Tag Archives: Street Art

Banksy Antonelli and Marziani Book Review

Banksy, the best known living artist, is an enigma with a perverse attitude to celebrity status and personal information.  In an age where non-entities share every plate of food, change of eyeshadow and ill-advised swimwear hot, this is this is a major anomaly.

Anonymity and secrecy fuels curiosity so there have been many books about Banksy, though none actually by him since “Wall and Piece” in 2005.  The economically titled “Banksy”, Stefano Antonelli & Gianluca Marziani, Rizzoli International Publications, 2022, unauthorised, collects together a significant amount of material addressing Banksy the street artist, the art world darling, the enfant terrible and Banksy the “polite vandal”.

Liberally illustrated with large photos, Banksy’s indoor gallery art and his outdoor street art get pretty much equal billing.

Having two authors lends two distinct dimensions to the book.  A significant portion of the book is basically chronological, with photographs illustrating Banksy activity from very early freehand collaborations in Bristol right up to screengrabs of the two videos released by Banksy during lockdown.

The years 2014 and 2016 are omitted so curiously no references to Banksy’s only known signed confession (Mobile Lovers) and his use of a QR code in 2016 to link the Gassed Cosette street image opposite London’s French Embassy to his underlying humanitarian political point.

The second and perhaps more interesting aspect is the philosophical, art history and political analysis.  These aspects are covered with far superior writing quality, though I am perhaps too easily impressed when I have to google the words.  The book makes a strong case for Banksy as a serious and art-world credible artist, something art critics are often inclined to deny.

The one thing no one wants revealed is thankfully not addressed in any great depth.  The authors simply acknowledge the oft-repeated un-confirmed guess from the Telegraph years ago, seemingly on the basis that repetition by enough other people provides validation.  The car park attendant in Weston Super Mare must be gutted.

Some cultural nuances are strangely overlooked such as in the dissection of the title of Banksy’s last book, there are cross references to Tolstoy’s “war and peace” and a tricky allusion to a wall as a source of social media output (me neither) but Banksy’s key joke that to a graffiti writer, a “piece” is a complex multi-colour graffito is not mentioned at all.

There is an excellent Banksy mind-map placing Banksy in context between street art and graffiti with a stream of influences and effects.  Many similar graphics exist such as Cedar Lewisohn’s hand scribbled 2008 street art mind map, they are endlessly fascinating and never easy to agree 100% with, this is the first I have seen regarding Banksy and the authors have done a great job with it.

The book would have benefited from more careful fact checking with errors in dates slipping through and even one artwork which wasn’t by Banksy but is not attributed to anyone else.

There is always room for another Banksy book in the market.  The passage of time provides perspective on Banksy’s earlier career and as long as he remains active there is scope for updating on his latest twists and subversions of the act of creating and disseminating art.  Its range of photographs earns it its position on the bookshelf of the Banksy curious and the in-depth analysis will provide food for thought for the die-hard fan base.

Banksy ©Stefano Antonelli and Gianluca Marziani, Rizzoli Electa, 2022

Hardcover / 10.25” x 11.25” / 240 pages / 194 colour illustrations

£29.95 / ISBN: 978-0-8478-7276-3

Rizzoli Electa / Release date: June 28 2022

Page extracts courtesy the publisher; see book for photograph copyright statements


paste up street art in Shoreditch by comedian Bill Boorman also known as street artist Beirdo celebrates 50th anniversary of Pride in London with the message Pride is more that a parade

Pride Street Art In Shoreditch

Last weekend marked London’s main 2022 Pride celebration and a lot of new Pride street art appeared in Shoreditch in celebration of and support for the LGBTQ community.

On the Shoreditch Street Art Tour on Sunday I was asked by one guest why the London Pride was in July rather than June as they were used to.  Post tour digging revealed that “Pride in London”, the official title at present, is timed for the closest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in NYC which followed police raids on the Stonewall gay bar on 28th June.

The pride rainbow flag features in a lot of the Pride art pieces in its 6 colour traditional colour form, as opposed to the usual 7 colour representation of a rainbow.  The first rainbow flag was designed by the artist Gilbert Blake in 1978 at the request of Harvey Milk (see the film Milk, excellent).  It had 8 colours, the traditional 7 colours of the rainbow plus hot pink above the red.  Each of the 8 colours was assigned a specific meaning.  In 1979, aiming to increase flag production, the pink strip was dropped as hot pink material was not readily available.  The turquoise stripe was also dropped so that the flag could be split and displayed in symmetrical paired halves each having three stripes.  Thus the common Pride 6 colour rainbow evolved.

Subdude used an 8 stripe Pride flag to highlight statutory homophobia on the African continent.

paste up street art in Shoreditch by political street artist Subdude points out that homosexuals are legal targets in 30 African nations celebrating 50th anniversary of Pride in London

Subdude – Pride London 2022

Street artist Beirdo prefers 6 colours, or perhaps was just out of hot pink and turquoise A4.

Anti Conversion Ban Therapy paste up street art celebrates 50th anniversary of Pride in London with of messaages on rainbow coloured paper comedian Bill Boorman also know as  street artist Beirdo in Shoreditch

Beirdo – Pride London 2022

Apparan sends her greetings and wishes you Happy Pride, with 7 rainbow stripes.

paste up street art by street artist Apparan in Shoreditch celebrates 50th anniversary of Pride in London with a heart depicting love with 7 stripe rainbow flag motif flowing through it

Apparan – Pride London 2022

Drash La Krass has a list.  No homophobia, no biphobia, no transphobia, no sexism!

Drash La Krass glittery paste up street art in Shoreditch celebrates 50th anniversary of Pride in London with a no homophobia no bi-phobia no transphobia no sexism message

Drash La Krass – Pride London 2022

Ghead_Tra is a new name this year to the Shoreditch street art scene and his art hates hatred and Conservatives.  The God Loves Gays tricolour specifically aims at the vile spewing Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas USA.

Anti gay anti abortion extremist with Westboro Baptist Church placards held by children

Westboro Baptist Church anti gay anti abortion message – credit Jerod Harris

 paste up street art celebrates 50th anniversary of Pride in London opposing Westboro Baptist Church anti gay  art with messages by street artist Ghead_tra in Shoreditch

Ghead_art – Pride London 2022

If this next text based piece isn’t Ghead then Ghead ought to get together with the unknown artist as the message seamlessly blends two big issues Ghead has gone long on (anti gay bashing, anti Tory).

 paste up street art celebrates 50th anniversary of Pride in London with anti Tory text set in rainbow flag colours  by an unknown street artist in Shoreditch

Unknown artist – Pride London 2022

Sidenote: on another matter the same so-called place of worship also espouses extreme views on abortion and Ghead_tra parodies another specimen of Westboro extremism in opposition to that message.

Street artist Ghead_tra mocks Westboro Baptist Church anti-abortion views with modifications of their own anti abortion text say “abortion is my bloody choice”

“Abortion is my bloody choice”, Ghead_tra, July 2022

Ahead of this week’s Tory party implosion Social Sniper homed in on an issue which highlighted the breakdown of trust by members of the LGBTQ community in politicians.  This may need to be read slowly.  Conversion therapy is a process aimed at “curing” or changing expressions of gender behaviour, identity or expression.  To describe it as controversial would be to miss the most unacceptable aspects of the practice by a million miles.  Boris Johnson decided not to proceed with legislation to ban the practice which provoked howls of horror, at which point he flipped and decided there would be a ban except it wouldn’t apply to trans conversion therapy.

Anti Conversion Ban Therapy paste up street art depicts a trans woman and trans flag by street artist Social Sniper in Shoreditch

Social Sniper – – Pride London 2022

For the curious, the background to Social Sniper’s art is another form of colour spectrum specifically representing the trans community and their supporters.  Trans Pride is taking place this weekend (Saturday 9th July 2022), the weekend after Pride weekend.

Wandering down a parallel track again, one senior tory we didn’t know about before appeared on TV regretting that he had had to support the flip flops on conversion therapy policy.  When politicians publicly admit to supporting policies they fundamentally disagree with, how can voters expect to elect a representative possessing even the tiniest fragment of integrity.

Mike Freer MP

I am hugely indebted to my Shoreditch Street Art Tours co-guide Subdude for his insights and information regarding the content and installation of the art discussed.

All photos: Dave Stuart except where  stated

Featured artwork: Beirdo


Enigma street art surreal painting of multi part horse and human centaur

Enigma Street Art and a show with friends

A significant amount of Enigma street art, who is one of our favourite street artists, has been spotted over the past few weeks.  A quite wet Shoreditch Street Art Tours party bumped into Enigma the Friday before last who was finding the morning’s rainy conditions and wet wall not conducive to painting but as soon as we arrived, the cloud parted, the sun shone and Enigma was able to complete a stunning centaur, part man part horse.

Enigma street art surreal painting of multi part horse and human centaur

Enigma May 2022

This was the week Enigma opened in a group show at BSMT Space alongside Ed Hicks, Perspicere and Roncho.  This elevates Enigma to the level of some heavyweight artists in a very impressive show.

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Close to BSMT is a stunning collaborative mural painted with Ed Hicks that week.  The dramatic portals and volcanic landscapes Ed has been painting recently have been amazing.  The group show attempts to bind the four artist together on the basis of surrealism, in this street art the fusion of enigma’s heads and skulls with Hick’s fractured portal, a woodland scene and a landscape certainly nods in that direction.

Ed Hicks and Enigma collaboration, Dalston, May 2022

Street art collaboration in Dalston by Ed Hicks and Enigma

Ed Hicks and Enigma collaboration, Dalston, May 2022

Street art collaboration in Dalston by Ed Hicks and Enigma

Ed Hicks and Enigma collaboration, Dalston, May 2022

In Shoreditch that same week our tour troupe turned a corner and instead of an Enigma shadow puppet we found a “Forty winks” graffiti throwie.    Two days later on yet another tour we discovered that Enigma had returned to reclaim the spot with a painting of a study on paper of the human torso with a line element head.  Unpick that one!!

Graffiti over street art in Shoreditch

Forty Winks over Enigma shadow hand

Enigma street art surreal painting of male body with line diagram head

Ed Hicks had painted a diptych “as above so below” in Shoreditch the previous week with  Emma Richardson, a private tour group came upon Ed’s painting the day after it had been created but Emma’s panel had already been totally painted over, such is the mayfly-like existence of street art in Shoreditch.  As I have a photo of only Ed’s half, with thanks and apologies I have taken the liberty pinching Ed’s photo from his Instagram.

Streert collaboration in Shoreditch Ed Hicks and Emma Richardson

Ed Hicks and Emma Richardson: As above so below (Photo Ed Hicks)

Perspicere’s string art was highlighted in our 2021 Street Art review as one of the two forms of innovative street art to appear that year.  Perspicere has remained prolific this year with plenty of new specimens revealing the vague semi solidity of their subjects which is seen more clearly the further one stands from the art.

Perspicere string art in Shoreditch of woman in Niqab

Perspicere – former site of Hitchcock Reel

Perspicere string art in Shoreditch of woman holding a face mask

Perspicere

Perspicere’s string art provokes a high “how is that done” curiosity so has a tendency to deteriorate fairly quickly as people pluck at it, though one of Perspicere’s faces has been the subject of a royal update Butterflyman aka Sellout.  The quizzical smiley face one has been installed high off the ground and its longevity has benefitted from the effort that went into that placement.

Perspicere string art in Shoreditch of woman holding a face mask

Perspicere String Art Smilies

The group show ends this weekend so pop up to BSMT if you have the chance, or if it is all over by the time you read this hopefully a few photos will capture some of the magic.

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Why Enigma didn’t have his usual coat on in the rain 🙂

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Perspicere “Walking Head”, “Chair Head”

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Ed Hicks: Anniversary

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Perspicere detail

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Perspicere Shadowman Watching detail

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Perspicere: Shadowman Watching; Shadowman Tear

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Enigma

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

Roncho

Art in the group show New Surrealism: Ed Hicks Enigma Perspiscere Roncho

The Dialogue, Enigma

All photos Dave Stuart except where stated


Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Cardiff Street Art and Graffiti

Any excuse to blow the London vapours from the lungs will do so my travels recently took me West to explore Cardiff street art and graffiti thanks to a cheap rail ticket promotion.  Cardiff is the capital of Wales and, as a specimen of street art informs me, the 6th most “at risk” city in the world from rising water levels.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Cardiff At Risk – artist unknown

I have previous with Cardiff, having been born there, schooled there and fled from there.  It was a shithole until I left, now look at it!   In the mid 00s when I joined Flickr with its global community of artists, writers and photographers I realised early on that Cardiff has some seriously good spraycan artists, so an art visit was well overdue.  This is not a guide to Cardiff’s street art and graffiti scene, I am certain there is more and there are different artists and other locations.  Think of it as me sharing a snapshot of some of the stuff I happened to find and enjoy on one particular day.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

My Dog Sighs & others

I headed into the area south of the train station, dark streets where we used to drink and play pool in the old Bristol Hotel, drawn in that direction not by an awareness of any art locations, just simple curiosity at a new exit from the train station which I don’t think existed when I was a kid.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

N3KOcardiff trans rights stickers

South of the station there was barely a single building I recognised but one thing they never change are the railway bridges so it was nice to find to rough and raw pieces on those familiar surfaces.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Past Jams

Rmer1, as in “Armour”, stood out in my online remote appreciation of Cardiff’s street art scene, my 150% certainty was that if I did find any Rmer artwork it would be one of his photorealistic portrait pieces.  I was dead pleased when one of the first tags I found was Rmer1.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Hoxe1 Rmer1 Cardiff

That tag was found on Womanby Street, a drag that screams “diehard 18 year old drinkers from the valleys” and most of the art seemed bar related.  There was some good stuff and when you have talent like Dr Zadok combining with Karm and Rmer the result such as this portrait of 2015 Welsh Music Prize 2015 winner Gwenno Saunders is inevitably impressive.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Zadok Karm Rmer

After a delicious humus and felafal sourdough in the indoor market a hired bike took me west the short distance to Sevenoaks Park in Grangetown where I found this enormous RIP tribute to deceased graffiti writer NERVE.  The fragmented blockbuster letter outlines served as a frame within which writers paid their respects in a coordinated colour scheme.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Nerve RIP wall Grangetow

I couldn’t believe my luck in coming across this crisp, clean, colour coordinated graff seemingly painted quite recently given its pristine freshness.  It was quite a surprise when a bit of research revealed it dates back to June 2021, there is absolutely zero chance, almost, of anything lasting that long unscathed up here in London.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Nerve RIP wall detail

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Nerve RIP wall

One writer who’s style caught my eye in that Nerve tribute and a couple of other spots was Elvs.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

ELVS Grangetown Cardiff

TIP: When exploring art in a new town, never take the same road twice.  A different route back to the centre led to the chance find of a long extent of graffed up hoardings on the embankment of the River Taff leading to an entrance to the Rugby stadium.  Rugby fans have to have something to piss against I suppose.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Millenium Stadium Taff Embankment Cardiff

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Newer, Cardiff

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

AMOK Cardiff

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Cesto Cardiff

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Sepr Cardiff

Apart from strange spiky posts covered in furious tags, the pieces on the boards were virtually unblemished with little to no dogging or lining out.  Close inspection of one piece did show evidence of some local beef, lining out had been repaired and the same taking out style deployed against the same writer was observed in several spots across the city.

A longer ride took me through Cardiff’s impressive civic centre towards the Roath area where spectacular murals and cobbled alleyway pieces can be found.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Lowther Keys Dan Green Cardiff

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Helen Bur, Colour Doomed collab Cardiff 2014

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

City Road ish, Cardiff

Familiar artists abound though the art piece that excited me most was a My Dog Sighs painting in support of Ukraine in which the photorealistic eyeball reflection expresses the explosive horror or a Russian missile attack.  My Dog Sigh’s painting went viral on social media in the early weeks of the current conflict.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

My Dog Sighs Ukraine

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

My Dog Sighs

With spring light holding up well a random loop up the side of Roath Park then back west hemmed in by the Western Avenue revealed individual isolated art works are to be found by the vigilant eye.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Alex Pawson

This mural by SPK dating from 2015, survives on a wall which has all the hallmarks of a building extension jerry built on top of an existing garden wall, Boris was a pariah among the righteous even before becoming PM (but you knew that).  It’s the legs of the badger down the badger sett painted where once would have been a garden gate is a use of wall topography that amuses and impresses.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Boris Johnson fox hunt supporter – SPK

It’s the legs of the badger down the badger sett painted where once would have been a garden gate is a use of wall topography that amuses and impresses.

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Boris Johnson fox hunt supporter – SPK

They say one of the first signs of gentrification is street art moving in; I remember this cut-through to the train station opening some 35 or so years ago, seems Cardiff’s street art lags the gentrification :-))

Cardiff street art and graffiti visited by Shoreditch Street Art Tours

Helen Bur / Wasp Elder Collab

This trip to Cardiff was part art, part graffiti and part nostalgia.   Despite no prior research into locations a random exploration of Cardiff yielded a satisfying quantity of art and for that randomness was actually all the more interesting.  We shall return.

 

All photos Dave Stuart


Street Artist Enigma In Shoreditch

Just suppose someone decided the missing ingredient in street art was monochromatic medieval woodcut images of public hangings or fantasy horror representations of bizarre sea creatures attacking intrepid seafarers venturing beyond the realm of worldly knowledge.   Japanese street artist Enigma has stepped up to fix this obvious void in Shoreditch’s globally acclaimed street art scene.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma sailing ship and sea serpent

Sea Serpent

Street art has developed to a level of variety and sophistication that it takes something quite special to stand out.  As observed in our look back at Shoreditch street art 2021 favourites, the street art of this new (to us) artist Enigma was a highlight of a rather unusual year It won’t escape your attention that the leviathan serpent traumatising that unstable looking ship above spells out ENGM, a contraction of Enigma’s moniker in a style barely removed from graffiti.  The sea serpent was our first stop-you-in-your-tracks encounter with Enigma’s art last year.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma based on Altas with an origami paper plane

Ready To Fly

A sepia appearance coupled with extensive use of cross hatching lends Enigma’s art an unfashionable antiquated appearance.  Street art is awash with pretty but very average photorealistic portraiture, there is a huge gap for new artists prepared to buck the trend, to not follow fashion.  Enigma’s vision of Lucifer cast out of heaven, based on a detail of Cabanel’s Fallen Angel has butterflies where others paint wavy locks of hair.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma showing a detail copy of Fallen Angel by Alexandre Cabanel

Fallen Angel

Elsewhere faces are sliced to reveal what a proper clockwork orange looks like.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma with a sliced face showing an oragne and clock face so clockwork orange

The Clockwork Orange

Surrealism and distortions suggest an artist enjoying playful imagery and experimentation. How many eyes can you or indeed should you fit on a bowler hatted whale or on a chequered finish flag winged stag beetle?

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma of a surreal whale with a bowler hat and lots of human eyes

Whale Watching

surreal Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma of a stag beetlewith a human eye in its body ad wings with chequered flag design

Love Is A Verb

Fish currently feature frequently in Enigma’s compositions, though the circumstances are typically bizarre.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma of Santa with a huge fish in his present sack

Santa

Enigma’s representations of body parts might resemble pages torn from vintage anatomical studies though a recent fish emerging from an ear could owe more to Hieronymus Bosch.

Surreal Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma showing a fish peeped out of an ear

Pink Fish

Another theme in Enigma’s recent art has been shadow hands creatures.  Those “how to” guides to shadow puppetry never convince you that the contortion of the hands could cast the demonstrated shadow, Enigma teases you into the same shadow guessing game.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma shadow puppets

Shadow Puppet Series

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma showing a shadow puppet stag

Shadow Puppets

A conceptually paired couple of paintings play with the notion of a shadow rabbit created by hands then the actual creature casting a shadow of a hand.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma shadow hand making a rabbit with a passer by

Don’t Follow The Black Rabbit

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma of a rabbit and a shadow rabbit looking like a hand

Follow The Rabbit

Jeopardy crops up frequently in the paintings and this ship in its shattered bottle certainly faces stormy seas and rocky Shoreditch shores.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma of a ship in a broken bottle

Bon Voyage, 2022

Enigma even infiltrates occultist references onto Brick Lane walls, the grinning jester in his harlequin clothing is based on the Hanged Man in the tarot card system and represents submissive states such as surrender or sacrifice.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma showing The Hanged Man tarot card with upside down jester

Hanging Jester, 2022

Enigma garners respect and praise from fellow street artists and when you watch Enigma’s painting style close up you can see why.    His can control would be admired by many graffiti writers, those fractured cross hatching strokes come from practice and skill not accident or chance.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma detail of a mounted butterfly and a fractured Greek head statue

2nd Century Greek bust detail

Enigma has thus far had few gallery outings in London, what has been seen indicates his street art translates beautifully onto rough canvas, as spotted at the Secret Life Gallery in Shoreditch last year.   Instinctively it feels like there is more and better non street art to come from Enigma.

Painting of a rabbit and its shadow by Japanese street artist Enigma

Follow The Rabbit Canvas

Painting of a whale with human eyes and a bowler hat by Japanese street artist Enigma

Whale Watching Canvas

painting of a stag beetle by Japanese street artist Enigma

Love Is A Verb Canvas

There is a lot of fun to be had with a little light painting, a long exposure at night and Enigma’s high contrast imagery.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma showing a shadow puppet stag at night glowing at the edges because of light painting

Stag hands

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma

Hanging Jester at night

Enigma has proved to be very engaging with the public.

Shoreditch street artist Enigma fromm Japan talks to Shoreditch Street Art Tours guests

Hello

We just don’t see enough thematic street art paintings, if you want an idea of the kind of level Enigma is operating at it Ed Hicks might be a suitable peer, a comparison that neither insults Ed nor flatters Enigma.   The sources Enigma mines for his art, fractured ancient Greek busts, tarot cards, cast out demons and psychopathic Kubrick films do a bit more than merely hint at dark undercurrents within his art.   There is an intellectual depth and creative variety to Enigma’s painting and in the high turnover here-today-forgotten-tomorrow world of street art it is testament to Enigma that his paintings are memorable.  Let’s hope Shoreditch continues to play host to his street art for a long time to come.

Shoreditch street art by Japanese artist Enigma mackerel fish

Mackerel

All photos: Dave Stuart

Canvas art photos courtesy Enigma

Photo captions from Enigma’s Instagram


Vibrant Long exposure night photography of street art by Stinkfish in Brick Lane with light trails and light painting

Night Street Art Photography

The days are getting longer, hurrah!  Another way of looking at it is that the nights are sadly getting shorter.  We are now over halfway through the Shoreditch night street art photography season and it has been a cracker.  The season ends pretty much when the clocks go forward in Spring so there is not much time left to join the fun.

Long exposure night photography of street art by Enigma in Shoreditch with light painting

Enigma with light painting and ghosts

On the Night Street Art Photography tour let me help you take stunning night photos of street art such as these.

Long exposure night photography of street art by Mr Cenz in Spitalfields with light trails and light painting

Mr Cenz with light trails and light painting

If you have never done long exposure night photography before you will be find yourself quickly immersed in gorgeous light trails, ghosts, night moods and light painting.

Long exposure night photography of street art by This One in Shoreditch with light trails and light painting

This One with light trails

If you have mastered the basics of manual photography and have say for example an ND filter then you can get into really arty night photography with an amazingly photogenic subject matter.

Long exposure night photography of street art by Alessandro Ioviero in Brick Lane with light painting

Alessandro Ioviero with light painting (Filters not necessary!)

You will find that the skills you acquire will be useful for many other urban night time urban photo opportunities.

Long exposure night photography of Spitalfields Market on a dark moody night with car light trails

Moody night in Spitalfields

You may even be able to create stunning gif animations such as this (Photoshop or a gif animator required).

Night Street Art Photography tours are arranged for individuals or small groups no more than 3, please contact me by email with your enquiry or you can learn more from our website.  We know where to take you and how to photograph it!

Long exposure night photography of graffiti by Real in London with train light trails and light painting

Real with light trails

All photos in this post were taken this Winter by Dave Stuart.

Links:

Stinkfish (feature photo) website

Enigma instagram

Mr Cenz website

This One instagram 

Alessandro Ioviero website

Wrdsmth website

 

 

 

 


illegal 0screenprint paste ups by Nylon with graffiti by Drax and Flash on decayed building front

October Street Art in Shoreditch

October ushered in a tipping point in our weather and our clothing choices changed through the gears through the month.  Autumnal colours compete with fresh new artwork on the walls and one exciting development in October was the return of visiting artists from overseas.

Enigma is a Japanese artist who was based in London for a while pre pandemic, went back to Japan and has now returned to London on a permanent basis.  I count seven murals painted since his return in August, five of which he painted this past month.

street art mural by Enigma of weeping man with head on arm

Enigma

It was fascinating to see Italian artist Alex  respond within the week to Enigma’s maudlin male with one of his own, did you spot the tear from the right eye in each?

weeping man by Alessandro Ioviera in Shoreditch

Alessandro Ioviera

It was brilliant to see graffiti legend Nylon splashing some colour on Shoreditch walls, these 3 faced pots just blew my mind.

tribal primative vases by Nylon with hint of cubism

Primative cubist objects by Nylon

Nylon was accompanied by his friend ACE, as evidenced by this screenprint which has what I believe to be a tribal primitive embellishment by Nylon.  See also the featured image at the top which includes earlier tags from graff kings Drax and Flash.

street art paste up screenprint by A.ce augmented by Nylon

Ace and Nylon

A long awaited trend we spotted this month was the return, at long last, of visiting international street artists because they truly sprinkle a dash of talent and genius on the Shoreditch streets. Stinkfish is from Columbia and has been visiting Shoreditch leaving spraypainted and pasteup art in his wake.

coloutful mural of a face in profile by street artist Stinkfish in Shoreditch

Stinkfish Mural

pasteup by Stinkfish in Shoreditch

Stinkfish pasteup

Combo CK was a new name to us and his non permissioned pasteups made a great impact for their size and beauty, his homage to “Girl With Pearl Earring” was a standout.

street art by French artist Combo in Shoreditch homage to Girl With Pearl Earring

Combo CK

Dan Kitchener yielded one long held Shoreditch spot to Stinkfish but cranked up the impressionism another notch with a new “through the rainy window” style mural at another spot.

impressionist mural of a rainy Tokyo street scene at night by street artist Dan Kitchener

Dan Kitchener

We had the pleasure of coming across the versatile Woskerski writing a graffiti piece, he found time to paint a couple of lovely pieces of art including this hound fully prepared for the change in weather.

A blurred train whizzes over a street art painting of an Afghan Hound by street artist Woskerski

Woskerski

Wrdsmth has been visiting London since 2014 to place his wry and uplifting typewritten messages on the streets of London.  He recently gave in to the irresistible charms of London and relocated en famille here and has been taking Shoreditch spots by storm.  Here he has added his clever wordplay alongside a DONK from a few months back

two illegal pasteups on a Shoreditch backstreet by Donk and Wrdsmth

Donk and Wrdsmth

Wrdsmth and Donk have both part of the posse preparing the London International Pasteup Festival, several locations were prepared in October so while technically they are within the scope of this post I am saving the best of the bunch until the November highlights as the Festival takes place next weekend 4th – 7th November.  Lets have another great month and hopefully we will see you back on the street art tour soon.

All photos: Dave Stuart

 


Origami frog painted by street artist Airborne Mark in Shoreditch

Airborne Mark Origami Street Art Painting

A couple of Sunday’s ago the Shoreditch Street Art Tour group had the pleasure of coming across Airborne Mark in the early stages of a new origami spraypainting.  Mark was as charming as ever and showed the origami model he was using as the reference for his painting.

“Can you see what it is yet?” he challenged us, just like he does you the viewer in this awesome making of video.  As the lucky group that day will testify, for all its polish and multi angles, Mark improvises and films the video yet manages to paint a masterpiece at the same time.  This video is such a pleasure to watch, I do hope you enjoy it.

Our group passed through at the point where he have completed the model outline and was just working on painting the cardboard base, pretty much the point at 2 minutes into the film where Mark explains some the challenges in painting the outline. Yes, we guessed correctly that it was going to be a frog!

The Origami model of the frog painted by street artist Airborne Mark in Shoreditch

Airborne Mark shows Shoreditch Street Art Tours his model

We have had the pleasure of bumping into Airborne Mark painting a few times down the years, we wrote a nice feature about Mark with a lot of history HERE

Just to demonstrate our lack of planning and foresight, the featured image at the top of this post is…the same as featured at the top of our September Highlights blogpost, which I suppose reflects how much we like Airborne Mark’s street art.

All photos: Dave Stuart