Meet: The Goat Statue, Brushfield St, London E1 6AA. Closest tube: Liverpool St, exit via Bishopsgate exit. Walk in the opposite direction from Heron Tower (the big one with the needle on top); Brushfield St is about 100 yards on the right hand side, the third road up from the station. It has a big church at the far end
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!
On a balmy warm week in mid 2014 the Shoreditch Street Art Tour came across a complex permissioned street art installation by the street artist Cityzen Kane. Cityzen Kane has now put up a film of the making of “Portal”, the immensely popular sculptural piece.
The film captures the intensity and the amount of handcraft Cityzen Kane puts into his sculptures.
That week, Shoreditch Street Art Tours had the pleasure of being joined by the Vagabrothers from San Diego and they were able to do a quick interview with Cityzen Kane as he installed that piece, it comes up 2’40” into their Shoreditch Street Art video (look out for their subliminal appearance in Cityzen Kane’s video at 6.40) .
Cityzen Kane’s portal was put up as a tribute in memory of his son Joe who had taken his own life a year earlier. Given the tragic nature of its inspiration, it is perhaps poignant that from time to time the central figure actually cries in the rain:
June 2017 Update: CityZenKane’s Portal is no longer on that wall but in the spirit of his intent and message, I thought I would let you know about A Guide to UK-based Free Mental Health Helplines by Cassiobury Court.
Paul at Cassiobury Court writes that there are fourteen different helplines in the guide. He wrote the guide because many helplines of this nature exist, and people seeking out the services of these helplines may be confused by their sheer number. This guide helps to demystify these helplines so people can select the most appropriate one for their needs.
Street art should never go over our heads though great examples of street art are often literally looking down on us. Street art environmentalist and master craftsman Jonesy has been adding a few wonderful bronze castings on top of lampposts around Shoreditch.
Jonesy bronze casting
Jonesy bronze casting
Jonesy bronze casting
The first one I spotted by complete chance a couple of weeks ago caused me to spend some time wander about with my eyes cast upwards looking for more, which revealed other artists working over our heads!
Issac Cordal – no idea how long it has taken me to notice this one
Paul Insect – also getting up quite high
Finally, an older Jonesy specimen looking wonderful at night:
Jonesy – looking more sinister and ferocious than ever
New art and free art made this day another exciting day for guests of Shoreditch Street Art Tours.
Three guests went home as proud owners of new art by Sean Worrall, left as”Free art” on the streets of Shoreditch. In case you don’t know, some street artists like to leave art which people can find and collect, usually there is a message written on the back inviting the finder to help themselves to the art which is deliberatelyremovable, not permanently attached to the wall.
Sean Worrall has a #365artdrops (opens in a new page) project to leave 365 pieces of Free Art on the street usually painted on materials found on the streets then returned to the streets. Guests have in the past found pieces of Sean’s work as reported HERE .
Sunny likes #365artdrops
This was day 2 of life on the street for an installation piece by street artist Sell Out. Sell Out’s image, a framed collage, reproduces the cockerel familiar to millions of us from breakfast cornflakes packets. Written in the frame is the repeated refrain “I hate cereal”. Sell Out is referencing the protest last Saturday night against gentrification in the area which resulted in the Cereal Killers café on Brick Lane being defaced with paint. You decide how you interpret Sell Out’s take on that event! Suffice to say, a number of Sell Out’s customary paper butterflies were flying out of the frame of the image, originally blu-tacked (is that a verb?) to the wall but this afternoon lying on the floor (photo below taken yesterday morning) and some guests helped themselves to those butterflies as Sell Out has always intended in the past.
Sell Out’s work has been featured a few times before on our blog here
The new art? An incredibly exciting discovery of new bronze castings by Jonesy!
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.
The London street artist Sell Out was very busy in Shoreditch on Saturday morning and the Shoreditch Street Art Tour found a variety of his work at various locations.
This fountain on Brick Lane has been used as a scene for a number of Sell Out installations, this time a Sell Out Duck floated around while butterflies skirted around its head. There was something about this duck’s stare…..not the kind of duck that hangs around nurseries, kids baths or fairy tale illustrations!
Then we found Spiderman scaling this sheer brick wall, the lattice detail was stenciled by Mexican duo Lapiztola but in the close up of Sell Out’s Spiderman, it takes on the appearance of a web.
We also found Batman who seemed to be helping the citizens of Shoreditch by handing out Sell Out’s butterflies.
Finally, a huge flock of hand painted butterflies stuck on with blu-tack invited people to find the butterfly with their name as a souvenir of the Shoreditch street art, the effect was a bit like those tourist shops where you buy personalised gifts with individual names but of course with Sell Out’s particular spin on artists using street art to promote their art sales, he actually wants people to find their name and keep the butterfly. There were several dedicated to Dave 😉
Last night on our Night Street Art Photography Tour last night we came across the artist Sell Out creating a new structural installation making use of a street cleaner’s hand cart which is often kept in the car park. With a paint pot face, tape arms and hands propelling the cart around and butterflies streaming in the wind as its hair.
We managed to get a few nice shots of the sculpture lit in a variety of different ways, night street art photography offers so much opportunity for experimentation.
We had a pleasant chat with Sell Out who wasn’t at all fazed with the expected fate awaiting his new installation. This morning the Shoreditch Street Art Tour revisited the scene and found that the hand cart had already been re-assigned to its normal use and was no longer there. Such ephemerality is the almost inevitable fate of street art and we were pleased to be able to record this one’s mayfly like existence.
New York based street artist Dan Witz has recently visited London to create a politically charged emotive street art campaign. Dan WItz started painting delicate realistic hummingbird on the streets in the 1970s and is now known for eerie street art featuring despairing oppressed humans incarcerated behind doors and gratings.
Danger of Death
Empty The Cages is a new PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals) campaign for which vegan Dan Witz aims to raise awareness of the cruelty inflicted on animals in the quest for more efficient and cheaper meat production to feed the worst parasite this planet has ever witnessed – mankind.
These pieces have been placed mainly in the Kings Cross and Clerkenwell areas of London. The pieces stand out for their accomplished finish, their coherent message and the daringness of their placement.
A full description of the merits and meanings of this street art campaign can be found on our sister blog Graffoto