Staying at The Shaftesbury Hotel Hyde Park puts you in a great location to check out some of London’s best street art, including pieces by the iconic street artist, Banksy. Whether you are a fan of street art or not, the chances are you will have heard of Banksy or perhaps seen his artwork in the media. Banksy is one of the UK’s most talked about artists and despite being a worldwide success, very little is known about him…
Who Is Banksy?
Banksy is a British graffiti artist who uses art as a tool to promote political activism. The art is usually satirical and dark but infused with a sense of humour, making it hugely popular. Most of the pieces provide some sort of political or social commentary. Banksy’s art can be found on streets, walls and bridges around the world – with many works right here in London – and they tend to pop up without anybody noticing, seemingly overnight.
Banksy’s Most Famous Works
Banksy’s work has been seen around the world and many of the pieces have cult followings with some, famous in their own right. Though Banksy has produced a large number of paintings in various locations, several have transcended the graffiti culture and become well known in popular culture, social media and the world of street art. It’s not unusual to see his work featured in magazines, on the front pages of newspapers and replicated in prints, posters and even exhibitions around the world.
Balloon Girl: Balloon Girl first appeared in 2002 and shows a girl letting go of a red, heart-shaped balloon. Arguably Banksy’s most well-known mural, the painting has been reworked many times and has even be projected onto the Eiffel Tower and Nelson’s Column.
The Son of a Migrant from Syria: This 2015 mural was located in Calais and it depicts Apple co-founder Steve Jobs travelling as a migrant. It is a political message on migrants travelling into the United Kingdom.
Banksy in London
Though many Banksy have faded, have been removed or painted over by other artists, there are still a number of pieces just waiting to be discovered in and around the capital. Some of the most notable include:
Shop Till You Drop, Mayfair: On the side of a building in Bruton Lane. This piece depicts a woman falling from the sky with a shopping trolley.
A Fishing Child, Bermondsey: An image of a child catching a syringe whilst fishing.
Abandoned cars, Brick Lane: At The Truman Brewery on Brick Lane there are two abandoned cars, the lower of the two has been decorated by Banksy.
Rats, Various Locations: Many of Banksy’s early works featured rats and some can still be seen across London, despite being somewhat faded. There’s one underneath London Bridge on Tooley Street, one along Regent’s Canal in Camden Town and another under Cannon Street bridge.
The Shaftesbury Hotel Hyde Park is in a prime location for street art fans planning a city break in London. With good London Underground links and many attractions nearby, it’s a popular choice for tourists and culture vultures alike.