On a balmy warm week in mid 2014 the Shoreditch Street Art Tour came across a complex permissioned street art installation by the street artist Cityzen Kane. Cityzen Kane has now put up a film of the making of “Portal”, the immensely popular sculptural piece.
The film captures the intensity and the amount of handcraft Cityzen Kane puts into his sculptures.
That week, Shoreditch Street Art Tours had the pleasure of being joined by the Vagabrothers from San Diego and they were able to do a quick interview with Cityzen Kane as he installed that piece, it comes up 2’40” into their Shoreditch Street Art video (look out for their subliminal appearance in Cityzen Kane’s video at 6.40) .
Cityzen Kane’s portal was put up as a tribute in memory of his son Joe who had taken his own life a year earlier. Given the tragic nature of its inspiration, it is perhaps poignant that from time to time the central figure actually cries in the rain:
June 2017 Update: CityZenKane’s Portal is no longer on that wall but in the spirit of his intent and message, I thought I would let you know about A Guide to UK-based Free Mental Health Helplines by Cassiobury Court.
Paul at Cassiobury Court writes that there are fourteen different helplines in the guide. He wrote the guide because many helplines of this nature exist, and people seeking out the services of these helplines may be confused by their sheer number. This guide helps to demystify these helplines so people can select the most appropriate one for their needs.
After several days of freezing weather it was nice for the Shoreditch Street Art Tour to have merely “crisp” conditions on a bright clear day on Sunday. Not that a cold snap deters street artists, plenty of new street art was discovered on this morning’s tour and we start above with a beautiful paint spattered peacock on Brick lane pasted up by Bastek.
Under a railway bridge Bastek also dropped this Ali G portrait intricately stencilled on paper, another preening peacock perhaps.
Ali G – Bastek
Framed symbolism labelled Miah pleads “Fall in love with me”. Perhaps, but only for your art.
And unsurprisingly Sell Out had been about creating topical trash sculptures and what could be fresher than a clone trooper just ahead of the next Star Wars movie. Bet clone troopers don’t feel the cold.
A biblical downpour, ice cold hailstones and a hurricane 15 minutes before the start of this afternoon’s tour may have turned me on my bike into a mobile icicle but it didn’t deter a hardy group of tour guests.
We found a tiny piece of art on a wall, a mother, her child with some beautiful hand stitched embroidery acting as a shawl, the whole thing about 6 inches from top to bottom. It was beautiful, it is poignant and the artist is anonymous.
The placement of this work is intriguing, the juxtaposition against a pair of faded Betty Page images, part of a D7606 “post box” piece bring together two power images of the roles of women.
This next specimen, clearly from the same artist, photographed earlier this week a few hundred yards further up Brick Lane had already succumbed to light fingered art collectors!
Street art – it’s temporary and it’s not just about the large murals, the permissioned artwork and the international household name street artists.
A little “ps”, here is the D7606 mailbox photographed in its early days in June 2014, and yes, it is just a paste up, that’s not a real postbox.
A clutch of Mexican artists have just passed through London and created some beautiful art on Shoreditch’s walls.
Mazatl has placed some classic wood cut and linocut prints on the streets, classic in the sense that this is very much from the template provided by Swoon and Elbow Toe in the late 2000s.
Maxatl – El Hogar
Mazatl – Shoreditch
Mazatl had a busy evening or two out with British screen print paste up artist Donk and Columbian artist Stinkfish, placing their work in many locations together, probably none more spectacular than this:
Donk, Stinkfish, Maxatl
Said Dokins is an artist who like Mazatl features campaigns for social justice at the heart of his art. Alive refers to a situation in Mexico regarding the “disappearance” of a group of students, wanted back alive. The calligraphy is stunning.
Said Dokins – Alive
Maxatl and Said Dokins were in town to participate with Mexican compatriots Acuro and Fusca in a four person group show at Hoxton gallery. The show opened last week and after this moring’s tour I was able to pop in to catch this excellent show for the first time. The woodcut and lino cut prints by maxatl are stunning and the fact that he issues work through justseeds.org in the States tells me his work places social conscience in the foreground. Here is a selection of photographs of art in the show:
There is also a set of three night photographs of Said Dokins doing some light painting, we have seen light graffiti before but I have never seen light calligraphy like this, it’s well worth popping by Hoxton Gallery at its new location for that.
Said Dokins, Maxatl, Acaro, Fusca
59 Old Street (same block as “Look Mum No Hands”, the City Road end of Old St)