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Redchurch St Street Art History

Redchurch Street in Shoreditch has changed dramatically over the years but seriously good street art has been present throughout the whole gentrification process.

As part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle, itself a subset of the London Design Festival, I was asked to survey the history of Redchurch St’s street art.   The novel twist was that OnRedchurch, the people who got in touch, set up several Cabinets of Curiosities in window fronts on Redchurch St where QR codes linked to online features, I wrote about those last week.   Here is a reproduction of my survey of Redchurch street art produced for the Shoreditch Design 2020 Triangle Cabinet of Curiosities.

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Malarky, Ronzo, 2011

Redchurch Street with its swish boutiques, street fashion, food and coffee was until barely a decade ago a cut-through lined by roofless derelict properties and empty wasteland plots.  As street art found its home in Shoreditch, Redchurch Street’s rough surfaces, dark corners and curious small spaces came to host a huge amount of street art and to play a role in developing the careers of many significant street artists.

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Redchuch St 2008 feat ATS, Peripheral Media Projects, Toasters, Jak-D and Faile

Derelict properties led to squat galleries and exterior canvasses for street artists.  The former Section Six Gallery, now the apartment block next door to Labour and Wait, sported a kaleidoscope of stencils and paste-ups and eventually was transformed with a mural by street artist and fashion designer INSA.

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Sickboy 2008

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INSA 2009

After dereliction, the next phase in an area’s development sees properties made secure and ahead of redevelopment, street art becomes tolerated and, occasionally, explicitly consented. Many Redchurch Street facades witnessed early street art pieces from artists such as Roa, Otto Schade and Jimmy C and others who have since gone onto international success.

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Cityzen Kane, James Bullough, 2015

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Mobstr, 2011

Redchurch Street still had proper corner shops until a few years ago, shutters provided prime real estate for a rolling exhibition of graffiti luminaries such as Cept and Discreet, Aset (RIP) from the ATG crew and Vibes representing the RT crew.  A significant factor was the presence of specialist spraypaint store Chrome and Black which had an entrance next door to Richmix on Redchurch St.

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Cept, Dscreet, 2009

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Mean, Aset (RIP) 2014

Redchurch St was a linear building site for a large part of the late noughties, extensive building site hoardings hosted furiously changing art stencils, paste-up, tags and murals by artists from the UK and abroad.  There is little doubt that street art was co-opted as a tool in the “gentrification” phase.

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Dr Zadok, Meeting Of Styles 2014

Jim Vision, a spraypaint artist and key figure at the more permissioned end of the street art spectrum resided for many years on Redchurch Street.  In his role as organiser of the Meeting Of Styles graffiti festival Jim Vision arranged impressive murals on Redchurch Street as well as painting massive spectaculars himself.  He also curated a number of pop up graffiti writers and street artist group shows in several Redchurch St locations.

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Probs 2009

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Jim Vision 2014

The cottage at the junction with Club Row hosted some stunning murals by Roa, James Bullough and Jim Vision as well as a long running relief sculpture by artist Cityzen Kane installed with permission as a poignant tribute to his deceased son.

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Roa 2009

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Cityzen Kane, James Bullough, 2015

As is often the case galleries sprung up In advance of the arrival of boutiques. The event space at the junction of Ebor St, in its guise as the London and Newcastle Gallery was the venue for pop up exhibitions by street artists such as Borondo, Insa and Shoreditch’s own Pure Evil as well as graffiti writer group shows.  Its outside wall was the location of a piece of INSA’s pioneering “Giffiti”, an augmented reality mural which with a smartphone app would reveal a squad of policemen chasing eachother in  “The Cycle Of Futility”.

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INSA 2014

Urban Angel at the junction of Redchurch St and Chance St had very distinctive shutters declaring themselves as ART, as indeed they were having been painted by EINE in 2008.   Doomed by the coincidence of its opening and the financial crash of 2008, its brief existence saw it host shows by Remi Rough, Hush, Copyright and Best Ever.

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EINE, 2008

It is hard to believe that 11 years have passed since Graffiti legend and renown musician Goldie had a two floor solo show with live painting demonstration at the Maverick Showrooms.

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Goldie, “The Kids Are All Riot”, 2009

At the time of going to press the London Mural Festival is in full swing and London Design Festival favourite Camille Walala has provided a huge makeover to the rear of Richmix at the eastern end of Redchurch St.

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Camille Walala, London Mural Festival 2020

The logical trajectory of combining property development, street art and expensive shopping reaches its unavoidable conclusion with spraypainted adverts appearing where once there was street art, though having spent years honing their spraypainting skills in the riskiest circumstances, who would begrudge artists a living.

Among the niche fashion houses, beauty treatments and designer furnishing accessories Redchurch Street has not lost its edgy cool, a stroll will still yield brilliant stickers on lampposts, freehand non- permissioned portraits, art paste ups and for the especially observant, illegal bronze castings by street artist Jonesy.

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Zomby, Type, 2011

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Stormie Mills, 2009

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Duk, 2010

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Jimmy C, Alo, Cartrain, T.wat, Cityzen Kane 2013

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Pure Evil, 2012

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C215, 2013

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NEOH, 2012

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Unify 2014

All photos: Dave Stuart

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Shoreditch Design Triangle Cabinet of Curiosities

Shoreditch Design Festival doesn’t stop for any pandemic!  Some establishments welcome visitors under the now customary public place precautions; some like Lee Broom have modified their contribution in the form of window displays and, for those of you have patiently read this far and are demanding “give us the street art”, a Cabinet of Curiosities” on Redchurch St is your thing.

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Lee Broom – Maestro

A Cabinet of Curiosities is traditionally a display of the weird and wonderful objects collected by freaks and geeks.  Think implausible mummified cross-bred creatures In glass bell jars, pickled vegetables that look like politicians, ridiculously large street art photograph collections.

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Redchurch St Cabinet of Curiosities

Amongst the designer boutiques and niche fashion shops on Redchurch Street a couple of virtual Cabinets of Curiosities have been set up as window displays which deliver content through the OnRedchurch St website.  It’s a neat idea which highlights some of the amazing design and creativity going on behind those walls whose defacement and daubing is more usually the subject of my scrutiny.

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Redchurch St Cabinet of Curiosities

Drawn in by a bearded man-fish on the Cabinet of Curiosities, a QR code takes you to Donna Wilson via the OnRedchurch virtual Cabinet of Curiosities, next thing is you’re peeking inside the design madness of an actual real world Redchurch St shop you’d never normally meander into.  See what they did there!

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Donna Wilson Cabinet Image

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Donna Wilson Virtual Cabinet

So now we get to the street art bit.  It was a privilege to be contacted by OnRedchurch to provide the Shoreditch Design Festival Cabinet of Curiosities with a history of street art on Redchurch St and take my word, there has been a heck of a lot.  Or don’t take my word, all you have to do is scout out Redchurch St, find the right (and pretty obvious) part of the Cabinet of Curiosities and then check out the feature on your phone.

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Donna Wilson interior

If you have been a past guest of Shoreditch Street Art Tours it’s probably a 50-50 chance that you are familiar with Redchurch St; if not, this little videographic meander along the length of Redchurch St will pick out some of the locations engaged in the Shoreditch Design Festival, look for the pavement stands marking the participants.

Shoreditch Design Triangle runs concurrently with the London Design Festival, 12 – 20 September, there is more than a small chance that the Cabinet of Curiosities will remain in place until someone next needs to clean those windows!

Links for Cabinet of Curiosities:

Shoreditch Design Triangle website

London Design Festival website

OnRedchurch St website.

Lee Broom website

Donna Wilson website

Links for artists in Video:

Camille Walala website

Tizer instagram

Shucks instagram

Jonesy instagram

Ekta Kaul website

All photos and video: Dave Stuart, Shoreditch Street Art Tours

 

 

 

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Shoreditch Street Art Tour Honoured

They say it, you said it – Shoreditch Street Art Tours is within the top 10% of attractions worldwide.  Shoreditch Street Art Tour is currently ranked 13th out of 1490 Tours in London which actually places it in the top 1% of this category, wow!

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This image and featured image at top of post courtesy Tripadvisor

We turned professional street art tour guide in 2013, which is to say the transformation was made from the occasional intermittent activity the tours had been since 2008 to turning a hobby and geeky knowledge in a full time activity.  Since then the feedback from guests has been both charming and also very helpful, we are always tweaking and developing the Shoreditch Street Art Tour and the feedback from guests is an important contribution to that process.

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Triadvisor has been a key aggregator of guest opinion and this morning 1980 of the total 2038 customer reviews are 5 star, that’s 97.2%!!!    In a world where cynicism and complaint typically has a much louder voice that satisfaction, it is wonderful that so many of our guests have taken the time and trouble to share their opinions publically, and it is not possible for Shoreditch Street Art Tours to give enough thanks for that.

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Latest review – Thanks to Lina and Cat, screengrab courtesy Tripadvisor

We will not rest on our laurels; our exploration of new street art, new artists, their new ideas, techniques, politics and motives will never cease.  Our mission to provide expert led, top value walking tours will go on and on, even in these difficult times.  For now though we just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years by taking their time to provide such wonderful reviews, we would be nothing without YOU!

All images courtesy tripadvisor

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Digging In The Archives Pt 10

When I first began to explore street art one my favourite artists was and indeed still is French stencillist Jef Aerosol.  This Aerosol masterpiece was on Hanbury street and marked more or less a the time that this wall was just beginning to be used for permissioned murals.

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Jef Aerosol 2010

Shoreditch street art was dominated by stencilism in the 00s and why not, Banksy was the stencil artist kicking down the doors of public disinterest and general hostility.  K-Guy was and again still is a great personal favourite.  This is his take on the dual significance of the national flag, a symbol of pride yet also racism.

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K-Guy 2008

The next photo shows K-Guy’s artwork in context.  In 2007 Shepard Fairey hit that spot with a long lasting paste-up (a spot he returned to in 2012).   Sotheby’s and Bonhams started their urban art auctions in early 2008, others then hitched to that bandwagon.  This was probably the first occurrence I came across of an arts related organisation destroying a piece of street art in pursuit of advertising.  This shit still goes on and basically if you see street art being damaged in pursuit of the commercial interests of galleries, auctions and online sellers, then it’s a clear sign the fuckers do not get the culture, steer clear.

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K-guy 2008 featuring Shepard Fairey – defaced, dissed and abused

Special Offer: Free Art! The stencil on cardboard below was a piece of free art by the prolific, varied and much missed street artist Mr Farenheit. Hopefully it went to a good home. This doorway in fact the whole building, now demolished, was always intensely distressed and beautifully decayed; muscular rust on the iron door had very little sympathy for any paper pasted onto its surface. “Special Offer” is a detail from an ACE paste up; the thick black bars emerging over Twiggy’s left shoulder are a Paul Insect relic; D7606 also did great paste up montages on this door and it’s a rare photograph where you can’t see one of his pieces at this spot.

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Mr Farenheit, 2013

The pair of birds in the next photo by artist and graffiti writer Dr Zadok are done in the swirling style which characterizes both his graff letters and his art.   Alleyn Gardens habitués will note the virgin brickwork on the then relatively new North London Line.

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Dr Zadok 2013

The image below shows Dr Zadok’s hand finished bookcover in aid of Joe Epstein aka LDNgraffiti’s fundraiser for Great Ormond St Hospital.    More details and information about how you can to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the #LDNGOSHLottery is HERE.  Keep an eye out on LDNGraffiti’s Instagram for further announcements of more prizes.

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LDN GOSH Charity Book with Dr Zadok Cover art

Swoon again, simply because she rocks.  Close to Broadway Market, 2011.

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Swoon, 2011

Borondo was an extraordinary painter who lived in London for a number of years in the early part of the 00s.  His impressionist murals channelled the effect of strong colours but he first appeared doing single layer portraits created by splashing emulsion on the outside surface of glass windows then etching imagery into the paint with a fork.   Two artworks survive, the “11 Apostles” on the Bull in a China Shop on Shoreditch High Street as appears in the featured image above is easy to find.  This pair of figures from 2013 play with the window frames; the scraped paint has settled like frost on the window ledge.

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Borondo, Brick Lane 2013

And now, something consigned to the archive in just the past fortnight  !Things turned a brighter shade of orange across a locked down (ish) Picadilly Circus as the iconic illuminations displayed a charity digital artwork by Stik.  Stik must be alongside Shep Fairey and Banksy in the ranks of street artists who most consistently use their art for deserving causes.  This installation was in support of Young Westminster Foundation.

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Stik Picadilly Circus June 2020

Stik is also one of the 9 street artists who have joined Joe Epstein to raise funds for @GreatOrmondSt Hospital.   Each artist has created a special version of the book by hand painting the cover, so that’s 9 unique versions of the book.

See HERE for a blogpost with more images, details and link to how to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the #LDNGOSHLottery and keep an eye out as well for further announcements of more prizes.

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LDN GOSH Charity Book with Stik Cover art

We didn’t clap for carers in the UK this week, the mood switched more to pressurising the government to fund the carers properly, and reward them not to mention try a little bit of planning for a change as a second wave is held likely.   Seems like a good moment to shelve Diggin In The Archives, though it has been a happy accident of exploring my own archives and memories and so don’t rule out DITA’s resurrection sometime.

Check out the previous Diggin’ In The Archives weekly compendiums starting with week 1 and then hopefully navigate the index to find the rest: DITA 1

All photos: Dave Stuart

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Diggin In The Archives Part 9

In the week we discovered new ways to test your eyesight the photo archive continued to exhibit 20/20 hindsight with visual crackerjacks from the past.

Mr Cenz has a spraypainting pedigree that stretches back over 30 years so it is not surprising that his style has evolved considerably.  He is famous these days for intensely colourful portraits with shafts of light and starbursts, those elements are clearly emerging in this 2013 portrait yet at the same time, it is quite different.

Mr Cenz, Ravey St, 2013

The two seemingly abstract paste ups above on the Grant and Taylor sign represented folded garments by Specter from NY who dropped some art works reflecting on visual aspects of the homeless community when over in 2010 for an exhibition in the Pure Evil Gallery.

Next a pair of east end classics, Sweet Toof and Paul Insect on a paste-up mission around #BrickLane.  That pair of beautiful decaying paste-ups has long gone but this 2013 photo also shows Jonesy’s “Sand Tar Nightmare” from 2012 complete with the original Native American headdress feathers which is still up today.

Sweet Toof, Paul Insect, Jonesy, Fournier St, 2012

Graff snapping mate for many years Joe Epstein aka LDNGraffiti, author of street art book “London Graffiti and Street Art” has teamed up with 9 street artists to raise funds for Great Ormond St Hospital.  Each artist has created a special version of the book by hand painting the cover, so that’s 9 unique versions of the book..

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9 Art Blitzed Books – Unique Covers

Italian artist Giacomo aka RUN paints stunning murals around Shoreditch and North London.  Flat faced characters express surprisingly intense emotion and always at large scale.  This pair of characters competing for the passer-by’s attention dates from 2009.  Needless to say that spot on Hackney Road has no sense of that urban dereliction now.

Run, Hackney Road, 2009

Click HERE for a blogpost with more images, details and link to how to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the #LDNGOSHLottery, keep an eye out as well for further announcements of more prizes.

This D7606 & C3 collaboration from 2013 found a perfect home on the haphazard accumulation of red and white marks on this Blackall St door.  The featured image at the top of this post is a beautiful piece of pop street art by D7606 from 2013.

D7606 C3 collaboration, Blackall St 2013

Dan Witz is full on old school street artist from New York who has blessed London with impressive street art on several occasions.   Each passion project has been cause driven.  It was Guantanamo in 2013 (1st photo) and his “Empty The Cages” anti animal cruelty project in 2014.   The joined up element between the two visits was the theme of incarceration and cruelty in both.

Dan Witz, Rathbone Place, 2013

I recently cycled through Kings Cross and can report with  pleasure and amazement that the PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) installation below  is still in place.  See Graffoto.co.uk Feb 2014 for an appreciation of Dan Witz’s street art contribution to that campaign.

Dan Witz, Kings Cross, 2014

The magical power of art to turn humble domestic artefact into art icon has an honourable lineage that ultimately culminates in Toasters!  Toasters already came up in Week 2 of #DigginInTheArchives but embedded in this bit of #flashback fun is a cruel selection process as a limit of one image only per artist was imposed following the principals of #rulesforbenefitofall #rulesapplytoall (according to government deputy Chief Medical Officer Prof JVT when he broke ranks at the briefing podium to condemn lockdown breaches by unelected shameless creep Cummings).

Thanks again to Joe Epstein’s fundraiser for Great Ormond St Hospital, the Toasters corner of the archive gets forked over a second time.   This stunning appliance from 2010 faced a Roa hare, famously spared the council buff thanks to a public petition.   That green board next to the Toaster was the same property that the Run characters were on in 2009, see above.

Toasters, Roa, Hackney Road, 2010

Every week now it feels like it is time to draw DITA to a close, to get out, do fresh but socially distanced street art spotting.   We are however feeling inclined to err towards the side of the scientific advice and, again in the words of JVT, “not tear the pants out if it”.   DITA daily uploads will continue on the Dave Stuart instagram

Check out the previous Diggin’ In The Archives weekly compendiums starting with week 1 and then hopefully navigating the index to find the rest: DITA 1

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Diggin In The Archives Pt 8

This week in spite of the latest official guidance to follow unofficial interpretations of the law, there have been no trips to Durham.  I have followed my instinct to remain at home to see what scum is floating on the surface of the street art photography archive.

Ludo first put his art on London streets in 2009 and right from the off his Nature’s Revenge project dealt with man vs nature, weaponry, deception and death.  Ludo’s work always had scale and awesome eye-catching placement.  This weaponised orchid dates from 2011.

Ludo, 2011

Street artist and gallerist Rae visited London in 2013 and left an impressive range of paste ups, stickers, painted surfaces and this wacky sculpture which lasted all of 24 hours.

Rae, 2013

Rae, 2013

The Battle Of Fashion St pitted Ronzo’s monster, looking very much exactly like a medical diagram of a virus against studio stablemate Conor Harrington’s faceless soldier.  Like most of Conor’s art this one lasted a long time.

The battle Of Fashion St, Ronzo and Conor Harrington, 2011

Graff snapping mate for many years Joe Epstein aka LDN Graffiti, author of street art book “London Graffiti and Street Art” has teamed up with 9 great street artists to raise funds for Great Ormond St Hospital.  Each artist has created a special version of the book by hand painting the cover, so that’s 9 unique versions of the book.

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Great Ormand Street Hospital COVID-19 Lottery fundraiser

For more images, details and a link to how to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the LDN GOSH Charity Lottery, click here

One of the featured artists in the LDN GOSH fundraiser is Pure Evil, he doesn’t so much redecorate the book cover as subject it to extreme abuse and reconfiguration, it’s bonkers but brilliant.   In 2012 Pure Evil imagined the Hackney Olympics looting squad making off with some Olympics booty, as seen on this Redchurch Street shutter.

Pure Evil 2012

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Pure Evil LDN GOSH Charity Book

In the happy days when I had a kind of job thing, I did one of my Street Art Photography Workshops in Hackney.  I only found out this week thanks to Inspiring City’s Art Related Noise podcast interview that this stencil piece is “Lee P” by Findac.  Lee P is otherwise known as street artist Eelus.  The second shot illustrates the photographers’ intention –  to show what Lee P was looking at.

Findac, 2013

Findac, 2013

More than a decade of pasting up street art has left no doubt that Donk has an awesome approach to impressive installations created from his own original photos. It would be very easy to dredge up one of Donk’s huge crowd pleaser paste up images like the Fashion St fence (with the tassels), the Willow Street horse facing POW (see featured image above) or the ghetto blaster on Sclater St but with no slight on any of those, sometimes his montages of smaller images show his versatility better.  From 2013 this is a selection of hand finished unique Humble Magnificent and B Brave Indian images featuring Donk jr as model.  Donk’s paste up’s typically decayed beautifully.

Donk 2013

Claudia Walde aka MadC is a graffiti writer and book author. She is also another of the artists to have created a unique painting on a book being auctioned to raised funds for Great Ormond St Hospital, details as above.

In culture with such a huge gender imbalance MadC is a rare example of an internationally regarded graffiti writer. In 2011 the Pure Evil Gallery hosted MadC’s first solo exhibition and graffiti writers came from all over to check out her top notch can skills and brilliant colour palette. Her 2013 abstract mural on Chance St in Shoreditch is well known and still running. Less known perhaps is this stunning 2011 graffiti on the old Micawber St launderette, look closely and you can pick out her name in there. It was huge though this is nowhere near the biggest piece of graffiti MadC ever did.

MadC, 2011

Mad C LDN Graffiti book cover

 

If you are interested in seeing previous DITAs, you can start with the first weekly compilation of the daily DITA uploads HERE.

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

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Diggin In The Archives Part 7

Never in history have the words “relax lockdown measures” been so badly abused. Please stagger your viewing of this post and share with only one person outdoors. Here are this week’s street art little gems from the past.

Jorge Rodrigues-Gerada is probably more widely known these days for his enormous land art portraiture but in 2012 London was blessed with a number of works by Jorge.  This beautiful 2012 charcoal portrait was ludicrously short lived.

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Jorge Rodrigues-Gerada 2012

Cartrain was a marmite kind of artist, people either loved him or hated him. I had got pretty fed up with him constantly hitting up stencils right onto the edges of Banksy stencils around Shoreditch. Then in 2007 he came up with these collages, a massive transformation. The first few had proper gilded picture frames and he added spoof Perspex gallery labels alongside them though I guess the logistics of economically sourcing frames led to the cardboard cut out frames. I thought it was brilliant, others struggled to make sense of the random meaningless combination of images. Then came his appropriation of Hirst’s diamond skull and that evolved into a whole other drama of its own. The unusual diptych framed specimens here date from 2011.

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Cartrain, 2011

There is nothing quite so exciting as a good hack of the corporate intrusion on the visual landscape.  Meaning, ad busting rocks and Vermibus is a master of the form.  In 2012 Vermibus was one of the key participants at Moniker Art Fair which in those days was still based in its original Village Underground location.  This advert box, not far from Moniker, is a single purpose intrusion into the public pathway, it’s an illuminated obelisk straddling the pavement angled for visibility to car and bus occupants.  The Featured image at the top is also Vermibus hijacking an illuminated ad box in 2012.

Street art, Shoreditch, Shoreditch street art tours, London, Tour Guide, Dave Stuart, street art photography, BLastFromThePast, BackInTheDay, DiggingThroughTheArchives, shoreditchstreetarttours

Vermibus, 2012

The second image is a collection of keys for illicitly accessing the different forms of those advertising spaces displayed by Vermibus at Moniker.

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Vermibus at Moniker, 2012

Remember Ai Wei Wei was placed under house arrest in China in 2010?  In April 2012 I chanced upon this Free Ai Wei Wei stencil by Bambi sweetly captioned “You can cage the singer but not the song”.  This photo is out of focus, the lighting is shite and composition is abysmal but when you want to photograph a piece of street art you stumble on en passant, you make the best of whatever light and technology is available.  In this case, it was the shittiest out of date corporate Blackberry with a camera not much more advanced than a pinhole and the Guinness enabled focussing feature selected.  When I returned in daylight with a proper camera a few weeks later it had been buffed.

Street art, Shoreditch, Shoreditch street art tours, London, Tour Guide, Dave Stuart, street art photography, BLastFromThePast, BackInTheDay, DiggingThroughTheArchives, shoreditchstreetarttours

Bambi, 2012

Lovepiepenbrinck shared her time between Hamburg, Berlin and London and for years put out a series of piggies each presented as a different character.  The piggies were quite small, often they were high up and sometimes completely hidden in dark spaces.  Finding the piggies was like a treasure hunt.  This example was the Ronald McDonald piggy obviously. One piggy was disguised as a shark, mounted in a small glass cube and glued to the outside of the Tate Modern in 2012 when Damien Hirst had that huge show there.  Its title was  “The physical impossibility of being a shark in the mind of a pig”.  Street art genius! (And I never got to see it for real, security had it removed very quick).

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Lovepiepenbrinck, 2013

Stay alert! You have nothing to fear in isolation except Skeleton Cardboard’s morbid dancing skeletons.   These used to appear in many imaginative forms, often interacting with the fabric of the wall or as a response to existing artworks. Dem bones were guaranteed to raise a smile . . .

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Skeleton Cardboard, 2013

Nether‘s street art first appeared in London in 2012. When he returned in 2018 his style was dramatically altered, though those distinctive planes remained a feature.  Also sneaking into the margins of this this photo are an awesome piece by Mr Wany, a detail from the edge of a Pez mural also dated 2012 and the conceptually brilliant pulse of EKG from New York.

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Nether, 2012

It looks like the archives are going to be forked over for some time yet, each one of these photos reveals itself like a little speck of glass in an ankle deep farmyard.

Two months intensive use of the internet means you don’t need to be told where to find the previous selections of archive gems, but here is where it began with the first weekly compilation of the daily uploads: DITA 1

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

 

Diggin In The Archives Part 6

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  By the time you read this Boris should have made his “statement” to the nation and one suspects the tunnel will seem to be stretching much much longer.  Activities do expand to fit the time available and blowing the dust off the photo archive is a good a rabbit hole as any to fall into, so here is this week’s selection of gems from the past.

You wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a snorkeler (snorkelist?) walking down the road with a lion on their shoulders in 2013, it was Shoreditch after all.   Twisted surrealism from Dal East.

Dal East, 2013

ACE is full OG London, his comic and pop art influenced collage screen prints were pasted up all over Shoreditch from the beginning. They still appear although nothing close to the quantity he used to put out. One of my all time favourite paste up artists. And there’s Skewville , yet again, he keeps popping up in the archive photos. 2011.

ACE, 2011

In 2009 Graffoto founder HowAboutNo and I wandered Shoreditch and beyond on our lunchbreaks, chatting shit and shooting crap. Daytime street art creation was quite rare in those days and one lunch time we spied an artist in act of pasting up some big faces. He scarpered. Brummie Tempo33 told me a while later they had thought we were cops! Not many people wandered round in office garms photographing street art those days.

Tempo33, 2012

As I started to develop a little bit of an interest in street art I had a conceptual difficulty with stickers;,that fact that anyone could have put them up challenged their authenticity.  Then I started to get my head around “Representation”.

It would be very easy to upload a photo of a stunning mural by D*Face, rightly they are appreciated worldwide but his stickers are in my humble opinion are way more significant to his street presence.

Liskbot’s hand finished stickers and paste ups go back a decade, still prolific!

The unknown sticker looks and feels like a corporate logo.

D*Face, Liskbot 2011

East London in 2011 was full of Malarky cartoons. Superficially they had the characteristics of children’s illustrations but close inspection revealed a real darkness.  Often painted with compadres #Billy, Mr Penfold and Sweet Toof.  These old Hanbury Street gates used to host art by great artists such as Donk , Stik, Saki and Bitches and Macay collab, Mau Mau and Alex Face collab and an Otto Schade “Creation Of Adam” masterpiece. And Curly 😉

Malarky, 2011

In the next pair, the elevated elevation behind the grey gantry is the old Shoreditch Tube Station, closed in 2006. The first picture is from October 2011 and features a Rowdy creature and a piece by fellow Burning Candy crewmate Horror. The second picture dates from July 2012.  The difference is the Olympics buff.   One of these pics cost me a gorgeous Colnago Road bike, stolen by some Tower Hamlets low life as I climbed up on the wall to get the pic

Rowdy, Horror 2011

The Olympics Buff, 2012

When its good, Street Art can be very “of the moment”.  The flip side is that years later the context or relevance of a piece of art may be forgotten. This Teddy Baden multi layered stencil features Mandeville, one of two mascots for London’s 2012 Olympics. Mandeville was named after Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the world famous spinal injuries hospital that organised the first games festival for injured people, seen as a precursor to the Paralympics. The orange flash represented a London taxi hire light.   Mandeville was much maligned in the press, there will always be some mirthless killjoy. He didn’t have a good feeling about Teddy’s feline either.

I enjoyed the privilege for many years of submitting a selection of street art photos to the VNA guys for their quarterly zine. The vast majority of them went unpublished, there were far better photos from far better photographers to chose from. This is one of the unchosen. . . .

Teddy Baden, 2012

I took the liberty of visit to Shoreditch on my bike this morning, first time in over 2 months.  Very little had changed, street artists have been socially distancing from the walls.  Notwithstanding whatever guff we get from Boris this evening I suspect there may well be more sucking from cess pit of my street art photos this week, catch them daily on my Instagram or facebook.

Check out the previous weekly compendiums: Part 1, Part 2Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

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