A few weeks ago French street artist Ludo visited London and put up three large paste ups in his signature style. There are a little north of Shoreditch but were well worth making the journey to find.
One of the pieces found a very interesting connection with the owner of the business whose wall Ludo’s floral grenade adorns. Len Maloney, proprietor of JC Motors LNM faces a battle to save his business in the face of massive inflation busting rent and rate rises on his premises and felt that the grenade in the flower captured exactly how he feels. In a quote for Graffoto Len said “I was puzzled at first by this huge flower but I stepped back and realised the flower was growing a grenade. TfL have put up my rent and Hackney Council under pressure from central Government are jacking up the business rates, I have a real fight to keep this business that I have worked so hard for over the years going. My staff would be unemployed, apprentices might not finish their apprenticeships, opportunities for future apprenticeships and employment will disappear. I feel I could explode and the artist’s grenade flower seems to capture how I feel. TfL are about to pull the pin!”
When asked why he chose this spot for this piece of art, Ludo told Graffoto “the spot just felt great for me visually…from the barbed wire, the bricks, textures…that’s how I find my spots as I don’t really know what’s going on inside. The only thing that motivates me is to tell a story and the background is as important as the artwork”. So, that Len saw such a specific relevance in the artwork to him and his team is pure serendipity; “good thing about art is you take it as it touches you” says Ludo.
There is more about the background to that story and flashbacks to brilliant art Ludo has put up on London’s streets in the past decade on Graffoto (link).
All photos: Dave Stuart