Art or vandalism?

Banksy is an interesting phenomena. Once classed as a vandal, his art work is now protected from other “vandals” and art collectors!!

575449_10151367992512353_443693287_n

Here’s two examples of his iconic work. Preserved from tourists and the tender ministrations of other street artists by a sheet of perspex.

Above, His Master’s Voice – possibly one of his best known pieces – can be found in the pub garden of the Cargo pub garden.

His work now goes for thousands of pounds, but twenty years ago it would probably have been jet washed off by the local council. Interesting how the perception of “art” and value alters constantly.

The piece below is also in the Cargo Club beer garden on Rivington Street. The invite says come graffiti but the plastic protection shield says otherwise.

376974_10151367993117353_698516838_n

Here’s a variety of interesting pieces from ALO. Largely self-taught, the artist honed his craft on the streets of Perugia, Milan and Rome before moving to London.

11874_10151367985617353_2023740053_n 21123_10151367969842353_427286539_n 310916_10151367958892353_828093571_n

His work was displayed in the Saatchi gallery in 2014 in a show entitled Hail to the Loser. Pieces were on sale from anything from £600 to £2000!

Incase you don’t want to pay thousands of pounds to own one, here’s some in their natural environment! (Plus a random pair of legs and a sofa!)

601753_10151367983552353_1371044463_n 603598_10151367978092353_468821587_n 400635_10151367997412353_1081633861_n

Lots more still to come with colourful postboxes, stickers and mash ups!

Old, new, war and peace

So after a whistle stop tour of central London on Friday we head to the Imperial War museum close to our travelodge in Waterloo.

Four stories crammed full of machines, planes, tanks, and other weapons of war. A truely saddening experience that shows how proficent mankind is at killing each other.Ranging from ancient conflicts to upto date war fare such as Afganistan.

Here Neil is in front of the museum with some of the long range guns that can fire upto 16 miles. Frightening.

The only aspect of the museum I enjoyed was the old war time propaganda posters, such as the one above. The Loose Talk costs Lives posters featuring cartoon Hitlers popping out of phone boxes and other places, and are still an amusing yet effective marketing campaign.

But on a darker note is this warning that still has as much resonance now, if not more, than when it was first uttered.

Moving quickly away from the horrors of the past we head to the more vibrant and lively setting of Camden Town, one of my favourite bits of London.

From the bustling markets, tempting food stalls and piles of tat for sale to the oversized shoes and other items that adorn lots of the shop fronts, it’s a fun, colourful and hectic experience.

Grabbing a tasty slice of pizza and a disgracefully, fattening, wonderful cream and apple doughnut from one of the food stalls we browse The Stables market, an Aladdins cave of retro, vintage goodies housed in old catacombs complete with huge bronze statues of horses .

We then head to Camden Lock Village for a browse. Here’s Neil perching on one of the moped seats.

Next we head to Portabello Lane for a meander down the markets, check out some more graffiti and then head for the tower! More pics to follow . . ..

Alternative tour of London

So we’ve returned to the green hills of Derbyshire from the urban sprawl of the capital city which we have explored / endured for four days over Easter.

As mentioned previously we have done a far bit of London but we still managed a few firsts – Tower of London, Tate Modern and the War Museum.

Plus an impromptu graffiti photo tour of some of the seedier parts of the tourist trail.

Staying in Waterloo Travelodge we found a brilliant graffiti tunnel where artists have free reign with their spray cans and garish colours, here’s a few snaps.

Next up, a quick stroll to the Eye (London’s most prominant tourist sight, owned by a French energy company!!!)

And a stroll / dash along Festival Walk to look at / fear the living statue people. Here’s just one of them (from behind as I didn’t want to have to give him any money . . )

Then a mooch along to view the houses of Parliment, Big Ben and the big ole River. Here’s a panaromic view of the Thames complete with a boat that later stacked itself into the bridge and seemed to get stuck for quite a while!!!

Next up, Camden Town and the Imperial War museum. Plus the collossal waste of taxpayer’s money known as the Olympic Stadium . .. . . . .  .

Rome November 2007

Our first ever trip to Italy was way back in 2007 when we headed to the Eternal City – Rome.

Catching the bus to the city from the airport I did wonder what we were going to, so much graffiti covering shop blinds and walls, it seemed more like a ghetto than a historic, beautiful city.

It was a theme that would reoccur every time we visited Italy, spraypainted scrawl across shops, businesses, railway sidings and disused factories.

Strange that so much wanton vandalism sits cheek by jowl with such wonderful ancient architecture and history.

We stayed at the Antica Locanda, a cute little B and B just around the corner from the Colosseum. Our room had a gorgeous tiled and vaulted ceiling and antique furniture.

Check it out here: http://www.antica-locanda.com/

First stop, obviously the Colosseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre – it’s the largest ever built in the Roman Empire.

Close by is the Roman Forum – a rectangular plaza surrounded by the ruins of important ancient government buildings at the centre of the city.

It was the centre of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiator matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs.

Here it is in all its glory as the sun starts to set over the ruins of the stately buildings.

That’s enough history for now. Next up the Vatican Museum and the beautiful Sistine Chapel.