Tag Archives: Stik

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Jace Homage to Stik’s Brick Lane Couple

Jace is a street artist who puts up charming and idiosyncratic sculptural faces on walls, usually not troubling wall owners with requests for permission.  At the turn of the decade, three weeks ago, Jace revealed he had put up 253 faces in an impressive 47 cities in a staggering 21 countries.   I can relate to this kind of OCD stats collection.

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253 Faces – photo by Jace

A new crop of Jace faces surfaced last weekend including a renewal of Jace’s ongoing homage to Stik’s iconic Brick Lane Couple.

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Brick Lane Couple by Stik; Jace couple (at eye level),January 2020

This homage piece has by Graffoto’s reckoning been through 5 different manifestations since it first appeared in 2017. The first face on this spot was actually just a lonesome bachelor in February 2017, but he did have a wonderful fresh complexion.

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Bachelor Small Face, Feb 2017

It was joined by its partner in around May 2017

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Homage to Stik, May 2017

By October 2017 the resilient female had endured a few chips but and chosen a new partner.

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Jace October 2017

This partner was tragically and mysteriously taken, our heroine moved on to another new partner in April 2018, this couple were noticeably closer than her previous relationships and now she preferred brown eyes to blue.

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Jace April 2018

After a long affair and following the pattern, the gentleman somewhat unchivalrously disappeared leaving the poor lady all alone.  Her next partner in July 2019 wasn’t exactly what you would call a looker but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Jace, July 2019

Then, unexpectedly, the couple disappeared, maybe they eloped together.   Last weekend a new couple were drawn to this most romantic corner, in fact one would attribute an almost post coital glow to this cheeky pair.

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Looking pretty damn pleased with themselves, January 2020

So why do these disappear?   As it doesn’t seem to be the council nor is it likely to be the wall owners removing them, the most likely explanation is going to be souvenir hunters.  Sticky fingered street art spotters who think the art would be much better in their private collection rather than enjoyed by its intended public audience.  It’s not all bad news with Jace’s faces, a wonderful story appeared on Jace’s Instagram last weekend about the fate of some small faces in Belfast, Northern Ireland… best told by Jace himself:

Part 1: “In December 2016 I discreetly installed one of my very first ever faces to this wonderful courtyard at Duke of York / Dark Horse Belfast – a creative and humorous space celebrating the people and culture of my city and country. Each year I returned to Cathedral Quarter more and more fantastic murals and installations (by artist @ciarangallagherart amongst others) would appear, and I too would leave another surprise gift in the form of a cheeky face. Some of the faces paid homage to the city, like my H&W giants: Samson & Goliath !”

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Jace Belfast Part 1, Photo by Jace

“At the very beginning of this year (2020) I made a quick visit back to the courtyard before leaving Belfast, and it appeared to me that all of the faces that had been installed over the years had been removed 😦😞☹️ I felt a tinge of sadness (though this is the nature of urban art) because I love this specific place so much, and was about to leave the courtyard when at a final glance down towards the gates something awesome caught my eye…”

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Belfast Part 2, Photo by Jace

Part 2: “all those faces installed from 2016 and dotted about the place have been relocated and displayed collectively. Truly awesome! Seeing this just as I was about to leave Belfast I felt immensely proud and overwhelmingly happy, because I enjoy being in this place a lot. And so, of course I had to put one more new face to the bottom of the column…”

 

When it comes to his small faces, Jace doesn’t do half measures, all told we found 8 small faces from the most recent Jace Shoreditch adventure and for the record, here are the other six beauties.

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Jace, Uberfubs, Dr Cream – all in fashion Jan 2020

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Theresa May, Jan 2020

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Jace Face in London, January 2020

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Purple Daze, Jan 2020

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Jace, January 2020

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Jace, January 2020

The Shoreditch Street Art Tours blog first wrote about Jace’s homage to Stik’s couple in October 2017

Then small faces in great places were featured again December 2017.

Let’s hope the Stik homage faces last even longer this time.

All photos Dave Stuart except Jace where credited.

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A Decade of Genius Street Art

As we start a new decade a review of a tiny amount of the amazing street art witnessed in the past decade seemed appropriate.

A Bun In Their Hair, ALO, Shoreditch 2014

Here is a slide show of a number of the images that made the final review of the “wild Wonderous and Inventive” art, which is a rather vague way of saying “stuff that wasn’t mentioned in our mural, sculptural or political street art reviews.

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The only way to bring to a close this dredging up of our favourite specimens of wild outdoor art is to look back at what Banksy has been up to. Although Banksy produced far less street art in the past decade than in the noughties, on almost all respects other than quantity he continues to be the most important, brilliant and relevant artist in whatever field he chooses.

Banksy Dismaland, 2015

Banksy’s Better In Than Out in New York saw a month long treasure hunt – “hide and seek” combo which cast Banksy as Bonnie And Clyde against the NY mayor, police and press and the world watched with glee but we already knew Banksy would never be caught.

Better Out Than IN, Banksy, New York, photo LunaPark

He also had a major art triumph staging a group shop with a conscience at Dismaland though we already knew Banksy did extraordinary exhibition/experience fusion.

Dismaland, Banksy, Weston Super Mare, 2015

He created a huge mural in Dover in 2017 but we already knew Brexit was a stupid idea.

Banksy, Dover 2017

My favourite Banksy of the decade however was his Les Miserables in Knightsbridge, London’s embassy land.

Tear gassed Cosette, Banksy, Knightsbridge London, 2016

It has the Banksy signature elements, it had the cleverness in repurposing the iconic image of Cosette, it had the impact in terms of global exposure, right opposite the French embassy it combined perfect placement with the “wow, how did he get away with that.” factor.

We did not however know about the French police tear gassing migrant families in the camps in Calais and this was Banksy’s crowning achievement, bringing that shameful episode to wider international attention.

Cosette v French embassy, Banksy, Knightsbridge London, 2016

This selection of photos a part of the selection reviewed and discussed on the Graffoto blog post 2010 – 2019 Wild Wonderous Inventive Street Art

All photos Dave Stuart except LunaPark where noted

It has been a huge pleasure to write 5 reviews of the street art of the past decade which we personally enjoyed.  The Links to those reviews are at the bottom of the Graffoto review.  A specific review of the street art of 2019 might appear shortly.

 

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OSCH, Freddie and Michael

Otto Schade has revisited a wall in Shoreditch that he used to paint frequently until abandoning it to paste up street art for a short while.   Yesterday afternoon he returned to that spot and painted a new composition featuring Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson reacting to a rat that has appeared on stage.

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Michael and Freddie, Otto Schade, December 2019

The last time Shoreditch Street Art Tours blog updated on Otto’s street art was February 2015, a look back at what Otto has done on that one spot since then is overdue.  In February 2015 our last update ended with Otto creating this piece with the kids turning the tables on the kid’s entertainer:

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That piece endured pretty well though by March 2017 it had suffered a few indignities.

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Otto & Stik, March 2017

Otto swiftly addressed that mess with greedy or desperate hands grasping at money distributed by a scarecrow.

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“The Believers”, Otto Schade, March 2017

That didn’t last too long, replaced by “David vs Goliath” in June 2017

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Otto Schade “David vs Goliath”

That was taken out in August 2018 by someone holding a grudge against Otto, so Otto painted “Flies around shit” about giving vast military power to mindless idiots who might use it with reckless abandon.

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“Flies Around Shit”, August 2017

The next update in March 2018 reflected on the impact of technology in turning citizens into passive voyeurs.

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“Jack The Ripper 2040”, March 2018

Then in October 2018 Otto somehow anticipated the impact drones would have on London airports in December 2018 when they caused the closure of Gatwick for 3 days resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

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“AI”, October 2018

This lasted pretty much until May 2019 when a large throwie (tag) went over it followed by multiple paste ups,  in this image most notably Laup Nosnibor.

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May 2019, feat Laup Nobnibor et al

All traces of Otto’s art had disappeared as evidenced fortuitously in this photo I took yesterday to capture the art adjacent to that spot

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Wild street art,assorted artists and quality

It was a little puzzle that after such prolonged use of he same spot with some many changes that Otto appeared to allow it to drift for over half a year but now normal service has been resumed.

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Michael and Freddie, Otto Schade, December 2019

LINKS:

Otto Schade Instagram

All photos: Dave Stuart

Previous Otto post: “Otto Schade Busy In Shoreditch

 

Small Faces In Great Places

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!

That sticker

 

More faces by j.ace

Link: j.ace instagram

all photos: Dave Stuart

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Stik Sticks Around

One of the most popular works of street art on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour is the couple holding hands by artist Stik from London.   In fact this particular piece of street art proved generally so popular that in a survey it was identified as the UK’s 17th favourite piece of art.  And we don’t just mean street art, we mean all art.

Visiting artist Falko from South Africa was in the country a few weeks back and Falko added a tiny elephant to Stik’s iconic piece, quite a bold move for someone whose art we don’t recall seeing on these shores before.   In an interview with Graffoto Stik generously described Falko’s intervention as a forced enhancement.   Stik knows how the game plays with street art, nothing is sacred (no pun intended) so he hasn’t flounced down to Princelet St in a fit of pique to make good the additions, though it will happen eventually.

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Stik with Falko1

Falko’s addition provokes curious thoughts: is there a religious significance the elephant? Well an elephant would be considered Haram under Islamic principals so the elephant is not going to be eaten for sure, it must be some kind of pet elephant albeit a bloody small one.  The simple leash Falko has added binds the elephant to the couple, without that it would just be a small elephant superimposed on a couple holding hands so the lead is very important.   At the tip of the elephant’s trunk it looks like the elephant might be holding a marker pen, even pet elephants getting up on doors these days, though perhaps the elephant is colouring in the background to Stik’s work, in a way signalling to us that Falko actually did the restoration work this time around. Clever that.

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Falko1 Elephant

On my other blog I have written a sister to this piece which includes a look back at the original creation of the couple holding hands by Stik and it also looks at a lot of the other temporary changes made to the art piece since it was painted back in 2010.

Links:

Stik Website

Falko1 Instagram

Graffoto post

All photos: Dave Stuart

 

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It’s A Stik Up

Stik’s three Shoreditch characters have been hidden away more or less since the week they were created, trapped under a sludge of canvas corporate adverts but with a leap and a bound suddenly they are free just in time for Christmas.  This is great news for the legions of Stik fans who are aware of this Stik but have not had the chance to see it.

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Stik – likes a threesome

Stik has been freed for Christmas (perhaps) but don’t hang around, who knows how long it will remain uncovered before the next massive invasion of our eyeballs by a landscape hogging advert.

In September video was released on the Guardian website which features not only the painting of this mural but also the personal quest Stik embarked upon to establish what emotional traits this trio of Shoreditch characters should portray.  This is a fascinating video which touches on many issues affecting Shoreditch including homelessness and gentrification. Please be aware there is an interview insert in which a quite distasteful anecdote is told.  Although this video is hosted on the publicly accessible website of a hugely respectable quality newspaper, I must leave to you judge for yourselves the suitability of viewing the video on the Guardian website.

photos: Dave Stuart

 

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Stik Street Art Auction

A piece of street art by ever popular London street artist Stik is to be auctioned tomorrow at Phillips, London with Stik’s blessing.

From a message issued by Stik:

30 Nov 2016: Street Artist Stik has agreed to authenticate and approve the sale of a street art piece he once painted on the front of the Magpie Social Centre in Bristol. This piece appeared in 2009 on the front wall of the not-for-profit social centre which was evicted earlier this year and is currently looking for a new premises.

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Magpie – Stik, photo via Stik

Stik states: “The Magpie Social Centre was one of the free spaces that actively encouraged street art and helped me to become the artist I am today. I don’t generally approve of the sale of street pieces but here I will make an exception. It gives me great pleasure to authenticate this piece so that Magpie can continue to support the next generation of artists.”

Stik only authenticates street artworks when all proceeds benefit the community they were painted for. The artist was approached by the community centre earlier this year and helped set up the sale with London auction house Phillips. The piece titled ‘Magpie’ has been preserved, framed and logged and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

End message quote

 

The following news arrived In a later message which came in today:

Stik met with the director of Magpie Project Space this week to authenticate the fundraiser sale on Thursday 8th December at Phillips Auction. Seen here at the private view the sale is expected to raise enough funds to rehouse the community centre.

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Stik with Natty Lee form Magpie Social Centre at Phillips Auction Private view. Photo via Stik

Details of the piece are:

STIK – Magpie

Lot 90,

Phillips New Now London Auction
8 December 2016

Signed, dated and authenticated ‘STIK 2009 2016’ on the reverse. Spray paint on wood, in artist’s frame.
139 x 29.8 cm (54 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.)

Executed in 2009. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the artist’s studio.

Estimate £8,000 – 12,000

To participate in this rare opportunity to acquire an authenticated street piece:

Contact Specialist
Simon Tovey
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

or check online HERE

It’s not so easy to see from the photo of the Magpie Social Centre that the Stik piece being auctioned is one of the pieces visible on the Magpie wall but here is a photo I took back in 2010 which shows the same piece much more clearly.

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Stik at Magpie, photo Dave Stuart

 

On the surface it feels like this has a lot of similarities with the famous case in Bristol where Banksy’s Mobile Lovers was removed by the proprietor of the Riverside Boys Club and which ultimately led to Banksy authenticating the street piece and using language very similar to Stik’s to confirm that he was ok with it being sold as a fund raiser for the Boy’s Club. The clear difference is that while Banksy’s Mobile Lover was almost certainly done without permission, Stik is likely to have had the blessing of the Magpie Social Centre to create his work.

all photos via Stik except Dave Stuart where noted

 

 

 

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Stik’s New Shoreditch Mural

Shoreditch based street art Stik was beavering away on a new mural in Old Street for 4 days up until last Sunday.  At times the elements were not in his favour but he gritted his teeth and ploughed on.  Several of our tour groups last week and over the weekend had the pleasure of chatting with Stik as he took short breaks from his painting to come and check on how his characters looked from street level.

 

Just a few days after finishing his landmark painting, a short film has come out following Stik in the build up to this mural in which he seeks to establish a community context for his painting.  It is a fascinating painting with a fascinating story.