Friday 9 July 2010

Is God a Transit van?*

I only ask, because it seems to be the implication of this video by the street artist Blu. It's 9 minutes long, so if you think you will watch it all (and I'd recommend you do) I'd go and make a cup of tea first:

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Many people asked me about the pictures which I posted a couple of weeks ago in Tara's Gallery

The Boy also thinks they are spectacular, and on a 'not quite authorised' trip to Brick Lane last Friday, he came across this:

I think they are spectacular too, so it wasn't too much of a hardship to investigate further, and just by googling 'big animal paintings Hackney Road' I soon found out they are by a Belgian street artist called Roa. Most excitingly, I found a map...a treasure map...which identified where other Roa's can be found. This is the map:

So on Tuesday, The Cat's Mum and I set out on a quest. We guessed from the map that not all would still be there...and indeed some weren't, but we found a few...and also had a very good chat with the owner of the Pure Evil gallery that represents him in the UK. We even found one of his pieces down in their basement, obscured by a pile of debris

It was a hot evening, so our adventure was punctuated by stops at watering holes, and because they've just opened a new railway line (yes even in central London!), we couldn't reach one picture, but here are the results of our endeavours:

This is the one we couldn't get to:

And this is one that's been painted over:

And this is something that we came across that I thought was very clever but nothing to do with Roa:

I wanted to add a bit now about how as a young, jet setting PR Executive I was in Madrid 20 years ago and stumbled across an exhibition which blew my was by a then relatively unknown (outside the art world) artist called Anish Kapoor, and I've been a devoted follower ever since. More recently, but still a few years ago, when The Boy and I lived in Hoxton, we came across various brilliant pieces by a then completely unknown artist who goes by the name of Banksy....

Half the fun with art is in the discovery,and I hope to see much more of Roa in the coming years. It's a shame street art is so transitory, but that is its nature, and whilst it lasts it helps make urban environments so much more entertaining.

* I realise that this isn't actually a Transit Van, but Fiat Van doesn't seem to work quite so well