London‘s famous law-breaker is at it again. Graffiti artist Banksy has unleashed three new comments on the city – now we just have to find them and photograph them before the powers-that-be decide to remove them.
The most precarious is on the wall of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, posing an interesting problem. These walls are pristine, unadorned. Banksy is a graffiti artist, a rebel, working without permission – and his real identity continues to be a secret. But these days he is also considered an important artist – his works are carefully peeled from walls by skilled conservators and sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. So what will the National Gallery do now it has a couple of Banksy ostriches on its wall?
Another of the new works is in Spitalfields; a street sign which has been adjusted to make a comment on the rat race. The other is in Poplar in East London, on a wall. It’s a billboard saying, “Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock.” – a typical Banksy comment on consumerism and very timely for the Christmas retail frenzy.
And then of course there are all the other Banksy pieces dotted around London which you can use as an excuse to explore the alleys and out-of-the-way places in London. (Maps can be found online.)
Banksy has made graffiti a powerful force for social commentary – and of course he is not the only one – lifting it beyond the ugly tagging that gives graffiti its bad reputation. London has actually legalized one area for graffiti artists and here, although there is some moronic tagging, there are also some great paintings, and overall its a fabulously colorful visual cacophony that lifts an ugly grey tunnel to an art installation. It’s located near Waterloo Station, running between Lower Marsh and Leake Street. The site was first used by Banksy who then invited other graffiti artists to join in.
Banksy is a London icon – don’t miss seeing some of his wall art.