Tag Archives: Vhils

disCONNECT – Street Artists Indoors

DisCONNECT

South London

24 July – 24 August 2020

10 artists, mainly street artists, were invited to make over a house in South London and use any of the relics found in there before the new owners undertook a refurbishment.   Covid-19 threw a spanner in the works though, so several of the artists incorporate a sense of the pandemic in their pieces and 6 of the artists being based overseas had to make and install their work using skype, like scientists cautiously tweaking the location of the reactor rods by remote cctv.

The art world is not providing too much in the way of real life excitement these days and while one should never confuse the art world with the real world, nor the street art world, it was a pleasure to experience disCONNECT for real just before it closes this week.

Herakut (Ger) – Nursery

Legendary trainyard graff snapper Alex Fakso specialises in candid portraiture, his  2012 “Santa in Camo” show in Kensal Rise indicated a quite idiosyncratic approach to subject as did his 2017 Moniker contribution.   Followers of my instagram account may recall that on a tour 2 weeks ago we bumped into Alex Fakso creating a graffiti painting and photo paste up hybrid on a railway bridge.  On this installation crowds in the photos rush towards the viewer in a way that feels horrifyingly alien in these public-gathering avoiding socially distanced coronavirus times.

Alex Fakso (Italy, living UK)

Alex Fakso (Italy, living UK)

Seeing Zoerism’s geometric and intricate graffiti on the streets is a rare pleasure and his anamorphic experience echoed that hugely detailed style.  Anamorphic images are designed to be viewed from one spot and look a bit skew-whiff from any other, this image was installed flat on the floor and up against the wall creating this impressive 3D “trick of the eye”.

Zoer (Italy)

Herakut’s fusion of photorealism and spindly elfin characters in Davy Crockett hats shouldn’t work but looks awesome.  You are invited to sit for a selfie with the monkey in the nursery –  if your chess game is up to scratch.  The kids in the playroom have painted child-like drawings on the nursery walls, credited to a 7 year old Ryker.

Herakut (Ger) – Nursery

A double set of doors and a single door were shipped to Portugal for Vhils to work his magic, a refreshing reminder of his talent for “discovered texture” portraiture.   His mining into layers of adverts to reveal portraits works superbly where it belongs, out on the streets but it’s a bit of a puzzle why having an implausibly deep block of compressed billboard adverts would work indoors.

Vhils (Portugal) in the library

The dark entrance lobby was made over by a collection of Mr Cenz’ cosmic ladies, UV light brought sharpness to the highlights that define the outline of the faces, an effect we love to play with when photographing his portraits out on the streets.  Unfortunately we failed to take any photos in the lobby though the effect can be vaguely appreciated in this mercifully brief video snippet.

In lockdown Aida Wilde railed against the reckless anti social behaviour of people ignoring the social distancing, lockdown stay-the-fuck-away guidance.  Her “Granny alley” installation in the most challenging room in the house distills a lot of that passion and anger into blocks of text and her emoji infused pseudo-flock wallpaper.

Aida Wilde – Granny Alley aka “the smallest room”

Aida Wilde – Granny Alley aka “the smallest room”

After years of vicariously enjoying Icy and Sot’s art finally we saw a piece in real life.   The dining table apparently came from the kitchen, in which case it must have been a relic from the downstairs kitchen many years ago.  The beautifully conceived and executed articulated plates and cutlery apparently represent capitalism with the extension leaves up and a full plate on the table. With the extension down symbolised socialism, in which case this neither-up-nor-down configuration pretty much sums up post-Corbyn Labour.

Icy and Sot (Iran) in the kitchen

Issac Cordal’s morose concrete figures endured this Summer’s monsoon in the garden and just about maintained their social distance in a gloomy basement.

Isaac Cordal (Spain)

Isaac Cordal (Spain)

Isaac Cordal (Spain)

Flock was evidently in vogue when the house was last given a decor update as the pattern recurs in several of the installations.  Adam Neate bid for the window blinds and the colour and texture makes a great skin motif in his ghostly portraiture.

Adam Neate (UK – living Brazil), stairwell

This show exceeded expectation, though that says more about our expectations than the artists involved. The unbalanced capitalisation of the show title exhorts to us to somehow re-connect in these desperate times where isolation is salvation and this show is worth connecting with.  Time is running out though and indeed thanks to covid restrictions tickets are very limited.

All photos & video: Dave Stuart  

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

Diggin In The Archives 2

Another seven days of posting photos of street art dredged from the archives. In lockdown you have plenty of time with your thoughts and the wandering mind generates random recollections. Those which stand out lead to a photo being thrust into the limelight. So there was some kind of logical process behind the selection of images from week 3 in lockdown, even if the process is irrefutable evidence of lockdown fever.

In 2009 Jeff Soto painted some awesome street art in Shoreditch. Graffoto reviewed his StolenSpace show Inland Empire starting per Graffoto’s wont with a look at some street art. At time of the review 4 pieces of Jeff Soto street art in Shoreditch had been found, The street art in the featured photo above was the 5th, his “Thanks London”. Ultimately there were 6.

On the Posher fringes of the Notting Hill – Paddington border this was an unexpected mewsy location full of character. Paul Insect‘s spider was the size of a small child and provoked the awe of this big child.

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

Paul Insect, Paddington, 2009

Vhils was pretty much the star of Cans Festival in 2008, he returned in 2009 and created some awesome art. This pair of portraits in Camden were amazing, the technique is basically removing the hoarding surface, like chiselling or drilling perhaps but quite how the patterned effect on the other portrait was achieved best remains an artistic mystery.

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

Vhils, Camden, 2009

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

Vhils, Camden, 2009

If interiors designers could replicate the distressed wood effect of 124 Hackney Road it would be in every wooden staircase in Islington – oh wait! Many many lovely pieces of art appeared on this façade at the beginning of the last decade, it is actually sad to see it looking so sterile these days. This collaboration between Ella et Pitr and Macay complimented that surface beautifully.

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

Ella et Pitr & Macay, Shoreditch, 2010

For many years my mental equilibrium was both preserved and yet shattered by daily breaks from the grindstone for walks with photography companion and art show/drinking/blog buddy Sam Martin aka Howaboutno. Anything could happen and rarely did. One lunchbreak we spotted a pair of traffic wardens about a hundred yards distant, something made us suspect they weren’t run of the mill meter maids. Turned out it was Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton ticketing parked cars with spoof parking ticket/artworks. I still have mine. Bonkers but fun, these days its just charity chuggers and product samples.

Read about the ire they provoked on the streets on Graffoto.co.uk

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

Tinsel Edwards and Twinkle Troughton, Oct 2009

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

Parking Ticket

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

“Best of Times, Worst of Times”, ed 500

Is it an armada of invading toaster erupting from a portal or toasters being sucked into a black abyss? It was 2009. The genius of something so banal! You could not help but smile every time you saw street art Toasters sporting the colours of Wolverhampton Wanderers home kit pop up, except when it was in the away end cos that generally signalled home defeat for QPR.

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

Toasters, Kingsland Road, 2009

Phlegm, one of my fav artists, has been doing a very entertaining series of daily sketches of life in lockdown in his own unique style. Yesterday’s was a characteristically Heath Robinson bike.

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

Phlegm, “Bike maintenance”, 2020

Here is a couple of photos which “interrogates the boundary” between hipster bikes and street art. “AMAZING” is by Eine from 2009. The dude on the elevated bike which looks like the prototype for Phlegm’s drawing must surely have had an interesting time doing emergency stops (2008). In the background is a fragment of Eine’s 2008 EXCITING.

I could have responded to the theme with photos of street art where my bike accidentally encroached on the shot, got loads of those😂

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

AMAZING unicyclist, Hackney Road, 2009

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

EXCITING two story bike, Old St, 2008

During the week I also wrote about brilliant artist Jamie Reid’s exhibition at the Horse Hospital in London covering the evidence of his influence on a lot of street art but mainly to highlight his 5 minute “artist walk through” his exhibition.  That is on my other street art blog HERE.

Diggin In The Archives part 1 is HERE.

This post is a compilation of my daily instagram posts from the past 7 days

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