Street art, Shoreditch, Shoreditch street art tours, London, Tour Guide, Dave Stuart, street art photography,Trayvon Martin, Jimmy C, James Cochrane

Diggin In The Archives Part 5

“We can’t throw away all our hard work so far” – every politician last week.

This is the 5th compendium of the daily scrapings of the digital archive, is it really only 5 weeks since we were ordered back to our bunkers?

Gold Peg was undisputed queen of the rooftop. She got up in pretty tense spots, happy to mark the environment with text or imagery, a rare example of someone with a foot in both the graffiti and street art camps and hugely regarded in both. Gold Peg’s art was always breathtaking and photogenic, this artist is a classic example of someone impossible to adequately represent in just a couple of images.

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“Too many artists, not enuff anarchists!!!”, Goldpeg, Shroeditch, 2011

This railway bridge pic also features 10foot (naturally), Serva, aze, rakit and the legend that is TOX trackside.

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Gold Peg et al, Paddington, 2010

Everywhere you went in Shoreditch in 2012, Usain Bolt’s eyes seemed to follow you.  Painted by the genius JimmyC.

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Usain Bolt by Jimmy C, 2012

That photo of JimmyC’s Usain Bolt has a van in the foreground which was obstructive, irrelevant and the photo is poorly composed.   Every other photo I took of that mural has a superb Dan Kitchener mural below the JimmyC. Both paintings were brilliant, each distracted from the other in a kind of unfortunate way. Dank’s refined and distinctive geisha girls and his drippy Bladerunneressque neon night scenes are rightly revered these days though if you go back more than a decade he had a quite variety of quite different styles. Dank’s mural under the JimmyC was one of a number of brilliant trackside images he painted in 2010, the next image was painted on the Village Underground wall in that same style.

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Dan Kitchener, 2010

Remember your parents nagging you to stop staring at the pavement? If you listened to them you’d have missed Pablo Delgado‘s miniature paste ups with painted shadows. Over several years he pursued increasingly surreal themes, Pimps ‘n Hos in Shoreditch was one of his early sets.   Yes, that’s Skewville and Banksy hangin’ with the pimps as well.

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Pablo Delgado, 2011

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Pablo Delgado, 2011

In August 2011 Pure Evil had a show at XOYO debuting this pop art eye candy, the first sighting of the Nightmare series. October 2011 I think, this was one of the first specimens to appear on the street. And so it continues, the Nightmares pour out of the Pure Evil creative engine

Also in shot is a beautiful Swoon paste up. A couple of Swoon pasteups in this alleyway in Shoreditch lasted quite a long time, like more than a year. Partially visible is a pasteup from Mr. Farenheit and yet again a Skewville stencil muscles into the frame.

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Pure evil, Swoon also Skewville, Mr Farenheit 2011

Mobstr does a line in knowing and occasionally provocative text based stencils.  You could read this as street artists with easy, low risk placement are challenged by Mobstr to get a bit higher and a bit riskier.  Or maybe you see Mobstr proposing a photogenic “loadsa-likes” placement spot; or we can even see a commentary on street art as a tool of gentrification doing the developer’s bidding.  All interpretations equally valid, feel free to make up your own.

As an aside, in 2011 Brick Lane was named London’s Curry Capital which is about as obvious as declaring Pall Mall the capital of palaces.   The Banglatown banner with its photo of the later discredited Tower Hamlets crooked Mayor Lutfer Rahmen appeared illegally over Roa’s famous crane on nearby Heneage St to the outrage of local residents and business who forced the council to have the banner removed within 2 weeks.

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Text stencil byMobster, also featuring Kata, Unga, Andalltha and The Misfits

France is blessed with superb stencillists, Jana and JS have done Shoreditch a few times and when they do Shoreditch, they leave the place seriously more beautiful.  This example is slightly unusual in being a stencil on paper rather than stencilled in situ on the wall.

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Jana & JS, Brick Lane, 2012

Anyone finished Instagram yet?  Check out the previous weekly compendiums: Part 1, Part 2Part 3 and Part 4.

Art credits and links are by each photo. All photos: Dave Stuart

Diggin In The Archives 4

Diggin into the archives bring back lots of mostly good memories but some of these artists have done so much brilliant street art that picking just one or two highlights is cruelly dismissive of their street opus. Another week of suspended animation has rolled past so here we go with the 4th collection of flashbacks trawled up from a long forgotten sector of the hard drive.

Anthony Lister did quite a number of stunning superheroes and faces over a number of years and a number of visits. It was quite easy to miss that Lister was parodying the Banksy in Cargo with this piece. Responding to the Banksy piece Lister declares himself over stencils and certainly now with the advent of muralism and greater tolerance of street art the old fashioned single layer stencil is nothing like as common as in the old days.

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Lister, 2012

Industrial revolution superhighway meets imaginative Sweet Toof vandalism. Although not terribly far away, the location was quite different to the usual Shoreditch street art beat.   Bonus image at the top of the page is Sweet Toof, Cyclops and Rowdy Burning Candy crewmates collaborating in Shoreditch in 2008.

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Sweet Toof, Regents Canal, 2010

Louis Masai has done a phenomenal number of projects and art campaigning in support of species preservation and the environment generally. These two are the earliest Masai artworks I found on the streets, dating from late 2011. This blast from the past surfaced on the annual Earth Day last week. One planet, one love, one chance.

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Masai featuring False

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Masai

One of my lockdown distractions has been reading JR’s “Can Art Change The World”. The first time I came across his Inside Out project was this large mugshot on Redchurch St in 2011. The idea was that you sent JR a photo, he would print it and send it back to you and you had to paste it up on the wall. You may have had to send a photo of it in situ back to him. The self imortalising person in the photo is Ross T. The juxtaposition of Ross’ #insideout portrait with Ron English’s speech bubble was too good to be mere coincidence. Rock The Mouse was a shutter relic from a 2009 Mickey Mouse by Yan77 from Chrome and Black shop which used to be across the road.

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Ross T in JR’s Inside Out, 2011

There are many artists whose style, ability and creativity have evolved dramatically over the years such as Airborne Mark, or The Pilot as he was known back in 2009. The first photo comes from a hoarding under the Westway where Garfield Hackett and Mutoid Waste staged One Foot In The Grove in 2009. Looking back through my archives One Foot In The Grove was a stunning event, I pass that location on the tube every time I go to QPR and never fail to peep into the space under the flyover and think of that show.

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The Pilot, Acklam Rd, 2009

Airborne Mark was an OG mid 80s graffiti writer, this specimen of his graff was in Leake St back in 2008.Street art, Shoreditch, Shoreditch street art tours, London, Tour Guide, Dave Stuart, street art photography,

The Pilot, 2008As a reminder of how far Airborne Mark has come, here’s a gorgeous specimen of his origami folds painting style today.

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Airborne Mark, Shoreditch, 2019

Sometimes it’s about the beauty, the drama or the politics of the street art; sometimes it’s about being in the right spot at the right moment. Monsieur Qui has visited Shoreditch a few times, leaving just a few tantalising illustrations to hunt down each. Love the art, love the bird nesting in the passerby’s topknot giving extravagant coiffure’s to both art and life.

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Monsieur Qui, 2011

Saki and Bitches’ voluptuous temptresses appeared in some pretty eyecatching spots. Given Saki’s home country is Japan, the influence of Japanese art and use of Japanese subjects in Saki’s work, the appearance of “Tokyo Rising” alongside this Saki’s sturdy study of feminine charm was pure chance. Saki held down this elevated high street spot for several years.

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Saki and Bitches, 2011

I’ll try to make time for daily blasts from the past this week but making no promises ok. Check out the previous weekly compendiums: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 .

Art credits and links are by each photo. All photos: Dave Stuart

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Diggin In The Archives 3

Four weeks of Lockdown now, most sensible countries have extended their lockdown period for a few more weeks but don’t worry, the archive isn’t going to be running on fumes any time soon. This is a compendium of seven daily uploads to my instagram from the photography archive.  The featured above was by Best Ever in 2014, more from Best Ever below.

The relationship between impact and size is not at all clear in street art. Isaac Cordal‘s  forlorn concrete figures were found in nooks and cranies in London over several years from 2010.  Spotting them was difficult, how the artist installed them at their illegal elevated perches was inspiring.  A few survive to this day.

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Issac Cordal, 2010

As a great fan of stickers it is a bit remiss not to have looked back at some great stickers of times past. PS, or “Public Spirit” was an amazing sticker artist, the examples here date from 2010 and 2011. PS was comfortable with a range of styles from fantasy illustration to op art via pure abstract geometeric but always in a very distinctive teardrop style. The first sticker in this series has a little clue how to look for the initials PS embedded in the swirling shape of the art – other than the purely symmetrical ones (so far as I can see anyway).

At least one PS sticker dating from that period survives in Shoreditch.

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PS

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PS

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PS

Street art, Shoreditch, Shoreditch street art tours, London, Tour Guide, Dave Stuart, street art photography,

PS

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PS

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PS

Fake stencil!  Fake Street artist K-Guy!  Fake photo from 2017!    K-Guy has Total Authority!.

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K-Guy, 2017

Burning Candy represented by Cept, Sweet Toof, Tek 33 and DScreet had the first spot on lockdown for many years.   The Garage owner received a council enforcement notice demanding the piece be buffed but flatly refused.   Garage now rolled over by development.

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Cept, Sweet Toof, Tek 33 and Dscreet 2010

Burning Candy at its largest grew to 9 members, the second photo features two of London’s hottest #rooftop kings of that time, MightyMo and Goldpeg

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Mighty Mo, Goldpeg, 2010

Otto Schade painted very intricate musing on human emotions using a stencil technique, symbolically connecting the emotions and the nervous system to external stimuli. This was one of his earliest ribbon paintings on the street, the owners buffed this very shortly after Otto finished it.

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Otto Schade, 2010

Stewy Stencils populated Shoreditch and Norf London with a menagerie of animals, reaching a zenith with the size of this horse. The horse appears to be tethered and getting fed, not sure if that was Stewy or a clever augmentation by someone else. Either way its great when there is a little more to the stencil than just a spot where there was no cctv. Then virgin wall, now a hotel stands on the property opposite the Pure Evil Gallery. A version of this horse closer to Brick Lane was brilliantly augmented by Saki, might have to dig that pic out later but let’s hope we aren’t in Lockdown that long.

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Stewy Stencils, 2012

From the days when artists did find virgin unpainted derelict walls in Shoreditch. “Plastic Bones”  Best Ever v. Deadleg collaboration.

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Best Ever v. Deadleg, 2011

Next week, same time same place yeah? Check out Part 1 and Part 2

Art credits and links are by each photo. All photos: Dave Stuart

 

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Diggin In The Archives 2

Another seven days of posting photos of street art dredged from the archives. In lockdown you have plenty of time with your thoughts and the wandering mind generates random recollections. Those which stand out lead to a photo being thrust into the limelight. So there was some kind of logical process behind the selection of images from week 3 in lockdown, even if the process is irrefutable evidence of lockdown fever.

In 2009 Jeff Soto painted some awesome street art in Shoreditch. Graffoto reviewed his StolenSpace show Inland Empire starting per Graffoto’s wont with a look at some street art. At time of the review 4 pieces of Jeff Soto street art in Shoreditch had been found, The street art in the featured photo above was the 5th, his “Thanks London”. Ultimately there were 6.

On the Posher fringes of the Notting Hill – Paddington border this was an unexpected mewsy location full of character. Paul Insect‘s spider was the size of a small child and provoked the awe of this big child.

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Paul Insect, Paddington, 2009

Vhils was pretty much the star of Cans Festival in 2008, he returned in 2009 and created some awesome art. This pair of portraits in Camden were amazing, the technique is basically removing the hoarding surface, like chiselling or drilling perhaps but quite how the patterned effect on the other portrait was achieved best remains an artistic mystery.

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Vhils, Camden, 2009

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Vhils, Camden, 2009

If interiors designers could replicate the distressed wood effect of 124 Hackney Road it would be in every wooden staircase in Islington – oh wait! Many many lovely pieces of art appeared on this façade at the beginning of the last decade, it is actually sad to see it looking so sterile these days. This collaboration between Ella et Pitr and Macay complimented that surface beautifully.

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Ella et Pitr & Macay, Shoreditch, 2010

For many years my mental equilibrium was both preserved and yet shattered by daily breaks from the grindstone for walks with photography companion and art show/drinking/blog buddy Sam Martin aka Howaboutno. Anything could happen and rarely did. One lunchbreak we spotted a pair of traffic wardens about a hundred yards distant, something made us suspect they weren’t run of the mill meter maids. Turned out it was Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton ticketing parked cars with spoof parking ticket/artworks. I still have mine. Bonkers but fun, these days its just charity chuggers and product samples.

Read about the ire they provoked on the streets on Graffoto.co.uk

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Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton, Oct 2009

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Parking Ticket

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“Best of Times, Worst of Times”, ed 500

Is it an armada of invading toaster erupting from a portal or toasters being sucked into a black abyss? It was 2009. The genius of something so banal! You could not help but smile every time you saw street art Toasters sporting the colours of Wolverhampton Wanderers home kit pop up, except when it was in the away end cos that generally signalled home defeat for QPR.

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Toasters, Kingsland Road, 2009

Phlegm, one of my fav artists, has been doing a very entertaining series of daily sketches of life in lockdown in his own unique style. Yesterday’s was a characteristically Heath Robinson bike.

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Phlegm, “Bike maintenance”, 2020

Here is a couple of photos which “interrogates the boundary” between hipster bikes and street art. “AMAZING” is by Eine from 2009. The dude on the elevated bike which looks like the prototype for Phlegm’s drawing must surely have had an interesting time doing emergency stops (2008). In the background is a fragment of Eine’s 2008 EXCITING.

I could have responded to the theme with photos of street art where my bike accidentally encroached on the shot, got loads of those😂

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AMAZING unicyclist, Hackney Road, 2009

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EXCITING two story bike, Old St, 2008

During the week I also wrote about brilliant artist Jamie Reid’s exhibition at the Horse Hospital in London covering the evidence of his influence on a lot of street art but mainly to highlight his 5 minute “artist walk through” his exhibition.  That is on my other street art blog HERE.

Diggin In The Archives part 1 is HERE.

This post is a compilation of my daily instagram posts from the past 7 days

Art credits and links are by each photo. All photos: Dave Stuart

Diggin In The Archives 1

Two weeks ago today I received a text message from the NHS telling me I had to isolate, though I had actually gone into a self imposed lockdown a week earlier when I returned from my Father’s funeral in Ireland.  On a daily basis I have been digging through the photo archives and posting some older gems with a few thoughts on why I had picked them.  This is a compendium of the first two weeks worth.

This first photo I captioned “When dumpster diving goes wrong.” but it was about combining street art with found surreal elements, also the strong colours complemented the colour of Gianni Lee’s character outside Cargo.

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Gianni Lee, Mar 2019

Sweet Toof, Rowdy and Knapple shenanigans last year, check their instas for a dose of artistic positivity . This photo reveals the scale of this collab which perhaps isn’t so apparent when you view it from street level.  Also, light as candyfloss as Knapple is, impressive piggy back stamina from da Toof geezer.

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Knapple, Rowdy, Sweet Toof, January 2019

In 2009 David Choe dropped a heap of awesome stuff in London, I only found out [last week] that the guy spraypainting the underpass from the passenger seat of a moving car in the opening montage of Exit Through The Gift Shop is David Choe.

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David Choe, Nov 2009

Own that intrigue. Street art stimulates passers by in a way that adverts don’t. People notice.  Circles by L’Enfant, figure by David David, tile by Nathan Bowen, calligraphy (aka tag) YAS21.  This is the Old Truman Brewery wall that now is a canvas for Shepard Fairey’s Shadowplay mural.

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L’Enfant, David David, Nathan Bowen, Yas21, 2018

Although captioned “Give Us A bite”, I will confess that in 2011 I captioned this street photography style picture of Stik’s family group  “Who Ate All The Pies”.

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“Give Us A Bite”, Stik, 2009

Of all the weird, wonderful, beautiful, clever and funny stuff that appeared on Cargo’s walls, this by Bortusk Leer has to be the wackiest! Anyone else remember his kid’s tv series?

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Bortusk Leer, 2009

A squadron of Banksy Happy Choppers on Holywell Row, Shoreditch, there is a better photo by Steve Lazarides in his “Banksy Captured” book.

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Banksy, 2006

Escif got a lot of coverage in the past week for his spectacular sculpture in Valencia which was torched as part of the Fallas celebrations, though with Spain in lockdown few got to see it actually live. In 2010 Escif had a show at Pictures On Walls in that period when it was welcoming folk in off the street, as opposed to the “by apppointment only” fortress it had been in its Scrutton St and Willow St days. These are POW’s shutters painted by Escif with Petro on window dressing detail.

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Escif, also feat Petro, 2010

Elbow Toe had a stunning installation at the urban art epicentre The Leonard St Gallery. He visited London more than once in that era. He commented to me at the time that getting up in London felt so chilled compared to NY. This piece if I recall correct was a representation of his wife. 2007.

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Elbow Toe, 2007

This context photo also features then Shoreditch based artist Jawa, and Mudwig is a small puce apparently but the many faults of Mudwig were regularly discussed on walls in those days.

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Elbow Toe feat Jawa and Mudwig, 2007

Burning Candy owned the East End. Sweet Toof and Cyclops went large here on the plot opposite where CitizenM stands today, before the North London line curved past that building. Back of Chariots for those familiar with that landmark. Also features SNOE TRP, EINE and REAK.

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Burning Candy, Snoe, Eine, Reak et al 2007

If you are going to admire someone else’s genius, nothing says “wow” quite as much as having your art admire theirs.  Pure Evil’s Pearly Kings express what the rest of us thought of Swoon’s 2007 amazing filigree paste up on Coronet St.   Also features Jef Aerosol looking pretty hyper and The Krah. This wall used to host some great street art.  Street art photography companion Howaboutno and I always disagreed on whether you should clear shit and rubbish out of photos.

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Swoon, Pure Evil, Jef Aerosol, The Krah, photo 2008

Judith Supine from NY made surreal psychedelic art which really paid attention to its surroundings, location was everything. This one is by the entrance to the long lost iconic Dragon Bar. Such a shame we don’t get visits from Judith Supine any more.

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Judith Supine, 2007

Nurses and doctors are the front line, they are performing heroics without thought of their own safety and in the face of apparent shortages of safety equipment that would render their service less fraught with risk. It is saddening to hear just now (when first posted to Instagram) of two nurses in the UK who have passed away after treating patients affected by COVID-19. Both were mothers of 3. My thoughts are with the family. This piece by Stik now seems sadly prophetic.

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Stik, 2009

Roa had been dropping an amazing menagerie of dishevelled creatures in Shoreditch since 2009 but this gate in 2012 kicked thing up another level in terms of making visible a degree of gore which characterised man’s relationship with his fellow creatures. If it was shocking then, you hadn’t been paying attention.  Also, this was one of his less long lived London pieces and is correspondingly less well known.

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ROA, 2012

Damn tourists getting in the group portrait, Suriani’s dramatic pasteups made great photos.

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Suriani, 2009

Standby for more blasts from the past for as long the shutdown prevents my return to work.

Art credits and links are by each photo.  All photos: Dave Stuart

Shepard Fairey, Anti gun, #nohate, #LiveandLetLive, #StreetArt AgaintHate #WeDemand, #ChangeTheRef, streetart, streetartist, Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Shepard Fairey “Stop The Violence” Parkland Commemorative Print

Shepard Fairey releases a new screenprint, “Parkland Voices”, available from his website today.

Shepard Fairey “Stop The Violence”, photo Courtesy Obey Giant

Back in 2018 the “Street Art Against Hate” project was initiated by a group of artists from Cologne and several years on artists are still supporting that message and that project with new #nohate street art.  When the project led  to the impressive and moving Wall Of Love in Shoreditch in November 2017, Shoreditch Street Art Tours shared the experience of viewing that mural with Patricia and Manuel Oliver whose son Joaquin Oliver was a victim of the Parkland School killings, the same tragedy commemorated and supported by Shephard Fairey.

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To Live and Let Live, Street Art Against Hate

Shepard Fairey’s rousing anti gun statement says

“I created art to support Voices of Parkland and Brady United, because I want to do my part in the fight against gun violence. “

Graffoto wrote about the moving moments of sharing the positivity embodied in the Wall Of Love with grieving parents from Parkland, Patricia and Manuel channeled the power of their emotions through art to do great things raising awareness of the need for change, here is a wonderful mural they facilitated in Winwood, Miami, interestingly the striking message is clearly very influenced by and in debt to Shepard Fairey’s Obey Giant graphic design.

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WE DEMAND…. Mural by Manuel Oliver, Winwood, Miami. Photo supplied by Manuel Oliver

Print Details (information from Shepard Fairey website):

Parkland Voices. 24 x 18 inches. Screen print on Cream Speckle Tone paper. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Numbered edition of 550. $60. Proceeds go to Brady United. Available on March 10th @ 10 AM PDT at https://store.obeygiant.com/collections/prints.

In addition to putting up stickers and paste ups on a visit to London last October, Shepard Fairey created three stunning murals, two in the Shoreditch area and one in Hackney:

“Raise The Level” – Shepard Fairey, Oct 2019

Shadowplay – Shepard Fairey, Oct 2019

“We Shape The Future Rose Shackle” – Shepard Fairey, Oct 2019

Photo Credits:

Shepard Fairey “Stop The Violence” courtesy Obey Giant

“WE DEMAND…. “ mural by Manuel Oliver, Winwood, Miami. Photo supplied by Manuel Oliver

All other photos: Dave Stuart

 

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Jace Homage to Stik’s Brick Lane Couple

Jace is a street artist who puts up charming and idiosyncratic sculptural faces on walls, usually not troubling wall owners with requests for permission.  At the turn of the decade, three weeks ago, Jace revealed he had put up 253 faces in an impressive 47 cities in a staggering 21 countries.   I can relate to this kind of OCD stats collection.

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253 Faces – photo by Jace

A new crop of Jace faces surfaced last weekend including a renewal of Jace’s ongoing homage to Stik’s iconic Brick Lane Couple.

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Brick Lane Couple by Stik; Jace couple (at eye level),January 2020

This homage piece has by Graffoto’s reckoning been through 5 different manifestations since it first appeared in 2017. The first face on this spot was actually just a lonesome bachelor in February 2017, but he did have a wonderful fresh complexion.

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Bachelor Small Face, Feb 2017

It was joined by its partner in around May 2017

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Homage to Stik, May 2017

By October 2017 the resilient female had endured a few chips but and chosen a new partner.

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Jace October 2017

This partner was tragically and mysteriously taken, our heroine moved on to another new partner in April 2018, this couple were noticeably closer than her previous relationships and now she preferred brown eyes to blue.

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Jace April 2018

After a long affair and following the pattern, the gentleman somewhat unchivalrously disappeared leaving the poor lady all alone.  Her next partner in July 2019 wasn’t exactly what you would call a looker but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Jace, July 2019

Then, unexpectedly, the couple disappeared, maybe they eloped together.   Last weekend a new couple were drawn to this most romantic corner, in fact one would attribute an almost post coital glow to this cheeky pair.

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Looking pretty damn pleased with themselves, January 2020

So why do these disappear?   As it doesn’t seem to be the council nor is it likely to be the wall owners removing them, the most likely explanation is going to be souvenir hunters.  Sticky fingered street art spotters who think the art would be much better in their private collection rather than enjoyed by its intended public audience.  It’s not all bad news with Jace’s faces, a wonderful story appeared on Jace’s Instagram last weekend about the fate of some small faces in Belfast, Northern Ireland… best told by Jace himself:

Part 1: “In December 2016 I discreetly installed one of my very first ever faces to this wonderful courtyard at Duke of York / Dark Horse Belfast – a creative and humorous space celebrating the people and culture of my city and country. Each year I returned to Cathedral Quarter more and more fantastic murals and installations (by artist @ciarangallagherart amongst others) would appear, and I too would leave another surprise gift in the form of a cheeky face. Some of the faces paid homage to the city, like my H&W giants: Samson & Goliath !”

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Jace Belfast Part 1, Photo by Jace

“At the very beginning of this year (2020) I made a quick visit back to the courtyard before leaving Belfast, and it appeared to me that all of the faces that had been installed over the years had been removed 😦😞☹️ I felt a tinge of sadness (though this is the nature of urban art) because I love this specific place so much, and was about to leave the courtyard when at a final glance down towards the gates something awesome caught my eye…”

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Belfast Part 2, Photo by Jace

Part 2: “all those faces installed from 2016 and dotted about the place have been relocated and displayed collectively. Truly awesome! Seeing this just as I was about to leave Belfast I felt immensely proud and overwhelmingly happy, because I enjoy being in this place a lot. And so, of course I had to put one more new face to the bottom of the column…”

 

When it comes to his small faces, Jace doesn’t do half measures, all told we found 8 small faces from the most recent Jace Shoreditch adventure and for the record, here are the other six beauties.

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Jace, Uberfubs, Dr Cream – all in fashion Jan 2020

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Theresa May, Jan 2020

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Jace Face in London, January 2020

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Purple Daze, Jan 2020

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Jace, January 2020

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Jace, January 2020

The Shoreditch Street Art Tours blog first wrote about Jace’s homage to Stik’s couple in October 2017

Then small faces in great places were featured again December 2017.

Let’s hope the Stik homage faces last even longer this time.

All photos Dave Stuart except Jace where credited.

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Winter Lights 2020 Canary Wharf London

Dark nights and biting cold make classic ingredients for some light art so off to Winter Lights at Canary Wharf, selfie heaven in the form of 26 sculptures.

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Affinity; Amigo and Amigo & S1T2Starting with our favourite, Constellation is part Dr Who theme tune vortex visual and part early 80s wire frame battlezone tank game.  The white light projected into water vapour clouds is totally immersive, absorbing and nothing like as wet as it might sound.

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Constellation; Studio Joanie Lemercier

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Constellation; Studio Joanie Lemercier

Pre visit consultation of the website suggested Absorbed By Light had compelling crowd “interaction” photograph potential but the crowds clustered around the bench means sharp elbows and abandoning your British reserve is essential, time and rumbling stomachs decreed we wouldn’t throw ourselves into that scrum.   In a desperate attempt to contrive a street art reference, this installation channeled two great pieces of art by Banksy, the Mobile Lovers in Bristol and the bench with seagulls at Dismaland.

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Constellation; Studio Joanie Lemercier

The Bra Tree fused the after effects of a Tom Jones gig in the park with a 1970s women’s lib rally, it probably looks much the same in daylight, the illuminations operate from 4pm to 10pm, as at night.  All the bras are believed to be part of the artist’s original installation, evidence suggesting otherwise gratefully received. Perhaps a more imaginative name would have inspired some more enlightened thinking about explosion in a lingerie department.

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The Bra Tree

Everyone can take fabulous photos at Winter Lights, the Mountain of Light is particularly photogenic.

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Mountain of Light; Angus Muir Design

Shish-Ka-Buoy looks like a rather psychedelic sex toy and once that thought is planted in your mind you just can’t erase it.

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Shish-Ka-Buoy; Angus Muir Design

Sasha Trees is one installation that involves quite a bit of a schlep from the main clusters and you’ve probably seen it already so even though it looks great if time is tight, this would be the one to drop

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Sasha Trees; Adam Decolight

Sky on Earth is a genius proof of the “there’s a queue, better join it quick” herd instinct. The installation has subwoofer bass note throbs accompanying a bubble bath with intermittent light flickers, you can extract the impact, effect and visuals just as effectively from around the perimeter but everyone who didn’t have kids under the age of 10 politely queued 10 minutes for the privilege of walking down the channel in the middle.

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Sky On Earth; UAII Studio

Light festival veterans in London will find a number of the installations quite familiar.  I can’t think how many light festivals the Light benches have appeared in and some such as Liquid Sound and Bit.Fall looked identical to last year.  Some were just downright underwhelming such as Seeds Of Life located in a shopping mall.

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Squiggle; Angus Muir Design. So 2019.

Pools Of Light was also present last year and still looked like a 6th form disco light show fell into a ball pond.  This was amusing to the resigned attempts of steward to prevent people throwing the balls around in the face of what looked like about a dozen American Football matches taking place on the same pitch.

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Pools Of Light

It’s fun, it’s photogenic, it runs for a week until next Saturday 25th January and the forecast for this week is fortuitously dry.  Arriving at Canary Wharf tube station drops you right into the action so getting there isn’t too problematic, so perhaps well worth considering Winter Lights for a free thing to do in January.

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Mountain of Light; Angus Muir Design

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Lactolight by Lactolight

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Aquatics; Philipp Artus

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Ditto; Ithaca Studio

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Time and Tide; Paul and Pute

All photos Dave Stuart

See Winter Lights Website for more information