The proverbial elephant
As if our favourite guerrilla artist hasn't done enough for us lately. We were only recently reminded of his genius with the 500 Paris Hilton CDs he tampered with and then splattered across UK HMVs. And then he raised his self-set, high bar further when he took the Mickey with his stunt at Disneyland.
And so it goes that this week he has made his way across the southern states of Bush Country to the industrial wastelands of LA, painted the flesh of a live elephant in pink and white flowers, and left it to stand in a makeshift living room. Which in classic Banksy style must be a metaphor for the proverbial global elephants - the big issues, like poverty (sorry Al Gore, but some things do come first), that nobody is prepared to take on.
But we have no doubt that, if anybody can elicit a reaction, Banksy can. Which takes us to the 7th edition of City Slicker's "Week's Action, Weekend Reaction."
1) Aware that it is Open House London this weekend, but not sure which buildings participate or which are worth queuing for? React by heading to the hidden gem, 19 Princelet Street, for the last chance this year to get inside the Grade II listed building that houses the Museum of Immigration and Diversity. It is an unrestored 1719 Huguenot silk merchant's home that pays homage to the refugee experience in Spitalfields, including a concealed synagogue (if only Anne Frank had been so lucky). Last public visit for 2006 this Sat & Sun (10AM-6PM). Admission free.
2) Has this week's brouhaha surrounding tighter controls on alcohol advertising imposed any guilt induced limitations on your consumption levels? React by ditching the chorizo sandwich at Borough Market for a liquid diet and head to Rake, the first bar to open within the precincts of the market for over 100 years. It also claims to be the capital's smallest drinking hole (which after visiting you wouldn't contest). And with over 100 brews on offer, it shouldn't need any advertising. Rake, 14 Winchester Walk, SE1 - turn right after Vinopolis on the way to Southwark Cathedral.
3) Jealous of Banksy's graffiti chic? React by checking out up-and-coming South African born, Hackney living, furniture designer Ryan Frank. Captivated by east London graffiti, Frank has taken to making rugged furniture and interior accessories that are good and functional, whilst also being sustainable. Urban deterioration turned decoration. Banksy would definitely approve. Available at Homestead, 148 St.John's Street, EC2 (020 7420 3333) or direct through the man himself (0798 414 6383).