‘Redan is like a gallery in my hometown’: Street Artist Pistol gives popular Wokingham cocktail bar a makeover

Street artist Pistol has been busy at The Redan in Wokingham

THE Redan is resplendent and ready for reopening, thanks to Pistol.

The Wokingham-based street artist has been hard at work with the aerosol cans for a week in Peach Street.

The result is a stunning gallery of designs throughout the cocktail bar.  Pistol has repaired or redone some of his works that used to adorn the walls before redecoration.

New designs are the result of his collaboration with London-based graffiti artist Rottenpunk.

And now Pistol and Redan owner Andy Rogers, Wokingham’s longest-serving landlord, can’t wait for customers to see the new look when Covid restrictions are lifted and customers can raise a glass in the bar again.

Pistol’s work is an amazing tribute to David Bowie

Pistol told  Wokingham.Today: “It’s bright and it’s vibrant – in most pubs, you just see blank walls when you walk in. I loved doing it. Andy had redecorated and it was pretty bare, he said he would love the paintings on the wall again, it didn’t feel like home.”

And Mr Rogers said: “It’s amazing, it feels like The Redan again. Pistol is amazing, he is a brilliant artist.”

The enigmatic master of the spray cans first brightened up The Redan more than a decade ago, after he contacted Mr Rogers and offered to do something better than a design on the bar’s courtyard wall. 

The challenge was taken up,  the result was a huge success and the rest is history.

Pistol says he is delighted The Redan is now like a gallery of his work in his hometown.

Customers through the door when the music-orientated bar reopens will see the image of David Bowie Pistol created at Glastonbury Festival in the year Bowie died, as well as another of the artist’s Bowie pieces that was displayed during a major exhibition at the V&A Museum.

New works on the walls include an image of great train robber Ronnie Biggs based on the logo for the cult film Trainspotting and a piece inspired by the recent period drama, The Queen’s Gambit.

Redan owner Andy Rodgers admires Pistol’s new artwork

Mr Rogers said he is “excited, but nervous” to reopen The Redan outside only on April 12.

“It’s going to be about retraining the customer base about what is allowed and we will be going from
a 224 capacity inside to 40 outside, with six tables out into Peach Place at the back.”

When customers can step inside again, Mr Rogers promises the new artwork means they are in for a treat.

“It’s going to be big, a massive ‘wow factor’  – it’s breath-taking, so good and I am so pleased with it.”

Pistol at work

While Wokingham waits to see The Redan’s new look, Pistol is on to his next project. Street art is being seen more and more as art, rather than graffiti, as the rocketing value of Banksy’s work shows.

And Pistol and Rottenpunk are in the process of setting up a website to sell the work of urban artists, offer services to paint and advise investors.

You can view Pistol’s work on Instagram @pistolart or contact him via email, pistol@pistolart.com

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