All posts tagged: Peter Ackroyd

ROA Diary : New Work from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and Panama

“I felt an intimacy with them…bordering on frenzy [that] must accompany my steps through life,” said the celebrated John James Audubon, the French-American naturalist and painter more than 200 years ago of his deep love for birds that began as a teenager and lead to his illustrations of the still revered book The Birds of America. By now we may consider the Belgian artist named ROA to be an Audubon of the Streets, so committed he is to documenting by hand and sharing with the public his studies of the animal world on walls, especially those that are often overlooked or dismissed as pests.

As we have tracked the aerosol orinthologist and urban naturalist for you during his travels of the last few years, his dedication to showcasing the oft-marginalized creatures of towns, cities, and regions around the world has not waned. Like Audubon, his depictions have become progressively more accurate in detail and now give a greater  sense of mass, texture, and the presence of the subject.

ROA. Melbourne. November, 2012. (photo © ROA)

Today we bring you new unpublished photos from some of his recent travels to Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Panama, along with some insights from ROA about some of the animals he has come in contact with. Not only do we not recognize a number of them, we also probably haven’t seen their skeletons or musculature, which the artist sometimes peels the skin off of for us to inspect.

As a body of work ROA’s mounting collection of birds and rodents must be nearing a hundred or so around the world, yet he continues to unveil more. As ROA told BSA a few years ago, “I like rodents. Birds and rodents. Without having made a choice, I feel really good painting birds and rodents.”  We are very happy to bring you these newest birds and rodents for you to enjoy.


“This past November I was invited to Melbourne for my solo show ‘Carrion’ in the Backwoods Gallery. The installation I built for the show was inspired by the numerous amount of roadkill that there is on the Australian continent. During my stay I painted a few days in the Healesville Sanctuary which specializes in rescuing and recovering native Australian animals and conducts breeding programs for almost-extinguished species. The sanctuary adopted a litter of orphaned marsupial babies found in the pouch of a mother who had been hit by a car.”

A wombat from ROA in Melbourne. November, 2012. (photo © ROA)

One morning after a storm as I walked to the gallery through a park I found a dead bat. When I looked under its wings I also discovered a living baby, which I helped to rescue and it is doing fine.

Here you can see that I painted an echidna (first image), an egg-laying mammal that I had spotted a few days earlier while in a car driving in Tasmania.

The skeleton images are of a wombat, a marsupial that often is hit by cars in Victoria and should always be observed after finding it to assure that there is not a living baby left in the pouch who needs to be rescued”



ROA. Melbourne. November, 2012. (photo © ROA)


After his visit to Melbourne, ROA traveled to Argentina where he was hosted and entertained by EVER and who showed him a great time for the New Year’s holiday in Buenos Aires.  They also each did a new piece side by side while he was there.

ROA with EVER in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012. (photo © EVER)

“I painted a Serenia (sea cow) paradoxically also a ‘cow’. It’s a native (Patagonia) sea mammal and an herbavour,”says ROA. According to online sources Brazil outlawed hunting of sea cows (or manatees) in 1973.

It looks like the children are pretty strong in Buenos Aires. ROA in Argentina, 2012. (photo © EVER)

ROA with EVER in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012. (photo © EVER)

ROA talks about this animal, “A three-toed sloth is a native slow-moving mammal who is hanging out  in Buenos Aires nowadays.”  ROA. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012. (photo © ROA)

ROA. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012.  (photo © ROA)

Reminding you of the animal-as-food connection, ROA completed this partially skinned bull on the terrace of his friends place at the Post Bar and ‘Hollywood in Cambodia Gallery‘. “Maybe is is a sort of ‘Memento Mori’ in this beef and BBQ country,” he jests in a half-serious wisecrack

São Paulo, BRAZIL

ROA brought four new friends along to his first visit to São Paulo, a city that he has wanted to visit for a long time. “In March I stayed there a month and it was like a dream that finally came true. I loved it,” he says of the visit that was hosted by the people from Mathilda Cultural, who showed him around the city. Included in the walls were a bird, an anteater, an anteater, and the largest rodent in the world a capybara.

ROA. Bird on Rua Jose Correira Picano. São Paulo, Brazil. March, 2013. (photo © ROA)

ROA. Armadillo. São Paulo, Brazil. March, 2013. (photo © ROA)

ROA. Capibara. ROA told us that this is largest rodent in the world and we confirmed it. That means that it gets bigger than the beaver and the porcupine, in case you were wondering. In fact, he is larger than this girl and the infant she is holding!  São Paulo Paulo, Brazil. March, 2013. (photo © ROA)

An anteater is hanging out on the corner here in a neighborhood of São Paulo Paulo, Brazil. ROA. March, 2013. (photo © ROA)


After Brazil, ROA visited Panama City at the invitation of the first Bienal Del Sur Panama 2013, a huge cultural festival that celebrated the 500th year of the discovery of the South Sea.

ROA. Panama City. April, 2013. In Curundu (neighborhood) :Toucan- Green Iguana -Silky Anteater (photo © ROA)

ROA. Toucan. Detail. Panama City. April, 2013. (photo © ROA)

ROA. Green Iguana. Detail. Panama City. April, 2013. (photo © ROA)

ROA. Silky Anteater. Detail. Panama City. April, 2013. (photo © ROA)

ROA. Casco Viejo a Coati (Panamanian gatosolos). Panama City. April, 2013. (photo © ROA)

ROA. On Silo by abandoned radio station an Anteater. Panama City, April 2013. (photo © ROA)

ROA would like to thank Sumo, INSANO and his other friends of Panama City for hosting him while there.

Finally, a new book cover by ROA

In March, 2013 ROA was one of ten Street Artists commissioned by Pinguin Books UK to create a cover for their series pairing Street Artists with contemporary authors whose modern classics novels are being re-issued.

A photo of ROA’s piece below graces the cover for the re-issue of singer, musician and  author  Nick Cage’s novel “And The Ass Saw The Angel”.

ROA. Gent, Belgium. March, 2013. (photo © ROA)

ROA. His pice in Gent as appears on the cover of the book by Nick Cave. (photo © ROA)

Other artists and authors included in these series are:

  • “Americana” by Don DeLillo. Art by Dr Henry Jekyll,

  • “Armadillo” by William Boyd. Art by YOK,

  • “Hawksmoor” by Peter Ackroyd. Art by BARN,

  • “How to Be Good” by Nick Hornby. Art by Agostino,

  • “Lights Out for the Territory” by Iain Sinclair. Art by ESPO,

  • “The Believers” by Zoe Heller. Art by Sickboy,

  • “The We Came to the End” by Joshua Ferris. Art by 45RPM,

  • “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” by Mohsin Hamid. Art by Mittenimwald and

  • “What a Carve Up!” by Jonathan Coe. Art by DAIN.



Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!


Read more