiser for the Boy’s Club. The clear difference is that while Banksy’s Mobile Lover was almost certainly done without permission, Stik is likely to have had the blessing of the Magpie Social Centre to create his work.

all photos via Stik except Dave Stuart where noted

 

 

 

No Ad Day, Street art, Advertising, ad busting, ad hijacking, ad subversion, billboard

Advertising Shits In Your Head and No Ad Day

Two interesting things are coming up which relate to issues often raised on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour.

The first is that this Sunday we celebrate No Ad Day.  Street artists have often cited an anti advertising stance to justify their actions, the essence of the message being “who gave advertisers permission  to hijack public space to bombard us with their advertising messages, we are reclaiming our visual landscape”.  No Ad Day takes the view that advertising is pernicious, not necessarily truthful, overwhelming and a mechanism for artificially stimulating demand in the absence of a natural imperative to acquire based on need.  So this Sunday, in cities around the world including New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid and undoubtedly many more, there is possibly going to be some subtle action to reduce the quantity of advertising.

No Ad Day, Street art, Advertising, ad busting, ad hijacking, ad subversion, billboard, bus stop, bus

via No Ad day website, photographer unknown

Look out for blank advert spaces, hijacked advert spaces, subverted adverts and perhaps more.   If an ad looks a bit odd, check it out it might just have been hit by someone engaging in a No Ad Day activity.

 

On the street art tour we often delight in discovering subverted adverts and hijacked advertising spaces, we will certainly be keeping our eyes peeled in London this weekend.

London, Shoreditch, Street art, Advertising, ad busting, ad hijacking, ad subversion, billboard, fly posters, H.O

H.O subverts a collection of illegal fly posters, Nov 2016, photo Dave Stuart

London, Shoreditch, Street art, Advertising, ad busting, ad hijacking, ad subversion, billboard, bus stop, bus

Hogre puts art where advertising used to be, June 2016, photo Dave Stuart

 

London, Shoreditch, Street art, Advertising, ad busting, ad hijacking, ad subversion, billboard, flyposter

Lady Gaga D’Faced, photo Dave Stuart

The results of stripping adverts from the urban landscape can be quite impressive, in 2010 the vast quantity of illegal billboards all over Athens, from the Centre to the Port of Piraeus in one direction and out to the airport in the other suddenly whited out.  Whether this was driven by economics or principal, or even possibly but more remotely actually just a clamp down on illegal advertising, it made a huge difference to Athen’s appearance.

Athens, Advertising, ad busting, ad hijacking, ad subversion, billboard, buff

Athens, 2010, photo Dave Stuart

 

The second thing I want to let you know about is a rather interesting publication with the awesome title “Advertising Shits In Your Head”.  This is a book to be published by Dog Section Press.

London, Shoreditch, Advertising, ad busting, ad hijacking, ad subversion, billboard, bus stop, bus, Advertising Shits in your Head

Advertising Shits In Your Head, photo via Dog Section press

Advertising Shits In Your Head combines theory and practice in one short book about the modern subvertising movement.  It will certainly be an interesting read for the curious.  At present a crowd funding campaign is very close to raising the target needed to proceed to publication, if you or someone you know might be interested in this book, do look a bit closer.  Funding deadline date is 28th November, the day after No Ad Day, funding is 85% towards target.

Advertising, ad busting, ad hijacking, ad subversion, billboard, bus stop, bus, Advertising Shits in your Head

Advertising Shits In Your Head, photo via Dog Section press

You can in effect pre order the book by contributing just £5 to the funding though I’m looking forward to rocking a Dog Section Press Teeshirt on some tours next Summer.

 

One evening early last month when the campaign was first launched I luckily caught this particularly relevant subverted advertising lightbox in Islington.

London, Shoreditch, Street art, Advertising, ad busting, ad hijacking, ad subversion, billboard, bus stop, bus

by @ProtestStencil, photo by Dave Stuart

On the web page for the funding are many other recent updates of subvertising actions,

98428-1-2d7567a23d1854b6f04a67479268c097

photo via Dog Section Pres, photographer unknown

My friends at VNA magazine, my favourite zine got this ace interview from Dog Section Press Editor Vyvian Raoul about the ideas and manifestations of this new wave of artivism.   So, check out the crowdfunding page now and help push the appeal over the line (update – now 93% funded).

Feature Photo via No Ad Day

Photo sources cited, if any photographer would like a credit for their photograph please drop an email

Very Nearly Almost Zine Interview

When I started regularly photographing street art over a decade ago wandering the streets of East and West London with my mate Sam “HowAboutNo”, not so many people were interested in the culture or doing this kind of photography.  George MacDonald was!  He created a photo based printed fanzine called Very Nearly Almost, usually abbreviated by its audience to VNA.   I remember George wandering up and down the queues for urban art shows outside Black Rat Press and The Leonard St Gallery giving the zines away.  Even though I had not started uploading any of my photos onto the net at the time of those early issues in 06/07, my gut reaction was “print is dead”, George proved me completely wrong.

London, Shoreditch, street art, Very Nearly Almost, George McDonald, Greg Beer, zine, magazine, interview, Cheffo,

VNA Issue 3 – CarTrain makes the cover!

 

Fellow contributing  photographer Matt “Cheffo” Strutt has a very interesting interview with Editor in Chief George and Art and Design Director Greg in which they describe how the mag developed from being a photocopied stapled freebie to the lush feature filled publication it is today and how the culture has evolved in the years they have been covering it.

 

I have been proud to contribute photographs and the occasional article to VNA since about issue 6 or maybe 7, despite which Very Nearly Almost is still going strong.

London, Shoreditch, street art, Very Nearly Almost, George McDonald, Greg Beer, zine, magazine, interview, Cheffo,

Very Nearly Almost through the ages

 

The ethos behind the magazine (high quality photography) was touched upon in this article which appeared in the Evening Standard in 2010, down in the bottom corner a shot of the cover of Issue 11 features though the caption at the top, “street art’s NVA” does rather expose some poor sub-editing at the Eeny Stannit.

London, Shoreditch, street art, Very Nearly Almost, George McDonald, Greg Beer, zine, magazine, Evening Standard

Evening Standard, 13 Sep 2010

Being print based, many of the fascinating interviews with artists featured in VNA can only be found in the pages of a real copy you hold in your hands but fortunately many previous editions are still available as very reasonably priced back issues through the VNA shop .   VNA  is well worth considering for a subscription, Christmas is coming you know.

 

Interview Link: http://gcasfm.com/blog/very-nearly-almost