Tag Archives: tour guide

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.

Map (opens in new tab)

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.

Map (opens in new tab)

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


Pink elephant parade street art by street artist Fat Cap Spraysreflected in car windscreen

June Busting Out Street Art All Over

June is Summer’s portal, ushering in hazy sunshine, drinks with friends and a bump in street art action.  That’s the theory; June in London this year was on the whole rather grey and overcast, here are some of the artworks that leavened the damp squib the month became.

paste up street art of rock star Debbie Harry from Blondie by Postmans Art

Debbie Harry – The Postman’s Art

Nathan Bowen has been on a recent flurry of art activity, one particular piece I wanted to include falls foul of the very strict rigid inflexible “June and June only” qualifying period set for this post but thankfully there are other equally lovely ones.

permissioned mural street by Nathan Bowen and Harry Blackmore

Nathan Bowen & Harry Blackmore

In this artwork created in Pedley St, the latest graffiti hotspot, Pablo Fiasco fuses the first African American character to appear in the Peanuts cartoon strip with imagery inspired by the Jimmy Cliff film “The Harder They Come”, a combination every bit as brilliant as Fiasco’s masterful stencil technique.

stencil street art by Pablo Fiasco featuring Peanuts character Franklin and scenes from The Harder They Fall Jimmy Cliff

Peanuts character Franklin by Pablo Fiasco

stencil street art by Pablo Fiasco featuring Peanuts character Franklin and scenes from The Harder They Fall Jimmy Cliff

Pablo Fiasco Jimmy Cliff detail

Grace Kelly popping into a British phone box would be an iconic moment if it ever happened, D7606 is quite happy to do the imagining for us.  Let’s hope “indigo the art dog” from New York knows how to behave.

pop art style paste up street art with Grace Kelly in a phone box by street artist D7606

Phone box multiples with Grace Kelly – D7606

Seeing Coloquix art in London is relatively unusual but it always reminds me of the wonderful time I had in Sheffield exploring art in derelict buildings after travelling up there for a gallery show by Aida, which was the first time I encountered Coloquix’s art.

paste up street art female figure bouncing on space hopper by street artist Coloquix

female with space hopper – Coloquix

Woskerski and David Speed have alternated in the use of this particular spot in the past month, this fried egg by Woskerski was sensational.

Photorealistic fried egg painted on a building site hoarding in Shoreditch by street artist Woskerski

Fried Egg – Woskerski

At a nearby location this skull by David Speed was beautifully framed in the structure of the bus shelter.

neon pink skull street art painted on an abandoned bank in Shoreditch by street artist David Speed

David Speed

At a more formal level and not normally the kind of art that Shoreditch Street Art Tours covers, Art Night has been significantly redesigned for 2021.  It used to be a one night event in London involving a crazy evening pounding around one off art events in galleries in institutions and it was terribly easy to actually spend the whole evening stuck in a queue for the most popular elements.   For 2021 the event is strung out over a month and has been decentralised with much activity outside London.  Supporting a theme small acts of personal and collective defiance and self determination we had this biting feminist advert from the Guerrilla Girls.

Art Night 2021 billboard art by Guerrilla Girls

Guerrilla Girls -Female Artists

As an aside, whenever I am under extreme pressure to name a favourite piece of street art I often fall back to a piece by James Cauty in 2008 which mirrored the street but with the devastating ego blow in which my personal significance was accurately measured out by my invisibility, it was at the same spot.

Favourtie piece of street art ever, billboard art in Shoreditch

TRA TON SI SIHT – Jimmy Cauty, 2008

This building site hoarding is at the site of the former art hang out known as the Foundry, the Shoreditch location where a new 27 story hotel is being constructed where once was one of the largest Banksy’s in London.  It mainly hosts graffiti, this sublime abstract artwork seems to have the hand, meaning can control, of a graffiti writer but looks to be abstract to the point of no letterform at all.

abstract graffiti colourfields in Shoreditch - artist not known

artist not known

That building site is now emerging above ground level, it is quite scary to reflect on the fact that it will be a 27 story building when complete.

Art Otel new building under construction in Shoreditch with graffiti on hoardings Awards, Fugs, Mase, Krops et al

Legal graffiti on building site hoardings – Awards, Fugs, Mase, Krops et al

all photos: Dave Stuart


Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Nature Is A Whore

“It was 30 years ago today” that Nirvana released Nevermind, with apologies for that inept abuse of the Beatles’ lyrical mastery and the actual facts (release date Sep 24th 1991).  One of the standout tracks on a standout album is “In Bloom”, Kurt Cobain’s lament on the impact of their growing success and within the song is the line “Nature Is A Whore”.  Nature Is A Whore is the tagline anointing some but not all of a collection of naïve and economical artworks appearing around London over the past few months.

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

The smile is often innocent, almost angelic and frequently the curiously four fingered character offers flowers or seems to relish the beauty in a fresh cut flower.  The crossed arms styling is curious as well, is this a dance move or a gangster style vogue?

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

You have got to chuckle when the buff inadvertently facilitates a tinted homage to the original.

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Painting large scale on a couple of currently un-utilised advert walls, the artist is proposing that they are not racist as they have a coloured TV, which at face value looks like a joke available in black and white versions but could easily be a very clever indication of a race blind preference for transvestites.  Rather curious that one version of this has the “British English” spelling of the word “coloured”, the other is wrong! (wink)

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Sometimes the artistic impulse springs from an anonymous mind whose satisfaction would appear to derive from beautification rather than ego gratification.  Thus far, I have no firm idea who these short lived minimalist masterpieces should be attributed to.

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Here is a sample of just a few, guests have report their own sightings of other specimens in other locations.

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Only Fools And Cars Go backwards

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Send A Ugly Girl Flowers

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

All photos: Dave Stuart


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Digging In The Archives Pt 10

When I first began to explore street art one my favourite artists was and indeed still is French stencillist Jef Aerosol.  This Aerosol masterpiece was on Hanbury street and marked more or less a the time that this wall was just beginning to be used for permissioned murals.

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Jef Aerosol 2010

Shoreditch street art was dominated by stencilism in the 00s and why not, Banksy was the stencil artist kicking down the doors of public disinterest and general hostility.  K-Guy was and again still is a great personal favourite.  This is his take on the dual significance of the national flag, a symbol of pride yet also racism.

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K-Guy 2008

The next photo shows K-Guy’s artwork in context.  In 2007 Shepard Fairey hit that spot with a long lasting paste-up (a spot he returned to in 2012).   Sotheby’s and Bonhams started their urban art auctions in early 2008, others then hitched to that bandwagon.  This was probably the first occurrence I came across of an arts related organisation destroying a piece of street art in pursuit of advertising.  This shit still goes on and basically if you see street art being damaged in pursuit of the commercial interests of galleries, auctions and online sellers, then it’s a clear sign the fuckers do not get the culture, steer clear.

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K-guy 2008 featuring Shepard Fairey – defaced, dissed and abused

Special Offer: Free Art! The stencil on cardboard below was a piece of free art by the prolific, varied and much missed street artist Mr Farenheit. Hopefully it went to a good home. This doorway in fact the whole building, now demolished, was always intensely distressed and beautifully decayed; muscular rust on the iron door had very little sympathy for any paper pasted onto its surface. “Special Offer” is a detail from an ACE paste up; the thick black bars emerging over Twiggy’s left shoulder are a Paul Insect relic; D7606 also did great paste up montages on this door and it’s a rare photograph where you can’t see one of his pieces at this spot.

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Mr Farenheit, 2013

The pair of birds in the next photo by artist and graffiti writer Dr Zadok are done in the swirling style which characterizes both his graff letters and his art.   Alleyn Gardens habitués will note the virgin brickwork on the then relatively new North London Line.

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Dr Zadok 2013

The image below shows Dr Zadok’s hand finished bookcover in aid of Joe Epstein aka LDNgraffiti’s fundraiser for Great Ormond St Hospital.    More details and information about how you can to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the #LDNGOSHLottery is HERE.  Keep an eye out on LDNGraffiti’s Instagram for further announcements of more prizes.

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LDN GOSH Charity Book with Dr Zadok Cover art

Swoon again, simply because she rocks.  Close to Broadway Market, 2011.

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Swoon, 2011

Borondo was an extraordinary painter who lived in London for a number of years in the early part of the 00s.  His impressionist murals channelled the effect of strong colours but he first appeared doing single layer portraits created by splashing emulsion on the outside surface of glass windows then etching imagery into the paint with a fork.   Two artworks survive, the “11 Apostles” on the Bull in a China Shop on Shoreditch High Street as appears in the featured image above is easy to find.  This pair of figures from 2013 play with the window frames; the scraped paint has settled like frost on the window ledge.

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Borondo, Brick Lane 2013

And now, something consigned to the archive in just the past fortnight  !Things turned a brighter shade of orange across a locked down (ish) Picadilly Circus as the iconic illuminations displayed a charity digital artwork by Stik.  Stik must be alongside Shep Fairey and Banksy in the ranks of street artists who most consistently use their art for deserving causes.  This installation was in support of Young Westminster Foundation.

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Stik Picadilly Circus June 2020

Stik is also one of the 9 street artists who have joined Joe Epstein to raise funds for @GreatOrmondSt Hospital.   Each artist has created a special version of the book by hand painting the cover, so that’s 9 unique versions of the book.

See HERE for a blogpost with more images, details and link to how to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the #LDNGOSHLottery and keep an eye out as well for further announcements of more prizes.

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LDN GOSH Charity Book with Stik Cover art

We didn’t clap for carers in the UK this week, the mood switched more to pressurising the government to fund the carers properly, and reward them not to mention try a little bit of planning for a change as a second wave is held likely.   Seems like a good moment to shelve Diggin In The Archives, though it has been a happy accident of exploring my own archives and memories and so don’t rule out DITA’s resurrection sometime.

Check out the previous Diggin’ In The Archives weekly compendiums starting with week 1 and then hopefully navigate the index to find the rest: DITA 1

All photos: Dave Stuart


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Diggin In The Archives Part 9

In the week we discovered new ways to test your eyesight the photo archive continued to exhibit 20/20 hindsight with visual crackerjacks from the past.

Mr Cenz has a spraypainting pedigree that stretches back over 30 years so it is not surprising that his style has evolved considerably.  He is famous these days for intensely colourful portraits with shafts of light and starbursts, those elements are clearly emerging in this 2013 portrait yet at the same time, it is quite different.

Mr Cenz, Ravey St, 2013

The two seemingly abstract paste ups above on the Grant and Taylor sign represented folded garments by Specter from NY who dropped some art works reflecting on visual aspects of the homeless community when over in 2010 for an exhibition in the Pure Evil Gallery.

Next a pair of east end classics, Sweet Toof and Paul Insect on a paste-up mission around #BrickLane.  That pair of beautiful decaying paste-ups has long gone but this 2013 photo also shows Jonesy’s “Sand Tar Nightmare” from 2012 complete with the original Native American headdress feathers which is still up today.

Sweet Toof, Paul Insect, Jonesy, Fournier St, 2012

Graff snapping mate for many years Joe Epstein aka LDNGraffiti, author of street art book “London Graffiti and Street Art” has teamed up with 9 street artists to raise funds for Great Ormond St Hospital.  Each artist has created a special version of the book by hand painting the cover, so that’s 9 unique versions of the book..

LDN Graffiti, Joe Epstein, London Graffiti and Street Art, GOSH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alo, Dr Zadok, MadC, Neist, Pure Evil, Run, Stik, The Toasters, Vibes, Shoreditch Street Art Tours

9 Art Blitzed Books – Unique Covers

Italian artist Giacomo aka RUN paints stunning murals around Shoreditch and North London.  Flat faced characters express surprisingly intense emotion and always at large scale.  This pair of characters competing for the passer-by’s attention dates from 2009.  Needless to say that spot on Hackney Road has no sense of that urban dereliction now.

Run, Hackney Road, 2009

Click HERE for a blogpost with more images, details and link to how to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the #LDNGOSHLottery, keep an eye out as well for further announcements of more prizes.

This D7606 & C3 collaboration from 2013 found a perfect home on the haphazard accumulation of red and white marks on this Blackall St door.  The featured image at the top of this post is a beautiful piece of pop street art by D7606 from 2013.

D7606 C3 collaboration, Blackall St 2013

Dan Witz is full on old school street artist from New York who has blessed London with impressive street art on several occasions.   Each passion project has been cause driven.  It was Guantanamo in 2013 (1st photo) and his “Empty The Cages” anti animal cruelty project in 2014.   The joined up element between the two visits was the theme of incarceration and cruelty in both.

Dan Witz, Rathbone Place, 2013

I recently cycled through Kings Cross and can report with  pleasure and amazement that the PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) installation below  is still in place.  See Graffoto.co.uk Feb 2014 for an appreciation of Dan Witz’s street art contribution to that campaign.

Dan Witz, Kings Cross, 2014

The magical power of art to turn humble domestic artefact into art icon has an honourable lineage that ultimately culminates in Toasters!  Toasters already came up in Week 2 of #DigginInTheArchives but embedded in this bit of #flashback fun is a cruel selection process as a limit of one image only per artist was imposed following the principals of #rulesforbenefitofall #rulesapplytoall (according to government deputy Chief Medical Officer Prof JVT when he broke ranks at the briefing podium to condemn lockdown breaches by unelected shameless creep Cummings).

Thanks again to Joe Epstein’s fundraiser for Great Ormond St Hospital, the Toasters corner of the archive gets forked over a second time.   This stunning appliance from 2010 faced a Roa hare, famously spared the council buff thanks to a public petition.   That green board next to the Toaster was the same property that the Run characters were on in 2009, see above.

Toasters, Roa, Hackney Road, 2010

Every week now it feels like it is time to draw DITA to a close, to get out, do fresh but socially distanced street art spotting.   We are however feeling inclined to err towards the side of the scientific advice and, again in the words of JVT, “not tear the pants out if it”.   DITA daily uploads will continue on the Dave Stuart instagram

Check out the previous Diggin’ In The Archives weekly compendiums starting with week 1 and then hopefully navigating the index to find the rest: DITA 1


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Diggin In The Archives Pt 8

This week in spite of the latest official guidance to follow unofficial interpretations of the law, there have been no trips to Durham.  I have followed my instinct to remain at home to see what scum is floating on the surface of the street art photography archive.

Ludo first put his art on London streets in 2009 and right from the off his Nature’s Revenge project dealt with man vs nature, weaponry, deception and death.  Ludo’s work always had scale and awesome eye-catching placement.  This weaponised orchid dates from 2011.

Ludo, 2011

Street artist and gallerist Rae visited London in 2013 and left an impressive range of paste ups, stickers, painted surfaces and this wacky sculpture which lasted all of 24 hours.

Rae, 2013

Rae, 2013

The Battle Of Fashion St pitted Ronzo’s monster, looking very much exactly like a medical diagram of a virus against studio stablemate Conor Harrington’s faceless soldier.  Like most of Conor’s art this one lasted a long time.

The battle Of Fashion St, Ronzo and Conor Harrington, 2011

Graff snapping mate for many years Joe Epstein aka LDN Graffiti, author of street art book “London Graffiti and Street Art” has teamed up with 9 great street artists to raise funds for Great Ormond St Hospital.  Each artist has created a special version of the book by hand painting the cover, so that’s 9 unique versions of the book.

LDN Graffiti, Joe Epstein, London Graffiti and Street Art, GOSH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alo, Dr Zadok, MadC, Neist, Pure Evil, Run, Stik, The Toasters, Vibes, Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Great Ormand Street Hospital COVID-19 Lottery fundraiser

For more images, details and a link to how to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the LDN GOSH Charity Lottery, click here

One of the featured artists in the LDN GOSH fundraiser is Pure Evil, he doesn’t so much redecorate the book cover as subject it to extreme abuse and reconfiguration, it’s bonkers but brilliant.   In 2012 Pure Evil imagined the Hackney Olympics looting squad making off with some Olympics booty, as seen on this Redchurch Street shutter.

Pure Evil 2012

LDN Graffiti, Joe Epstein, London Graffiti and Street Art, GOSH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alo, Dr Zadok, MadC, Neist, Pure Evil, Run, Stik, The Toasters, Vibes, Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Pure Evil LDN GOSH Charity Book

In the happy days when I had a kind of job thing, I did one of my Street Art Photography Workshops in Hackney.  I only found out this week thanks to Inspiring City’s Art Related Noise podcast interview that this stencil piece is “Lee P” by Findac.  Lee P is otherwise known as street artist Eelus.  The second shot illustrates the photographers’ intention –  to show what Lee P was looking at.

Findac, 2013

Findac, 2013

More than a decade of pasting up street art has left no doubt that Donk has an awesome approach to impressive installations created from his own original photos. It would be very easy to dredge up one of Donk’s huge crowd pleaser paste up images like the Fashion St fence (with the tassels), the Willow Street horse facing POW (see featured image above) or the ghetto blaster on Sclater St but with no slight on any of those, sometimes his montages of smaller images show his versatility better.  From 2013 this is a selection of hand finished unique Humble Magnificent and B Brave Indian images featuring Donk jr as model.  Donk’s paste up’s typically decayed beautifully.

Donk 2013

Claudia Walde aka MadC is a graffiti writer and book author. She is also another of the artists to have created a unique painting on a book being auctioned to raised funds for Great Ormond St Hospital, details as above.

In culture with such a huge gender imbalance MadC is a rare example of an internationally regarded graffiti writer. In 2011 the Pure Evil Gallery hosted MadC’s first solo exhibition and graffiti writers came from all over to check out her top notch can skills and brilliant colour palette. Her 2013 abstract mural on Chance St in Shoreditch is well known and still running. Less known perhaps is this stunning 2011 graffiti on the old Micawber St launderette, look closely and you can pick out her name in there. It was huge though this is nowhere near the biggest piece of graffiti MadC ever did.

MadC, 2011

Mad C LDN Graffiti book cover

 

If you are interested in seeing previous DITAs, you can start with the first weekly compilation of the daily DITA uploads HERE.

Art credits and links are by each photo.  All photos: Dave Stuart