Tag Archives: street art

Welcome to Dismaland: A First Look at Banksy’s New Art Exhibition Housed Inside a Dystopian Theme Park [Updated 8/22]

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

WESTON-SUPER-MARE — Inside the walls of a derelict seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare, UK, mysterious construction over the last month—including a dingy looking Disney-like castle and a gargantuan rainbow-colored pinwheel tangled in plastic—suggested something big was afoot. Suspicion and anticipation surrounding the unusual activity attributed to fabled artist and provocateur Banksy has reached a Willy Wonka-esque fervor. Well, if Banksy’s your bag, continue fervoring. If not, there’s more than a few reasons to continue reading.

The spectacle has since been revealed to be a pop-up art exhibition in the form of an apocalyptic theme park titled Dismaland (“The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction”) that will be open to the public for five weeks.

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal / CLICK FOR DETAIL

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Dismaland legend

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Dismaland brochure / Park aerial view courtesy Upfest / Photo of construction

The event has all the hallmark details of a traditional Banksy event from its initial shroud of secrecy to artistic themes of apocalypse, anti-consumerism, and pointed social critiques on celebrity culture, immigration, and law enforcement. However, there’s one major deviation: the bulk of the artwork packed into three main interior galleries was created by dozens of other artists.

So just what’s hidden inside the walls of this derelict seaside resort? A demented assortment of bizarre and beautiful artworks from no less than 58 global artists including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo. Banksy is also showing 10 artworks of his own.

Dismaland features a cavalcade of artists featured here on Colossal over the last few years including pieces by Escif, Maskull Lasserre, Kate McDowell, Paco Pomet, Dietrich Wegner, Michael Beitz, Brock Davis, Ronit Baranga, and others.

Here’s some text from the event’s official brochure:

Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out? Or just somewhere cheaper. Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum. In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well.

Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus—a bemusement park. A theme park who’s big theme is: theme parks should have bigger themes…

This event contains adult themes, distressing imagery, extended use of strobe lighting, smoke effects and swearing. The following items are strictly prohibited: knives, spraycans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.

In addition to art you’ll also find functional a terrifying carousel, a mini golf park, a ferris wheel, and some ludicrously impossible fair games (like ‘topple the anvil with a ping pong ball’ by David Shrigley), roving occupy protests, and a Star Wars stormtrooper who sulks around the exhibition in a state of complete misery. The park is staffed by morose Dismaland employees who are uninterested in being helpful or remotely informative. Entrance to the event requires an uncomfortably awkward NSA-esque security screening, and of course you get to exit through the gift shop.

Just a quick fun note, I had the honor of helping curate a small part of Dismaland: a program of 24 short films shown on a massive outdoor cinema that will play on a loop day and night. Films include shorts by Santiago Grasso & Patricio Plaza, Kirsten Lepore, The Mercadantes, Ze Frank, Adrien M. & Claire B., Black Sheep Films, and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

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Dismaland is open to the public from August 22 through September 27th, 2015 and information about pre-booked and at-the-gate tickets is available here. There’s also a series of events including a show by Pussy Riot and Massive Attack on September 25th.

I think it goes without saying, but if you have the means, get to the UK.

Update: This post has been updated to include additional imagery, clarification, and other small corrections.

Update 2: We understand that there is difficulty with ticketing at the moment, but unfortunately this publication is not associated with the event directly. Please keep an eye on the official Dismaland website for updates.

Update 3: Added a video by Alex Jefferis.

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WALL/THERAPY 2015 Invites 14 Artists to Explore the Surreal in Rochester, NY

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880 East Main Street, photo by Jason Wilder

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14 Capron Street, photo by Jason Wilder

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40 Greenleaf Street, photo by Jason Wilder

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488 Joseph Avenue, photo by Jason Wilder

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43 Public Market, photo by @markdeffphoto

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820 South Clinton Avenue, photo by @markdeffphoto

In its fifth year, WALL/THERAPY continues to transform Rochester, New York through art and neighborhood intervention, using elaborate public murals to inspire and bond communities. Not only are the images provided for the community a way to inspire the areas that they are placed into, but the walls on which the artists create their work are also resurfaced and rehabilitated, bringing a literal therapy to the murals’ structures.

This year the 14 murals were focused on the themes of surrealism and the fantastic, with work ranging from a gigantic superhero casually sitting on the side of a building, to a gigantic whale swimming within a whale-shaped bubble. Each also varied in size and location, with murals wrapping around corners of brick walls and scaling vertically to the top of buildings.

To see more murals from this year’s WALLTHERAPY and learn about other programs associated with the project follow the link here.

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Sidewalk Paintings of Gargantuan Gummy Bears Wobble to Life When Viewed From Above

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Alongside the Malta Street Art Festival, artist Leon Keer decorated a boardwalk with bright, elongated gummy bears that appear skewed when up close, but tower in height when viewed from above. This band of nine realistic candy bears seem to interact with the passersby, their slanted shapes appearing to be the same height as those who stop to take a closer look.

The anamorphic bears don’t seem to be celebrating their position on the Valetta waterfront however, as their composition looks as if they’re mourning a fallen green friend, which Keer confirms is indeed deceased.

Keer began painting while working on large advertisement murals for multinational corporations. His commissions have stretched from Europe to Asia and included work for Coca-Cola. Keer exhibits his own paintings in various Dutch and UK galleries and also presents work through live-action painting performances on the street. (via My Modern Met)

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A New Mural by Seth Globepainter on the Streets of Montreal

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This clever new mural by Julien Malland, aka Seth Globepainter (previously here and here) just appeared on the streets of Montreal. The piece depicts two children running into each other in his trademark faceless style, but also incorporates the building’s brick facade to create their pixelated clothes. The mural was organized by MU, an organization that coordinates murals around Montreal “to trigger a social transformation and to turn Montreal into an open-air art gallery.” (via This Isn’t Happiness, StreetArtNews)

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Unusual Hybrid Animal and Wildlife Murals Painted by Alexis Diaz

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Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz (previously) brings textures and patterns reminiscent of traditional engraving techniques to his murals of phantasmagorical creatures using only a paintbrush. Twisting tentacles, strange fusions of anatomy, beings wrapped in plants, all rendered atop colorful gradients create an unmistakable style Diaz has become famous for. You can see much more of his work here. (via Cross Connect)

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Street Artists Collaborate with Mexican Government to Bring Vibrant Splash of Color to an Entire Neighborhood

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In a fantastic attempt at urban renewal, the government of Mexico recently collaborated with a group of local street artists called Germen Crew to paint a 20,000 square meter mural across the facades of 209 homes in the district of Palmitas in Pachuca, Mexico. The project was intended to bring about visual and social transformation by temporarily providing jobs and, according to some reports, reduce crime and violence in the neighborhood. You can see a few more photos of the endeavor here. (via StreetArtNews)

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A Rainbow of Vegetation Consumes a 7-Story Building in a New Mural from ‘Blu’ in Rome

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Photos by the artist and Valentino Bonacquisti

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Street artist Blu (previously) just wrapped up work on this monumental mural on the streets of his new home in Rebibbia, Rome. The painting depicts a clump of technicolor greenery as it swallows the facade of a 7-story residential building, and is part of a series of works by a neighborhood group called “Mammut” that is trying to redevelop abandoned green spaces in throughout the city. You can see more photos of the new piece over at Gorgo Magazine

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