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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Desperately Seeking Banksy: Part One

 

About six months ago, I bought the Banksy London App on my iPhone for the princely sum of £1.99 with the full intention of channelling my outer (not inner) mainstream-graffiti-artist-loving self and challenging said self to walk around and see every single one. 

Because they're in the city that I live in and because it's important to break up the bed-tube-international coffee chain-office-pub-bed routine that we commuters all indulge in; whilst ignoring fabulous, touristy, sparkly London. 

Sometimes in life you just gotta take a deep breath and get out at Piccadilly Circus, ignore the cringe, buy a paper day travel card and stand stationary in the middle of Oxford Street. Go on, I dare you.

Plus the reason I love Banksy is that he is challenging and subversive and satirical, whilst still being popular. So it's OK to be a little touristy right.. 

Back to subject, there are 25 Banksy's in London by the way. Though some - as I recently discovered - are covered by billboards or have been removed. 

Last Saturday my friend E and I started this feat in Shoreditch and had a merry time along the way. This is the story of our day. Numbers 14-18 and 20 were accomplished and much larks were had by all along the way as we played tourists or wannabe hipsters for the day. 


If you don't know London, there's a few beautiful places and must visit establishment in this area as well as the Banksy's...


The bus journey itself was a pretty picture to be honest. Us SW London girls went all the way on the 344, to a surprisingly busy Liverpool Street. 

First stop: Skeleton Car, Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, E1 69J. (2004) (No.20)


Thing is the actual skeleton piece has since been removed... So now it's just the car. Never mind that we took a few snaps in front of it...

The original piece with the grim reaper was a play on our live-fast society. 

After this I couldn't help but make E stop in Rough Trade, one of the best record shops in London. Every time I go there I berate myself for not owning a record player. That's going on my "Things I will have before I'm 30" list. 


We browsed...

E was pretty happy when we discovered the famous photo booth as we stood in the line with some hipsta teen fangirls, we felt about 108. 


We clearly weren't sure how it worked at the start.


Next we found a three for a tenner sunglasses stall and had a whale of a time... 


I'm not entirely sure why she didn't get these... Think it's time to bring then back...


I just love a little faux specs-appeal though I actually have real glasses that I never wear so.... 




Some random street art... And some words...


And someone actually doing graffiti...

Next was:

HMV Dog, Cargo, Rivington Street EC2A 3AY


Aah Cargo... where city bankers go to pretend they're penniless art students.. The dog was pretty impressive in the corner. The piece which features the iconic HMV ("His Master's Voice") Dog aiming a bazooka directly into the iconic megaphone. 

There were two more on Rivington Street - both of which were covered FFS

Giant Rat Smashing TV, The Foundry Car Park, Rivington Street, EC2A 3JL.. This is what it looks like:


A classic Banksy image

And Happy Choppers, Old Street, EC2A 3DT


Bit annoyed they're covered up, but...

Then we walked deeper into the city for the: Team Robbo Placard Rat, Chiswell Street, The Barbican, EC1Y 4SA


Finally we hit Farringdon... where we saw a very faded PapaRatzi in Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DY


One of Banksy's last standing "photo-rats", thought the tag is almost completely faded.

This one made me shiver.

Then we couldn't do any more...


So we just did Rose and Coffee on Clerkenwell Green.

Six down, nineteen to go, if anyone fancies joining... 

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