September 2017 Archives

Mexican-Columbian street artist Stinkfish has previously painted and exhibited in London. He's currently back in the city to promote his "Portraits in Transit" exhibition at BSMT in Dalston, which is on until the 8th of October. He creates images of people that he sees on his journeys and uses bright colours and geometric shapes. The skin of his subjects is painted in yellow while their style is highly illustrated with several bright geometric shapes radiating from them.


The newest work is located at the end of Hanbury Street, which has become a popular spot for street art this year. There are also a few new pieces across other areas in London. 


Previous work by Stinkfish that I have covered in this blog can be seen below:

Street Art: Stinkfish, Acaro, Mazatl

Street Art: Uberfubs

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Uberfubs (also known as Street Jeweller) is a street artist who creates paste-ups of skull illustrations adorned with jewells, sequins, or crochet pieces. Typically, these pieces contain a political or social message with Brexit, stop hate, politicians, stop racism, peace, and the NHS featuring in most of the work. These paste-ups do appear quite often, and I managed to photograph several that were freshly pasted up.









An Afternoon @ Amersham Heritage Day

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Earlier this month, I took a vintage steam train ride from Harrow-on-the-Hill to Amersham. Amersham is a small town in Buckinghamshire, and it is not far from the Chilterns. On the same day that I took the vintage steam train, the annual Amersham Heritage Day was also taking place. According to Amersham's town website, many events were on offer. This included a classic car show, funfair, displays of flowers/produce/jams/baked goods, music and dances, steam shows, tea, and craft and community stalls. I decided to pop over to the old town of Amersham in order to take a look.


Vintage buses were available from the Amersham train station to old Amersham. These were quite regular, and the trip took a little under ten minutes.


Upon arrival, I saw many classic vehicles lining the main street through the town, and I took so many photographs.






















Next to the market hall was an area filled with items being judged. There were a selection of fruits and vegetables of all sorts, jams/chutneys, pies, baked goods, and flowers.


One of the other attractions was a moving mechanical orchestra. This used paper printed music, similar to the mechanical pianos that were used in older times.


Amersham won the gold award for "Britain in Bloom" the past three years, and they have created gardens for this year. The flowers were beautiful, and my favourite was the "Amersham Fair" centrepiece. Amersham Fair and weekly markets were happening before 1200, and the fair was a traveling fair with merchants who came with unique goods from different parts of the country and abroad so that people could buy items that were not readily available to them. Entertainers came with the fair to gather crowds, and the poorer people could watch the free entertainment, which consisted of jugglers, stilt-walkers, magicians, musicians, and dancing bears. The fair was always held in the middle of September. (Along with the fair, the entertainment would have switched to rides such as ferris wheels, carousels, and helter skelters).






Amersham Heritage Day was a fun day and was quite busy. I wish that I could have stayed longer to enjoy my time. Have any of my readers been to Amersham Heritage Day?

Late summer brought some new street art to London, and I found a few new pieces around the Nomadic Community Gardens. Envol, Fanakapan, and Lolie Darko were three of the artists who contributed to the new street art walls. First up, Fanakapan painted a chrome monkey.


Envol, who paints portraits of birds, painted a bird on the wall of the bridge, and the opposite wall contained an advertising piece for a film "an inconvenient sequel, truth to power" about climate change.


envol2017-2 copy.jpg


Street artist Lolie Darko is a French street artist who is no stranger to painting and exhibiting in London. She tends to paint images of sad-looking children that are sometimes accompanied by text. Many of her pieces are monotone with the placement of a red balloon, umbrella, or other subject. "Why does it always rain on me?" is one of her most recent murals in London.


The final piece is "Knitty Gritty" and features the word "Candie" spelled out in knitted text with balls of yarn.

Previous work by Fanakapan that has appeared on this blog can be seen by looking at the below links:

Fanakapan Paints Peace for Manchester
Fanakapan Paints Shoreditch Clowns

Chrome Balloon Dog in Star Yard

Fanakapan Paints "Power Tools" on Village Underground Wall

Fanakapan Paints "Drunk Glass Elephants"
Fanakapan, Horror Crew, & Jerry Rugg
Louis Masai and Fanakapan: "Freedom?"
New Chrome Street Art Mask by Fanakapan
Balloon Animal Street Art
Cranio & Fanakapan
Fanakapan and Horror Crew

Ant Carver is a London-based artist who often creates paste-ups of illustrations of portraits and puts them around London. The illustrations are typically done in black and white or monotone colours and then finished off with bright squiggly lines. The most recent pieces in east London appeared on Sclater Street earlier this month.


More work by Ant Carver that I have covered on my blog include:

Street Art: Ant Carver
Ant Carver Portraits of Models
Ant Carver Pastes New Portraits on East London Streets
Portrait of a Girl on Hanbury Street

A section of the Metropolitan Line was the first subway line to operate in the world in order to encourage people to live outside the city, and they used steam trains. The rail line was operated by Metropolitan Railways. To re-connect with the steam rail past, a few steam trains were put onto the Metropolitan Line between Harrow-on-the-Hill, Ruislip, and Amersham earlier this month on the Saturday and the Sunday. I had the chance to take a ride on one of the trains in the morning from Harrow-in-the-Hill to Amersham. On the Sunday, the Amersham Heritage Day event took place, and I will cover this in another post.


The steam locomotive (No. 9466) and two class 20 diesel locomotives were a part of the service, and the rail coaches dated from the 1950s. Older carriages from the 1930s were hoping to be put onto the line, but they were unable to do so this year.


The journey started at Harrow-on-the-Hill. This was the first journey of the day, calling at Amersham. Then, the train would take in different routes throughout the day before finishing at Ruislip.



As the train rolled along, I looked outside the window and at the passing stations that we went through, which were filled with people on other journeys and people hoping to see the steam trains. 



Sometimes the diesel engines were used. Other times, the steam engine was used. This made a lot of smoke. The air smelled like steam/coal as it went along. We were told that the stretch of rail on the way to Amersham was the highest point in the track on the London Underground network.


When the train arrived in the station, I took a few photographs. They had to do some maintenance work on the steam train; I believe that the steam/water needed to be taken away and the engine cooled down. I don't know a lot about how it works.






Afternoon tea was also offered at Amersham station with old wooden tables and Union Jack bunting. I wish that I had booked it in advance, but I was slightly worried that it would not amount to much. I thought that I could have booked it on arrival after seeing what it was like, but apparently, it was booked full although there were only a couple of tables occupied when I was hanging around and only a couple of tables were occupied when I returned later in the day in order to go home.


One of the volunteers on the train mentioned that they were going to try to do a new steam journey next year on the District and Circle lines around Kensington. I do hope that they do another journey next year as I did enjoy the day out, and I would like to ride in one of the older carriages.

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.



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.


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).


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.


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.


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


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. 


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. 


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.




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. (I visited this a few times and it remained unfinished, but I last visited earlier this week and noticed the addition of a butterfly on the gorilla's finger.)



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


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.


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


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.


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.  


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. 


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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".



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.

Falko One "The Herd" of Elephants

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South African street artist Falko One (Falko1) has recently been to London painting his series of elephants in a range of work known as "The Herd". The artist has been painting for 25 years, has a background in graphic design and the arts, and has painted all over the world. Falko One's newest "The Herd" series allowed him to paint several elephants across London. I've managed to capture three of these that were painted around Shoreditch/Spitalfields.


The above elephant was painted in Star Yard, which has recently been filled with a make-shift building of tin. They are apparently doing some renovation works on the buildings here, so we will probably see less work on these walls now. Also, many of the walls have been covered due to the placement of this building in the corner.


The second is placed over Stik's well-known piece of Brick Lane, which I actually dislike painting over such an iconic long-term piece and possibly changing the context of the original Stik piece.


The third and final elephant that I managed to capture appears on Fashion Street and shows a colourful yellow, red, and turquoise elephant.

Another post that I covered with Falko One's work can be seen here:

Jay Kaes and Falko One Murals on Old Street

Final Dreph "You Are Enough" Mural

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This year, London-based street artist Dreph has been painting a series of portraits of women in a series named "You Are Enough". The common theme among the women is that they have given back to the community in some way (through the arts, medical, or other social causes), and they are all of African origin. The tenth and final in the series was finished on Hanbury Street off Brick Lane over the long weekend and features Shaney Blackman.


Shanely is a world traveller, but previous to that, she had a good job and lived a comfortable life as a Legal Secretary. A couple of years ago, she was saved up in order to quit her job in order to travel the world. Her motto is to sieze the opportunities. When she visits other places, she finds people to help so that she is able to give something back to the community in every location.


Previous posts with Dreph's work that feature on my blog are located below:

Dreph "You Are Enough" (Part 3)
'You Are Enough' (8th edition)

Dreph 'You Are Enough' (6th Edition)

Dreph Paints Holly Oluwo

New Street Art Portraits by Dreph
Street Art: Dreph


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