Olivier Roubieu Paints on Pedley Street

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French street artist Olivier Roubieu paints virtually realistic portraits, and it has been a little while since the artist has painted in London. Over this past month, he has returned to London to paint a portrait of a female on Pedley Street in the old underground building. The work is also accompanied by grafitti-style tagging using the same colours along the length of the wall.

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Additional artwork painted by Olivier Roubieu can be seen in my blog at the following links:

Upfest 2015
Additional work toward the end of 2016

From Wednesday, the work of late New York grafitti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat will be exhibited at the Barbican in London. To pay tribute to this grafitti artist, who died in 1988 of a suspected drug overdose, two new works by Banksy have appeared on the walls near the exhibition. The work uses Banksy's style merged with the style of Basquait, and Banksy attributes this to an unofficial collaboration. I went over to see the new work at lunch, and they had attracted a miniature crowd.

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The main mural is inspired by the 1982 work "Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump". The new mural shows the signature man and dog (in Basquait's style) being welcomed by the police (in Banksy's stencil style).

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I am not sure who added the illustration of the man with the skateboard and crown as this was not included in Banksy's original piece.

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The second mural shows Basquait's style of Ferris wheel on a black background with Banksy's style of artwork, a stencil of a ticket box and people queuing below the wheel.

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A silver foil crown had been placed at the foot of the artwork.

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An older Banksy stencil is located only a couple of blocks away. The stencil is of one of Banksy's famous rats. It is holding an "I love London" sign, which was added to by Robbo. Robbo was a grafitti artist who had a famous bickering with Banksy. 

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Have you seen the new works by Banksy, and what do you think? Does anyone have any ideas who added to Banksy's mural and who placed the foil crown?

This year's "Totally Thames" (previously known as the "Thames Festival") is currently in full swing. It is London's last large event of the year and before the winter kicks in. This year's event is lower key than previous years, and the artwork is scaled down when compared with previous years, but it still highlights the impact of water and environmental concerns. In previous years, we had the Hippo on the Thames, "Floating Dreams" cube in the river featuring those who were displaced during the Korean Wars, and a few horse sculptures that were shaped like oil wells to highlight environmental concerns. 

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This year's smaller scale piece is located out of the water and makes appearances at different riverside locations across London until the end of the month. I caught the installation while it was at St. Katherine's Docks. The artwork, by Maria Areco, depicts several boxes of pollution. These have been organised by colour or by item type (clear plastic bottles, bottle tops, traffic furniture, balls, etc). The selection highlights the issue of river pollution with an estimate of more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. All of the items were picked up by the artist along the Thames.

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The installation will be shown at Brentford until 20 September and then at Canary Wharf from the 22nd until the 30th of September.

Street artist TraficGraphics has painted a new mural on one of the area's best walls for street art on Hanbury Street off Brick Lane. (I think that the artist had also painted a chess-playing monkey this spring off Brick Lane as it appears to be in the same style.) The artist has painted a gorilla on a black wall. The gorilla's face is partially showing with the light casting on one angle while the remainder remains blended into the darkness.

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A close-up of the gorilla's face is below.

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More work by the artist can be seen in my blog here:

Chess-Playing Monkey on Pedley Street

Samer Paints Birds on Pedley Street

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Street artist Samer recently returned to painting London's streets after painting a bird in New Inn Yard a few weeks ago. The new work also features a bird and has (in fact) three blue birds painted on a colourful geometric leaf background. The new mural is located on Pedley Street, which is one of the area's high profile walls but has not had much care recently. I am happy to see a colourful and nice new artwork up in this spot.

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A close-up of one of the birds is below.

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Additional posts with street art by Samer in my blog are located below:

Samer Paints Bird, New Inn Yard

London's Changes

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London is a city that is always changing and evolving at a quick pace. For a long while, 'The Gherkin' marked out an iconic part of London's skyline, and I could see it from the train into London Waterloo station. Now, it's barely visible and hidden completely in some directions. While looking back through some previous photographs, I was able to see how quickly that London has changed in a matter of approximately three short years. I remember taking the photographs below. I was working on Brick Lane a few years ago, and I found myself walking across Tower Bridge on a chilly but sunny spring day. I took a couple of photographs before hurrying along.

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The 'Walkie Talkie' building on Fenchurch Street was still in progress but near completion, and other cranes are building something behind Tower Hill. The newer buildings have yet to have made a start, and the original building at 100 Bishopsgate was in progress before being demolished at about this time.  

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There are many more buildings currently being constructed on the London skyline. I wonder what London's skyline will look like in a hundred years. Will cars be allowed through the busy streets? Will there be more places to work, eat/drink, and play under the city's busy streets? Will it even exist?

A couple of weeks ago, I went to try Big Moe's Diner. It is located across the road from where I am working not far from Aldgate East station on Whitechapel Road. There are a few other American diner food restaurants in and around London, and most of these are chains. I have never tried Big Moe's (which also has a branch in Barking, Essex). Big Moe's claims to be an authentic American dining experience using good ingredients, large portions, and living by the American dining experience. 

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The inside of the diner has the shell of a Cadillac car with seats inside it, black and white checkered floor, red seats, and plenty of 1950s nostalgia. There is also an ice cream bar at the front.

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I had the chicken burger, which came with chips. I also ordered a side of the cajun-spiced onion rings. The chicken burger was tasty, but I didn't care much for the cajun spice put onto the onion rings, and they were a bit too dry. I've had better battered onion rings in London. The chips tasted like frozen store-bought ones, so I was not a fan. Overall, I did feel the food was a bit too greasy.

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Ice cream, on the other hand, was very nice. I had a sundae with chocolate sauce and nuts, which I chose because it is a staple to have chocolate syrup and nuts with ice cream. (I had this a lot of the time when I was growing up in the states.) There were plenty of other toppings and flavours of ice cream on offer.

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Moe's Diner is located 96 Whitechapel Street, London, E1 7RA. It is open from 11:00 in the morning to 11:00 in the evening every day. 

Note that I visited the restaurant on my own, and my thoughts are my own. This is not sponsored by the restaurant.

Eddie Colla Paste-Ups

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Eddie Colla is an artist from the United States of America who has studied at NYC and has created work for albums and magazines. He creates street art paste-ups primarily in Miami, Los Angeles, and other areas in the USA. Recently, he has visited London and left a few of his large paste-ups of figures. The paste-ups did not last too long before they were tagged over or came off the wall, but I managed to photograph one off Brick Lane before it got messed up. There was also one on Sclater Street and one in Camden.

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Let me know if you see any more work by this artist.

Last week, I took a late lunch and was looking for something a bit different. The weather was not very nice, so I did not want to wander too far. I ended up in Gunpowder, a small restaurant located just off Commercial Road (on White's Row) and not far from Spitalfields Market. Gunpowder is a restaurant that serves Indian food in small tapas-style portions, which is perfect for sharing and trying different dishes. Read below to see my review.

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I visited on my own, so I decided to order a glass of white wine and two of the dishes. I was glad I did because the portions are quite small, and two was enough to make me feel satisfied. I ordered the aromatic rice in banana leaf and the organic baby chicken cooked in tandoori spices. A fragrant sauce was provided with the chicken, which went well with the meat and on the rice. The rice was also cooked perfectly with enough 'bite' to it and delicate flavours. I also loved the flavour of the chicken with the mix of the blackened skin. I could not fault the food at all.

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Gunpowder restaurant is located at 11 White's Row, Spitalfields, E1 7NF, London. The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday, 12:00 noon until 15:00 and then for dinner from 17:30 to 22:30. This makes it the perfect place to visit for a work lunch, after-work meet-up with friends or colleagues, or for a visit with friends after spending a Saturday at Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane hunting for bargains. 

Note that I visited the restaurant on my own, and my thoughts are my own. This is not sponsored by the restaurant.

"Love Saves" by H. Lucatelli

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Hanna Lucatelli is an artist and designer from Brazil whose work is comprised of monotone black-and-white images (typically of portraits) with floral imagery and type. I caught her illustrating her latest piece on Hanbury Street off Brick Lane. I returned in the middle of last week to find that the piece was finished with the words "Love Saves".

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This seems to be the only mural that the artist has painted while in London, but do let me know if you are aware of any additional pieces.

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