Tag Archives: Ben Wilson

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Summer Is Here – Oops Maybe Not

Sitting at my keyboard, fresh in from a perma-drizzle that looks set for the day it is a little difficult to remember that London has had two” Summers” already this year.  Twice, barely a fortnight apart, we enjoyed temperatures over 25 degrees and boy did the street artists love that!  Lots of new street art has been appearing daily so here is a little update of some of the fresh street art that has caught our eye over the past fortnight.   At the top of the page, Shok-1 produced another of his superb X-Ray images.

Ben Wilson aka Chewing Gum Man has been particularly prolific just recently in Shoreditch and he delighted me with the story behind the two characters featured in a new chewing gum pic outside the Bricklayers Arms.  Two deliverymen, Lee and Bryan were hefting barrels up from the pub cellar, Ben had a chat with them and concluded, as recorded on the chewing gum, that Lee and Bryan should be paid more!

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Lee and Bryan, Draymen, by Ben Wilson

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Ben Wilson explains …

Not far away from that spot is another one of those chewing gum pics where Ben paints the view, no prizes for recognising Rivington Street:

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Rivington St Chewing Gum Art by Ben Wilson

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Rivington Street

Last week Jean Peut Etre caused much excitement when he was spied by a tour group collaging his pasted images and letterpress prints in several Shoreditch locations seeming always just a few moments ahead of the group.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Jean Peut Etre Collage

One of the greatest pleasures a fan of street art can enjoy is to discover an unexpected piece by a favourite artist and this came to pass the other day.  Wandering around Shoreditch on a so-called day off, armed with a proper camera photographing loads of great street art the other day I spotted a fantastic new Jonesy I had not noticed before, an absolutely stunning cast bronze piece.  The casting shows what appears to be a vulture nestling in a roundel of blasted twigs, themselves surreally mounted on the leg of a bird.

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Jonesy

A subsequent peek on Jonesy’s facebook account revealed that this had actually been in situ since last September, a full 7 months ago.  Just goes to show that even when your eye is constantly scanning high and low for new visual disruptions it is always possible to overlook the beauty hiding in plain sight on the streets.  This next bronze casting, believed to be more recent was something I was specifically hunting for.

Jonesy

Howl Owl is a regular visitor to these shores and the cute little owls are packed with personality and get up to all kinds of mischief.   A veritable parliament of owls came to roost in Shoreditch this week and this particular group set up a sub committee with a clowder of Keef’s cats on a stinky sewage pipe, looking like they contemplating setting off in a pea green boat.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour,Howl Owl, Keef

Howl Owl and Keef collaboration

We mustn’t forget that some street art is done with permission, the weekend before last JXC painted this quality image of Judge Dredd taking out Mickey!

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Mickey Mouse justice Judge Dredd style

Finally, it was lovely to receive a link to an article on the Travel Mag online where they select their 7 favourite walking tours in London and kindly featured Shoreditch Street Art Tours, we are honoured and thank them, check out the best in London here.

LINKS

Shok-1 Instagram

Jean Peut-Etre Instagram

Jonesy Facebook

Howl Owl Instagram

Sad Keef Instagram

JXC Instagram

all photos: Dave Stuart

 

 

 

Chewing Gum Selfie

On the Shoreditch Street Art tour this afternoon our especially observant guest Ingrid spied a new Ben Wilson gum pic which I wasn’t aware off.  Ben paints a lot of diverse subjects, many of which are drawn from the immediate vicinity of the piece of gum but none can be quite as close to home as this self portrait.

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Ben Wilson Self Portrait

It is a wonderful likeness, as you can see from this photo of Ben which I took last Summer he delighted guests on a previous Shoreditch Street Art Tour.

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Ben Wilson meets The Shoreditch Street Art Tour

This wasn’t the first time a tour guest found a gum pic I didn’t know about, in fact after I had described Ben’s work to top London “things to do” picker from About London Laura Porter  on an early tour Laura suddenly found one, the first I had ever seen and it took a guest on the tour to find it!

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Ben Wilson, 2013

Recently we spotted another recent gum pic painted a couple of weeks ago, I wonder if T.S are the initials of the gentleman immortalised in gum having an outdoor ciggie break.

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Ben Wilson “I’ll Quit Tomorrow”

Another unusual thing about Ben, apart from painting found chewing gum on the streets, he has no web presence of his own, no social media so, sorry, no artist link here!

Ben Wilson Chewing Gum Man

One of the quirkiest forms of street art we see around Shoreditch are the chewing gum pics of North London artist Ben Wilson.  Last week by chance Ben was spotted in Shoreditch hard at work on a new batch of chewing gum pics.

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Ben Wilson, June 2016

Ben painted a series of new chewing gum pics to replace a number that disappeared following fresh pavement works.

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One of the pieces sadly lost was a brilliant miniature view of Old Street at the location where the gum was painted, compare Ben’s chewing gum pic with the actual scene.

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Old Street by Ben Wilson

London, Shoreditch, Street art, tours, guide, Ben Wilson, chewing gum pics, chewing gum man

Old Street

One location where Ben is renown for painting these chewing gum pics is on the Millennium Bridge spanning the Thames between the Tate Modern and St Paul’s Cathedral.  By Ben’s recent estimate he has painted over 400 chewing gum pics on the bridge, many of them dedicated to passers by who have stopped and chatted with him.

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As I lay my bike down on the ground and sat on the pavement to chat with Ben, someone pulled over and asked if we had had an accident, Ben confided that while he has been engrossed in painting his chewing gum pics he has had ambulance crews on three occasions spot him lying on the pavement and pull over to enquire if he was alright.  “I’m ok, I’m painting on the chewing gum” may not have convinced them he was 😉