Tag Archives: street artist

Street art print stop frame animation of a female swinging a large bat by Dr Cream in Shoreditch

Street Art Animations From Dr Cream

NFTs are the current buzzword in the art world and street artists are getting quite excited about their potential for street art.  Street art overlapping the digital realm is nothing new and one of it longest standing exponents is the self-styled guerrilla animator Dr Cream who has been producing street art animations for the past decade.

London, Shoreditch, Street art, tours, Dr Cream, springbot, Spring, linoprint, linocut, animation, stopframe, timelapse, Shoreditch street art tours, paste ups,

Springbot by Dr Cream feat also the Rolling Fool, Cat Rider and Shark Army, 2017

In the famous Star Yard off Brick Lane there is at the moment a lovely collection of paste ups from Dr Cream comprising the full set of frames required to replicate one of his famous street art animations.  You can do this yourself, take a few quick snaps and hey presto with a bit of photoshop   create your own replica of one of Dr Cream’s animations.   Other animation makers may be available.   The Star Yard collection yielded this version of Daisy Riot’s strike.

street art stop frame animation of a female swinging a large bat by Dr Cream in Shoreditch

Daisy Riot Guitar Swat

For years we had failed to locate every necessary frame to make a seamless replica of one of his animation, this changed at the London International Paste Up festival last year when Dr Cream obligingly put all the frames for another Daisy animation.

Paste-ups by street artist Dr Cream used to create a stop Frame animation

Daisy Riot animation frames by Dr Cream

You may wonder why bother with this complex process fusing the real and the virtual when you could just make a wholly digital animation.  There are several great reasons for doing it this way: the fun, the audience but most of all it is the beauty of introducing random chance abstract colours and textures from the street into the animation.

Street art print stop frame animation of a female swinging a large bat by Dr Cream in Shoreditch

Daisy Riot back lift axe

As for NFTs, hey are coming to street art and there will benefits and there will be negatives, maybe we’ll go into that another time.

Check out the long history of Dr Cream’s street art animations HERE

Photos and animations: Dave Stuart


Extraordinary Portrait Painter Dale Grimshaw’s Street Art

Street artist Dale Grimshaw featured in a brilliant BBC programme on TV last night so here is a  profile of Dale’s street art pedigree and a huge recommendation that you to catch up with Dale’s moment of TV glory.

street artist Dale Grimshawpaints colourful eyes in a Free West Papua mural in Shoreditch

Dale Grimshaw work in progress 2019

In the early years, from about 2009 Dale Grimshaw put paste up street art featuring elaborate dynamic portraits.  Motion was a key characteristic, bodies plummeted from the skies, subjects  kicked out at us, heads twisted with dizzying speed.

Street art woodcut print of man spread-eagled in free fall

The Fool, 2009

paste ups by street artist Dale Grimshaw in Shoreditch showing self portrait and raven

Self portrait and raven, 2009

Woodcut print street art of man in short giving a flying kick by Dale Grimshaw

“Falling Kicking” ,woodcut paste up, 2010

Dale’s involvement in the scene extended to running the Signal Gallery in Shoreditch with his partner.  They staged exciting shows by street art luminaries such as Jef Aerosol and C215 and urban art stars including Matt Small and Jaybo, all of whom are predominantly portraiture specialists. Of course there were also several great Grimshaw shows.

C215 art on display at Shoeshiners exhibition, Signal gallery, 2009

C215 Shoeshiners exhibition, Signal Gallery, 2009

Although Dale did paint murals on permission walls right from the off, his distinctive aboriginal portraits emerged in spraypainted mural form about 10 years ago.

multimedia street art painting of man with a snarling dog on a lead by Dale Grimshaw

Who’s taking who for a ride, mixed media, 2009

vibrant colourful street art mural of a tribesman by Dale Grimshaw

2 Worlds, 2013

street art painting of man and eagle by Dale Grimshaw

Man and Eagle, Walthamstow, 2015

vibrant colourful street art mural of a tribesman by Dale Grimshaw

Hanbury St, 2017

Portrait paintings have been an indulgence for rulers, kings, religious icons and rich art patrons with the moolah to immortalise their image through portrait commissions.  Extraordinary Portraits, presented on the BBC by British rapper Tinie Tempah redresses the balance by pairing unsung heroes with artists for a portrait sitting to honour real people and real lives.  For this edition Tinie matches up Dale Grimshaw with Patrick Hutchinson who made the front pages world wide  in 2020 for his selfless rescue of an isolated white BLM “counter protestor” under attack.

White man rescued by Partick Hutchinson at BLM protest, London, photo credit: Dylan Martinez 2020

White man rescued by Partick Hutchinson at BLM protest, London, photo credit: Dylan Martinez 2020

After Dale and Patrick’s initial meeting the programme pursues Dale’s commitment to reveal something deeper than the superficially obvious, they meet Patrick’s family, visit his place of work and then of course there is the grand reveal.   Fascinating sequences unveil Dale’s photography session, his varied and very detailed painting process and his studio environment.   It’s not just about Dale of course, Patrick is an equally heart-warming character and it is quickly apparent that his credentials as a role model for humanity and harmony go way deeper than that one photographed incident.

Dale Grimshaw and Tinie Tempah, Extraordinary Portraits, ; photo: Peter Coventry

What has Dale painted?  Will the family like it?  Track down Extraordinary Portraits Series 1 Episode 3 (link HERE), available on BBC iPlayer until April 2023.  Shoreditch Street Art Tours is a no spoiler zone.

Links:

Dale Grimshaw: instagram

Patrick Hutchinson: instagram

Photos: Dave Stuart except where noted


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


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


Canvas Paintings at Light Of Life exhibition in Shoreditch by street artist David Speed

“Light Of Life” David Speed Gallery Exhibition

Break out street artists are rare beasts.  These are street artists whose appeal grows way beyond the natural base of street art fans leading to popularity and commercial success.  Commercial success doesn’t preclude artistic success of course.

Pink neon street art spraypainted portrait of woman by David Speed

Soundwave, Shoreditch 2021

David Speed started his neon illuminated portraits and animal painting around Shoreditch a few years ago and has achieved such ubiquity that he is one of the few artists, other than Banksy and Helch, whose art is recognised by Shoreditch Street Art Tour guests exploring street art for the first time.

Pink neon street art spraypainted portrait of woman by David Speed

David Speed Neon face, Shoreditch 2018

David certainly wasn’t new to spraypainting at the beginning of this neon pink phase, his double life has him as Director of Shoreditch based spraypainting outfit Graffiti Life.  Lockdown bestowed gifts on David in two ways –the reduced demand for commercial spraypainting services seems to have allowed him more time to focus on personal and artistic development and if you check out his Creative Rebels podcast that certainly comes across strong.  There was also a significant increase in available street canvasses as business fearing a breakdown in law and order went for full plywood cladding as we went into lockdown in 2020.

Pink neon ponies on pandemic lockdown protective plywood by David Speed

Hoxton Ponies, Shoreditch 2021

David’s art exploded across Shoreditch property and caught a lot of attention.

Pink neon "Creation of Adam" homage in Shoreditch painted by street artist David Speed

David Speed neon “Creation” homage, Shoreditch 2019

Pink SKull framed in a bus stop window in Shoreditch painted by street artist David Speed

A long wait, Shoreditch 2021

Pink neon snarling tiger in Shoreditch painted by street artist David Speed

Neon Tiger! Shoreditch 2021

In the street art world, London at least, David is synonymous with this pink neon street art style so it was an amusing irony earlier this year that a mural advert was painted in David’s signature colour combination  by a rival spraypainted advert company.  Many people erroneously identified David as the artist so he felt compelled to put up a deliciously executed take out.

Pink neon spraypainted advert in Shoreditch NOT painted by David Speed

Biting Style, Village Underground 2021

Pink Neon spraypainted advert subverted by street artist David Speed

DS Style, Village Underground 2021

He currently has a self-organised solo show running in Shoreditch, it turns out the neon illumination theme suits canvas and paper as well as it does brick walls.

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A recent project that must have taken a long time to prepare was David’s “drop” of 1000 hand finished prints around the streets of London, to those with long enough memories this was a homage to Adam Neate’s 1000 print drop in 2008.  We came across one of David’s murals on the Shoreditch Street Art Tour that day at which point a guest pulled a pair of prints out of his bag with a flourish and declared “I found these on the street as I was walking to the tour!”  Lucky guy.

Various North, East, South, West

The show is located just a couple of minutes walk from where our morning Shoreditch Street Art Tour ends, so perhaps book a tour this coming Friday, Saturday or Sunday and complement it with a visit to the show.  Admission to the show is free.

 “Light Of Life” show runs until Sunday September 12th.

The Depot | 33 Boundary Street | Shoreditch | E2 7JQ

All photos: Dave Stuart

With all that pink and blue no attempt was made at colour correction in processing the exhibition photos!


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


Shoreditch, Street Art, Tours, London, Three, 3x3x3, sculpture, street artist, Hong Kong, cast concrete

Three by Three

“Good Things Come In Threes” isn’t really a saying but it would be particularly apt for the recent sightings of mini street art sculptures by Three, also known as 3x3x3.

Shoreditch, Street Art, Tours, London, Three, 3x3x3, sculpture, street artist, Hong Kong, cast concrete

Three Up

One of the curious things about a piece of art by Three is that you spot one, then you don’t notice it the next twenty times you pass by and then it catches your eye again, at which point you wonder if it is a new one or one you had spotted before.

Shoreditch, Street Art, Tours, London, Three, 3x3x3, sculpture, street artist, Hong Kong, cast concrete

Threedom

After spotting a lovely new specimen in August Three confirmed that this was new and that he was back in the UK – Three is from Hong Kong; and that there were more to find.  However, you just can’t go and hunt these tiny concrete accretions and expect to find them, try for yourself, you just drive yourself bonkers spotting small little things on walls and you trot over only to find it is just some random old bit of plastic or something, Three’s sculptures reveal themselves to you when they are ready or when you are sufficiently deserving.

Shoreditch, Street Art, Tours, London, Three, 3x3x3, sculpture, street artist, Hong Kong, cast concrete

Threeology

We have located three new ones so far, there are definitely more out there.   One of the new ones photographed here has sadly already been harvested by a street art thief.  C’est la vie.

Shoreditch, Street Art, Tours, London, Three, 3x3x3, sculpture, street artist, Hong Kong, cast concrete

Three degrees

Shoreditch, Street Art, Tours, London, Three, 3x3x3, sculpture, street artist, Hong Kong, cast concrete

Threeism

Links:

Graffoto Interview “To The power Of Three

All photos: Dave Stuart


Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Summer Is Here – Oops Maybe Not

Sitting at my keyboard, fresh in from a perma-drizzle that looks set for the day it is a little difficult to remember that London has had two” Summers” already this year.  Twice, barely a fortnight apart, we enjoyed temperatures over 25 degrees and boy did the street artists love that!  Lots of new street art has been appearing daily so here is a little update of some of the fresh street art that has caught our eye over the past fortnight.   At the top of the page, Shok-1 produced another of his superb X-Ray images.

Ben Wilson aka Chewing Gum Man has been particularly prolific just recently in Shoreditch and he delighted me with the story behind the two characters featured in a new chewing gum pic outside the Bricklayers Arms.  Two deliverymen, Lee and Bryan were hefting barrels up from the pub cellar, Ben had a chat with them and concluded, as recorded on the chewing gum, that Lee and Bryan should be paid more!

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Lee and Bryan, Draymen, by Ben Wilson

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Ben Wilson explains …

Not far away from that spot is another one of those chewing gum pics where Ben paints the view, no prizes for recognising Rivington Street:

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Rivington St Chewing Gum Art by Ben Wilson

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Rivington Street

Last week Jean Peut Etre caused much excitement when he was spied by a tour group collaging his pasted images and letterpress prints in several Shoreditch locations seeming always just a few moments ahead of the group.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Jean Peut Etre Collage

One of the greatest pleasures a fan of street art can enjoy is to discover an unexpected piece by a favourite artist and this came to pass the other day.  Wandering around Shoreditch on a so-called day off, armed with a proper camera photographing loads of great street art the other day I spotted a fantastic new Jonesy I had not noticed before, an absolutely stunning cast bronze piece.  The casting shows what appears to be a vulture nestling in a roundel of blasted twigs, themselves surreally mounted on the leg of a bird.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Jonesy, bronze casting, sculpture

Jonesy

A subsequent peek on Jonesy’s facebook account revealed that this had actually been in situ since last September, a full 7 months ago.  Just goes to show that even when your eye is constantly scanning high and low for new visual disruptions it is always possible to overlook the beauty hiding in plain sight on the streets.  This next bronze casting, believed to be more recent was something I was specifically hunting for.

Jonesy

Howl Owl is a regular visitor to these shores and the cute little owls are packed with personality and get up to all kinds of mischief.   A veritable parliament of owls came to roost in Shoreditch this week and this particular group set up a sub committee with a clowder of Keef’s cats on a stinky sewage pipe, looking like they contemplating setting off in a pea green boat.

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour,Howl Owl, Keef

Howl Owl and Keef collaboration

We mustn’t forget that some street art is done with permission, the weekend before last JXC painted this quality image of Judge Dredd taking out Mickey!

Shoreditch, London, Street art, Street artist, tour, Ben Wilson, Chewing Gum Man, Jean Peut etre, Jonesy, Howl Owl, Keef, JXC, Travel Mag

Mickey Mouse justice Judge Dredd style

Finally, it was lovely to receive a link to an article on the Travel Mag online where they select their 7 favourite walking tours in London and kindly featured Shoreditch Street Art Tours, we are honoured and thank them, check out the best in London here.

LINKS

Shok-1 Instagram

Jean Peut-Etre Instagram

Jonesy Facebook

Howl Owl Instagram

Sad Keef Instagram

JXC Instagram

all photos: Dave Stuart

 

 

 


Cartoonneros In London

A few weeks ago a fresh collection of stencilled portraits by Argentinian street artist Cartoonneros of the lead singer of Radiohead appeared in Shoreditch.   The memorable thing about this collection was that in going over existing artwork by King Headswim, the underlying naïve expressionist portrait with its compelling blue eyes radiated through Cartnoonneros’ work in a way not visible to the naked eye.

Stencil, street art, street artist, Cartoonneros, Pure Evil, Pure Evil Gallery, Shoreditch, London

Thom Yorke by Cartoonneros over King Headswim

Around the corner were more multi coloured stencilled portraits, similarly executed over someone else’s existing artwork as opposed to a prepared background.  The three characters depicted are the artist Keith Haring, David Bowie and the Pink Floyd musician Syd Barrett.

Keith Haring, David Bowie, Syd Barrett by Cartoonneros

A day later I had the pleasure of bumping into Cartoonneros on the streets whipping up some more stencils, this time the images included Vincent Van Gogh and Kate Moss.

Stencil, street art, street artist, Cartoonneros, Pure Evil, Pure Evil Gallery, Shoreditch, London

Van Gogh by Cartoonneros

Stencil, street art, street artist, Cartoonneros, Pure Evil, Pure Evil Gallery, Shoreditch, London

Kate Moss by Cartoonneros

Cartoonneros explained that he usually employed three stencilled layers in his street art but that he would often spray different colours in different parts of the stencil, meaning that a single layer could be used to render multiple colours.  In this next photo you can actually see the three different stencil layers used for the Van Gogh portrait are in position and each card bears the spraypainted remnants of the various colours from previous uses of the stencil.

Stencil, street art, street artist, Cartoonneros, Pure Evil, Pure Evil Gallery, Shoreditch, London

Van Gogh 3 layer stencil

Cartoonneros is also a sticker artist, several of his quite small stickers have been found lurking nearby.

Stencil, street art, street artist, Cartoonneros, Pure Evil, Pure Evil Gallery, Shoreditch, London

Cartoonneros Sticker

Cartoonneros then nipped to Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin but the lure of Shoreditch was too great and he returned last night to co-host “Wordplay” with Pure Evil, an evening of art and music.  The simple idea was all were welcome to spray stencilled words over a background pre- sprayed by Cartoonneros with a collection of multicoloured stencilled turtle and Keith Haring images.

Stencil, street art, street artist, Cartoonneros, Pure Evil, Pure Evil Gallery, Shoreditch, London

Love Keith Haring

Stencil, street art, street artist, Cartoonneros, Pure Evil, Pure Evil Gallery, Shoreditch, London

Evil Passion at The Pure Evil Gallery

The evening involved an overseas street artist previously virtually unknown on these shores exhibiting in the Pure Evil Gallery and creating beautiful mayhem on the streets, quintessential Pure Evil.  A fuller description of the event is on the Graffoto blog.

LINKS:

Cartoonneros Instagram

Pure Evil Gallery website

King Headswim Instagram

All photos Dave Stuart