Tag Archives: Swoon

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Digging In The Archives Pt 10

When I first began to explore street art one my favourite artists was and indeed still is French stencillist Jef Aerosol.  This Aerosol masterpiece was on Hanbury street and marked more or less a the time that this wall was just beginning to be used for permissioned murals.

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Jef Aerosol 2010

Shoreditch street art was dominated by stencilism in the 00s and why not, Banksy was the stencil artist kicking down the doors of public disinterest and general hostility.  K-Guy was and again still is a great personal favourite.  This is his take on the dual significance of the national flag, a symbol of pride yet also racism.

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K-Guy 2008

The next photo shows K-Guy’s artwork in context.  In 2007 Shepard Fairey hit that spot with a long lasting paste-up (a spot he returned to in 2012).   Sotheby’s and Bonhams started their urban art auctions in early 2008, others then hitched to that bandwagon.  This was probably the first occurrence I came across of an arts related organisation destroying a piece of street art in pursuit of advertising.  This shit still goes on and basically if you see street art being damaged in pursuit of the commercial interests of galleries, auctions and online sellers, then it’s a clear sign the fuckers do not get the culture, steer clear.

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K-guy 2008 featuring Shepard Fairey – defaced, dissed and abused

Special Offer: Free Art! The stencil on cardboard below was a piece of free art by the prolific, varied and much missed street artist Mr Farenheit. Hopefully it went to a good home. This doorway in fact the whole building, now demolished, was always intensely distressed and beautifully decayed; muscular rust on the iron door had very little sympathy for any paper pasted onto its surface. “Special Offer” is a detail from an ACE paste up; the thick black bars emerging over Twiggy’s left shoulder are a Paul Insect relic; D7606 also did great paste up montages on this door and it’s a rare photograph where you can’t see one of his pieces at this spot.

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Mr Farenheit, 2013

The pair of birds in the next photo by artist and graffiti writer Dr Zadok are done in the swirling style which characterizes both his graff letters and his art.   Alleyn Gardens habitués will note the virgin brickwork on the then relatively new North London Line.

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Dr Zadok 2013

The image below shows Dr Zadok’s hand finished bookcover in aid of Joe Epstein aka LDNgraffiti’s fundraiser for Great Ormond St Hospital.    More details and information about how you can to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the #LDNGOSHLottery is HERE.  Keep an eye out on LDNGraffiti’s Instagram for further announcements of more prizes.

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LDN GOSH Charity Book with Dr Zadok Cover art

Swoon again, simply because she rocks.  Close to Broadway Market, 2011.

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Swoon, 2011

Borondo was an extraordinary painter who lived in London for a number of years in the early part of the 00s.  His impressionist murals channelled the effect of strong colours but he first appeared doing single layer portraits created by splashing emulsion on the outside surface of glass windows then etching imagery into the paint with a fork.   Two artworks survive, the “11 Apostles” on the Bull in a China Shop on Shoreditch High Street as appears in the featured image above is easy to find.  This pair of figures from 2013 play with the window frames; the scraped paint has settled like frost on the window ledge.

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Borondo, Brick Lane 2013

And now, something consigned to the archive in just the past fortnight  !Things turned a brighter shade of orange across a locked down (ish) Picadilly Circus as the iconic illuminations displayed a charity digital artwork by Stik.  Stik must be alongside Shep Fairey and Banksy in the ranks of street artists who most consistently use their art for deserving causes.  This installation was in support of Young Westminster Foundation.

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Stik Picadilly Circus June 2020

Stik is also one of the 9 street artists who have joined Joe Epstein to raise funds for @GreatOrmondSt Hospital.   Each artist has created a special version of the book by hand painting the cover, so that’s 9 unique versions of the book.

See HERE for a blogpost with more images, details and link to how to support the fund raiser and maybe win one of these fantastic prizes in the #LDNGOSHLottery and keep an eye out as well for further announcements of more prizes.

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LDN GOSH Charity Book with Stik Cover art

We didn’t clap for carers in the UK this week, the mood switched more to pressurising the government to fund the carers properly, and reward them not to mention try a little bit of planning for a change as a second wave is held likely.   Seems like a good moment to shelve Diggin In The Archives, though it has been a happy accident of exploring my own archives and memories and so don’t rule out DITA’s resurrection sometime.

Check out the previous Diggin’ In The Archives weekly compendiums starting with week 1 and then hopefully navigate the index to find the rest: DITA 1

All photos: Dave Stuart

Diggin In The Archives 1

Two weeks ago today I received a text message from the NHS telling me I had to isolate, though I had actually gone into a self imposed lockdown a week earlier when I returned from my Father’s funeral in Ireland.  On a daily basis I have been digging through the photo archives and posting some older gems with a few thoughts on why I had picked them.  This is a compendium of the first two weeks worth.

This first photo I captioned “When dumpster diving goes wrong.” but it was about combining street art with found surreal elements, also the strong colours complemented the colour of Gianni Lee’s character outside Cargo.

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Gianni Lee, Mar 2019

Sweet Toof, Rowdy and Knapple shenanigans last year, check their instas for a dose of artistic positivity . This photo reveals the scale of this collab which perhaps isn’t so apparent when you view it from street level.  Also, light as candyfloss as Knapple is, impressive piggy back stamina from da Toof geezer.

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Knapple, Rowdy, Sweet Toof, January 2019

In 2009 David Choe dropped a heap of awesome stuff in London, I only found out [last week] that the guy spraypainting the underpass from the passenger seat of a moving car in the opening montage of Exit Through The Gift Shop is David Choe.

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David Choe, Nov 2009

Own that intrigue. Street art stimulates passers by in a way that adverts don’t. People notice.  Circles by L’Enfant, figure by David David, tile by Nathan Bowen, calligraphy (aka tag) YAS21.  This is the Old Truman Brewery wall that now is a canvas for Shepard Fairey’s Shadowplay mural.

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L’Enfant, David David, Nathan Bowen, Yas21, 2018

Although captioned “Give Us A bite”, I will confess that in 2011 I captioned this street photography style picture of Stik’s family group  “Who Ate All The Pies”.

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“Give Us A Bite”, Stik, 2009

Of all the weird, wonderful, beautiful, clever and funny stuff that appeared on Cargo’s walls, this by Bortusk Leer has to be the wackiest! Anyone else remember his kid’s tv series?

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Bortusk Leer, 2009

A squadron of Banksy Happy Choppers on Holywell Row, Shoreditch, there is a better photo by Steve Lazarides in his “Banksy Captured” book.

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Banksy, 2006

Escif got a lot of coverage in the past week for his spectacular sculpture in Valencia which was torched as part of the Fallas celebrations, though with Spain in lockdown few got to see it actually live. In 2010 Escif had a show at Pictures On Walls in that period when it was welcoming folk in off the street, as opposed to the “by apppointment only” fortress it had been in its Scrutton St and Willow St days. These are POW’s shutters painted by Escif with Petro on window dressing detail.

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Escif, also feat Petro, 2010

Elbow Toe had a stunning installation at the urban art epicentre The Leonard St Gallery. He visited London more than once in that era. He commented to me at the time that getting up in London felt so chilled compared to NY. This piece if I recall correct was a representation of his wife. 2007.

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Elbow Toe, 2007

This context photo also features then Shoreditch based artist Jawa, and Mudwig is a small puce apparently but the many faults of Mudwig were regularly discussed on walls in those days.

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Elbow Toe feat Jawa and Mudwig, 2007

Burning Candy owned the East End. Sweet Toof and Cyclops went large here on the plot opposite where CitizenM stands today, before the North London line curved past that building. Back of Chariots for those familiar with that landmark. Also features SNOE TRP, EINE and REAK.

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Burning Candy, Snoe, Eine, Reak et al 2007

If you are going to admire someone else’s genius, nothing says “wow” quite as much as having your art admire theirs.  Pure Evil’s Pearly Kings express what the rest of us thought of Swoon’s 2007 amazing filigree paste up on Coronet St.   Also features Jef Aerosol looking pretty hyper and The Krah. This wall used to host some great street art.  Street art photography companion Howaboutno and I always disagreed on whether you should clear shit and rubbish out of photos.

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Swoon, Pure Evil, Jef Aerosol, The Krah, photo 2008

Judith Supine from NY made surreal psychedelic art which really paid attention to its surroundings, location was everything. This one is by the entrance to the long lost iconic Dragon Bar. Such a shame we don’t get visits from Judith Supine any more.

Street art, Shoreditch, Shoreditch street art tours, London, Tour Guide, Dave Stuart, street art photography

Judith Supine, 2007

Nurses and doctors are the front line, they are performing heroics without thought of their own safety and in the face of apparent shortages of safety equipment that would render their service less fraught with risk. It is saddening to hear just now (when first posted to Instagram) of two nurses in the UK who have passed away after treating patients affected by COVID-19. Both were mothers of 3. My thoughts are with the family. This piece by Stik now seems sadly prophetic.

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Stik, 2009

Roa had been dropping an amazing menagerie of dishevelled creatures in Shoreditch since 2009 but this gate in 2012 kicked thing up another level in terms of making visible a degree of gore which characterised man’s relationship with his fellow creatures. If it was shocking then, you hadn’t been paying attention.  Also, this was one of his less long lived London pieces and is correspondingly less well known.

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ROA, 2012

Damn tourists getting in the group portrait, Suriani’s dramatic pasteups made great photos.

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Suriani, 2009

Standby for more blasts from the past for as long the shutdown prevents my return to work.

Art credits and links are by each photo.  All photos: Dave Stuart

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Shoreditch Street Art Tours Guest Photographs

Shoreditch’s street art is incredibly photogenic, lending itself to sensational colourful images whether you are using a camera phone or a full frame ultra high spec digital SLR.

On a recent tour Robert Benson brought along a lovely Nikon which happens to be the same camera I use when I am out photographing street art on days when I am not leading street art tours.  Robert has sent over a selection of the lovely photographs that he took on his visit and Shoreditch Street Art Tours is delighted to share them with you, thank you Robert.

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Photographs: Robert Benson