Graffiti Rabbit Under Threat But Beaver is O.K.

roa rabbit photo

Photo: flickr hive mind

When it comes to graffiti, a beaver is o.k. but a 12 foot high rabbit isn't. That's the decision by a local council in London who have decided that a huge graffiti rabbit has to go. They have deemed it a "blight on the local environment."

That's a big disappointment to the elusive graffiti artist ROA who has been painting feral animals such as beavers and cranes on buildings around the area.

roa beaver photo

Photo: flickr hive mind

ROA paints his animals in unloved and ignored corners of the city; abandoned buildings and places where you wouldn't want to go. Wildlife is his central theme; he is inspired by their "clever ability to adapt into scavengers in order to survive." He uses the rough and ready walls as his canvas. ROA spends hours on the creations, always asks permission and tries to shape them to fit the space. Some pieces are wrapped around corners for more theatricality.

The creatures become part of the landscape and make it more human and friendly.

ROA's rabbit is typical of his work and philosophy. As one admirer put it: "He talks about repopulating the city with animals and bringing them back into the city; there's a certain character to it that people just love. The anatomical detail of these animals is lovingly achieved, yet they are unsentimental portraits of feral beasts that demand respect, resisting our simple affection. Their looming scale and piercing gaze can be challenging - charged with tension, their eyes always follow you."

The artist is in his early 30's and is from Belgium. You can catch his work in Manhattan and Brooklyn, in New York, and across Europe from Norway to Italy, soon to be seen in São Paulo, Brazil.

crane art photo

Photo: Spitalfields Life

This crane was painted on the wall of an Indian restaurant. Originally he had intended to do a heron but the crane is a sacred bird for the Bengali community so he was asked to change it. The pictures become landmarks and tourist attractions so they are good for the area and the businessmen.

As for the future of the giant rabbit... The local council has told the owners that they have 14 days to "obliterate" the artwork or council workers will paint over the wall and send them the bill. The owners are refusing...

Let's keep our fingers crossed for the rabbit.

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