A couple of months ago on another blog we wrote about the nation’s 17th favourite piece of art, Stik’s couple on Princelet Street. Never static, there have been some developments, evolutions and surprises.
The first bit of news is that unsurprisingly (as Stik had told us when we interviewed him) the couple was restored to its pristine original condition when Stik painted over the elephant a couple of weeks ago.
Study that photo taken 2 weeks ago closely, on the right there is one small pottery face where several months ago there were two. The niqab wearing female next to Stik’s couple got lucky last Friday night and now has found a new partner!
The cautious and often well advised anonymity of street artists sometimes leads to prolonged searches for an artist’s identity and not always one that ends in success, as indeed was the case for me regarding the identity of the face maker. Last week when hunting for the source of a sticker we stumbled across the identity of the artist who makes the small faces, j.ace. Well done j.ace, we love your faces but putting up signed artworks three days after we found your identity – that’s very mischievous humour!
Last weekend I found some lovely new street art in Shoreditch, that is always an exciting thing and of course I want to share it with you. This isn’t about a couple of Banksys appearing nearby in the City Of London, this is about the beautiful colourful portraiture of French street artist Manyoly.
Manyoly Sep 2017
Manyoly’s paste ups first appeared in London just before Christmas last year and charmed all who came across them.
Manyoly Dec 2016
Such was the positive reception Manyoly has already been back several times and on her most recent trip Manyoly beautified Shoreditch with several more very large pieces.
Manyoly Sep 2017
Manyoly told Shoreditch Street Art Tours that she has been passionate about Women’s issues since her early teens and her bright colourful female portraits are a way of capturing a woman’s energy.
Manyoly Dec 2016
Manyoly eschews famous people, “we have enough people on earth to never need to paint them” she said and her paintings are fusions of various women she has seen on the street, often mixing features from different races and ethnic backgrounds in the one portrait.
Manyoly stickers can be seen on surfaces in Shoreditch if you look hard enough.
Manyoly April 2017
Guests on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour hear about the challenge Manyoly faces pasting up irregular shaped paste ups with fronds of paper protruding around the edges, certainly its a bit tricker than pasting up A4 rectangles of paper. This high speed timelapse from Manyoly showing her pasting up a very large portrait on Great Eastern Street is a fascinating insight into how a street artist breaks the task down into a sequence of steps.
French street artist Gregos was spotted back in Shoreditch this weekend in the company of Nemi UHU, the fish tile creator. This first came to our attention with the surprise finding of a fat faced portrait sculpture bursting through a wall on Brick Lane last Friday.
Gregos first put his work up in London last February when he and a group of 10 other street artists, all friends of C215, came to London to launch “Vitry Ville Street Art: L’aventure continue”, a new book celebrating the art in C215’s home town. He put up 50 self portrait sculptures of varying sizes. There are seven basic portrait castings of Gregos’ own face in a variety of poses, each installation is decorated according to mood, location and whim.
The one we saw most of last year was rudely poking its tongue out at the English, that may have been just a happy accident from the French artist’s point of view as this sculpture was created in 2006 when Nicolas Sarkozy was President of France. Gregos was most definitely not a supporter and the rude tongue portrait was designed as a message and personal insult from Gregos to Sarkozy.
Gregos’ ambition is to put up another 50 sculptures on this visit so there should be plenty of sculpture spotting opportunities around Shoreditch and Camden where he has been know to visit so far. On Sunday, Gregos installed and painted a new sculpture in Shoreditch providing passersby with a grand spectator sport. Even a cruise-by from the police didn’t stop him.
Shoreditch Street Art constantly refreshes and amazes, one moment you are mourning the theft of a genius piece of work from the streets, the next your breath is taken away by an astonishing dialogue between new art and old on the walls.
Syd the stencillist, who previously spotted that Jon Drypnz’ running graffiti man could be seriously improved with the addition of some oversize flesh eating ants has come up with a beguiling modification and reinterpretation of a naïve portrait painted back in 2009 by Mymo. Syd has incorporated a stencilled Joker face from the Batman franchise within the confines of Mymo’s original ultra-wide face and played with the juxtaposition of the eyes, making a triple eyed beast. It’s all in the unplanned dialogue, the unscheduled interaction between artists and the update.
Syd + Mymo UPdate, 2013
Here is what it looked like originally, when Mymo who was around for her solo show at the Pure Evil gallery decided that this patchy decaying paintwork was reminiscent of a face!