The Viaduct is a brand new multisite venue located in the heart of Shoreditch. Aside from offering great food, an impressive range of craft beers and expertly crafted cocktails, you may be surprised to learn that behind its gates live not one, but 2 original Banksy artworks!

Banksy-graffiti-street-art in the Viaduct Shoreditch

Who is Banksy? 

Banksy, a UK based street artist has, since the 90’s, painted satirical and political pieces across the country and beyond. Known for his distinctive use of stencils, his work always seems to capture particular moments of political and social unrest, creating provocative pieces with powerful messages.

From his early years in Bristol, Banksy was a prominent figure in the underground graffiti scene. It was during this time that he met Steve Lazarides, a photographer who started selling his art and eventually went on to become his agent. 

Banksy’s first known mural appeared in 1999, the piece, titled ‘The Mild, Mild West’ depicts a teddy bear throwing a flaming bottle (a Molotov cocktail) at riot police. This artwork was created in response to growing tensions between police and ravers, which came to a head on New Year’s Eve at a warehouse party, where partygoers were attacked by police.

Having started off as a freehand artist, by the year 2000 Banksy began creating work in his now signature style using stencils. Due to the illegal and anonymous nature of his art, using stencils enabled him to work more quickly, to avoid being caught and keeping his identity hidden. Rumour has it the idea came to him while hiding from police under a rubbish lorry where he noticed the stencilled serial number!

Fast forward to 2022 and Banksy is one of the most significant modern artists. His art portrays anti-establishment, anti-capitalist and anti-war messages, depicting corruption and political issues combined with dark humour. His most expensive piece sold in 2021 for an astonishing £18.58 million,(which, once sold, proceeded to shred itself – much to the shock of the buyer!). However, like all of his art, the value of his work continues to escalate, and all the proceeds of this sale were donated to charity. 

Designated Graffiti Area 

In the early 2000’s, Banksy regularly hosted exhibitions in the tunnel outside the venue formerly known as Cargo (now home to The Viaduct). It was at one of these exhibitions that Banksy created the 2 pieces in our courtyard. 

The first mural depicts a policeman holding a poodle on a leash along with some stencilled text which states it is a ‘designated graffiti area’. The second, created in collaboration with an artist named Stylo, is an adaptation of ‘Nipper’, the iconic HMV dog, seen here silencing His Master’s Voice with a bazooka, 

Rivington Street – a mecca for art lovers

Shoreditch is a known hotspot for street art but Rivington Street in particular is home to a number of pieces from prominent artists including Ben Eine, Thierry Noir, SAM3 and Bastardilla. Next time you pay us a visit at the Viaduct, take a moment to check out the local art scene, right on our doorstep!

About the Viaduct

The Viaduct is a 360 concept, consisting of three separate complementary identities, Arch, Tap and Cosmos which intertwine to create a complete experience for visitors. 

Arch provides elevated British cuisine in a bright casual setting complete with an adjoining terrace, the perfect place to enjoy a coffee, breakfast or a working lunch. 

Tap is the home of craft beer. With exposed brick and a cool industrial interior, the tap room is an ideal spot for avid beer drinkers to enjoy a carefully curated range of craft beers in partnership with E1 Brewery. 

Adorned with plush velvet in deep blue with gold accents, the Cosmos lounge provides delectable cocktails created by expert mixologists as well as a menu of delicious sharing platters and nibbles. 

With three unique experiences to suit every mood, The Viaduct’s vision is to be the place where people come by early morning, and stay for the rest of the day. 

Book at table with us now to start planning your visit.