We’ve all played the pub game: name 10 famous Belgians. Jean-Claude Van Damme, Poirot…Papa Smurf?* One name currently knocking on the door of that exclusive club is Roa, an incredibly talented street artist from Ghent.
Roa’s style is distinctive, to say the least. If you’ve seen a giant, moody animal painted onto brickwork, you’ve seen a Roa. His black and white menagerie extends across Shoreditch and Hackney, as our map shows. Squirrel, hares, a strange weasel thing, assorted birds, some with their innards on show, other simply bones. It’s a dazzling, disturbing, damn fine collection that deserves mainstream acclaim.
Most of these pieces went up in spring this year, to coincide with Roa’s solo show at Pure Evil gallery. Although a few have since been removed or tagged over, plenty remain. Roa’s pieces take many hours to paint and are usually done with permission, which should help their longevity. You can learn more about his London work on the Spitalfields Life site.