Tag Archives: spraycans

My Dog Sighs Street Art and Gallery Show

CRYLON

Nelly Duff, 156 Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG

8TH – 14TH Nov 2019

My Dog Sighs has a London solo show at Nelly Duff, well overdue after a long gap since his last London solo show.

This photorealistic extraordinaire has steadily built up a broad array of impressive street art styles, most famous of which are his Free Art Friday cans.  The cans feature a crushed and folded cylinder with cute snub hosed faces painted onto the shiny base which were left outdoors for people to discover and keep, they are hugely admired by many, found by few.  The concept and discipline of painting photorealistic faces on circular can bases fed into other street art styles, notably in many enchanting paste ups created in collaboration with fellow south coast artist Midge.

My Dog Sighs & Midge, London 2013

My Dog Sighs/Midge collaboration, London, 2014

My Dog Sighs has also a massive reputation for his incredible murals, his eyeball paste ups, his stickers, his waterdrops and his completely different non-circular non photorealistic stick character.

Upfest mural, Bristol 2015

Upfest mural, Bristol 2017

Eyeball, London 2017

Stick Man, London 2017

Water drop, over Subdude, London 2019

Sticker, London 2015

The humble tool of the graffiti writer, street artist and amateur bodywork repairer is the spraycan and My Dog Sighs art has brought the can right into the art as a canvas as well as a source of paint.  This show is all about the cans.

My Dog Sighs- Beige

Crylon, the title of the show plays with the phonetics of the name of a major spraypaint supplier Krylon.  Back in the early days of graffiti spray paint manufacturers were focussed on industrial applications, particularly car paint and a major source of paint for graffiti writers was the cans of paint sold in car repair shops, not all of it finding its way through the checkout before ending up in the graffiti writer’s hidden pockets.  Crylon also speaks to the sad doleful appearance of My Dog Sighs’ characters.

As well as the cans, it’s all about the eyes. Watching My Dog Sighs in action on a public mural is to watch someone painstakingly paint microscopic detail in flecks of colour in the iris and in the reflection on the eyeball.  In his exhibition you ascend the rickety wooden stairs of the Nelly Duff Gallery and enter into the Room of Stares.

Rickety Stairs

Room Of Stares

Engage in a staring match with each of the square eyeball images and in the reflections in each of the eyeballs you will spot different characters inspired by legendary photos from the 1980s era of subway graffiti.  One lining up his spray cans is unmistakably Dondi photographed by Martha Cooper and published in graffiti’s Book of Genesis Subway Art. Look right into the detail of the eyeball and you can see that My Dog Sighs has even replaced the Rustoleum logo on the can Dondi holds with the characteristic triple spot of Krylon’s logo.

Pink canvas (detail)

Pink screenprint (detail)

Dondi by Martha Cooper, Subway Art, published by Thames and Hudson

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Red screenprint on paper (detail)

Flick through your copy of Subway art and you will find spraycans littered, almost literally, throughout Martha Cooper’s photos which embraced the broader context of graffiti culture rather than just the trains themselves.

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Blue screeprint(detail)

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Blue canvas (detail)

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Crazylegs by Martha Cooper, from Hip Hop Files, published From Here To Fame Publishing, 2004

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Yellow canvas detail

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Green canvas detail

The wall of stares houses a mix of eyes on canvas, eyes screen printed on paper and in one case screen printed onto metal, each in 5 colourways, though not all on display.  This allows us a very unusual opportunity to compare a screen print with the original, and only a publishing house with the quality of Nelly Duff’s in house printer would have the confidence to pull this off.  Under close up scrutiny the effect of the varnish layer on the aluminium print is bewitching although really only apparent when viewed in real life, photos don’t do it justice.

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Blue – Canvas original painting

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Blue – archival flatbed print with silkscreen varnishes on brushed aluminium

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Blue – archival flatbed print with silkscreen varnishes on paper

The other half of Crylon is a collection of framed faces on cans, the cans are Krylon and Rustoleum and in each one the painted character reflects the colour of that paint can and indeed something of the emotion suggested in the faintly surreal names the colours are given by the manufacturer.

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Owl is obviously a quite extraordinary name to give a paint colour so just as well Owl has an extraordinary face.

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Owl (detail)

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Owl

Nice to see a vintage can of Rustoleum making an appearance, seems that aluminium is a colour now, interpreted by My Dog Sighs as a Silver lady up to some devilment at a masque ball.

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Silver

The rim of the base has been sanded back to bright metal to make it silver rather than the rust finish seen in all the other vintage cans.

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Silver detail

The frame fillet, that colour strip inside the frame that gives depth to the frame is also matched to the colour of the can and at the bottom of each frame is a used spraycan cap, also colour matched.

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Bright

My Dog Sighs has, in the blink of an eye, doffed his cap to the origins of street art in his homage to the classic Martha Cooper photos and the old school industrial painting spraycans in a nod to the significance of the can as a canvas for his art.  He also demonstrates that photorealism can be beautiful art as opposed to the exercise in tedious virtuosity it can appear at times in the hands of others.

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Fire

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Bright (detail)

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Regal

MyDogSighs, Streetart, Urbanart, Gallery, Shoreditch, NellyDuff, photorealism, spraycans, Krylon, Rustoleum, waterdrops, eyeballs, walkingtours, streetarttours

Pink canvas

LINKS:

My Dog Sighs website

My Dog Sighs instagram

Martha Cooper instagram

all photos: Dave Stuart except where stated

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Graffestival – Spraycan Art At The Community Gardens This Weekend

Graffestival, a huge spraycan art festival at the Nomadic Community Gardens and surroundings areas just off Brick Lane is happening this weekend.  Painting started today with a frantic burst of wall preparations, rollers, hoists, cans, renewing old acquaintances, sharing beers and gossip, chilling in the glorious sunshine, nodding to heavy beats and drinking red stripe.  With thanks to the artists whose consent we obtained for photos and apologies to those that we didn’t get the chance to interrupt, here are walls, shadow, marks and work in progress.  The festival continues tomorrow (Sunday 22nd).

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All photos: Dave Stuart