Tag Archives: Subdude

Covid 19 Shoreditch Street Art

You didn’t think a killer virus was going to stop street artists did you?  Shoreditch witnessed an outpouring of street art addressing the Covid 19 pandemic and its surrounding issues from a number of angles.   It’s amazing what a street artist could achieve with that one hour outdoor exercise license non-shielding people had during lockdown.

One of the most prolific artists was Nathan Bowen whose suitably masked characters appeared all over from West to East.

“Stay Positive/The NHS Warrior” – Nathan Bowen

“Thanks NHS” – Nathan Bowen, Harry Blackmore; Oxford St

Nathan Bowen, Harry Blackmore, Ernest Obi – Shaftesbury Avenue

Almost as active as Nathan were Deanio X and Seen K26, often in the company of Tasnim Mahdy

Stay Strong – Deanio X, Seen K26, Tasnim Mahdy

“Stay Strong” – Deanio X, Seen K26, Tasnim Mahdy; Picadilly Circus

Deanio X, Soho

Our weekly clap for carers, which was a beautiful collective thank you, has stopped but it is clear that many street artists remain grateful on our behalf to the NHS, to the carers and other key workers.

“A quiet prayer holds over London…” We Love Our NHS – Robert Montgomery

Thank You NHS – Jimmy C

Is it just me sees concentric stained glass hearts in shades of NHS blue in this homage by DRT?

DRT (with Nathan Bowen & Co. in background)

Graffiti Life

On the flipside from the love for the NHS comes blame flinging and conspiracy theory. The UK’s elected political masters and their un-elected advisers repeatedly preached one thing but practiced another to the point that anyone else would have felt embarrassed by. Street artists can be quite merciless when political hypocrisy becomes apparent and they proved yet again how swiftly street art can respond to current affairs.

In some countries the political response was based on denial or even deceit, Subdude latches on to those moments quite brilliantly.

Corona Credit Score = 0, Subdude

On the revelation that the NHS workers Boris thanked for his care in St Thomas’ Hospital were immigrants who now under the conservative government’s mooted minimum wage threshold would not qualify to come and lend their skills to the UK’s underfunded understaffed health service:

So How DO You Like Us Now Boris, Subdude

If you need to know what “Dominic Does Durham” is pastiching, ask your Dad

Dominic Does Durham, Subdude

The early days of the UK response to the Covid crisis were characterised by simple clear messages and this apparent clarity was reflected in the referencing of the messages in the art. K-Guy found the graphic design and linguistic shorthand of those official three stanza instructions we saw on the podiums at the daily Coronavirus press conference in England lent itself to highlighting political neglect as an amplifier of the spread and impact of the disease through hospitals and care homes.

It’s A Testing Time, K-Guy

“Infected frontline policies”, K-Guy

“Intensive Don’t Care”, K-Guy

The surprising move to abandon testing and tracing and the awful situation regarding inadequate PPE provision featured in several pieces. Frankie Riot references the famous press conference where World Health Organisation head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus offered the simple “Test, test, test” which many developed countries decided to ignore with pretty devastating consequences.

Protect NHS Workers – Frank Riot

China again:

Covid Eau de Virus – ‘Orrible

Stay Safe, Remain Free – Artist Not Known

As Shoreditch Street Art Tours has emerged from lockdown doing very small private street art tours for the same price as the public tours, just so you know, the single piece of pandemic art everyone appears to be aware of is, not surprisingly, Banksy‘s nurse superhero painting on canvas “Game Changer”, donated to Southampton General Hospital.

“Game Changer” – Banksy, Photo: Banksy website

Banksy has done three pandemic related artworks: the aforementioned “Game Changer”; his earlier skit on the idea of the elusive rat stencilist working from home and most recently his brilliant makeover of a London tube with rascal rats parachuting with PPE face masks, rats tagging with sanitiser gel and rats sneezing all over the carriage in a lurid echo of the animation played frequently on the UK TV of the dispersal of vapourised snot from a sneeze in a train carriage.

Snot rat, Banksy

You don’t mask you don’t get – Banksy

You don’t mask you don’t get – Banksy

Among all the inspired pandemic related art and the positivity towards those who placed themselves in way of potential harm for our care, one artist was creating pro NHS art years before it became fashionable. Ben Wakeling recovered from his own mental health issues to channel his efforts into art as a therapy for people with mental health issues and his therapeutic work and his Outsider Gallery have proved so effective that his art therapy can now be prescribed by GPs.

To end this lockdown lookback on a positive note, could any message be more appropriate than Mark Titchner’s “Please believe these days will pass” plea.  Let’s hope the optimism is well founded.

“Please believe these days will pass” – Mark Titchner

Artist Links (additional):

Harry Blackmore

Ernst Obi

Robert Montgomery

Jimmy C

Graffiti Life

Frank Riot

Orrible

All photos: Dave Stuart except courtesy Banksy where noted

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Private Street Art Tour For the Price of Public Tour!

This weekend (Sunday 7th June) at last we threw off the lockdown shackles and showed off Shoreditch’s street art to some actual real guests!!

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Roa, Martin Ron, MD and guests

Here’s awesome street art expert and Co-Guide MD discussing on of our favourite artists ALO

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MD talks about Alo

Single household  COVID guideline compliant tours basically give you a 2 hour private tour for the cost of a public group tour, £20 per person – though a minimum charge of £60 applies.  Full details:

  • Up to 5 guests from 1 household
  • Duration 2 hours
  • Tours at 10am and 1pm
  • 10am Tours can be booked on the schedule.  1pm tours are by enquiry.

You can choose when you book whether to start from the goat statue at Spitalfields Market which is where our public tours have always started; or from Old Street where most of our private tours start.

There is a lot of exciting new art to see, here is a tiny selection of new art found in Shoreditch today.

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Subdude NHS

Streetart Shoreditch, ShoreditchStreetArtTours LondonStreetArt, LondonArtTours,

“I Can’t Breathe”- David Speed

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New Eine

Take a tour – its not like there is much else to do!

Street Art, urban art, Shoreditch, Street Art Tour, Subdude, Political Street Art, Politicians, Trump, Boris Johnson,

Subdude – From Street Art To Gallery

Subdude is a London based street artist whose street art has been intriguing and amusing Shoreditch Street Art Tour guests since 2016.

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Subdude September 2016

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Tangerine Tyrant

Recently sister blog Graffoto got the chance to sit down with Subdude and shoot the breeze about the political landscape, the various projects he has undertaken out on the streets and most notably, a look back over his recent debut solo show..

Street Art, urban art, Shoreditch, Street Art Tour, Subdude, Political Street Art, Politicians, Trump, Boris Johnson,

Subdude good guys and bad guys in Monty’s Bar

Street Art, urban art, Shoreditch, Street Art Tour, Subdude, Political Street Art, Politicians, Trump, Boris Johnson,

Subdude’s Little Dude Character in the show

In a fascinating interview the parallels between the art in the exhibition and the various phases of Subdude’s career became apparent.

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Subdude – Fight Tiny Tribal Minds March 2019

Subdude pulled off something you don’t often see in a gallery, the opportunity to vote on the next paste ups and to even propose texts Subdude would use as the foundation for future street art paste ups.

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Subdude Future Social Media Paste Ups? What do you think?

Check out the full interview on Graffoto.

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Subdude abstract collage

Links

Interview and review on Graffoto

Subdude Instagram

Monty’s Bar Facebook

All photos: Dave Stuart

General Election 2017 Street Art

Today Britain goes to the election, we express political preferences through a mark on a ballot paper.   Walls are also great surfaces to express political opinions and here are a few highlights from the 2017 General Election, a period that began back in the third week of April.

One of the first out of the blocks was Banksy with his stunning comment on Brexit at the port of Dover.

Banksy, Street art, mural, Dover, Brexit, EU Flag, painter, ladder, stencil

Banksy

The election has witnessed a rare mis-calculation by Mr Banksy (or maybe he does a great job of just not screwing up in public!).  He offered a limited edition “archive quality” girl with balloon print to anyone from six tory controlled wards in Bristol that sent in a photograph of their polling paper showing a tick in the box for the labour candidate.   The initial response on Saturday from the Electoral Commission professed that the law was complex in this area but by Monday Banksy had announced a “Product Recall” on the basis of a legal opinion from the Electoral Commission that those polls would be invalidated.  Tweets purporting to be from local constabulary also declared the action illegal.

source: www.banksy.co.uk

Well known British contemporary artist Jeremy Deller provided a plain rebuttal to Theresa May’s campaign slogan, this work put up widely across London by the Fly Leaps organisation.

Jeremy Deller

The blind as a bat Theresa May poster next to Deller’s is by Kennard Phillips who produced the now legendary image of Tony Blair taking a selfie in front of a burning oilfield which was displayed in the window of Banksy’s Santa’s Ghetto on Oxford St, London in 2006.

The punchiest exponent of using other people’s walls to deliver punchy political messages for many years is one of my favourite artists Dr d.  For this general election Dr d has gone back to  spoof Standrd (note the spelling at the end) headlines, as can be seen here above Unify’s adaptation of Shepard Fairey’s famous Obama HOPE poster.

 

Dr d. above; Unify below

 

CodeFC put up a couple of strong stencilled compositions.  Sadly the one in Leake Street asking “Theresa who?” had burned bright but briefly as art and graffiti is wont at that location but with the grace of CodeFC we have used his photo as the featured imagae at the top of this post.  Brexit Through The Chip Shop simultaneously references a great British culinary institution, the title of Banksy’s 2010 street art documentary and the greatest political fraud of our lifetime.

CodeFC Brexit Through The Chip Shop

I am not sure who did this one but the idea of giving Putin a Pussy Riot style balaclava whist simultaneously referencing the conspiracy of Russian intervention in the US elections is clever. [Update 22 June: Heath Kane, hat tip to Subdude for letting us know]

Who Would Putin Vote For – Artist Unknown

Probably from the same “artist unknown” [update 22 Jun: seems unlikely], the rather wishy washy tory slogan “Strong and stable” is appropriated in condemnation of the UK arms industry.

artist unknown

A political wishlist expressed in the form of sequined skulls has been put up by Uberfubs, it would be great if they could all come true but this one in particular would be on my list.

Uberfubs

Many artists such as Subdude never stop expressing political views.   Paste up digs at Trump and Putin have given way over the past few weeks to a plethora of comments at the general political state of the country and specifically against Teresa May.

Subdude

Subdude seems to have gone a bit off message with this image (or maybe I am just missing the point) which has been modified in a Basquiat kind of style though as you scan down a polling slip looking for Jeremy’s name to put your tick against, try to get the surname spelt right.

Please vote wisely and safely

All photos Dave Stuart except “Theresa Who?” featured image by CodeFC