Monthly Archives: September 2021

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

D*Face, Kai and Sunny and Shepard Fairey London art show “Unity”

Massive queues, a packed opening night at a gallery – is this 2008 all over again?  Actually no, it’s D*Face collaborating with two of StolenSpace’s long term friends Kai and Sunny, a double act counting as one friend, and Shepard Fairey.

Many may recall that D*Face’s gallery StolenSpace has hosted three major Shep Fairey solo shows in the past (Nineteeneightyfouria 2007; Sound and Vision 2012 and Facing The Giant, 2019).  What may be less well known is that Kai and Sunny, described by the gallery as having a “shared college experience” with D*Face, have been exhibiting at StolenSpace since New Year 2009, pursuing a style which back then was way too “design” for my tastes, not “street” enough.  See also 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020

View of Shepard Fairey's 2007 exhibition Nineteeneightyfouria at Old Truman brewery

NineteenEightyFouria by Shepard Fairey, London 2007

Kai and Sunny have also exhibited at Subliminal Projects in LA, founder….Shepard Fairey, so connections are tight.

Now that the free beer and artist in-person appearances of the opening night have passed there is time to peruse the art at leisure.  To appreciate who contributes what where, who combines with whom, it may be handy to really overgeneralise three massive careers in just three pairs of images.  D*Face does D*Dog characters with wings and corrupted pop art; Shepard Fairey does Andre The Giant and striking political illustrations, Kai and Sunny come from a gorgeous geometric op art and flower painting direction.

D*Dog sticker by D*Face on a love lock in Shoreditch

D*Face’s D*Dog love lock

Mural in Camden by street artist D*Face with Shepard Fairey sticker in foreground

D*Face mural from 2020 with Obey GIant and D*Dog stickers in foreground

Shepard Fairey Obey Giant sticker in shoreditch

Obey Giant Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey political paste ups on Brick Lane London in 2007 showing the strong propaganda illustration influence

Shepard Fairey, Brick Lane 2007

Kai and Sunny solo exhibition Shifting Times at Stolenspace Gallery in 2018

Kai and Sunny “Shifting Times”, StolenSpace 2018

With artistic collaborations there is usually one artist whose contribution dominates, who drives the idea and the collaborators “fill in”.   Great collaborators appreciate that sometimes they are the chief, other times they are the Indian.  I am indebted to City Kitty, or possibly Lunge Box (can’t tell them apart on their podcast) for this stolen and bastardised insight.   The online catalogue ducks the whole who collaborated on what intrigue by simply attributing one “lead artist” to each image.   Often what makes the art interesting, the “arty” or clever part of the art, is actually what’s added by the others.  With Unity Star No 3 below, the foreground is occupied by a D*Face winged Obey Giant but the piece is electrified by Kai and Sunny in the background

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Unity Star No 3

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Unity Star No 3 detail

A stand out feature is how Kai and Sunny absolutely illuminate a piece when their contribution appears to perhaps be the less significant.  I confessed earlier that a decade ago I really didn’t get their work, I am so pleased that recent shows and most notably this current one have opened my eyes to the flow in their art.

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Ghost D*Moon Flower

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Unity Obey Flower

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Unity Obey Flower (detail)

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Obey Rise Up (above), Ghost D*Moon Wave (below)

The whole notion of the catalogue of a show of collaborations, as in “not a group show”, attributing artworks on the basis of lead artist only does rather confound the concept of collaboration.  The collaborator redux appears to have challenged the compiler of the online catalogue as “Apply Unity” appears in both the D*Face section and the Shepard Fairey section.

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Apply Unity

More show images:

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Sure Shot Spray Can

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

D*Dog Icon

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Hope On The Tide

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Riot Everywhere

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

The D*Face Treatment

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Burning Brighter

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Burning Brighter Detail

The catalogue compiler has a curious concept of “lead artist”, “Magnified Unity” features Shephard Fairey’s Andre The Giant image but the main artistic device is the Lichtensein-esque benday dots and magnifying glass and which is a D*Faceification previously seen in his “Magnified Dog” painting in 2013.

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

Magnified Unity

So, dudes all get on, artistic friendships have been put to the creative test and the artworks are genuinely harmonious interactions between the styles of the collaborators regardless of the lead artist nonsense.  Back to the City Kitty/Lunge Box aphorism, justifiably large egos have been set aside to produce coherent beautiful art which is certainly worth popping in to enjoy.

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

D*Faced OG Sticker

Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London Collaborative art by Street artists D*Face and Shepard Fairey and painting duo Kai and Sunny at the "Unity" exhibition at StolenSpace, Whitechapel, London

StolenSpace Gallery
17 Osborn St, London E1 6TD
10 Sep – 3 October 2021

Links:

StolenSpace Gallery website

D*Face website

Shepard Fairey website

Kai and Sunny website

All photos: Dave Stuart


Three policewomen all turn to stare at Perspicere's string art

Scenes from the Whitecross Street Art Party

After the Sunday tour this weekend I cycled over to the Whitecross Street Party, always a reliable live street art/music/food fest.  Here are some mainly work-in-progress highlights.  Most of the ground level art, particularly those pieces on hoardings were only on temporary display so I regret not being able to hang around to see the finished artworks.  

Street artist Neonite painting at the Whitecross Street Party in London

Neonita

Whitcross Street Party crowd overlooked by brand new portrait by street artist Mr Cenz

Stage watcher overlooked by Mr Cenz’s epic futurist portrait

Street Artist Gent 48 painting on a board at the Whitecross Street Party

Gent 48

Inflatable paint brush by street artist Filthy Luker with rainbow colours painted by Stikka ID at Whitecross Street Party

Filthy Luker inflatable paintbrush with floor painting by Stika

Boris the Spider Boris Johnson spins a web of lies as painted by street artists Spore and Mr Oliver Switch at Whitecross Street Party

Boris The Spider and his web of lies by Spore and Mr Oliver Switch

A choise singing Glory Glory Hallelujah in front of inflatable monster Goofs by Filthy Luker at Whitecross Street Party

Choir singing Glory Glory Hallelujah while Filthy Luker’s Goofs menace them from above

The featured image at the top shows Perspicere’s string art work in progress being admired by three passing policewomen.  Perspicere’s string street art has been a familiar sight over the last decade and these super complex string portraits are a new form of his art which have been appearing on the streets in the past year.

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Regrettably I could not get to Perspicere’s solo show at BSMT Space last month so this was the first chance I had to see the string portraits being created live and it is just jaw dropping.  Here is a short clip made yesterday at the Whitecross Street Party showing how magic is made.

 

Artist Links:

Perspicere  instagram

Neonita Website

Mr Cenz instagram

Gent 48 instagram

Filthy Luker website

Stikka instagram

Spore instagram

Mr Oliver Switch instagram

All photos and video: Dave Stuart


Canvas Paintings at Light Of Life exhibition in Shoreditch by street artist David Speed

“Light Of Life” David Speed Gallery Exhibition

Break out street artists are rare beasts.  These are street artists whose appeal grows way beyond the natural base of street art fans leading to popularity and commercial success.  Commercial success doesn’t preclude artistic success of course.

Pink neon street art spraypainted portrait of woman by David Speed

Soundwave, Shoreditch 2021

David Speed started his neon illuminated portraits and animal painting around Shoreditch a few years ago and has achieved such ubiquity that he is one of the few artists, other than Banksy and Helch, whose art is recognised by Shoreditch Street Art Tour guests exploring street art for the first time.

Pink neon street art spraypainted portrait of woman by David Speed

David Speed Neon face, Shoreditch 2018

David certainly wasn’t new to spraypainting at the beginning of this neon pink phase, his double life has him as Director of Shoreditch based spraypainting outfit Graffiti Life.  Lockdown bestowed gifts on David in two ways –the reduced demand for commercial spraypainting services seems to have allowed him more time to focus on personal and artistic development and if you check out his Creative Rebels podcast that certainly comes across strong.  There was also a significant increase in available street canvasses as business fearing a breakdown in law and order went for full plywood cladding as we went into lockdown in 2020.

Pink neon ponies on pandemic lockdown protective plywood by David Speed

Hoxton Ponies, Shoreditch 2021

David’s art exploded across Shoreditch property and caught a lot of attention.

Pink neon "Creation of Adam" homage in Shoreditch painted by street artist David Speed

David Speed neon “Creation” homage, Shoreditch 2019

Pink SKull framed in a bus stop window in Shoreditch painted by street artist David Speed

A long wait, Shoreditch 2021

Pink neon snarling tiger in Shoreditch painted by street artist David Speed

Neon Tiger! Shoreditch 2021

In the street art world, London at least, David is synonymous with this pink neon street art style so it was an amusing irony earlier this year that a mural advert was painted in David’s signature colour combination  by a rival spraypainted advert company.  Many people erroneously identified David as the artist so he felt compelled to put up a deliciously executed take out.

Pink neon spraypainted advert in Shoreditch NOT painted by David Speed

Biting Style, Village Underground 2021

Pink Neon spraypainted advert subverted by street artist David Speed

DS Style, Village Underground 2021

He currently has a self-organised solo show running in Shoreditch, it turns out the neon illumination theme suits canvas and paper as well as it does brick walls.

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A recent project that must have taken a long time to prepare was David’s “drop” of 1000 hand finished prints around the streets of London, to those with long enough memories this was a homage to Adam Neate’s 1000 print drop in 2008.  We came across one of David’s murals on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour that day at which point a guest pulled a pair of prints out of his bag with a flourish and declared “I found these on the street as I was walking to the tour!”  Lucky guy.

Various North, East, South, West

The show is located just a couple of minutes walk from where our morning Shoreditch Street Art Tour ends, so perhaps book a tour this coming Friday, Saturday or Sunday and complement it with a visit to the show.  Admission to the show is free.

 “Light Of Life” show runs until Sunday September 12th.

The Depot | 33 Boundary Street | Shoreditch | E2 7JQ

All photos: Dave Stuart

With all that pink and blue no attempt was made at colour correction in processing the exhibition photos!


Tour guide Dave in front of Banksy stencil of an arcade game claw at Gorleston Beach with added teddy bears by local street artist EMO

Street Art Highlights in August

August has been a month of surprises – it stayed dry – and as Banksy trumps everything in the street art world, this month’s review starts with a flashback to an exciting daytrip to East Anglia to witness Banksy’s Spraycation street art fest.  Banksy put up 10 new street art pieces, two were never found by members of the public as they were swiftly removed by council workers but the 8 we did find were thankfully on the whole in superb condition.  Sorry to spoil the photo of the Banksy piece at the top of this article.

Banksy stencil of a rat at a Lowestoft beach who is sipping a cocktail made from a pipe discharge

Banksy rat chills out at Lowestoft, August 2021

Seeing one new Banksy street art piece is a “Hold the front page” moment, EIGHT new Banksys put that spin to the coast spin right up among the most exciting art days I have ever enjoyed, that Banksy goodness is reviewed HERE.

Banksy street art on a model home installed without permission at Merrivale Model Village

Banksy mini fire extinguisher graff on model village stable, Aug 2021

We also produced a guide to the locations which earned great feedback.


“Thanks for the directions on your website, they were the first proper ones we found and with 2 kids in tow we always appreciate not having to cart round for hours trying to find somewhere!”


News of the first ever private daytrip to space prompted street artist ODDO to speculate that Jeff Besos was boldy going forth in search of new tax avoidance strategies.

Cartoon street art showing Jezz Besos as an astronaut by street artist Oddo in Shoreditch

Jezz Bezos cartoon by Oddo

Vez, leading light of the “spoonerists” movement really got the full flower power thing going, dig that groovy dress daddio.

paste up street art in Shoreditch by Vez street artist

Spoons by Vez

We believe you can’t beat a decent street art collaboration so it a great to see two of our faves Face The Strange and Smiler getting something truly surreal up.

paste up street art collaboration in Shoreditch featuring street artists Face The Strange and Smiler

Face The Strange and Smiler collaboration

Butterflyman, the artist formerly known as Sell Out, had a prolific month with paper butterflies and oil pastels. He provided a police escort for The Postman’s Debbie Harry and we also loved the paper butterflies escaping the maw of Orrible’s shark.  Sell Out provides top quality street art “augmentations”, torn between the two and unable to choose we thought ok, let’s include both pics!  There is a crazy amount of great art in the photo of Debbie Harry’s police protection squad, you should be able to pick out 4 expressionist policemen (the 5th face isn’t a policeman) and 1 police dog!

layers of paste up street art in Shoreditch with Sell Out adding to Debbie Harry by The Postman's Art

Debbie Harry by The Postman rescued by Butterflyman’s policemen

Shark paste up by street artist Orrible augmented by Sell Out's paper butterflies stuck on with blutack

Orrible, augmented by Butterflyman752, also featuring Subdude

Jace has been out putting some of his great faces in more small places, he clearly loves the spot next to Stik’s Brick Lane couple which is where you will find Lola.

Street Art sculpture of a face in relief depicting Lola from german Film Run Lola Run

Lola by Jace

Tom from Tom and Jerry featured in Fat Cap Spray‘s art output this month, this shone neon bright but ever so brief, lasting less than a week!

Tom from Tom and Jerry painted in neon purple by street artist Fat Cap Sprays on Shoreditch streets

Tom by Fat Cap Sprays

Perspicere had a show at BSMT Space which to our huge regret we failed to check out, thankfully we did find this gorgeous example of his novel string art on a doorway of an empty and heavily graffitied office block in Shoreditch.

String street art face portrait by Perspicere

String Art by Perspicere

Just sneaking in at the end of the month is this beautiful painting in a very soft palette by Enigma.

Attractive blonde walks past street art shadow bunny by street artist Enigma in Shoreditch

Shadow hands by Enigma

Among the large amount of brilliant graffiti spotted this month a real jaw dropper was the piece by legend Vibes RT, check out the glitchy cloud detail.

Brilliant graffiti in Shoreditch by Vibes RT

Vibes RT graff

Detail of brilliant graffiti in Shoreditch by Vibes RT

Vibes RT graff detail

Allen Gardens is a location frequently explored as there is always fresh art and graffiti there, just this weekend this pair of pieces by Reves One and Sidok both featuring “split screen” letter design took my breath away.

Brilliant Shoreditch Graffiti pieces by Reves One and Sidok

Reves One and Sidok

Bonzai’s liquid mercury lettering is truly an eyeopener for guests whenever we come across it on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour.

Graffiti writing that looks like liquid mercury by artist Bonzai

Quicksilver Bonzai

As travel becomes more and more a reality we are looking forward to seeing an increased number of international artists beautifying Shoreditch’s walls and more tour guests from overseas would be nice as well!  Book HERE for the best street art tour and perhaps you will get to admire the candidates for September highlights in the flesh.

Links to all artists are incorporated in the text.

All photos: Shoreditch Street Art Tour guide Dave Stuart