Although its now two years ago, I’m new to WordPress and feel it appropriate to share this here; I attended the Cans festival In 2008, it was an urban arts festival organized by the Legendary street artist Banksy. It was held in an abandoned tunnel on Leake Street, London, underneath Waterloo train station.
The Poster used to advertise the event is Typical Banksy, but slightly different to what we are used to seeing by him, I love everything about it from the bucking, disguised cowgirl concept to the use of splash pink on black and white to the Helvetica Caps text. The meaning of the image simply saying- give it a go.
I photographed many great pieces of art when I visited it but as is typical with urban art, most peices didn’t last long and the competition was rife. It did anger me when I re- visited the tunnel months later to see most of the pieces, some by Banksy himself had been over painted with lesser quality images- gone were the hilarious political statements, clever sarcastic images and risque slogans. I did get to photograph some of the original art thankfully. the tunnel was once a tramp ridden, piss stinking, no go area and now it has been maintained and continually used by Banksy for various occations, having been recently converted into a cinema to show Banksy’s film ‘Exit through the gift shop’ (brilliant title).
I have a had a long appreciation of Banksy’s work but in recent times it has become too well known here in London for it to be classed as shocking and cutting edge urban art. A friend bought me a book which shows all the locations of Banksy london art, so one day I trecked all over London with my camera on my own in search of these urban treasures, I’m sorry to say hardly any remain, there are traces of some of the Rats along the southbank but apart from a few faint others that was it!
I love what he has recently done in America and hope he continues to thrive on picking at the system with his synical, sarcastic genius. What a dude!