Tag Archives: Shoreditch Street Art TOurs

JR: Chronicles Saatchi Gallery Exhibition

One question I always flounder with is “Who do you think the up and coming future stars in street art are?”, like I have any idea about art picking!   The easier question is “Who has emerged?” and if there is one person who can’t be left out of that answer it is French artist JR.   JR: Chronicles at the Saatchi Gallery is a comprehensive examination of JR’s very impressive back catalogue of art on the streets.  Through a succession of rooms a large number of JR’s street projects are reprised, dissected and explained,  the best part of a couple of hours is recommended.

JR: Chronicles Gallery Art by Street Artist JR showing photos of JR's street art and installations

Portrait Of A Generation inside demolished building

JR’s artistic origins were as a not terribly stylish tagger in Paris who chances on a camera, takes some pretty cracking photos in fairly lairy sink estates dotted around Paris, print them out super cheap and pastes them up on the streets. Among the images is one of a young video maker surrounded by local “yoots”, that cameraman is now better known as the award winning director Ladj Ly and just to digress for a moment, watch Ladj Ly’s 2019 “Les Miserables”, it makes a superb companion to this exhibition as a semi fictional and unaffectionate look back to the environment that shaped JR’s early adult life.

JR: Chronicles Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: Ladj Ly at Les Bosquets

If you haven’t spotted the jarring “trick of the eye” in the Les Bosquets photo, if you find it inexcusably intimidating well you’re not alone, JR tells us that when that photo was pasted on the side of the Tate Modern in 2008, the Director initially refused the image as he thought it was a gun as well.  That was the point, JR was challenging your inclination to jump to racist conclusions.

JR photo of Ladj Li holding camera like a gun at Tate Modern Street Art Exhibition 2008

JR: Tate Modern, 2008

Banksy’s first London exhibition was an un-authorised street take-over in 2001, JR adopted the same tactic in the same year.  His “Expo 2 Rue”, translated as “Sidewalk Gallery”, involved guerrilla pasting his photos on building site hoardings and to add emphasis to his paste ups he sprayed picture frames around the paste ups linked together by straight lines.  JR: Chronicles has a little humorous play with the form of JR’s Expo 2 Rue concept, a blown up photo of an Expo 2 Rue installation incorporates a video screen framed where the paste up was. “Tres droll” he probably wouldn’t say.

JR: Chronicles Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR – Expo 2 Rue

The scale of JR’s achievements transcend the boundary between street art and fine art, appealing as readily to art world snobs as to people who would never normally contemplate attending an art exhibition.  This can perhaps be appreciated by splitting his endeavours into three component parts, vaguely and inadequately summarised (my inadequacy, not the exhibition’s) as Idea, Execution and Documentation.

JR: Chronicles Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR au Louvre et le Secret de la Grande Pyramid

The ideas and concepts are the things that earn JR a place among the giants of contemporary art in the “proper” art world and galleries like Saatchi.  JR has completed a very impressive number of major projects in what is still a comparatively young career.  The hallmark of them all is quality and originality, from his Expo 2 Rue at age 17 to Women Are Heroes and Gun Chronicles by way of Wrinkles Of the City, Portrait of A Generation and more, a mere 7 huge rooms at Saatchi’s Kings Road art palace is barely sufficient.

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: Projects

If JR has a secret cellar to which failures are condemned, surely there must be some, it is well hidden.  The execution of them is undoubtedly thoroughly thought through, one of his charming trademarks is corralling local volunteer’s enthusiastic assistance in putting up his large paste up projects.  For those who may have no idea how printed street art can be created on such magnificent scale various display cases, models and prop do great job of lifting the veil on those production secrets.

Work In Progress JR photo of Ladj Li holding camera like a gun at Tate Modern Street Art Exhibition 2008

JR Work In Progress, Tate Modern 2008

How do you print out the images?  They are made from continuous sheets of paper 36 inches wide and in one of the films you see an architect’s printer spewing paper like a long string of spaghetti.  How many sheets?  In one of the vitrines are JR’s working images with the construction lines drawn by hand which divides the image into the stripes for printing and ultimately for putting the strips in the right order,  a laden trolley laden demonstrates how many rolls of paper might go into one of those epic paste ups.

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: work in progress

There’s nothing quite so unpredictable as the public which coupled with JR’s “suck it and see” approach to putting up installations in locations where authorities are hostile (Israel, USA border) has given him a wealth of anecdotes which are well with tuning into, you can access his spoken word stories online away from the gallery.  Treat it like a podcast, you can for example access it using the QR code further down this page or it is currently available on youtube.

You might not find the “process” insights interesting, poor you, but scrutiny of those aspects can reveal secrets hidden in plain sight.  The image of a tea party JR arranged to take place through the USA Mexico border fence is well known, JR explains in one of the videos that on the Mexican side they sit at a table; on the USA side the party was “guerrilla style” as the artist was denied permission so the party on the American side takes place not on a table but a printed canvas unfurled and passed through from the Mexican side.  My chin dropped.

JR: Migrants, Mayra, Picnic across the Border, Quadrichromie, Tecate, Mexico – USA, 2017

JR’s contact sheets from earlier analogue photography projects are displayed in several vitrines in various rooms.  In the contact sheet of the images of Ladj Ly holding his camera like a gun the famous image is the very first one on the sheet, it captures the ominous energy of the kids surrounding Ladj just at that moment as they clamoured to be in the photo, in the other photos the kids were basically posturing and with the absence of spontaneity the menace becomes cartoonised.

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: Portrait Of A Generation Contact Sheet

The third pillar of JR’s enterprise is the element that allows JR to produce stunning books and exhibitions.  It’s the documentation, JR takes brilliant photographs of JR’s photography projects!

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: Portrait Of A Generation

JR attributes his trademark hat and glasses to the early need to avoid being identified by a local mayor who wanted to sue him.   He does however explain his art to camera in a comprehensive and articulate way but always in hat and glasses.  For someone so preoccupied with anonymity shyness is not an issue!

street artist JR in front of the Inside Out Travelling Photo Booth

JR and Inside Out photo booth at Somerset House, 2013

JR does not sign his paste ups though sometimes the artist is unavoidably present at a microscopic scale, check the reflection in the subject’s eyes in, for example, the Nairobi train!

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: Women Are Heroes, Kibera, Kenya

JR’s projects are concerned with humanity, often illustrating the unnecessary impact that boundaries, borders and schisms in society have on humanity, or should that be the impact the unnecessary borders have?  In essence he probes and highlights people’s impact on people.

Child peeps over US Mexico Border by Street Artist JR

GIANTS, Kikito and the Border Patrol, Tecate, Mexico – USA

The humanity becomes a teeming multitude in the Chronicles project, JR photographs up to a 1,000 people in basically the way they would like to be photographed then collages the individuals into a huge mural.  There is a tendency for the impact to resemble a hyper realistic nightmare or disaster movie.  JR toys with your own interpretations of the evidence of your own eyes, is what you see really a violent disorder, or is it actually a community out playing and dancing?

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: Chronicles de Clichy-Montfermeil (detail)

Another thing that the show achieves which you can’t really replicate on a book or in a tiny screen is to impress with the scale and the level of detail in the augmented reality Chronicles.  Download the JR – net app then point your phone at the relevant Chronicles mural causes a pointer to skip from person to person in the mural and through the magic of multi media you can hear that persons’ story as recorded by JR.  Gun Chronicles occupies the whole of a large wall and incorporates 245 different viewpoints on the gun issue.  JR avoids casting judgement, pro and anti Right To Carry folk are included and your reaction to the arguments tells you all you need to know about yourself rather than the issue.  Good luck on completing the dive into the stories of all 1,128 citizens in The Chronicles Of New York City!

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: Chronicles Of New York

The opening of JR: Chronicles in June was accompanied by another iteration in several London locations of JR’s Inside Out project.  This manifests as a travelling photo booth in a van modified to look like a polaroid camera where, after a long queue, your photo is taken and printed out on a large sheet and pasted on the ground like a massive outdoor version of a school yearbook if you went to that kind of school, not me!

Street Art Tour Guide Dave Stuart from Shoreditch Street Art Tours participates in JR's Inside Out photography project at Somerset House London 2013

JR Inside Out Project, Somerset House 2013

The same van stars in JR’s film “Faces Places” made with the acclaimed French director the acclaimed late Agnes Varda (click HERE for trailer).

Tour Guide Dave Stuart collects photo from JR's Inside Out photo booth at Somerset House, 2013

The Inside Out photo booth at Somerset House, 2013

That segues us nicely into an appreciation of how JR’s story is really like a street art fairytale.  The promise of street art is that anyone can present their art to a public audience, you don’t need an art degree, critical approval or gallery acceptance, you create your own art world by placing your art on the streets.  Direct from you the artist to the consumer, no middleman necessary.  JR has basically parlayed this circumventing the art system system from untutored photography to hijacking wall space and from there to projects in Israel and Palestine meeting with military disapproval, to exhibitions in posh London galleries and films with the luminati of the film world.  No formal art education or art world blessing required.  Know anyone else who did that?

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: Face To Face Contact Sheet

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

JR: Face To Face, Separation Wall

One more thing in a show where so much effort has gone into making the artist look effortlessly cool, the QR codes are functioning pieces of art.  No doubt if I ask a young person I will find yet again I am ages, like months behind the times dude.

Gallery Art by Street Artist JR shows photos of JR's street art

QR Code Art (go on, test it)

The show dissects it’s subject into 7 themed zones, in each an idea and to a greater or lesser extent the process is revealed.  The whole show is the manifestation of the third dimension of JR’s activity, the documentation, it really earns that title “Chronicles”.


JR: Chronicles

Saatchi Gallery 4 June – 3 October 2021

Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY

Booking essential: tickets


Links:

JR’s website

Graffoto review of JR’s 2015 exhibition “Crossing” at Lazarides Gallery

Photos of JR’s photos of JR’s Photos by Dave Stuart


Pink elephant parade street art by street artist Fat Cap Spraysreflected in car windscreen

June Busting Out Street Art All Over

June is Summer’s portal, ushering in hazy sunshine, drinks with friends and a bump in street art action.  That’s the theory; June in London this year was on the whole rather grey and overcast, here are some of the artworks that leavened the damp squib the month became.

paste up street art of rock star Debbie Harry from Blondie by Postmans Art

Debbie Harry – The Postman’s Art

Nathan Bowen has been on a recent flurry of art activity, one particular piece I wanted to include falls foul of the very strict rigid inflexible “June and June only” qualifying period set for this post but thankfully there are other equally lovely ones.

permissioned mural street by Nathan Bowen and Harry Blackmore

Nathan Bowen & Harry Blackmore

In this artwork created in Pedley St, the latest graffiti hotspot, Pablo Fiasco fuses the first African American character to appear in the Peanuts cartoon strip with imagery inspired by the Jimmy Cliff film “The Harder They Come”, a combination every bit as brilliant as Fiasco’s masterful stencil technique.

stencil street art by Pablo Fiasco featuring Peanuts character Franklin and scenes from The Harder They Fall Jimmy Cliff

Peanuts character Franklin by Pablo Fiasco

stencil street art by Pablo Fiasco featuring Peanuts character Franklin and scenes from The Harder They Fall Jimmy Cliff

Pablo Fiasco Jimmy Cliff detail

Grace Kelly popping into a British phone box would be an iconic moment if it ever happened, D7606 is quite happy to do the imagining for us.  Let’s hope “indigo the art dog” from New York knows how to behave.

pop art style paste up street art with Grace Kelly in a phone box by street artist D7606

Phone box multiples with Grace Kelly – D7606

Seeing Coloquix art in London is relatively unusual but it always reminds me of the wonderful time I had in Sheffield exploring art in derelict buildings after travelling up there for a gallery show by Aida, which was the first time I encountered Coloquix’s art.

paste up street art female figure bouncing on space hopper by street artist Coloquix

female with space hopper – Coloquix

Woskerski and David Speed have alternated in the use of this particular spot in the past month, this fried egg by Woskerski was sensational.

Photorealistic fried egg painted on a building site hoarding in Shoreditch by street artist Woskerski

Fried Egg – Woskerski

At a nearby location this skull by David Speed was beautifully framed in the structure of the bus shelter.

neon pink skull street art painted on an abandoned bank in Shoreditch by street artist David Speed

David Speed

At a more formal level and not normally the kind of art that Shoreditch Street Art Tours covers, Art Night has been significantly redesigned for 2021.  It used to be a one night event in London involving a crazy evening pounding around one off art events in galleries in institutions and it was terribly easy to actually spend the whole evening stuck in a queue for the most popular elements.   For 2021 the event is strung out over a month and has been decentralised with much activity outside London.  Supporting a theme small acts of personal and collective defiance and self determination we had this biting feminist advert from the Guerrilla Girls.

Art Night 2021 billboard art by Guerrilla Girls

Guerrilla Girls -Female Artists

As an aside, whenever I am under extreme pressure to name a favourite piece of street art I often fall back to a piece by James Cauty in 2008 which mirrored the street but with the devastating ego blow in which my personal significance was accurately measured out by my invisibility, it was at the same spot.

Favourtie piece of street art ever, billboard art in Shoreditch

TRA TON SI SIHT – Jimmy Cauty, 2008

This building site hoarding is at the site of the former art hang out known as the Foundry, the Shoreditch location where a new 27 story hotel is being constructed where once was one of the largest Banksy’s in London.  It mainly hosts graffiti, this sublime abstract artwork seems to have the hand, meaning can control, of a graffiti writer but looks to be abstract to the point of no letterform at all.

abstract graffiti colourfields in Shoreditch - artist not known

artist not known

That building site is now emerging above ground level, it is quite scary to reflect on the fact that it will be a 27 story building when complete.

Art Otel new building under construction in Shoreditch with graffiti on hoardings Awards, Fugs, Mase, Krops et al

Legal graffiti on building site hoardings – Awards, Fugs, Mase, Krops et al

all photos: Dave Stuart


Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Nature Is A Whore

“It was 30 years ago today” that Nirvana released Nevermind, with apologies for that inept abuse of the Beatles’ lyrical mastery and the actual facts (release date Sep 24th 1991).  One of the standout tracks on a standout album is “In Bloom”, Kurt Cobain’s lament on the impact of their growing success and within the song is the line “Nature Is A Whore”.  Nature Is A Whore is the tagline anointing some but not all of a collection of naïve and economical artworks appearing around London over the past few months.

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

The smile is often innocent, almost angelic and frequently the curiously four fingered character offers flowers or seems to relish the beauty in a fresh cut flower.  The crossed arms styling is curious as well, is this a dance move or a gangster style vogue?

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

You have got to chuckle when the buff inadvertently facilitates a tinted homage to the original.

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Painting large scale on a couple of currently un-utilised advert walls, the artist is proposing that they are not racist as they have a coloured TV, which at face value looks like a joke available in black and white versions but could easily be a very clever indication of a race blind preference for transvestites.  Rather curious that one version of this has the “British English” spelling of the word “coloured”, the other is wrong! (wink)

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Sometimes the artistic impulse springs from an anonymous mind whose satisfaction would appear to derive from beautification rather than ego gratification.  Thus far, I have no firm idea who these short lived minimalist masterpieces should be attributed to.

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Here is a sample of just a few, guests have report their own sightings of other specimens in other locations.

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Only Fools And Cars Go backwards

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

Send A Ugly Girl Flowers

Shoreditch street art characters with nature is a whore written next to them by unknown mystery street artist

All photos: Dave Stuart


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INSA Animated Mural For London Mural Festival

Spraying walls was the name of the game throughout September for the London Mural Festival. Shoreditch Street Art Tours is going to bring you coverage of the highlights soon but first off, here is one of the absolute standouts, an animated wall by INSA.

Old school graff writer INSA has been creating “Gif-iti” walls on the Shoreditch streets since 2011.  The one which probably brought greatest recognition was cops perpetually chasing eachother in the Cycle of Endless Futility, a tour favourite from its creatiom in 2014 to its sad loss to mural adverts in 2018.

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The Cycle Of Futility, Redchurch St 2014

INSA’s contribution to London Mural Festival #LMF20 consists of 8 strips each with an animation frame, the images segue along the wall.  As a static painting this could almost be a contemporary stained glass window.

It comes alive with INSA’s Gif-iti viewer, you can download that HERE, or go to the App store on your Phone, search “INSA’s Gif-iti Viewer”.  Don’t worry this app is legit, not spam!   Point the viewer at the image above on another device and Bob’s your uncle, the image comes to life!

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INSA, London Mural Festival 2020

If you can’t recreate the effect, check out this recording made using the Gifiti Viewer in front of the wall.

The critical question with any piece of street art is what are we looking at, what does it mean?  What I am seeing is someone throwing something, the action looks reminiscent of a protester hurling a Molotov.  Could that tousled blonde mop be anyone other current UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson?   What is being thrown is something of a mash up between the stripes in a piece of toothpaste and…the old Tory party logo.  At time of writing the Tory party is having its annual conference – online.  There’s a Boris Riot going on.

You may see something different and INSA’s concept may be different from all our theories, that’s art.

Street art Shoreditch, Shoreditch Street Art Tours, London Street Art, London street Art Tours, London mural festival, LMF20, INSA, Gifiti, Gif-iti, animation virtual street art tour,

Tory Party Logo

You can also recreate The Cycle Of Futility experience pointing your viewer at the image above.

London Mural Festival turned out to be quite epic, stay tuned for further coverage in the near future on the Shoreditch Street Art Tours blog.

Links:

INSA website

INSA Gif-iti website

photos and video: Dave Stuart


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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..

LDN Graffiti, Joe Epstein, London Graffiti and Street Art, GOSH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alo, Dr Zadok, MadC, Neist, Pure Evil, Run, Stik, The Toasters, Vibes, Shoreditch Street Art Tours

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.

LDN Graffiti, Joe Epstein, London Graffiti and Street Art, GOSH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alo, Dr Zadok, MadC, Neist, Pure Evil, Run, Stik, The Toasters, Vibes, Shoreditch Street Art Tours

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

LDN Graffiti, Joe Epstein, London Graffiti and Street Art, GOSH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alo, Dr Zadok, MadC, Neist, Pure Evil, Run, Stik, The Toasters, Vibes, Shoreditch Street Art Tours

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


LDN Graffiti, Joe Epstein, London Graffiti and Street Art, GOSH, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Alo, Dr Zadok, MadC, Neist, Pure Evil, Run, Stik, The Toasters, Vibes, Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Street Artists Great Ormond Street Hospital Fundraiser

Joe Epstein of LDN Graffiti and producer of the street art book London Graffiti and Street Art has announced an exciting fund raiser to benefit the famous Great Ormond Street Hospital.

GOSH has launched their Covid-19 appeal to help fund both the hospital’s most urgent needs now and support its vital work once this crisis is over, more  details on their appeal HERE

9 Art Blitzed Books – Unique Covers

Nine artists, all of them tour favourites, have each uniquely hand-painted and signed a copy of the book London Graffiti and Street Art.

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The artists are: Alo, Dr Zadok, MadC, Neist, Pure Evil, Run, Stik, The Toasters, and Vibes.

The Pure Evil book looks pure bonkers!

Donate £5 to enter the LDN GOSH Lottery to WIN one of these unique modified LDN books, 9 in total, published by Ebury Press. £20 gets four entries, and so on.  100% of donations will go to GOSH and help the fight against Covid-19!

Dig deep, donate and enter the #LDNGOSHLottery now!

The donation link is > https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LDNGOSHLottery

The full project info is on the LDN website > https://ldngraffiti.co.uk/shop

Here are some photos by Dave Stuart of each these featured artists as seen on the tour (to avoid confusion, these photos do not appear in Joe’s book):

Street Art, Shoreditch, London, street art tour, tour guide, Banksy, Stik, Roa, Dismaland, Dr D, Vermibus, Alo, Clet Abraham,

A Bun In Their Hair, ALO, Shoreditch 2014

Street Art, Jim Vision,Shoreditch,Street Art Tour, East End, London,Kick Ass 2, Movie, live, painting

Dr Zadok as seen on Shoreditch Street Art Tour

MadC, 2013 and still going strong

Street Art, review, 2010, Graffoto.co.uk, street art tours, tour guide, murals

Connectivity Mural – Autone & Neist detail

London, Shoreditch,Street art,graffiti,walk,tour,walks, tours,jesuischarlie,artists, Pure Evil

Pure Evil jesuischarlie 2015

Street Art Locations, London Street Art, Street Art In London, Shoreditch, Camden, Hackney Wick, Where is London's art, Banksy

RUN and Burning Candy, Hackney Wick 2013

Street art, Shoreditch, London, Stik, Falko, Falko1, street artist, street art tour, guide, couple holding hands, brick lane, interracial harmony

Couple Holding Hands, Stik, 2010

Street art, Shoreditch, Shoreditch street art tours, London, Tour Guide, Dave Stuart, street art photography

Toasters, Kingsland Road, 2009

London, Shoreditch, street art, sculpture, dust cart, hand cart, Sell Out, street artist, walk, walks, tour, tours

Vibes, ALO and also feat Sell Out and Brush

 


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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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).

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

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 . . .

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

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.

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

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