A few weeks ago a fresh collection of stencilled portraits by Argentinian street artist Cartoonneros of the lead singer of Radiohead appeared in Shoreditch. The memorable thing about this collection was that in going over existing artwork by King Headswim, the underlying naïve expressionist portrait with its compelling blue eyes radiated through Cartnoonneros’ work in a way not visible to the naked eye.
Around the corner were more multi coloured stencilled portraits, similarly executed over someone else’s existing artwork as opposed to a prepared background. The three characters depicted are the artist Keith Haring, David Bowie and the Pink Floyd musician Syd Barrett.
A day later I had the pleasure of bumping into Cartoonneros on the streets whipping up some more stencils, this time the images included Vincent Van Gogh and Kate Moss.
Cartoonneros explained that he usually employed three stencilled layers in his street art but that he would often spray different colours in different parts of the stencil, meaning that a single layer could be used to render multiple colours. In this next photo you can actually see the three different stencil layers used for the Van Gogh portrait are in position and each card bears the spraypainted remnants of the various colours from previous uses of the stencil.
Cartoonneros is also a sticker artist, several of his quite small stickers have been found lurking nearby.
Cartoonneros then nipped to Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin but the lure of Shoreditch was too great and he returned last night to co-host “Wordplay” with Pure Evil, an evening of art and music. The simple idea was all were welcome to spray stencilled words over a background pre- sprayed by Cartoonneros with a collection of multicoloured stencilled turtle and Keith Haring images.
The evening involved an overseas street artist previously virtually unknown on these shores exhibiting in the Pure Evil Gallery and creating beautiful mayhem on the streets, quintessential Pure Evil. A fuller description of the event is on the Graffoto blog.
Pure Evil Gallery website
King Headswim Instagram
All photos Dave Stuart