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Updated: 2014-10-06T19:31:42.769-07:00

 



Graffoto Round Up Of The Year

2012-02-05T20:51:12.633-08:00

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This final look at the year now covers September all the way through to the end of December. Being that it was mild for the time of year, and there were a shed load of art festivals and paint jams in town, the surrounding areas had a nice smattering too.

Street art pastes and stencils seemed to be out of the window for pretty much most of this quarter, and I think that was also a big shift for the year. Good to see more talented artists grafting it at the side of a wall. Also nice to see lots of quick and dirty damage throughout town.


So that's it for Graffoto's round up of the action in 2011. At the beggining and at lots of points throughout the year it did seem like it was stale and not moving anywhere. Part of wanting to look back at the year at the begginging of a new one has shown that it was a busy and colourful year, full of lots of new names and techniques and people to watch in 2012.


The shift also seemed to go towards lots more "with permission" spots last year, I guess a big test for those shutters and areas may fall closer to Olympics time, when the council may decide to buff at random for no reason whatsoever.



Graffoto Round Up Of The Year - Pt 3

2012-02-05T20:05:40.582-08:00

HowAboutNo rashly promised FOUR picture-rich blog posts to review what was up on London’s streets and alleyways in 2011, so I thought I’d contribute something at this stage covering the Summer months, mainly because with our productivity we might not complete this magnus opus until Dec 2012.Dr D was present and correct throughout 2011, this particular poster reflected what we were all thinking but by pasting up on this scale on the A501, Dr D said it with a little more panache.Small was beautiful throughout 2011,not only the likes of Isaac Cordal and Pablo Delgado (see VNA issue17 for an interview) but new to London’s streets were a collection of hand painted anthropomorphic pig sculptures by lovepiepenbrinck.Italian artist Clet Abraham visited these shores early in the Summer and took the liberty of modifying a number of our street signs.We didn’t see too much of Kid Acne on London walls this year but he seemingly did go out on a bombing mission one night in the company of Aida and Emma. Seeing my bike leaning against a wall on the fringes of the shot reminds me of the self inflicted stupidity that led to my bike being nicked from just 3 feet from me in Brick lane in October. Twat.Stencils on old newspapers are Mr.Farenheit’s stock in trade, he (she?) certainly got up a lot throughout 2011. Supposedly the QR codes used in a lot of his paste ups do work.Mobstr had a great year, frequently targeting street artist’s commercial agendas and, as in this one, the council buff.Continuing to display a refined appreciation of vintage Burlesque as well as a faculty for hitting the high spots, Saki and Bitches turned out to be a continuing surprise and mystery – until her warmly received pop-out, sorry... pop up show in East London.Ai Wei Wei had a piece running in Tate Modern in London and despite being unjustly detained in China for a long period was able to get these fearsome beasts up outdoors in London. OK, the courtyard, Somerset House.Dain putting up some of my favourite paste ups EVER. This lasted 1 day and was then fly pasted over.StinkfishC215 had at least a couple of trips to the UK in 2011, this was my fave from the year.El Mac painted this piece shortly before going off to paint in the Bristol "See No Evil" event.New names in 2011. . .These artists may well have exhisted long before last year, but in 2011 they smashed Hackney/Shoreditch and Brick Lane . . .NemoNemoMalarkyMalarkyKata - who showed ealry spouts of activity in July/August...but not much else since.Part 4 before the weekend is out....in your Face![...]



Graffoto Round Up of the Year - Part 2

2012-02-05T20:05:40.583-08:00

Part 2 of 4 in the round up of my favourite graffiti and street art action in 2011. Already a few days into the new year, this all feels so last year already. . .All photos by HowAboutNo except where stated.ProbsVariousBlam repainted his famous Oscar the Grouch piece (and possibly one of the longest lasting pieceof street art, it was up for nigh on 6 years, but was unfortunately buffed quite a while ago now) I think we all knew this one would never last as long. Painted on a legal spot in Brick Lane that had a lot of visitors this year. Pablo Delgado proved to be an interesting newcomer, a slightly new take on stuff that could have just been tired and forgotten about, he made sure that he placed them in enough spots to be seen and at least he was an artist that was getting up regardless of any print release of self marketing campaign. (his work is available at Pure Evil I realise, but small hand limited editions only.)StikA.ceA wet weekend at home in East Sussex in May. Being at home means usually not much to be seen in the way of street art or graffiti - so I took up "urbexing" to fill in some down time. I thought nothing of seeing the odd bit of graff here and there in the derelict buildings....but was amazed to find my first real Paul Insect piece in an old abandoned girls school. . . . . MyneBack in January, a chance encounter with a young man on the streets was our first introduction to the colourful and angular world of ALO. Before too long ALO was getting up with spiky, twisted characters on boardPhoto: NolionsInEngland Raise a glass to Bortusk Leer who did more than his share to brighten London's corners with mad-cap fun.Photo: NolionsInEngland In April we got our first introduction to a man who came to pretty much own Shoreditch shutters before the year was out. Malarky continued to have a big impact throughout 2011 with High Roller Society hosting a Malarky presented Gocco Printing workshop workshop and a prestigious interview in VNA issue 17, still available herePhoto: NolionsInEngland We lost two HOFs during the year, the second comes up later but regardless of the arts council lumberjack fest, nothing in the UK matched the cultural desecration the demolition of The Pit, RIP, wrought on an un-broken line back to the very beginnings of London graff.Photo: NolionsInEngland One of 2011's most brilliant street art campaigns was by the old master Ron English. Judging by the huge numbers of human-free photos that surfaced on the net it seems not many spotted that the speech bubbles were meant to interact with passers-by, as revealed on Graffoto here.Photo: NolionsInEngland Ad Skewville was over in the Spring. Apart the brilliant "Slow Your Roll" show at High Roller Society, Skewville dropped a number of stunning shutters on Roman Rd and Bethnal Green Rd including the pair above exchanging honest Brooklynite greetings across the street.Photo: NolionsInEngland Part 3 to follow soon which will cover the months of July to September.[...]



Graffoto Round Up of the Year - Part 1

2012-02-05T20:05:40.583-08:00

Welcome pop pickers! A post I have meant to do for the last few years on Graffoto has been a look back at the year, be it a good or a bad one. The problem in previous years was that I just always ended up leaving it too late in the holiday, my bingo wings thus being held down by my own weight in mince pies and turkey leftovers and sapped of the energy to bother.So whilst the intention this year was to start this post pre Christmas in the hope it kicks me up the arse to finish the rest closer to the end of the year, here I am a couple of days away from New Year's.... So it's more than likely that this will be a post that carries over into 2012. I'll split the year into 4 parts so as not to make the post so long.A picture heavy and word "lite" effort it's about my third post of the year and certainly the biggest on Graffoto. My favourite pictures and work that has gone up throughout the year, starting right at the top of January. . .All pictures are by HowAboutNo except where stated.Cept & Sweet ToofNychos & VibesPhoto supplied by Mr S. ToofPhilth (indeed!)Kid Acne's Artfags (Spectre also on the decaying shop front sign)Plastic BonesDscreet & Kid AcneAMAZING to see Zezao work up in London in his unmistakeable styleMilo Tchais also getting up more than I remember in previous years.RoaIn fact this whole spot got a lot of action in 2011, Mr Sperme popped up and knocked out this one. Shame there weren't many others.Ranking highly as my fave piece of the year...and it's a sticker :( Sadly Stormie Mills didn't paint any London walls that I found in 2011.Slipping in a little bit of South Coast action . . .I found a nice little spot closer to home in Hastings. Unfortunately I have only managed to go there once with a camera in hand. Must change that in 2012.Michael De Feo had a show in London and left a few flowers.A few artists hit the Grand Union Canal at Broadway Market one weekend in March, am not sure there was any event other than perhaps a meet at a local hostelry. . .XenzTeddy BadenDotmastersJust oodles of generic damage was often my highlight of the year...more in later posts but this was a big big fave. . .Gold Peg did a few activist/occupy related pieces through the year (more later) This was the first and boldest, the ad company blocking the message out days later.Tizer went to Leake Street and did this piece in amazing quick time. I think the squiddlywinkswould call this one SICK!Gold Peg hit some of the most eye catching and clever spots throughout the year as far as I am concerned, proving as always that half, if not more of the work is all in the placement.My fave other placed spot this year was a piece by Revok, which featured on his blogRevok was later arrested in April 2011 for failing to pay damages to the victims of his previous vandalism crimesSo that's it for part 1 of this round up which covered January to March (at least in the order I found them, as mentioned some of the pieces are years old) Part 2 to follow soon covering, you guessed it......April to June.[...]



Felice Varini – Cardiff Bay

2012-02-05T20:05:40.583-08:00

Photos: NolionsInEngland except: Tracy Lee Stum, Creative Tempest, iJuliAn, cgr v2.0Tis the season to reminisce and having just past the shortest day of the year my bones yearn for the warmth of a gorgeous late Summer’s day in Cardiff, Wales when I came across a stunning “trick of the eye” piece of art by Felice Varini.The technical term is anamorphic, an ugly charmless looking word, clumsy on the page and a bugger to explain yet what it defines can be amazing. We understand it mainly from the context in which it is used and that, so far as street art is concerned, is generally those road and mall 3D illusions of gaping chasms where smooth tarmac or faux-marble should be."Hot Asphalt", art and photo: Tracy Lee StumChalk Painting: Kurt Wenner, photo: Creative TempestAnamorphic art is also used to describe the work of Felice Varini who paints contours, surfaces, corners and crannies in a way so that from one viewpoint, to the eye the whole thing appears like a flat proportionate image. It seems most of his work is done indoors but here are a couple of favourite examples of Varini in the wilds outdoors:Felice Varini, "Cinq ellipses ouvertes”, Metz, 2009; photo: iJuliAnFelice Varini, "Entre Ciel et Terre", 2005; photo cgr v2.0Back to Cardiff, a rare return to the land of my fathers, I was gobsmacked to find out this piece, “Three Ellipses For Three Locks”, was created over about 10 days back in mid March 2007.It hardly need be said that a lot of maths must go into calculating the geometry to fit into the available structures, and then a lot of surveying to determine exactly where to paint. The shapes appear as perfect closed ellipses except for one small section where techniques for painting permanently on water are not yet sufficiently advanced. The optical illusion persuades the eye that the shapes are perfect ellipses painted on a vertical plane in front of the viewer, they actually appear to lift off the surface on which they are painted and sit in mid air. The effect is giddying, this is high impact art, who needs drugs huh?As the painted surface recedes and the line leaps from a surface 10m away to a plane 50m away the visual connection is seamless, the line retains precisely the same thickness so far as the viewer is concerned.Of course the trompe l’oeil effect works well at just one precise point at a bridge crossing a lock system letting yachts in and out of Cardiff Bay, the now dammed mouth where the Rivers Taff and Ely flow out to meet the Bristol Channel. Moving around shows the amazing effects created by the painted lines.No paint is wasted, the effects of shadows cast by intervening structures are themselves intriguing abstracts, check the real and the Varini shadows thrown by this bench.Many will be familiar with the fact that the Bristol Channel has the second biggest tidal rise and fall in the World. The depth of the lock system necessary to accommodate this huge range can be seen in this shot of the furthest extremity of the Varini circles.Obviously, smart=arses and Barnacle Bills reading this far (ha ha!) will point out that the last paragraph tells the average reader who isn’t a member of Cardiff Bay Yacht Club nothing without further information on how long before or after low tide the photo was taken but what do you expect, an Ocean Yachtmaster lesson as well as art??More examples of Felice Varini’s work on his website here.[...]



Banksy Loves Liverpool

2012-02-05T20:05:40.583-08:00

photos: NoLionsInEngland except where notedIt has been a while since Graffoto’s last penetrating insight into walls damaged by Banksy. Those Banksy posts were easily mistaken as springing from passion for street art when in fact the intention was to publicize Shellshock's brilliant gift sized tome "Banksy Locations and A Tour" which is currently available at the crazy smackdown price of £7.50 inc P&P (UK only) if you go to Shellshock’s online shop here and type in the sneaky hidden code "shoptilyoudrop". The main reason we haven’t written much about Banksy is there is generally little to say that isn’t bleedin’ obvious from the image but his recent stuff raises a few thoughts.Close by Bond Street in the heart of the UK’s most extravagant perpetual consumer fest, Banksy took advantage of a very tall wall on an empty building to create this beautifully executed falling women and shopping trolley. Its height and scale give a real sense of peril and plunge to the piece."Shop Till You Drop"The drop shadow Banksy has painted on the wall give the piece an attachment to the wall, shadow is a clue telling us she is meant to be falling down the wall rather than it being a picture of her falling through mid space.Up in Liverpool we came across this vapour trail love heart. Using stencils, spray can and fire extinguisher as the medium, this wasn’t a quick stencil reach.The plane is beautifully stencilled, the black layer over the white layer has the feel of a Banksy and to clinch it*, the identical composition has been found this week in East London. Only Banksy has operations with the scale to pull off such stunts.*oh - and it's now up on his websiteWe tend to think of Banksy as a flat stencilist, painting the stencilled areas with solid fill but Looking closely at the plane Banksy has applied a fade along the fuselage nicely blending where light falls on the upper surface and gradually turns to darker shadow underneath. A similar fade and graduation was evident in Tesco sand castles in St Leonards.Photo HowAboutNoThe curious thing about the love plane image is the application of a drop shadow on the wall, it has a radical impact on the picture. Without a shadow, this would be an image of a plane in the sky creating a love heart. However, with the drop shadow added the plane is now pulling off some kind of acrobatic stunt along the wall, it becomes a picture of a plane flying down the side of the wall painting it as it goes. With Banksy, nothing is accidental so what did he intend by flying his bi-plane down the side of the wall?Another curious feature is a stunning similarity between the heart in the Banksy piece and the logo of a sinister Liverpudlian mind manipulation cult called City Centre, a sort of tourist board for shops and “attractions” in the centre of Liverpool.The similarity seems too striking to be coincidental and the image is located in the heart of the zone promoted by “City Centre”. If Banksy meant the heart to allude to something specifically Liverpudlian, then what? It may be that it is actually pure chance, I mean why would he put up the identical image in East London if it was intended to have a specific Liverpool resonance? Scousers – calm down and explain here.I like the way the plane is beginning its climb to the heavens just yards from a street sign obligingly directing the plane upwards. This interaction with its environment is a far better take away than the idea of its location in an area hyped by an organisation using the same heart motif.One for obsessives to anorak over is the rare use of a device such as an extinguisher or bicycle pump or something for the heart in this Banksy piece. A fire extinguisher can be opened, filled with paint, re-pressurised and then used for artistic purposes as demonstrated here by Banksy. Filling a fire extinguisher with paint isn't for the faint-hearted but haven't we all at some[...]



Evol @ Smithfield Market

2012-02-05T20:05:40.583-08:00

All photos Howaboutno and Nolionsinengland as indicatedGraffoto are pretty sure that this is the first actual stencil piece in London by German artist Evol and it's great to see one in the flesh finally.HowaboutnoNoLionsInEnglandHowaboutnoHe actually uses both stencils and also paste ups (in this case just stencils with a spot of hand finishing for the perverts amongst you) to produce these mini "estates" and some of the details, even close up look so amazingly real and almost perfect in their own miniature perspective, pissed off Polish labourers sat atop to cap them off.HowaboutnoNoLionsinenglandHowaboutnoHowaboutnoThese photos don't do the piece justice and we advise seeing it with your own peepers, so get there and take a look if you can.Or, if that is impractical, check out more pics here.[...]



Os Gemeos Found Un-Harmed

2012-02-05T20:05:40.584-08:00

All photos by nolionsinEnglandGreece is a battered country; battered by economic penury, politicians that can’t be trusted, lack of a properly functioning tax collection mechanism, corruption, cronyism, nepotism and that’s just for starters. If there is one thing the Greeks haven't wasted money on it’s The Buff. Every highway fence, roadside kiosk, every shop front, underpass and park wall is - like the economy - battered.Most of my Greek graff spotting is done from taxis, it’s not often I get the chance to fit in a little bit of street culture. I spotted the decoration on the facade of this derelict apartment block when heading towards Syngrou Avenue, the driver pulled what he called “Original Greek” manoeuvre to zip back against the 3 lane flow. The piece exhorts us to “be water again” and is tagged Feo Flip. Flip is the artist behind the aquatic beast in the top photo, spot a theme?FlipWhen it comes to politics, the Athenian writer delivers his message a bit rougher and more direct. Capitalism is crap says the first embittered red drop shadowed piece below whilst a simple marker suffices to get the more direct message across.A year ago I took an overground underground and passing through the Gazi area I spotted some low rise industrial units parallel to the track with some impressive murals, some relic of an old Jam or possibly a part of Athen’s Prosopsi facade programme, a council supported project to brighten some of the crappier walls though I suspect they pre-date that. Stealing a daylight hour a few weeks ago I headed up to Gazi. I knew i was getting close when I found these pair of portraits by old favourites JNOR NDA and SidRon.JNOR NDA, SidRonThen the building I had seen from the train came into view with some nice mural work still mainly intact.INO1Technopolis and Cityscapes above are by INO1, perusing his website I see an outdoor piece called “Tit Job”, I shall search ceaselessly until I can report back to you with a photo. [update: looking back at my last Athens blog post here I see I took a photo from the train of this very spot and I promised myself that I would find my way back some time in the future]Other artists below are currently unknown to me.Wandering around the other side of the building, the main highway side revealed a stunning surprise, sandwiched between a Nunca pair of portraits and a piece by Greek artist Same84 is a spectacular and virtually intact Os Gemeos mural.Os Gemeos, Nina, Nunca, Same84Os GemeosJaw dropping shock would not over-state my gut reaction to finding this. An inscription attributes the mural to Nina, Nunca, Os Geneos and Same and dates it to 2005. The event was evidently a legal jam and Athens crew Carpe Diem who specialise in these projects are up on the credits. In a city where the crappy tag is so omnipresent, it is simply astonishing that this piece should last in such great condition for so long – six years!!! The state of the buildings opposite give you an appreciation of the respect this mural has been given.That 2005 mural in full:View larger hereA bit of Hellenic graff spotting wouldn’t be complete without discovering a gorgeous mural by Zap aka Alexandros Vasmoulakis, tick the box baby.Alexandros VasmoulakisFinally, last week on another more recent trip, down Syngrou Avenue virtually opposite my usual hotel I found this Same84 mural which I suspect is very recent. Nice to keep finding the fresh stuff.Same84Previous Athens reflections here, here and here[...]



Adam Neate - Dimensional Paintings

2012-02-05T20:05:40.584-08:00

To 29 Oct 2011Elms Lester Painting Rooms1-3-5 Flitcroft St,London, WC2H 8DHAll photos by nolionsinEnglandDeep joy, another Adam Neate collection of new art at Elms Lester and another guided tour by gallerist Paul Jones. This is, I think, the third Adam Neate talk by Paul Jones I’ve had the pleasure of lurking at. Paul Jones describes Neate’s new works in terms of linear self-informing progression, each step forward informed by the result of the last. With the aid of a few pics, here is what stuck in the memory about this latest display, so no guarantee regarding accuracy.Neate continues with the figurative subject matter and 3D compositions. The 3D Perspex portraits retain the motion effects, the play with shadows and the cubist approach to representation through distorted surfaces and edges. The new aspect in the Perspex pieces is the introduction of mirrored perspex to throw the ambient light around the image with a greater degree of control. The stand out piece is Home Entertainment. Tremendous attention to detail surrounds the shadows cast by the standard lamp in the room. The picture incorporates photographs of both the artist and his wife, seemingly a one off multi-media effect the narrative appears to be that they have just taken a bath and the artist is viewing an image of his wife on the TV screen. I hope I understood that correctly!Home EntertainmentWhat also can’t be seen in the photo is that the curtains to the right are actually 3D louvers and Neate has used fibre optics to create pin points of light outside the window representing starsHome EntertainmentNeate retains his light, whimsical touch celebrating innocent love, classical beauty, shining lights and celestial choirs. Only kidding. This next piece is called No Way Out,, a man seeks solace in the bottle as relief from problems with his marriage and job. Exit is an organisation for promoting the early killing of old people or something. The composition is hugely 3D with every twist and trim of the Perspex sheets and tubes significant in defining a limb, a gesture or piece of fabricNo Way OutNeate has now set himself the challenge of proving himself a true painter by translating his kinetic layered portraits back to canvas. In this study, Neate has built up the layers to achieve a considerable relief effect from the surface of the canvas.One of the more interesting developments is portrayed by gallerist Paul as being accidental or intuitive, you decide. Having painted a figure of a man naked from the nips up and reflected at length upon what he saw on the canvas, Neate one day just picked up a Stanley knife and slashed at the canvas. The gaping slashes revealed a further layer or dimension within the canvas for him to play with. The slashes suggest perhaps ribs inside or maybe the self-harming consequence of listening too much to The Horrors.From the discovery of using the effect of opening up the surface of the canvas, Neate now exploits the plane of the canvas, explores into the depth of the canvas and with the addition of collaged objects reaches out of the surface of the canvas into the room space. This has now come to be termed the “dimensional painting”, playing with layers. In the drive through composition, although it may not seem so from the photo, Neate has created layers on the surface of the canvas with cut penetrations and additional inserts. The driver is collecting the fizzies from a hatch cut into the canvas, and those drinks are 3 dimensional, his wife has lowered a drinks tray which also is an additional layer sitting proud of the canvas plane, the folds in the boy’s teeshirt in the back is a 2D replica of the way Neate represents clothing folds in 3D using winding perpsex tubing. The driver married the bearded lady, no, sorry, that’s the shadow.Although not described by Paul Jones th[...]



k-Guy & Occupy vs Greedy Bankers

2012-02-05T20:05:40.584-08:00

All photos: NoLionsInEnglandA decent target and a good idea is all the motivation K-Guy requires for another politicised barb delivered through the medium of stencilled street art. Bankers and politicians are frequently a target for K-Guy and as usual, he delivers a simple message with exquisite timing and placement.Spraypaint,Carpet (quality: Eastern European municipal office standard issue)K-Guy is coming from the same ideological origin as the protesters. They see a need, they seek a voice, they cut out the official channels of protest by putting direction action into effect. K-Guy rolls out the carpet.Throughout banking's casino years the watchdogs failed to bark, the cracks appeared with the run on Northern Rock in 2007 and shortly after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in Sep 08 K-Guy nailed the genesis of the ongoing crisis in capitalism with his October 2008 Memorial To The Boom Economy alongside the Bank Of England.Occupy has generated a substantial body of protest art around the camp and it was curious to feel a resonance with K-Guy’s earlier Memorial.The pot pourri of organisations, faiths, individuals and objectives that make up Occupy pride themselves on being a true democracy. They aren’t too shabby at media management either. There is a packed itinerary of events taking place today (sat 22 Oct), check out the details on the website OccupyLSX. (www.occupylsx.org)(got to be handy having the country's largest camping gear retail onsite!)Having accompanied K-Guy to take some photographs of what he expected to be a very short-lived installation, I asked him if he was going to hang around to see what became of his carpet art, he shrugged and replied “my work here is done, I‘ve delivered my idea and now it has too look after itself". Some 30 minutes later the carpet was still there. It's well worth checking out K-Guy's track record with the political street art here, particularly relevant in the context of OccupyLSX is his exhortation that you might as well hoard your cash under the mattress, and photos of his Memorial To The Boom Economy can be found here.More photos from OccupyLSX:What Happened Next?The protest remains in place. The news is entirely about the right to protest and the friction within the church over its response to the prescence of the camp, which has caused one canon to resign. Virtually nothing is said about the aims of the protest. K-Guy's rug remains in place, nopw the attractive unique foyer carpet to a small tent.The limelight has definitely been stolen by a monopoly based piece of work which arrived on site over the weekend. Some claim it is the work of Banksy, if it is Banksy then it’s a huge disappointment. It has none of his usual colour palette, none of his "style" and it just isn't that funny. With political jibes Banksy always hits the target with an anarchist's guided precision, this is just lame. Occupy is about democratic change, wealth re-distribution, smash capitalism etc, this monopoly piece is, at best, about greedy bankers with their hands out (as if to some kind of..ooooo....Stability Fund...). Why does it look so much like a straight theft from Zeus with an Alec monopoly character slapped on it?[...]



Something Interesting About Banksy, Really!

2012-02-05T20:05:40.584-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEngland except where noted Central London today saw a truck decorated by Banksy coming out of obscurity and into the full glare of the popular art commodity market.Banksy comes in for a fair amount of criticism for being a stencil artist and therefore not doing hardcore freehand schizz or just lacking can control. The critic’s purpose normally isn’t to make Banksy small but to merely make the opinion holder look big. Banksy has never claimed to be a spray can virtuoso and this truck doesn’t provide compelling evidence of excessive modesty, it simply is a fairly average piece of spraycan art.On one side a host of winged monkeys watch over a Mohican coiffed glowing red hammer wielding class warrior smashing the system, represented by a tv broadcasting an image of a gas mask.On the other side is what appears to be a depiction of police fleeing from a bull armed with flame spitting artillery on its back, echoing the old Heavy Weaponry staple from the Banksy oeuvre.One of the monkeys even has a set of cross-hairs on its face, so this is a composite of many Banksy signature elements, which is nice. I presume the goons guarding each corner were to add some frission of danger or excitement to the display, who knows, maybe Team Robbo would turn up.So far so dull. Nothing particularly special about this piece it seems but I’d like to draw your attention to one aspect for which I think this does stand out. Come and join Graffoto in the world of the Banksy obsessive.How can you tell your genuine Banksy from a fake made using a stencil purchased for a couple of quid off the internet. One way, you can buy a piece of art from his official outlets, they come signed or with a certificate from Pest Control and possibly a certification that the certificate is certifiably a certificate and so on, Another way, you photograph a piece on the street and wait to see if that piece is anointed by inclusion on the photo gallery on Banksy’s website. I think it’s true that if you have the necessary geekish knowledge, you can prove that the Banksy website is registered to people who are now or used to be proud mates of the legend rather than a fake website.photo NoLionsInEngland, also seen at Banksy.co.uk!Finally, back the day, this charlatan Banksy used to actually stencil tag his street art can you believe. By his own account he started stencilling because it freed him from the slowness of his painting and he evidently stopped tagging his work when things got a bit hot regarding the dubious legality of his work from a police perspective. Thanks to the natural life cycle of graffiti, his stencil tags are now a pretty rare find, particularly in such pristine condition and as large as the pair on this truck. (ok, since you obviously will start racking your brains, try the Manchester poodle and also Old Street Happy Chopper but you got to go some to some lengths to see that one).Turbozone Banksy tag, driver side rearAmong last ones I found were this one up on a derelict site up in Islington, it used to authenticate a chucked TV identical to the one behind the Foundry and currently hidden under the “Rat Trap”. This site has now been built on and the tag was obliterated by the party wall.Note the rare exclamation mark!!Most recently but again this was a few years ago, I came across these rare indoor Banksy tags, knocked up in the private area behind a bar when he was doing a legal wall on a back street in London’s West End.How long ago did Banksy last tag one of his street pieces? There is only one oracle to consult with a question like that and that’s Shellshock, co blog jockey and author of the various definitive-as-possible-without-actually-being-authorised quides to outdoor Banksies. Shellshock believes the last piece to be tagged is the 2006[...]



Saki And Bitches - Tokyo Lady Chatterely

2012-02-05T20:05:40.584-08:00

London,30 Sept–7th Oct, 2011all photos: NoLionsInEnglandOne of the joys of wandering the tarmac’t gallery of London’s outdoor artists is finding a new talent, an artist with an un-familiar signature getting up in a novel and unique style. One evening over a year ago, skirting around old street roundabout I spied a paste up and straight away was intrigued. An array of naked burlesque girls contorted themselves into the shapes of letters and spelled out a somewhat hard to decipher message.The first word was clearly SAKI, the last appeared to be BITCHES. This blatantly eroticised alphabet appeared to announce a rather extreme identity. Saki and bitches, and little doubt that the bitches in question were disporting themselves for the sexual gratification of Saki. The lewd tone made me think it wouldn’t last a day but it persisted for possibly a month or so.Over the next three to six months, more pieces appeared including one high up on the infamous “fuck the fucking fuckers” anti Judge Clark spot, I mention this given the un-confirmed rumours as to which hardcore graff writer was likely to have been responsible for that beauty.October 2010The body of work grew but the mystery over who or what Saki and Bitches was about didn’t resolve itself. The very first piece suggested a graffiti writer’s letterform creative sensibility, the location of the second paste up suggested a writers ability to climb and desire to get high.Over the coming months, more paste ups appeared, then about 4 months ago, the first teasing messages started to appear…”first show coming soon” they proclaimed. I began to suspect this was a hoax, a double bluff, some kind of knowing wind up of us over-earnest street art crazy fan boys. I even began to loathe the artists exploitation of the medium to deliver their self advertising, this one spotted nailed up over a dub on Ladbroke Grove on Carnival weekend was just a bit too much zeitgeist jacking.Carnival weekend, 2011A waning affection for these naughty lined images was revived by the beauty of these transluscent pieces placed on phone boxes and bus shelters, double and triple street art points when you show just a teeny bit more imagination in execution and a location less mundane than the average hall of fame paste up spot.August 2011When I spotted this over-size buxom cut out figure high up on the old Shoreditch railway sidings then I knew it was time to devote myself at least to a bit of research. Sure enough google located a single entry blog by Saki proclaiming the date and location of a show (- - though how under the radar Saki was at this point is indicated by the fact that the first three google hits were for photos and shit posted by…..yours truly, it seemed like no one else cared!September 2011Saki is actually a demure, petite and smiling young ex tokyo-ite living in London for the past 7 years or so. She admits to a fondness for old school Japanese soft-core, tattoo artist iconography and she enjoys painting female curves.The bulk of the works on show are executed on glass doors from old British Museum display cases, they look about the size of those waist high wooden cabinets with the sloping glass tops dedicated to interminable and obsessively documented moths or middle ages corn dollies. The pieces all have a super saturated intense colouration which Saki explains is due to the material itself, apparently the paint in contact with the glass never dries and when viewed through the glass never loses that flat cartoonish colouration.Saki admits to deliberately toying with men’s emotions particularly in the selection of her nom d’artiste. which provocatively combines a strong Japanese drink with a masculine misogynist view of woman-as-slut-object.The soft eroticism is given [...]



Ludo - Metamorphosis

2012-02-05T20:05:40.585-08:00

High Roller SocietyUnit 10 Palmers Road,London E2 0SY (Click for map)10 September - 7 October 2011all photos: NoLionsInEnglandIf you have any squeamish fears of triffid like invasions, then your sleep will already have been disturbed by Ludo’s enormous paste up Nature’s Revenge project, seen on his several previous visits to London.London, 2009London, 2010London, 2010Distinctive characteristics of his street project are the enormous scale, avoidance of hall of fame spots, green pigmentation and fusing of organic plants with man made technology. Ludo rises to the challenge of translating this aesthetic into the gallery by creating a mad-boffin’s bio-genetic engineering laboratory bunker; a refuge from a world where nature has armed itself for the fight against man, a grotty lair where scientists deploy crap German accents and bow ties in their continuing destructive research.Ludo’s cross pollinated plant machine hybrids have leapt off the sheet and into 3D sculptural form. Nutty lab technicians roam the gallery in lab coats, hair nets and sinister latex gloves and embryonic plant mutants emerge from the the test tube glassware and incubation units lying around the insane laboratory.TazeropedeMassive schlock horror B movie screen grabs pasted around the walls create a nightmare collage of a world falling to the horticultural armed response to man’s inhumanity to the environment. Scattered around the hide-out are specimens mounted Jurassic park style in perspex moulds as well as mock (or are they????) scientific journals from the 50s and 60s documenting reports of latest developments modifying DNA structures to maximise the yield of organic matter.Apart from the fascinating and well staged laboratory, evidently un-funded judging by its Heath Robinson-esque arrangements and clichéd demented scientists, Ludo’s art consists mainly of pencil and oil paint compositions on white paper as well as a new print (have there been any before?) and an film of the artist working on the street.Beestie Boys As Ludo has made the insanity of man’s destructive tendencies towards the environment the key thread in the fabric of his work, it seems strange that the fearless eco-enviro warrior should aim one of his satirical compositions at a fictional rather than real oil company. On second thoughts, perhaps he is astutely avoiding what has been a tedious rite-of-passage for huge numbers of street artists squabbling over who best bastardizes the Shell and BP trademarks via the medium of a screenprinted edition of 250.Ewing FlySo, green remains the game, great to see the mutants in 3D and kids of all ages will enjoy the grungy science lab. The most obvious metamorphosis taking place at High Roller’s Society is Ludo’s morphing into a serious installation creating, gallery-comfortable artist.e-Lepidoptera, Hand pulled screen print, green and white hand finished acrylic, ed 25London, 2011other photos here[...]



Graffiti 365 - Jay "J.Son" Edlin (et al)

2012-02-05T20:05:40.585-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEnglandA sub woofer resonating rumble and Richter scale registering tremor signalled newly published book Graffiti 365 crashing through the letter box today. 365 graffiti artists, 2 inches of pulp and about the same weight as a newborn baby, you could use this book to barricade your door.On the surface it’s a simple idea beautifully executed. 365 double pages each having a large photo on one side, waffle on the other. That’s 730 pages of awesome photos and writing, heads will enjoy it and new initiates will learn much.(PS -excuse these photos, I had to use Lady NoLion's camera and the bloody kids think it's ok to put it way with a totally discharged battery, these 3 pics were all I got)The content is part historic record, part contemporary survey, part graffiti and part street art. The graff history aspect skews the national representation to a North American bias but in terms of current writers and street artists, the survey represents quite even-handedly Australia, Europe, UK (no, I don’t need you to point out where we are on a map) and Latin America as well as the US.Most of the pages feature writers and their crews or artists but just as interestingly we get J.Son & Co.s’ insights from the graff culture coal face. The book mixes ol school subway kings and their crews with new era street artists with brief tutorials on technique, vocabularly and ancient legends of benches, yards, galleries and landmark events that milestoned the birth and adolescence of the graffiti movement in New York. Among loads of things I never knew, I never heard before about writers going into the yards where decommissioned trains were stored prior to being dumped in the ocean (really? C’mon NY...all that shit can be recycled) and doing nostalgic “scraps”. Sounds like substituting Tesco’s own brand for Coca cola - a slightly pussy copy of the real thing.NOGA (Nation Of Graffiti artists), NY 1978, photo Michael LawrenceMartha and Henry contribute extensively of course but the photos that excited most were those of Jack Stewart, capturing 1970’s chaotic explosions of tags and pieces in colours and styles that to today’s eyes look rough, ready and wild.[photo sometime soon - see above]Zephyr writes the opening blurb and reports that the book’s author J.Son has experienced a lobotomy-like conversion in the process, he now sees some point in some street art. And that to a large extent captures why this book is worth reinforcing your shelves for. A battle hardened writer, a there-at-the-genesis graff head steeped in tunnel mystique and whole car yard missions has filtered the graff he loves and the street art he respects. He draws the genetic link between the two and if it qualifies to be in this book then it has been passed fit for consumption by a real graff head.Piece by Rasta, Character by Revolt, photo by Pjay OneThe book condenses colour, atmosphere, history and style into a very easy read with an un-hectoring style. It smoothes over the fault line between street art and graffiti in a way that will introduce many a polarised graff or street art bigot to the merits of the other form. A superb achievement.Warning, if you like reading in bed and gently falling asleep with a light novelette gently resting on your nose, you are going to wake up with a black eye with this book and….. PROPER BLOODY FONT SIZES PLEASE I can hardly read fucking VNA these days and needed a telescope for photograph labels in this book. There is real knowledge to be gained from knowing when a particular painting was created and where. I will even confess that knowing who took a photo can often reveal something about the era, the location and the circum[...]



God Help Us - It's Ronzo

2012-02-05T20:05:40.585-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEngland







Slightly disappointed with the location of this one. My first reaction was this should be located somewhere that spoke more of the nearby Square Mile of profit hungry soul destroyers. Instead, it’s pretty much at the entrance to the yard housing his studio, a fact he can hardly hide given the number of times he has been seen outdoors applying finishing touches to super-sized Ronzo bugs and monsters.



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Then I realised that this spot is also a portal to the dingy alley which leads past the new location of Crunchie the credit crunch monster, recently displaced from its elevated position overlooking the den of indulgent economic greed in the City. Perhaps my dis-satisfaction with the location of this new little sculpture is merely a manifestation of my disappointment with the neutered irrelevance of crunchie’s new nest. It now munches its coins while overlooking the organic craft stalls and pop-up cantinas selling any foreign cuisine you like so long as it comes with rice or in pitta.





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And why is he now pink? Is Ronzo savagely fingering the gay economy?





The latin motto cast into the new Ronzo coat of arms is open to a number of translations. Domine adiuva nos speaks of a master, god or leader, whose protection, aid or favours we seek. In other words......”Lord help us! City of Ronzo”





Let's look on the bright side, it’s still a new street Ronzo which is usually a good thing and if you doubt us, check out his 2009 Crunchie campaign which was truly top notch.







P.S - Crunchie The Great in his original location:

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Time Bomb

2012-02-05T20:05:40.585-08:00

History. What is it? I wasn’t there!

Moving to London in the early 80s I contrived to miss graff’s heyday because (a) I cycled everywhere and (b) I couldn’t stand hip hop. Some things never change. Today on my ride home, a chance encounter with a door ajar allowed a glimpse into a hidden time capsule of ancient tags from some home grown legends.

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Let's play a game popular on flickr called Guess Where London. Show you know your history, tell us the name of the location where these photos were taken. No prizes.

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Sadly, clip clop cycling shoes and an unlocked bike outside meant I couldn't explore further. Booo. Still, we love clandestine photo missions and when they are also impromptu - even better. I think I have seen this particular stairwell on a youtube clip somewhere, or is it in a book, I couldn’t find it – anyone know?

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Curly – Sticking It Up ‘em

2012-02-05T20:05:40.585-08:00

London has witnessed a surge in statement based illegal art in the past year or so, not just letters or mere words but often whole sentences and even punctuation. Elbow Toe scribbled haikus; Mobstr stencilled witty check lists; Ron English pasted up dis-embodied private secrets in speech bubbles and thought balloons. There has even been a very polite voice on lurid mini stickers urging us to “Please be nice to each other” and “Please say please thank you”. You may be thinking “basic information - graff worships the font, dude” but what we are talking here is a bombing mode that unlike graff eschews repetition, each intervention an original.Chief protagonist of this prosaic prose vandalism is, let’s not quibble about definitions, sticker artist Curly. In a movement that lionises those most “up”, sticker artist Curly has captured a safari park’s worth of attention in the past year with more than a 1,000 wordy pronouncements stuck on street furniture all over the World. His stickers have the air of insider jokes, very market aware, very art joke infused, very tuned in to sensitive matters impacting a street artists’ credibility yet at times his thoughts betray an air of self-effacing vulnerability. Getting wind of a planned Summer visit to the UK, Graffoto managed to secure an interview which the sticker prince elected to conduct via his preferred media, the United States Postal Service label. Curly led Graffoto a merry jaunt around London and into one or two tensely balanced and rather risky situations, we hope you find the results worthwhile. We start with the most important issue – have you ever been busted? Only by the NYPDAnother answer that nearly got your photographer in the pooh after the artist legged it: Is it ok to do stickers if you can't skate?Skateboards are for suburban pre-teensThe answer to “Will stickers ever become appreciated as graffiti?” had me wondering if this Curly character was out to get me lynched:Why would anyone want that? Graff is for pussies. Art-fags have ballsPressing on with the interview, do you know Banksy?You mean in the biblical sense? Yes of course. But I make him wear a mask, so I have never seen his faceShould stickers be political?If that sellsDo you think it is important for stickers to have a message?Conceptualism is a vastly over-rated conceptAre all your stickers installed illegally?Technically this is illegal but nobody caresWill stickers ever become appreciated as art?Only by those boring enough to careShould street stickers be protected by perspex?Perspex is a perfect surface to get up onDo you think a sticker artist will ever have a solo gallery show?If you can’t get a solo gallery show, you’re not really an artistCould any of the candidates in the US presidential nominations benefit from a sticker campaign?I would love some free pizza from Herman CainWhen did you get into stickeringLast WeekWhat makes a good location for a sticker?Wherever a good photo can be takenThe best graff writers get to paint naked girls, would you consider stickering girls?Only on really big ones Any technical tips for aspiring sticker artists?Take amazing photos and post them to flickrIs There Room For Humour On Stickers?Only This One (Respekt IZM - no proper graff was really harmed in the making of this interview)Is there a hop-hop/graffiti style link between stickers and music?I listen exclusively to Leonard CohenFine point or chisel tip?What ever is handywhere did you get your name from?The logo came first then I needed a name. It was between “Curly” and “really poorly done cursive f”. The logo came about because[...]



Gocco Printing - Malarky at High Roller Society

2012-02-05T20:05:40.586-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEnglandLast Summer High Roller Society did a fascinating and informative trio of workshop demos on print making. Graffoto loved them and scribbled a few words about them here and here.Current show at the gallery is “Summer Breeze” featuring the flat fantasmagorical pop creatures of Malarky and Billy and Malarky gave a demo of Gocco print making, used to produce editioned prints such as this one from the showhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifWhat is a Gocco print? A print made by Gocco printer I suppose, which is one of these kitsch looking gismos from Japan which uses a clam-shell device to force inks through a silk screen. Style-wise everything about a Gocco printer screams retro toy but don’t be fooled, this is both a screen burner and print maker which can produce multi layer prints limited only by your patience. Apparently the Japanese intended it to be used for producing high quality party invitations and wedding invites.The intrepid demonstrator Malarky took a group of a dozen or so somewhat bashful watchers through the various stages including burning the screen, inking up the screen, fudging the alignment of the paper and then pressing the Gocco to create the print.Printing off first layerThis light box sits on top of the Gocco and burns the screen from a photocopy of the artwork, the bulbs have a one shot life and they aren’t cheap!Light sourceBurning a screenEach screen is then subdivided using sticky strips into zones for each colour, no holes in the dyke allowed or colours will bleed into each otherInked up Gocco silk screenAn un-expected lesson was that when printers, pundits and gallerists apply expressions like “uniqueness”, “charm” and “individuality” to screen printed editions, they mean bits where the ink didn’t come out.Layer oneThe registration process for the second screen was real hit and miss skill and judgement, seems you do a test print, then trim off an edge to correct mis-alignment, push it around abit, try again, eventually you reach a predicament a bit like someone in a barber’s chair staring wistfully at a pile of clippings on the floor and a crew cut mess on the head. If you ever wondered where artist’s proofs came from, there’s your answer.Artist Proofs!The gallerist’s husband (congratulations!) kept the information flowing with suitable questions and un-suitable banter. Malarky produced a two layer 3 colour print in the two hours of the workshop, we all had a go at printing a few sheets. And we all had the chance to come away with a copy of the fruits of Malarky's labours produced before our very eyes.For an office slave caged in a totally non arty/media environment, these insight into the craftsman’s side of the creative arts are supremely fascinating. High Roller Society deserves huge applause for taking the trouble to host events like this and Malarky is a star for allowing us to watch the artist at work, those working inside the arts world may not appreciate how intriguing and fascinating that is for us civvies. We hope there will be more![...]



New Ron English/NoLionsInEngland Collab Revealed

2012-02-05T20:05:40.586-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEnglandI have always been repelled by Ron English’s udder rich pop coloured studio work, few exceptions barely worth mentioning. Moving that studio art out onto the streets doesn’t change my mind – see Camo boy from 2008. Even his inclusion in CANS with what looked like paste ups seemed a bit odd.Ron English Camo Boy, London, (this was spot jockeying, not a collab!)The billboard campaign stabs corporate and western imperialism nicely where it hurts, in the blind eye it turns on its own hypocrisyNABKA60 - 60 Years of Palestinian OccupationRon English, SHepherds Bush, London 2008This week I have collected a large series of sightings of speech bubbles and thought bubbles containing wistful bon mots, semi lucid sound bites and snippits of a private inner monologue best not brought out into the open. A bit of flickr research confirms Vandalog to be the first to attribute these to Ron English and for artists of such stature, RJ’s attribution is a good as law, in fact if it wasn’t Ron English I suggest he knock a few of these out sharpish.At first glance these captions were puzzling and seemingly un-satisfying. What was their point, and why was their placement so damn careless. Not one of them seemed to relate in any meaningful way to its environment. London’s walls are heaving with graffiti characters, rich singers masquerading as teen sluts on illegal flyers or marketer’s perfect families on advertising hoardings, these captions could surely have been better placed so that they looked like they were coming from those flat characters?Perhaps you might think the walls as well as having ears also have thoughts, complexes and wise words to share.We know this artist grafts ruminants' udders onto Disney characters but what are these ruminations about? Then the penny drops. What English has put up is a series of incomplete installations, the pieces only make sense when YOU come along to actually say or think them. That placement - he was wilfully avoiding those characters on the wall. Every single one of these pieces works brilliantly when a member of the public passes by and momentarily the captions belong to them.(In one block I will be run down by a bus....if I walk in the gutter)Even more intriguingly, the person who fleetingly becomes part of the installation is probably not aware of the significance of his role. The art exists only for a tantalising moment and really is best appreciated from the third party perspective.You can only conclude that this art needs you there to complete it and in the case of the various art pieces illustrating this web page, the art existed only when I the photographer was present to observe and record its transient existence. I am honoured to be able to share with you this street work that Ron and I put together.(clothes and gait - model's own)I would like to thank Ron English for his vital contribution to our collaboration, I really couldn’t have done it without him. Thank you also to his assistants, drivers, ladder bearers, make-up artists and anyone else who knows him.If you think this insight is rubbish (congratulations) I believe Ron English makes his intention quite clear with this particular caption for those of a more Liliputian stature.This Ron English campaign is the conceptual opposite of my single all time favourite street art installation – Jimmy Cauty’s street mirror under Old Street Bridge which makes the observer disappear. Here English requires you to appear. You can’t knock the genius of a guy who can come up level but opposed to Cauty’s finest (street)[...]



Day Off Urbexing

2012-02-05T20:05:40.586-08:00

So, I had a rare free day planned a week in advance to go to a few abandoned sites around East Sussex - namely a closed technical college on the sea front. . .

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And then on to a long closed private school in the countryside

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Now whilst on these trips I do expect to see the odd bit of graffiti, I certainly wasn't expecting to find my first two full on Paul Insect pieces!

This stencil firstly:

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And then this "life sized" Mickey Mouse:

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Originally questioned by a few Flickr contacts, to which I said "nah he wouldn't come out here to paint that surely"? Then contacted and had it confirmed by the gallery.

So much for a day off. But I really wasn't complaining!



Street Artist Servants Express Gratitude For Long Weekend

2012-02-05T20:05:40.586-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEnglandTo echo The Socialist Worker’s famous “traffic delays in London” commentary on the wedding of Charles and Di, large amounts of Britain came to a standstill today as workers enjoyed an extra day off work and a 4 day weekend. Kate Middleton, slim, looker, married Prince William, privileged, inherited. Street artists, resplendent in traditional livery of flat sole sneakers, shin length skinny denims and Abercombie hoodies paid tribute to the occasion.Perhaps the most prolific around the ancient borough of Shoreditch, haunt of their majesties’ crustier artists and other trendie subjects, was Dotmasters, in his customary supporting role as Bearer Of The Exacto Knife, delivering a prolific number of this single layer stencilled artistic tribute of the royal likeness presented in the form of police identikit photos.DotmastersMr.Farenheit, Master of the Paste, has installed at strategic locations (i.e. the usual spots) a selection of newsprint pages stencilled over with a variety of messages expressing a commoner’s love the future Queen.Mr.FarenheitA parallel between a Prince’s desire to be left alone (particularly when falling out of the VIP area area of a Chelsea nightclub with a dozen close freeloading rugger mates) and a reluctant sexual partner adorns several locations of the realm.Mr.FarenheitThe street art community has paid its respect to the ancient traditions of this Sceptr'd isle, led symbolically by its great royal figureheads, successors to a long line of distinguished and brilliant cross-dressers, into a brave new era of tourist economy dependence, determined to show the world whose eyes today watch our green and peasant land with envy and awe how Britain maintains its love of honouring those born to be first to the trough.K-Guy produced a limited edition screen print but didn’t make it out onto the streets. This sort of summarises the general level of ennui reigning among a populace upon whom the greatest impact will have been “yippee, another 4 day weekend”. All in all a pretty paltry reaction to the wedding. Apart from the obvious targets - privilege, wealth and un-earned but mainly symbolic authority, it seems Willy and Kate present little material to inspire the artist courtier. Perhaps the scintillating wit and pointed political satire is being reserved for the eventual wedding of his swastika wielding brother.Late update, I forgot about this one,as likely to be a paid for commission as not, cheque signed "love Liz and Phil"?After The Piss Up.....The Paste UpsK-Guy obviously felt the sludge landslide of instant commemorative pull-out souvenir colour supplements leant an excessive gloss to an overblown celebration of the marriage of the nation's favourite negligee manikin to the single beaming 2:1 chink of intelligence flying in the face of the royal family's fine tradition of academic mediocrity, so he silk screened this mass paste up souvenir bollocks with the exortation "God Save Your Mad parade" from the Sex Pistols 1977 Jubilee year single "God Save The Queen".K-GuyK-GuyJust yards away HowAboutNo, still reeling from an excess of Amsterdam refreshments, spotted a couple of figuroids bigging up William as a kind of "Mens Health" speedo poser and Kate with a splat of blood on her wedding dress designed by someone dead. Somehow we doubt that was the first time the Prince stormed her palace gates, c'mon, the Royals move with the times daddyo.Unknown[...]



Sweet Toof And Paul Insect, London, 2011

2012-02-05T20:05:40.586-08:00

Lots of fun recently quietly observing a furtive pair of artists working silently and swiftly on one of London’s less accessible rooftops.

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Sweet Toof and Paul Insect, London Rooftop, 2011 from NoLionsInEngland on Vimeo.




It took 4 nights and about 50 litres of paint for Sweet Toof and Paul Insect to blend signature imagery in this visible-from-space collaborative masterpiece. In essence, the painting is a double headed face munching away at the rooftop hut. Best viewed from 1,000 feet, the symmetry ensures the effect is the same whether viewed from the east over the Olympic Stadium or the west.

From the photography point of view this mission had a few tricky aspects. Obviously you can’t go throwing huge illuminative arcs of light around so you work with the natural light. The first night, after about 20 minutes the low cloud base boiled away and the urban-orange sky turned black plunging the rooftop into darkness. At the end of the clip you can see the opposite happen. Exposure times varied dramatically between 10 and 30 seconds.

There are two gas boiler outlets on the upper level, the output from those condenser boilers is bloody wet. Using a patented knotted rope to get up there to set up a camera position, the wind would veer and back unpredictably giving the camera a misty drenching.

I flew BA over the Olympic Stadium the other day but couldn’t find any landmarks other than the Olympic Stadium, there should be a prize for the first photo from a scheduled airliner!

Dark Horse, Sweet Toof's first New York solo show opens at Factory Fresh on 29th of April 2011

Paul Insect has just collaborated with Sickboy on an installation at the onethirty3 space in Newcastle

Artists: Sweet Toof, Paul Insect

Photography, video: NoLionsInEngland

Music: Booze - Insanity Drive



Mike Ballard -The Ultra Nomadic Def Smith Cycle

2012-02-05T20:05:40.586-08:00

Edel Assanti Project Space276 Vauxhall Bridge RoadLondon SW1V 1BBThursday 24th March - Saturday 30th April 2011All photos NoLionsInEngland except HowAboutNo where stated.Video by Mark Gostick via GalaxyRaysHanging a few canvasses and calling it a show isn’t Mike Ballard’s style. Ballard deals in whole room illusion experiences, multi-media sonic and video assaults, challenging conceptual celebrations of “taking without consent” and the intersection where delusional un-hinged jazz weirdoes meet dazzle painting. The whole lot flows through the fizzing circuits of Ballard’s brain and discharges via electrical components melded together by the mad boffin’s own hands.The Ultra Nomadic experience starts with a curious framed circular patterned paper, various Ballard themes can be recognised in the concentric circle patterns but the most interesting orbit is the very out edge which has two semi circles of patterns of images, each image remarkably similar to its neighbour but different by some incremental detail like one of those flicker book animations, and the significance of this is revealed as later as you dive into the subterranean space.First stop in the basement is a garden shed, a hut – no hiding that’s what it is. Inside set in the middle of the floor is a low level kinetic lightbox. The glossy black box is punctured by a circular screen, a beam sweeps out repeating circles picking out a viscous, boiling universal. Is it detecting the beginning or the end, or a continuous repeating loop between the two? Who knows, some say it marked out an organic intra-cellular voyage path picked out by a navigation system travelling within a mutilated, knifed body. You choose, it’s in the eye of the beholder this one.The light arc shows the sweep of the light line in the photoexposure timeThe Ultra Nomadic Def Smith Cycle is a bigger, better cosmic traveller, a maker of tangibles and intangibles (Smith as in smithy, forge) and What The River Brings, a poker phrase and also the oldest piece in the show dating back to about Ballard’s All Of Everything era, represents that voyage, the transformer nomad complete with suitcase sets off propelled by energy from the larger older version of himself.There are two other minor photographic collage pieces hidden away in an almost un-noticed recess at the rear of the basement, Ballard’s view on these springs from his obsession with music. The images pay tribute through the representation of a mystical figure transformed with visible bizarre inner energies and wizardly properties, the whole referencing the originators of hip hop DJ Kool Herc and Grand Wizard Theodore. Once again Mr Ballard is responsible for me wasting entire minutes googling musical references an indie honky knows nothing of.All of which doesn’t so much as define a backdrop as get completely blown away by the main feature of the show. You can’t miss it, its ambience is apparent as the lo fi one note synth-meets-stuck-oscilloscope-drone permeates your head from the moment you commence your descent at the top of the stairs. The source is a new installation but one that very clearly shows its relationship to the LaPlace Transforms sculpture which Graffoto patiently explained after the 2009 Long Arm Gallery Galaxy Rays show.In this incarnation, an edition of the circular paper Ultra Nomadic Def Cycle drawing we found at the top of the stairs rotates on a platter with two turntable pick-ups. One tone arm ha[...]



Skewville - Slow Your Roll

2012-02-05T20:05:40.587-08:00

High Roller SocietyUnit 10 Palmers Road,London E2 0SY (Click for map)19 March – 24 April 2011photos: NoLionsInEngland New York twin brother street art legends Skewville are bombing London for their first solo show at High Roller Society gallery. Fame on the streets worldwide has been secured thanks to their sneaker mission but Skewville are never shy of exploring ways to subvert the normal paste up- stencil-gallery show limitations of street art convention.Trainers over telegraph wires have been around basically since trainers started wearing out, there’s nothing new in dangling sneakers from telephone wires but surrounded by a vast noise of stickers, stencils and paste-ups Skewville sought what they termed “next levelism” for street art techniques and so the trademark silk screened hand cut laced wooden sneakers mission kicked off. Wherever they go they take a few wooden sneakers and leave their “tag” by throwing pairs up over lampposts and telephone wires where they can hang more or less un-touchable. By their estimate they have done over 6,000 pairs in the past 11 years, Graffoto knows of 1 in London which has been there since 2004.London, 2011Skewville came to London in 2004 with a mission to do break the mould in putting up repeated simple images on the streets. London was in the grip of the stencil mafia and if stencils weren’t simple enough already, why not get up using a refinement of the old primary school potato print technique. Seeking an edge and discovering easy repeatability, Droo Skewville developed the sneaker stamp, in essence cutting a fresh pattern into the sole of old sneakers. The example below was buffed only last month and others still thrive nearby.Skewville’s next refinement was to cut the image into a roller pad and hey presto, believe the Hype!Less long-lived were some quirky sculptural grill signage from 2008.The current trip has resulted in some more thrown dogs but don’t mark Skewville as street art one trick ponies, this year they have pulled off at least four shutters around the East End. On the streets of New York and wherever two bad ass jive talking yoots from the home counties meet, the greeting of choice is a YO! On opposite sides of an East London high street two shutters greet each other with a YO! before each working day commences, they then disappear and at the end of the shift they re-appear to salute each other.YO! - YO backatcha!On to the main reason for Skewvilles’s presence in London, the show at High Roller Society. It takes two to have a conversation and a duality is a recurring theme in this show. There are two parts to the show, one side of the room is older Skewville, the other is new stuff. Skewville has neatly bisected the room with the show’s Slow Your Roll mantra to mark this out as a show of two halves. The over-size stamp used to create the slogan down the middle forms part of a sculptural installation, the tyre rolling out Skewville’s message not to get too impressed with themselves.In the more colourful half, we see some a Skewville staple, a collection of silkscreened collaged slogans and pop imagery which might have come from the classifieds in a Brooklyn butcher’s trade magazine.Honey I shrunk The Kids/Brooklyn Flavor/Open DailyAn about turn to the opposite side of the room yields examples of the more recent Skewville direction. Stained, painted and etched images on wood is used to create these intri[...]



Brian Adam Douglas - Due Date

2012-02-05T20:05:40.587-08:00

Black Rat ProjectsRivington Street,London10 Mar - 7 April 2011photos: NoLionsInEngland I first came across Brian Adam Douglas’ gallery work in a project room installation at The Leonard Street Gallery in 2007 and was knocked out by it. Poo-Tee-Weet from that show remains one of my favourite pieces art.Poo-Tee-Weet, London 2007Brian Adam Douglas has made many visits to London and under his alter moniker Elbow Toe frequently gets up on the streets with pastel drawings, short poem stanzas but most notably paste- up original art of stunning quality and beauty. I have a fond memory of Elbow Toe several years ago comparing the tension of even wheatpasting in New York to chilled out daytime high street pasting in London.London, 2007Brian Adam Douglas’ latest UK show at Black Rat is his first London solo show, having already been exhibited in almost this form up north at Warrington Museum late last year. There are 17 original paintings and 12 preparatory sketches. The originals fall into two distinct formats, those on paper with negative space background and those on wood panels with generally full colour background, the artistic style is virtually identical in both forms.Previously, Brian Adam Douglas’ distinctive studio work was based upon intricate lino cut images featuring twisted figures with multiple jointed limbs and stylistic references to classical forms of figurative painting . Often the work would be confused with art from Swoon or Denmark’s Armsrock. Now we are more familiar with his “trick” of creating collages of finely cut shreds of coloured paper in such a way that from any distance greater than about 12 inches the result looks like a beautiful traditional brush painting. The device is stunningly executed but no mere gimmick.After Goya(titled “The Family Pet” when shown at the Warrington Museum. Curious)The title of the show clearly defines the core theme throughout the work (with one exception), something which the artist ambiguously describes on the night as grappling with the issues of trying to become a parent. We can’t be sure whether this alludes to the mechanics of the formative processes or the lifelong struggle of nurturing a baby human from smeared greasy new-born to first wage slip, but the distinction isn’t that significant when it comes to reading each of the paintings, a label that we will stick to for convenience.Rites Of SpringMy own allergy to negative space is blown away by the works on paper in this show. In most cases the absence of background throws focus on the form and content of the central image, whereas the full colour compositions tend to have as much intrigue, meaning and food for thought as the painting subject itself. Look at the McGee-esque background to PTW from 2007 above.One of the beauties of the art is that each picture has picks out a doubt, concern or paranoia that every well intentioned parent feels at some point or another but doesn’t articulate anything like as well as Brian Adam Douglas paints it. In “Tradition” below, the point seems to be paradox between the new parent feels himself blindly stumbling into parenthood without a route map blind to the guiding hand of his immediate forbearers.Tradition (detail)Assume Crash Position is a gentle humorous allegory on the notion that whilst life starts with parenthood, at the same time there is a part of existence that ends with a crash. Give the man oxygenAs[...]



Black/Light - Roa, Phlegm, Robots

2012-02-05T20:05:40.587-08:00

Bussey Building, Peckham Rye, London, SE1 54ST25th Feb – 5th March 2011All photos: NoLionsInEnglandHeaded way down South of the river last night, really far south off the map in Peckam for this week’s Roa show alongside Phlegm and Robots. Roa is up everywhere but this was my first encounter with the wizardry of Phlegm.Roa hardly needs introduction, his epic birds and beasts display feathers, veins, innards and bones on many London Wall. He rarely does small.In case you missed his first London solo gig, read a graffito snapshot herePlegm however is long established, prolific up North and around the continent but rarely if ever sighted in the capital. He has a similar monochromatic palate to Roa, he is more suited to older crumbling walls and the insides of derelict buildings, not unlike Roa and it is easily to see why artistically he works well paired alongside Roa.The venue starts with a claustrophobic courtyard at the end of a long passage off Rye Lane. The lumpy and irregular lighting, random shape, the ancient brickwork and the looming tower of a workhouse-like building create a classic environment for these two to populate with enormous beasts, skinny people and a Phlegm trademark wobbly looking glass. The building was “when it was built, one of Peckham’s tallest buildings”, according to the web, a wildly extravagant claim to fame it struggles hard to live up to.Strobing trains rumble past every few minutes making the painted figures leap around the walls like a flickering gothic horror story. Like a bizarre fairytale fabricated to scare the living nightmares out of the kids, this enclosed urban canvas creates the sense one might be trapped inside a walled castle with radiated zombie animals and sundry carcasses for company.Inside the building, 10 flights of footstep echoing institutional stone stairs and through a heavy pair of dog-legged curtains brings you into a blacked out timber floored loft space commandeered by Phlegm and Robots. The door staff offer you hand held torches on the way in, health and safety obviously forbids that you should blunder around in the dark and bump your head.Three coarse built but imaginatively fabricated wooden man-robots spread arms and link hands to tower over the cautiously stepping observers. A Phleg wall painting with an added out-of-scale 3D townscape emits eerie and un-nerving rings and ticks. The town appears to be carried of the back of a Phlegm figure who appears to be cradling a prismatic multi-faceted abstract geometric cloud in his hands. The work of both artists combines in a sinister and yet satisfyingly threatening way. The Robots have more than just a touch of the wickerman about them and the scrawny hooded Phlegm figure looks like a fugitive from a post apocalyptic mutant zone.Neither handheld cameras nor flash photography could convey anything like the mood of this creepy dark installation, so no photos, sorry.Trying to feel your away around this without the torch is recommended, enjoyment and wonder grows as eyes get accustomed to the dark and in the meantime, enjoy the fun of accidently bumping into other timidly tip-toeing creatures. More art experiences should provide this kind of accidental tactile encounter.A note on practicalities, the flyer talks of 4 nights of art, bands and such and apparently you’ll get stiffed with a cover charge in the evenings. It’s not c[...]



Space Invader Chequered Past

2012-02-05T20:05:40.587-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEnglandThree or four years ago, I can’t recall precisely when, I spotted an Invader mosaic piece from a taxi as we swept through one of the higher back streets of Monaco. I didn’t have a camera on me and there was little sense in going back. On subsequent trips I brought a camera but the chequered Space Invader was no longer to be found at the spot where I thought I had seen it.Earlier this week, I climbed up a steep and winding set of alleyway steps from the corner at Saint Devote and emerged into a back street to find the same Invader still there.I was gobsmacked. It turned out that I had been looking for it ever since on a parallel street next block up the hill, a street with the same characteristics of a dropping sweeping downhill left handed corner, but I always went along the upper road, not this slightly lower one.Monaco is a very sterile tightly controlled kind of community, not the sort of place I take much joy in visiting but there happens to be work there. I assumed that the zero tolerance of anything un-authorised by the prince suffered the obvious natural fate of illegal street art in this principality. So to find this cheeky little invader still intact now feels just incredible. A quick search on flickr located a photo of this piece dated June 2007 so it certainly has lasted longer than most of its London compadres.The other reason like this is the very deliberate association it has with a chequered flag, who hasn’t heard of the famous grand prix, just about the only Formula One race a non petrol head like myself might bother watching. In the background of this picture, the left right avenue of trees is actually Boulevard Albert 1er which is the straightish start/finish straight for the grand prix, the pit line is just this side of the trees.So, for its contextual referencing of Monaco’s most famous asset and the fact that it has somehow survived this long, I love this little (encore) find.ps - photos by phone[...]



Hastings & St Leonards Moth Project

2012-02-05T20:05:40.588-08:00

Eagle eyed residents of Hastings and St Leonards may have noticed the sudden crop of giant geometrically patterned moths appearing on walls around parts of both town centres recently.The reverse graffiti being the work of a UK artist called Moose, one of the people to have pioneered the movement of "Clean Art" where stencils are placed and then a cleaning solution is applied to leave the fairly permanent, but still temporary form of art. Moose a.k.a Paul Curtis, was one of the team of people behind the Leeds based Soundclash and he also promoted the Soundclash club nights at which Andy Weatherall was an early fixture and Tricky made a rare and reputedly dreadful early DJ appearance.Moose says of his vision and how he began making clean art of his own "I just saw marks on the wall where the shoulders of unsteady drunks and the fingertips of curious children had exposed the shiny White tile" And with only a pair of socks as his tool, reverse graffiti was born.Moose has been doing this for over ten years now and has worked on many commissions often highlighting various health and awareness campaigns and St Leonards certainly needs some help there! It's high quantity of dirty walls means it has the higher proportion of Moths over it's Hastings neighbour. There are currently 7 locations where the moths are living, hopefully those numbers will increase over time and maybe even encourage more forms of art in unloved places. Each site has a different moth design unique in its complexity, all of the designs are also based on moths native specifically to the area. The project has 100% backing from the council and more specifically councillor Peter Chowney (In charge of regeneration in the area) who has said "It's an exciting installation which has enhanced the Hastings landscape, it's also great fun to suddenly come upon one of these images walking around town"More details about Moose can be found at http://www.symbollix.com/[...]



Banksy Locations (and a Tour) Vol II

2012-02-05T20:05:40.588-08:00

All photos: Shellshock Remember Banksy Locations and Tours, a pocket size book produced in 2006 which detailed locations of Banksy street artwork? That was structured around around 3 tour routes of Banksy’s wall art in London that a lucky few experienced free of charge at the time, though a bit like the Sex Pistols at Manchester Free Trade the number that claim to have been on those tours now exceeds the population of the UK.That was the work of Graffoto contributer Shellshock and we are pleased to announce he has done it again with the release this week of Banksy Locations (and a Tour) Vol II.The significant difference between Vol I and Vol II is that Vol II addresses all the other areas in the UK where Banksy has been active EXCEPT the locations covered by Vol I. So that’s all “new” stuff then.Vol II is a fascinating insight into some of the older and more provincial Banksy street art which London-locked folk like the rest of Graffoto don’t get to see. Though one or two of the London Banksys included in Vol II were only a couple of hundred yards off the routes of the original tours, they didn’t make Vol I simply because they involved too much of a route deviation to actually be included in Shellshock’s tours.Stylistically it sticks faithfully to the blueprint established by Vol I, which is to say there are photographs, with locations, notes on relevant history and an update on condition – if it has any! Regard it as a kind of I-Spy guide to Banksy’s public works and the ideal sister publication to Vol I.Vol II is published in hardback, making it harder wearing for those walking/cycling/charabanc tours.This looks like a nice little stocking filler for any enthusiast of Banksy and street art in general.Quoting from Shellshock’s own writing to add further colour and details on how to obtain a copy:“It’s a whopping 380 pages of hardback book and includes his street work all the way up to this October. There was just so much more to write than Vol.1; there are more locations (over 135, of which almost half are still worth visiting), more news (especially on the more recent pieces), better photo ops, and a few flounces of creativity. There is obviously no hiding that it is very similar format to Vol.1, in that it is based on locations, my photos and info/history about the piece. BUT there is a little more leeway in Vol 2 because it is less tour based (the only tour is in Bristol, which is pretty good actually; a lot survives, including some very hidden gems), and although it rounds up a lot of locations in London that couldn’t be covered by Vol.1, a third of the locations actually come from Bristol, Brighton & the South Coast, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, and the rural West Country.• Over 135 detailed locations of Banksy’s street graffiti, past & present• A full walking tour of his remaining work in Bristol• Information, random facts & idle chit-chat on each location• Over 220 colour photographs, on 380 pages• Snippets of art/graffiti by Eine, Faile, Inkie, Kato, Mode 2, BA / DBZ, & Rowdy• 12% of [the] sale price donated to charitable organisations (24% when sold directly by [Shellshock])• ISBN = 978-0955471230 / R.R.P. = £12.50If everything goes ok and this winter weather doesn’t wreck it, I should [...]



Dale ‘vn’ Marshall’s Room 101 revisited

2012-02-05T20:05:40.588-08:00

Putting the erm… into VerminAll photos by shellshock“Given the state of the planet, humans, or some humans, must now be categorized as vermin” (John Carey in ‘The Intellectuals and the Masses -Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligentsia 1880-1939‘)I’ll spare you the weak reasons for the complete tardiness of this ‘review’ of Dale's show this October in Bristol. Soz, but I’m here now, so let’s just get on with it ‘eh? And finally I get to use the word ‘tardy’ in a blog :-)Vermin (aka Dale ‘vn’ Marshall) has long been one of my favourite writers/artists, primarily as one of the Souls On Fire (SOF) crew throughout the late 90's and most of the 2000's, so I was especially excited when I heard earlier this year that he was doing canvases of his own work, and was then preparing for what seemed to be a very tardy [got it in again :-)] first exhibition for someone in his late 30’s. The reason for this late blooming was presumably, at least partly, because Dale has led a life and a half so far, and by his own admission not necessarily a life you’d wish for when a kid. Dale’s personal experiences and ongoing battle with his own mental health, including stays in a secure unit, is in equal parts amazing, shocking and totally understandable when you see his art (visit here for more info). I don’t know Dale but I feel some connection through his art, maybe aided by us being from the same city. My own minor battles cannot be compared to his, but I do get a strong personal feeling from all of this, and my heart skips a beat when I dip into his soul. I get the impression that during these dark days and nights Dale probably forgot that he was an artist. He also probably forgot he was a writer. And whatever inane discussions exist in the world about what a ‘writer’ really is and who is and isn’t a ‘writer’, I’d merely suggest that Vermin was and has always been a writer, even if it might not be as obvious as when a young lad does ‘Trax’ (or whatever) in large, basic letters on a scabby wall. Dale has a totally different style to that, but his work still (quite literally) oozes his name. So ‘Room 101, The Fine Art of Graffiti‘ showcased 101 oil paintings completed in 101 days this summer, as well as five additional show paintings and site-specific installations and wall daubings. However faint it may have seemed to the casual eye, I'd say that all 101 canvases had ‘vermin’ carved into them, like ‘Blackpool’ in a stick of rock, or to use a far darker analogy, like a self-harming teenager with a sharp knife and a bloodied and scared forearm.Although Dale is now happily studying at the historic School of Art at Coventry University, and has a great support network around him, he‘s obviously not going to forget his past quite so fast. The Room 101 theme obviously drew parallels from George Orwell’s novel, 1984, and was most evident in the institutional paraphernalia that was scattered around the venue. ‘Dentist’ chair and prescription drug cocktails with flashing light, a recreation of his hospital bed, a freaky video, maggots in a bowl, etc. When some people walked into the venue they must have thought… erm… what the hell is this!The canvases were amazing, and a[...]



F*** the F***ing F***ers - FREE 10FOOT

2012-02-05T20:05:40.588-08:00

photos: NoLionsInEngland except Joeppowhere notedStandby for a bit of a rant at inappropriate sentencing.Artist unknown - view LARGELondon tagger, bomber and graffiti artist 10FOOT has been sentenced to 26 months in prison for a long list of acts of graffiti, also known as crimes. On release, he has a weird 5 year ASBO stopping him carrying “unset paint, permanent marker pen, shoe dye, permanent ink, grinding stone, glass cutting equipment, glass etching solution or paste” or from entering train yards.That sentence is crass beyond belief. As balance between punishing a specific individual and deterring the rest, there no doubt 10foot is suffering way beyond what would be reasonably due him. 26 months banged up is just irrational, disproportionate, unjustifiable and quite capable of having a life-destroying impact.Do you believe society is capable of electing representatives to create laws that are then used fairly by the judiciary? You can't justify believing that when you look at the stupidity of punishments like this.For bringing it to my attention, cap is doffed to Joeppo and the London Vandal. You can read the full list of 25 acts of “criminal damage” 10FOOT pleaded guilty to, from the BTP press release on London Vandal here.Looking at the list, not one of the criminal acts involves rape, dangerous driving, assault, theft, fraud, public indecency, threatening behaviour or racism. They are merely making a mark on walls. So some of those marks are on trains and they are private property, that’s a crime and crimes get punished after a “guilty” verdict but there is no way our world is going to be a better place for having 10foot locked up for 26 months.The vast majority of the acts relate to trackside shit. Now if there ever was a kind of property that the word “marginalised” was invented for, it is on the whole the kind of spots that 10foot has been bombing. The clean up costs cited in the press release have to be fabricated as there is no way that any sane individual would want to spend 31 grand (about 52,000 dollars) creating buff coloured rectangles where 10foot has done his artwork. Quite what goes into those cost estimates (railway overheads?) we’ll never know but you can employ a feck of a lot of painters for that amount.Why are those costs so high? To make us gasp, to smear some kind of shock factor to wave over the excessive prison sentence handed down. The costs are quoted to the nearest 37p or 24p which is so ludicrous it must be just done for comic effect.It seems pretty clear that BTP have gone after 10foot motivated by vengeance, by a vandal headhunters blood lust, they must have been burning with a crazed ambition to make a name for themselves (bloody hell, that’s close to graffiti) and to obtain a huge sentence guaranteed to make the press. You can just see them high fiving, funny handshaking and off out celebrating on hearing the sentence.In the two photos accompanying this post you can see the name Saycell, it’s not difficult to find information on the internet regarding Colin Saysell of the British Transport Police and his obsession with making examples of some high profile graffiti artists. The Fuck the Fuckers piece also rants about “fuck jizz wally” (SIC), Jeremy Wall[...]



Mantis - Altered State

2012-02-05T20:05:40.588-08:00

Lord Napier, Hackney Wick18 - 20 Nov 2010photos: NoLionsInEngland except Howaboutno where statedWe like our street artists a bit elusive and few come more enigmatic than Mantis. The mystery revolves around the un-signed socio-political work on the streets and the comparative scarcity of paintings and prints. Mantis is a regular street defacer, his repertoire including epic stencils, defaced road signs and his own installed road signs though he has been known to freehand paint some large figurative pieces by the side of canals."All Fall Down", photo HowAboutNoQuite often attribution to Mantis is process involving “definitely Banksy” followed by “not sure” followed by “not on Bansky’s website” sheepishly concluded with “oh, its on Mantis’ website”. The script goes horribly wrong when pieces are initially attributed to Grafter followed by a consensus that in fact Eelus was the painterMantis, not Eelus, nor GrafterYou are here (no exit)One of Hackney Wick’s particular landmarks is the derelict Lord Napier pub hard by the Hackney Wick overground station.BUSKThis has been derelict for years and Mantis has chosen its blackened interior to host his first ever solo show.Painted wall background by BuskIn the first room, a granny’s living room, as comfortable as a slipper, complete with tweeting parrot simulates a world of contemporary modernity denied. A rocking chair provides a cosy perch next to a roaring fire – flames by Busk – in which Granny would sit and contemplate the sepia toned on the wall.A couple of the finely drawn exercises have been seen out on the streets in stencil form, though it seems unlikely that they are stencils on this occasion.Hopscotch (Hope Scotched)The End Was NighGlimpsed through the open door is the parallel exterior world of grim and congested urban landscapes and threatening spooky weirdness. Hanging on dirt streaked un-painted walls are a series of spraypaint and ink drawings on canvas and wood, celebrating a sort of retro modern architecture on one side and playing with life and death on the other.The particular fish-eyed perspective of this ink drawing over aerosol spray on wood has the luminosity of Hopper’s Nighthawks combined with a bit of Rushka perspective.Corner ShopMantis’ street work combines humour with social commentary and occasionally the humour surfaces in this show like this crushing of the Warholian legacy. A bin below this painting held a collection of empty Campbells soup tins, replica labels made by Mantis.RecycleSeveral of the paintings explore the future architecture theme, on the end wall the whole planet is covered with skyscraper buildings which chimes with the dire predictions implicit in simple but effective street pieces by Mantis.Stop ConsumingIn one corner a slot machine plays games with our fate, the buttons teasingly invite us to play or not play, the spinning reels indicate life or death and the nudges don’t deliver on the promises the labels makeGrim Reaper optionalMantis has coyly omitted any sign that the art might be for sale, no drawing labels, no price list, in fact no indication anywhere of even the artist’s name. Self effacement is taken to the limit here. This show is fascinating just for th[...]



Swoon Scene in London

2012-02-05T20:05:40.589-08:00

Photos: NoLionsInEngland (who is slightly peeved that blogger is trimming the right hand edges of landscape pics so that central elements shift to the right and important info is not visible. Click through landscape pics to see the original image)Swoon was recently in London combining the installation of her part of the Small Acts of Resistance show at Black Rat Press with leaving a few pieces on the street.A few years back, Swoon left some stunners on the streets of London.Coronet St filigreeGirl From RanoonBoth of those ran for a long long time and for me they never became invisible background, I never ever got bored of seeing them.In those days the buff was a council employee and he told me one morning that he could see those Swoon pieces were things of beauty, though he had no idea they were “Swoon”, and he said he’d never buff those.This photographed in late 07 but was definately there in 2006, the grain of the woode hoarding has cut into the paper and lent a gentle curving wash to the art.This time round Swoon has put up 4 street paste ups, at least, that’s how many we have found. More knowledgable Swoon spotters have opined that these four new images haven’t been seen before which is cool for us locals.This first one saw her returning to Blackall St, location of the Girl from Rangoon at the top. Blackall Street these days is a noisy battered alleyway with generally mediocre but occasionally adequate paste ups, Swoon’s piece is sort of jostling for elbow room in the crowd and that optical bedlam just doesn’t allow the piece to interact in any meaningful way with its environment, you probably need to know that the boy is gazing at some non-descript two storey offices opposite.Swoon 2010, Boy from Haiti?The last piece Graffoto found (well, HowAboutNo) sits in a very nice spot, I love the way the more delicate transluscent sort of paper Swoon has used here allows the colour of the two columns of London brick to seep through. Again he is scrutinising a fairly dull brick built office. Perhaps staring at places of work is the theme for this autumn's street collection.Swoon 2010Like the one above, this third one sits in a nice location and has awesome levels of detail within the art.The final piece sits a little off the beaten track but not too far from Black Rat. The grainy detail pasted to the wall and even in the textures of the brick itself really captures a weathered and ancient face. When you look at the amount of detail in the close-up you can really appreciate the astonishing intricacy of the paper doily, not to mention how tricky it must be to paste that kind of work to the wall. The pipe at the bottom of the wall looks like it is meant to be a meaningful addition to the composition or at least provide some kind of context for the portrait but we just can’t figure out what.detailA much more knowledgable Swoon spotter (sorry - can't remember who otherwise they would get a shout here) has said they believe the new images in London haven't been seen on the street before, which is cool for us.The Black Rat Press group show is constructed around the theme of how substantial change can be created by individual un-sung and small scale acts[...]



Cept, Sweet Toof - Backyard Colouring

2012-02-05T20:05:40.589-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEnglandGraffoto went out hunting Swoons yesterday lunchtime, Boris Bikes for transport, cameras for the kill, separating and meeting again to cover more of the East London concrete jungle. Diddley squat, nada, nothing new, just the three recent pieces already located.However, at the last rendezvous HowAboutNo excitedly reported that a known Burning Candy wall had been updated and the pelmet over a nearby raised shutter showed evidence of a new CEPT. Howaboutno being the less thick element of Graffoto came up with the genius suggestion that NoLions might find both the shutter down AND no parked cars blocking the garage wall if he swung past on his bike first thing in the morning.Old - Before ColouringAnd so it came to pass, there were no cars and shutters were down.Cept, Sweet ToofThe CEPT lady is absolutely stunning, and borrows from the Black and white illusions CEPT has created in the past and a face portrait seen previously on CEPT prints (www.spradio.com – “Fly Wonder”).CEPT has even painted the lamppost and the weird booby trapped water butt thing, though I found the optimum viewing point a little low giving a poor overall perspective. Doh.The characters on the right are all by Sweet Toof.Sweet ToofThe shutter nearby continues a long Cept saga of ambiguous loves won and loves lost.CEPTThen exploring a nearby rarely travelled lane we spotted the tips of an instantly recognisable CEPT painting and a pair of Sweet Toof teef opposite. A peep through a tiny hole confirmed a hidden secret graff art treasure trove.Returning at lunchtime, the challenge was to find out which property the yard belonged to and could we get in. The people behind the new CEPT shutter said they could see it but it wasn’t theirs, they directed us around the corner. We pressed voice entry phone buzzers, CCTV cameras swivelled but no one answered (chiselled features, statuesque physiques and a tendency to be found at crime scenes leads to Graffoto often being accused of being five-oh). On a hunch we skirted round the whole block and came across a previously un-known art gallery. On the pretext of admiring the art, we tried the back door and it gave out onto the holy grail.Sweet ToofHopefully this link might allow you see see this image LARGE(ER) (pls email if it doesn't work because I prob would need to tweak "rights")Arch 402 is brand new, only opened last night. The gallerists know nothing about street art or graffiti and had actually been asked if they were going to “deal” with the growing amounts around the Cramer St garage. They enquired at the garage who the artists were, and let the garage mechanics know they liked the stuff on the walls and wanted more of it. Well and truly dealt with then.CEPTThose garage mechanics have previously featured in Graffoto reports for their resistance against the council who issued a written demand to remove the graffiti on the walls. So, a few days later, presumably about the time Sweet Toof and Cept went back to the garage wall, the gallery found it was now the proud host of one of the most stunning Sweet Toof/Cept collabs ever.The interesting question arises – with 8 characters [...]



Underbelly Project - NY subway art

2012-02-05T20:05:40.589-08:00

Photos as credited by: Luna Park, Ian Cox aka Wallkandy,RemiRough,James Garrett Sources - Sunday Times, New York TimesThe duty of the street artist shall be to create art taking risks, pushing boundaries and exploring territories so that the more risk averse among us may vicariously thrill and admire. Note for once the curious omission of the word “public”. Writing in today’s Sunday Times (UK) magazine (31 Oct 2010) and the online NY Times, Jasper Rees reveals a secret project in which about 100 artists have created an illegal and in-accessible gallery of graffiti and street art to re-affirm a fans belief in the spirit of (errr)”street art”.In a nutshell, two people going by the pseudonyms Workhorse and Pac have been spent 18 months escorting a selection of graffiti and street artists into a dis-used hidden underground station on the NY Metro to create and leave a single piece of original art on the walls.Underbelly - Photo: Emile Souris via The Sunday TimesThe artists mentioned in the article are undoubtedly of the highest calibre. Whilst you may criticise a book for its curation when it seeks to preach about the top 1,000 street artists, I guess in this case the selection process depends a little on who the project dudes know and can trust, who the folk they know know, who they can cold call and interest in the project and so on in a sort of viral spiral selection process. It would be interesting to know who said no. Banksy is identified for one ("thou shalt not publish a street art article in the mainstream press witout mentioning Banksy". Opps - and in a blog ;-) ) .Graffoto spoke to one of the artists identified in the Sunday Times. He was invited to come to new York for a painting event and took a lot of persuasion, principally as the flimsy information he was given was unlikely to convince his wife that he wasn’t just swanning off to NY for a lads’ weekend. Things became a little clearer after committing to travel but even the day he went into the station he had little idea of the brick canvas on which he would be placing his work.“I met at Workhorse’s place for a rather limited briefing about what we could expect, they showed us a filmed walk through of the access so we’d be prepared for the risks involved and they had allocated a spot which they thought would work. “Anyone slightest familiar with painting in train tunnels will know the most common access involves walking off the end of platforms, after first checking for public, workers, CCTV and other detectors. Our friend confirms in essence that was how the march to the abandoned station commenced, though the trek itself was longer and more convoluted than the Sunday Times article would lead you to believe.“The place was pitch black, I could see very little work done by the other artists, I saw a Lucy MacLauchlan, the only light down in the place was the small amount of floodlighting on the spot I was painting. The organisers hastily rigged the lights and set up their time lapse cameras for documenting the work”.The place was un-nerving, fear of detection by the authorities blended with legends telling of angry subterranea[...]



Moniker Art Fair, Adam Neate, Frieze

2012-02-05T20:05:40.589-08:00

Moniker Art Fair, 14 – 17 Oct 2010Holywell Lane, London EC2A 3PQAdam Neate “The Flock Series”, 12 – 30 Oct 2010Elms Lester Painting Rooms, 1-5 Flitcroft St, London, WC2H 8DHFrieze Art Fair, Regents Park, 14 – 17 Oct 2010{links above go to location maps}All photos: nolionsinenglandGraffoto had an awesome day’s release from the grindstone today (Thursday 14 Oct 2010), spent hours at Frieze Art Fair, then cycled down to Elms Lester to see the 5 new Adam Neates on display, over then to Shoreditch for Moniker Art Fair and finally Choque Cultural Brazilian street art at Pure Evil gallery. Those legs need a rub. One day encompassed just about every valid form of contemporary art other than graffiti that is happening in London and, by extrapolation, the World.Frieze is an overwhelming and exhausting experience. Quite a lot to like, quite a lot not worth giving two figs about. Adam Neate however has continued his trajectory and theme, creating anonymous portraits using multi-media coloured, painted, mirrored and transparent Perspex and metal. Compared to his incredible show there last year, there seems to be more depth literally in the 3D sense to the work but the movement seems to have been replaced by form, contour and shadowplay. At Frieze I saw nothing that was as interesting from an art perspective or as challenging, beautiful to behold and stimulating.Elaine Sturtevant, FriezeReflecting on Frieze I realised that there wasn’t a single artist displayed who I would be aware of as being street or urban. Why is that? Culturally, graffiti, street art and urban art has an enormous fan base extending to almost anyone who has grown up through hip-hop, music and art in the past 40 years yet there is no evidence of this culture at the top end art fairs.Adam NeateThe point of this write up is to highlight Moniker Art Fairs’ attempt to create a satellite urban art fair to bring this work to the wider more “received” art aficionados who this week grind the line between Cork St and Regents Park (Frieze) and to fill the void left after the demise of Zoo.Throwing a few descriptive words out there to capture Moniker Art Fair:Street Art – artists with work on display and or even creating live include, in no particular order Steve Powers, Faith47, Ben Eine, Herakut, Date Farmers, Jaybo, Swoon, Bast, Titifreak, Polly Morgan (ok, hand aloft – I don’t get how Polly Morgan fits into the street art scene unless the link is that you find dead animals by the side of the road, but I love her stuff so I’m not quibbling). If that looks like a list of weird unknowns to you, get thyself to Moniker for free and painless removal of scales from eyes. There is even a token Banksy (No Ball Games print) but that looks dull and jaded by comparison with the company it keeps.Steve PowersInternational: galleries from London, New York, Berlin, Milan, Los Angeles mainly focussing on their domestic artistsJaybo Monk, CircleCulture, BerlinSolo projects – a number of areas are given over to installations and mini solo shows which artists have really used to push themselves, this isn’t just junk that h[...]



Hell's Half Acre - Lazarides Group show

2012-02-05T20:05:40.589-08:00

Leake St,WaterlooLondon12 – 17 October 2010All photos: nolionsinenglandHells Half Acre promises to be a Halloween-ish subterranean wandering loosely based upon Dantes’s inferno.You enter off Leake Street, now one of London’s premier graffiti halls of fame and therefore generally only worked by visiting writers from Prague and New Zealand. The transition from graffiti assault to Circles of Hell central you enter through a short brick lined cave where Dave Choe has been let loose directly on the walls. (er - perhaps i got the wrong impression, just hold on a mo...)David ChoeTop highlight inside is the art taxidermist Poly Morgan’s almost luminous explosive cluster of stuffed pigeons. In a more radical and interesting world, this would be available in Ikea.Poly MorganConor Harrington has a set of 5 huge canvasses hung in the arc of a circle like something you might chance upon at night in a wood clearing just when you were beginning to believe you had passed the “virgins sacrificed here copse”. Harrington’s work is just made to be shown in this kind of moody The moody dank cellar vibe sets off the lush tones of Harrington’s work to vibrant effect, as usual.Conor HarringtonIan Francis’ work comes on in leaps and bounds, though I would now struggle to tell the Chloe Early from your Ian Francis in an “eyes-wide-open-but-labels-covered” test.Ian FrancisLaz is your consummate leveller with none of the usual “don’t breath/ don’t photograph” preciousness, the website promises “Interaction with the works will be encouraged as part of this multi-sensory experience” though the only interaction I can recall was getting Lady NoLions’ camera wet in a drizzle installation across the width of one of the caverns. Apparently from a certain angle with the wind in the right direction it captures the light and splits it into its spectrum components though, as a visiting gallerist assured me, “it’s quite difficult making rainbows”. No photo.Sphere with hypodermics – possibly Paul Insect?Anthony Micallef’s work is getting more impressionist and darker with the increasing affinity for charcoal, like the Harrington the utilitarian backdrop really allowed the work to pop.Anthony Micallef (fairly certain)With a decent art show the experience is the objective dear boy, not the art education. So it’s a pleasure to confess that I couldn’t pin down a large number of the installations to an artists and then reading the blurb after the show, couldn’t identify half the artists’ names on the sheet.(I thought this was Charles Kraft – but he’s not on the list) - UPDATE - Anthony Micallef - thanks "anonymous"Mark Jenkins hanging humanoid chrysalis artefacts passed me by, they need pretext or context, are we looking into a human battery incubator or the pantry of some vampirish food preserver, dunno.Mark JenkinsJonathon Yeo’s infamy rests on portraits collaged from clippings from porn mags. On this occasion he has pulled of a trompe d’oeil consisting of several layers of perspex with collaged nude clippings on each layer whic[...]



Mike Ballard - Whose Coat Is That Jacket You're Wearing

2012-02-05T20:05:40.590-08:00

Walker's Tailor 157 Robert St, London, NW1 3QR 8 – 23 October 2010All photos: nolionsinengland"I woke with a bolt this morning. I had been dreaming about the night my jacket went missing. I could see it all in the dream. Where everything and everyone was in the pub. M and E were sat at the table as I got up to goto the loo. My jacket hooked over the back of the chair. As I enter the loo, M goes to the bar, and starts chatting to two girls, while he’s waiting to be served. Elliot goes over to join hime (sic) and help with the drinks. In that split second A guy moves over to our table, squeezing through the crowds, grabs my coat and is out through the door, all while I am still pissing. It is the night everything changed." MBSC:JC/200.19Ever wondered what kind of kunt lurks in a bar with the objective of stealing your personal property? Well Mike Ballard has created an art spectacle proposing “I am that kind of cunt”.Mike Ballard has spent ten years taking his twisted and silent revenge on an innocent(ish) society. His story is that ten years ago a prized jacket was stolen from him in a bar. His grief and rage prompted him to go on a larceny spree, stealing coats in revenge against that silent unknown threat, the bar dipper.Walker's TailorNow Mike is contrite, seeking to right his wrongs and to exorcise the demons. “Whose Coat is that your jacket is wearing” is a display of 200 coats Ballard stole during this 10 year campaign of shame and evil. Turn up, you might find yours and if you do Ballard wants you to have it back.There is a twist of course, you have to be able to rigorously prove it is yours. Ballard never stole to profit, or to clothe himself or even particularly to inflict trauma and pain on any individual victim, he stole as revenge. He would then photograph every jacket, note the date and record the contents of every pocket. So can you remember what packet of sweets and phone number written in lipstick was in the jacket when it got stolen? Ballard has it all catalogued on a secret indexed card database and you just have to get the description of those details right to get your coat back."Fashion Week is here again, and loads of after parties going off. There’s always some dizzy intern working on the coat check" MBSC:JC/200.125The show itself takes place in a tiny shop, seemingly formerly a tailor’s workshop, A densely packed forest of jackets hang down from the ceiling, you have to stoop low to move around. Hanging from each jacket is a kind of dated looking luggage label, each of which has an entry from Ballard’s diary.The first sensation that hits you entering this cramped space is the smell, a whiff of damp mustiness falling off a collection of wet weather gear that has been stored away for too long in a dark cupboard.The art within this show has to be perceived as a number of layers. Firstly, the tight packing of the clothes obliges you to see the aggregation of the individual deeds, the woods rather than the trees. The artistic desire to create a shock is partially s[...]



we are merely vermin

2012-02-05T20:05:40.590-08:00

A brief retrospective on the Souls on Fire (SOF) lads, and a special mention for Vermin who has his own show this monthAll photos by shellshock“If human beings were shown what they're really like, they'd either kill one another as vermin, or hang themselves“ (Aldous Huxley)I’ve always been partial to a bit of the Souls on Fire (SOF) crew. They make you work. It’s not a picture of a decent looking woman, or a 6th Former’s clumsy political message. They make you wonder what it is in their art that you like. It makes you delve into your inner core to worry about yourself and your own frame of mind. Am I a bit mad because I like this stuff? Don’t answer that question….I wanted to do a short blog on their work, and when I had a look through my photo archive I realised that they are slightly elusive and their pieces were rather thin on my ground. But it’s still nice to raid the archive and show a smattering of their productions in Bristol.SOF mainly hail from Frome in Somerset (pronounced ‘Froom’, like vroom, and NEVER ‘Frowm’, like gnome, although more and more newsreaders seem to be doing that) and consist of Pen, Boswell (who used to write under the name ‘Warp‘), Vermin and Rowdy. They mainly write and paint in Bristol and as you’ll see from my slightly random photos they also often work on their own, plus collaborating with other writers, some of whom may not be obvious choices.Boswell & 3rd Eye - St Werberghs tunnel - August 2008Pen & Rowdy - St Werberghs tunnel - August 2008Here’s a few from the Mina Rd tunnel in Bristol a couple of years ago. Boswell does his customary ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ type creatures, but 3rd Eye has his ever so slightly fluffy edges with cartoon-ish characters (still maybe not a cartoon for the kiddiewinks though...).Pen writes his name like he’s under electric shock treatment and Rowdy shows his ‘other style’; that of ethereal impressionist abstraction (it’s not all crocodiles and painted rocks you know)Boswell and Pen - The Deaner - July 2009 (with a sliver of Kato on the left)Boswell and Cheo close up - The Deaner - July 2009Boswell and Cheo - The Deaner - July 2009Over the other side of town, I’ve found a few in the archive from the Dean Lane skate park in July 2009. It’s no surprise that Boswell and Pen mutually work together (top photo), but let’s be honest who would have expected Cheo and Boswell to be able to sit on a wall in sync!? Somehow they pull it off, rather like a nice cop / nasty cop routine.Vermin and Mr Jago - Stokes Croft - September 2010Vermin - close up - Stokes Croft - September 2010Finally, I’ve pinned one down from Vermin (a.k.a Dale ‘vn’ Marshall), painted this summer with Mr Jago round the back of Stokes Croft (the self proclaimed ’cultural quarter’ of Bristol). The emotion and fluidity in both of their work shines out for me.I think it might be my Asperger’s leaning, but I could lap this stuff up all day. I find the abstractions and fantastical meanderings mesmerising, and I‘ve [...]



Papal Bull

2012-02-05T20:05:40.590-08:00

Pope In London - Street artists rise as foretoldphotos Nolionsinengland except S.Butterfly where notedBenedictus episcopus servus servorum Dei, Pope Benedict, Bishop, Server of The Servants of God, etc etc is in the UK to give us a bit of a telling off and to enjoy one of the most expensive inter-city long-weekend breaks on record (Twelve million quids worth is the accepted estimate of his inclusive board and travel deal). Graffoto was a little disappointed that the opportunity presented by the elections in the UK this Summer passed by un-remarked by most of the street art/anarchist community, perhaps with the honourable exception of Dr d, so it is encouraging to see quite this papal visit has stimulated the minds and exacto knives of a few stencilistas in London. For anyone not familiar with the circumstance, the two protest themes hinge around expense and paedophilia cover-ups.Top prize goes to the ever thoughtful K-Guy who placed controversial work in a couple of spots designed for maximum visibility to the papal entourage and all passing Catholics. K-Guys is at his best when presented with a toxic cocktail of politics, religion and hipocracy and the quality of his political work is sustained in this hear-no-see-no-speak-no cannon-ised monkeys. Reducing the pontiff to the level of a primate and mocking the Church’s inability or un-willingness to properly and clearly address the horrendous crimes committed within its’ sanctuary by a few (“Paedophilia is a sickness, they were “ill”), this work pulls no punches.K-Guy “see-no-hear-no-speak-no”K-Guy placed a version of this image on Thursday night on the Popemobile route to Westminster, Graffoto made a detour on the way to the day job on Friday morning arriving just as one chuffed-to-bits cleaner removed the piece off the streets. 0-1 to the buff.I’ll ‘ave thatK-Guy was motivated to go one better for the Pope’s benefit on Saturday (today), placing a second specimen inside Hyde Park where the Pope was due to lead an open air séance or something. Wonder if it survived until the vigil, certainly thousands of Catholics will have got the message if it did.K-GuySPQR also addresses the popular theme of papal cover-ups, this splendidly executed work referencing the less than transparent internal investigations supposedly carried on by the Catholic church. Being placed on a gallery wall miles from where the papal retinues and the flock would gather renders this effort a tad futile but to be fair to SPQR, he was presumably rather busy with a solo show opening at Signal Gallery that night.SPQR – “Report Exposes Church Sex”Much closer to the heart of the papal action geographically speaking is Nick Walker’s Cardinal Sinister placed on the walls of the Royal College of Art immediately outside Regents Park. Nick Walker renders the Pope as a Blofeld-like evil head of a sinister organisation stroking the cat on his lap. We like the analogy to the head of a crime based organisation, the stencil has impressive scale a[...]



Poster Boy In London

2012-02-05T20:05:40.590-08:00

Dog days of Summer suck and taking a family holiday at the end of August can involve compromise. For me the compromise became apparent a couple of weeks ago when an calling-all-art-knobs email arrived announcing a Poster Boy multi-location book launch, one leg of which would be at the Pure Evil Gallery, London.Within minutes, a sceptical buddy mail arrived saying “oh yeah – Poster Boy...one dude.....four simultaneous launches around the world [ish, London and 3 in the US] .... does not compute”. Fuck that I thought and got back on the kite board (kinda – day 1 is body dragging)....I wasn’t going to be anywhere near so best not to dwell on the inconsistency.Reacquainting myself over the past couple of days with what’s new and what’s forgotten in the London street galleries I was really surprised to find Pure Evil’s gallery resonating with irrefutable evidence of a continuing Poster Boy presence - books, beer and cut out paste ups strewn on the floor.Before checking out the PVs tonight I found the end of Summer transformed by Poster Boy action on the London streets. No, I don’t know when these interventions happened other than it was today..I was there sometime before, I was there sometime after, here are before and after snaps.Obviously this is plain simple billboard hijacking. Other than where the eyes are allowed to peek through, these pieces involve complete advert obliteration. The message here is simply political. Spending 5 minutes photographing the hijacked billboards gave sufficient time to absorb the impact this un-expected off-message message was having. Every passerby and every car driver was studying the anarchist assault.Thanks to dastardly bastardly agency creatives discovering that mimicking street art has a powerful resonance with a certain trendy target audience, my quest over the past few years to discover more Cut-Up Collective work lurking behind, around and on top of public adverts has involved me looking at more street marketing campaigns than any ad exec could dream of. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t Cut-Up Collective's intended effect!I had thought, having never previously had direct contact with a Poster Boy environmental enhancement, that Poster Boy’s work was purely about advertising subversion, poster remixing with wit and generally an anti corporate propaganda theme. This may or may not be true, in a couple of years I will have finished reading the book, but Poster Boy’s London blitz is hugely political, a truly remarkable thrust from a dude whose country pulled out of its most recent/current/most public global fuck up only last week.Poster Boy was arrested in an internationally publicised incident early in 2009, nabbed by covert police pouncing on an advertised private view of a Poster Boy art show. Poster Boy got sent down, or detained, or sent to bed early or something, yet the Poster Boy campaign actually intensified. It had both a windmill to tilt at AND a huge profile. Eventual[...]



CEPT - Cosmic Interceptor

2012-02-05T20:05:40.591-08:00

London Aug 2010


Graffoto had the pleasure of a morning with Cept as he freestyled a London shutter writing CEPT with an awesome intergalactic prespective buggering fill. Look too closely at the end result and you'll feel like you are about to fall into deep space.


Check the movie, in particular see some impressive backwards tagging at the end. Smoke a banana while you watch it.

(object) (embed)

Cosmic Interceptor from NoLionsInEngland on Vimeo.




check here some of the awesome CEPT work Graffoto has covered in the past and as anything Cept touches may involve warping time and space, depending when you click this link we might throw in some future work too.



VNA Issue 12 - This Thursday 12 Aug 2010

2012-02-05T20:05:40.591-08:00

Pure Evil Gallery108 Leonard StLondon EC2A 4RHVNA Issue 12 launches this coming Thursday (12 Aug 2010) with a party at Pure Evil Gallery, London, K.O. 6pm.98 pages (100 counting the covers?) are packed with features and photos. The cover artist ROA has screenprinted a unique image on 100 copies, his first ever screenprint whilst apparently the first 20 to storm the evil dungeon may get their mitts on a very special ROA VNA teeshirt.Amidst the launch buzz there will be a load of ROA art on the walls, featured artist and Brizzle legend Mr Jago is painting live whilst adhoc low-fi scuzz rock groovers Pure Evil and The Prehistoric Man will be serenading all in the basement, check out “I can See Your Bra Through Your Top” here. The B-Side “I Can See Your Y-fronts Through Your Monitor” hasn’t been cleared for release. Refreshments by Kopparberg,As a bonus, it very easy to walk the 50 yards to see the Rooftop Roa painted specially for VNA as a series of various vivisectionist states of internal dis-memberment.Back to the mag, it just gets fatter and brighter, like some of its photographers. The emphasis is shifting towards artist interviews and photos with the photo-journal of street art and graff since the last issue confined to 4 double page spreads at the back. Booooo. In depth interviews and photologs include feature interviews with Bruno 9Li, Dave Kinsey, M-City, Kevin Cyr (paints tagged vans), The Yok, Mr Jago , Buff Monster and an Amsterdam OMT including an beer and chat with exactly 50% of The London Police, plus of course the Roa interview already mentionedfeaturing the ever-lush photography of Ian Cox If like Graffoto you prefer an album cover you can hold in your hands rather than an email confirmation that you paypalled 79p to iTunes, then make a copy of this lush little record of that most ephemeral of art forms yours.If you can’t make the opening this Thursday, check out one of the many UK and international stockists (curious that in London there is no stockist North of Oxford St or west of Whitehall, where the PM and his Mrs are elbow deep into street art and graff culture nowadays). If all else fails, check out the shop on the VNA website.Thanks to VNA and google, Graffoto may be busy for the next few weeks getting to know the Visiting Nurse Association.[...]



Hackney Wicked

2012-02-05T20:05:40.591-08:00

Hackney Wick30 July - 1 Aug 2010Hackney Wick is bohemian, decaying, swampy and trendy though a lot of its post industrial bleakness is being surrendered to the concrete sports temples rising out of the mud and mire. Some of the resilient local artist community, 670 or so the promotional bumpf proclaims like some kind of statistical triumph, have had their doors levered open for the annual Hackney Wicked art festival now in its third year.One of the coolest bits of work was an outdoor-internal installation called Tompson’s Tunnel, featuring miniature concrete steps leading up to a tunnel burrowing into the building with tiny Slinkachu-esque naked figures striding the landscape. The figures looked like they may have been wrapped in foil then lost their skin to first degree burns in some grotesque bbq related accident. The illusion of depth in the tunnel was enhanced by a mirror fitted at the end. Bugger to photograph mind.Tompson's TunnelQuite a bit of live painting had taken place the day before in and around that White Post Lane car park including pieces Snoe, Cept, Seks, DScreet, Busk and Xenz.Snoe, Cept, Seks, DScreet, Run (&Busk?)Also in that same car park, intertwined down the structure of the back staircase is one of those robot wooden arms similar to the ones seen at Prescription Art in Brighton last year.Normally you wouldn’t have polite access to these sweatshop buildings, various handwritten notices pleading for the return of missing items or threatening dire retribution if perpetrators of theft are caught indicate why. The best part of these buildings being open is the opportunity afforded for access to roof spaces and elevated windows, yielding panoramic views and close up shots of rooftop graffiti gems.Sweet ToofSweet ToofArriving early like around mid-day, when stalls selling home-made carrot cake out-number carrot cake eaters, had the dual peril of artists still being tucked up in bed and if they were there, you were likely to be the only rubber necker keeping the artist company. You hope as you mooch un-certainly into the heart of the studio that your face doesn’t betray any particular look of horror.On a hunch that he might have finally surfaced by 2.30pm, a return to the Peanut Factory found Joseph Loughborough aka illjoseph, bright eyed and demon breathed after a bit of a session the previous night.Joseph LoughboroughJoe has been an artist I have admired for several years and the work on his studio walls was just stunning. Some of them are on his flickr account and without being critical of Joe's photography, flicks don't have a fraction of the impact of seeing these fo' real. Joe was sitting there producing one of his latest series of frenzied, fragmented and smudged charcoal portraits. For me this brief visit was the highlight and made the Eastwards schlep worthwhile (and the bit about demon breath probably isn't true).[...]



High Roller Society - Linoprinting Workshop

2012-02-05T20:05:40.592-08:00

HIGH ROLLER SOCIETY10 PALMERS ROADLONDON E2 0SY24 July 2010photos: NoLionsInEngland except High Roller Society where noted.After last week’s hugely fascinating screenprinting workshop, Graffoto completed its 6 hour crafts major at High Roller Society’s linoprinting workshop. Guest demo man this week was printer, book illustrator and lecturer (among many other illustrative activities) Nick Morley from East London Printmakers, aka “linocut boy”.He showed off the tense and dangerous art of cutting lino, creating a prophetic split composition of a sprinting cyclist and a cloud of dust which anticipated Mark Cavendish winning the Champs Elysee stage of the Tour de France the following day. Just for fun, Nick chose to demonstrate a colour blend print across the cloud of dust with a solid blue on the cyclistLino cutting the cloud of dust (photo: High Roller Society)Blending coloursInking upPositioning the paperBeron actionGo Cav!Using Nick’s freshly cut lino block we participants and devotees had our first crack at inking and the critical skill of pressing the paper to the lino block using a “beron”.Inking upFor entertainment and experimentation, the workshop had a go at printing on six lino blocks kindly made available by Sweet Toof, Paul Insect, Nylon, Cyclops and SheOne and actually used in the printing of “lim ed” prints on sale at the High Roller Society “Press and Release” show. With a number of different coloured papers and ink colours to try, some of the prints produced by us amateurs looked pretty damn lush.Sweet Toof proof printOn a technical note, the prints taken off the blocks at the workshop are regarded as “proofs” and some of the noted artists were present and showing how their work could be/should be printed, SheOne showed us how to overlay an abstract piece over a colour background resulting in a gorgeous spikey bold combination. Three artist printed proofs are available from High Roller Society though we understand the online shop may not be fully functional you probably should email them.foreground: SheOne creating printed image, background: LMNL inks up a block, her hair and her frockRather than part of any edition, the “proofs” printed by us amateurs were really have-a-go fun practise pieces for people interested in the process, there certainly didn’t seem to be any signing or numbering going on.SheOne proof print (photo High Roller Society)Although we tend to think of lino cut as an ancient but coarse form of reproduction, there are many ways it can go wrong in the hands of the novice. Inking up the plate requires a skilled eye to ensure that the ink is uniformly spread with no blank spots, irregular pressing can cause variations in the image transferred to the paper. The photo below shows an overlap comparison of our first and second attempts at printing on a Sweet Toof lino print. Blemishes? N[...]



C215 - Midnight Dreams

2012-02-05T20:05:40.592-08:00

Signal Gallery, London23 July - 7 AugustGlobetrotter C215 hails from France and burst into the upper echelon of acclaimed street artists with an appearance as one of Banksy’s invited anointees at the 2008 Cans Festival in London. He followed this with a worldwide campaign of gritty single layer portraits of anonymous grizzled street people.C215 - London 2008His third London solo show (if we correctly recall one at Pure Evil’s or is that only in our alcohol befuddled imagination?), the second at Signal Gallery, introduces a marked change in subject and style. C215 told us he has spend the last four years working almost exclusively with subjects from the streets, whether they be people or street scenes. He built up a repertoire of some 800 stencil images but used this street stock regardless of whether he was painting on the streets or doing gallery work.C215 - London 2008For C215, the key element of his work always has been the street, a homage to that environment and the people who through necessity or misfortune have to make the streets their home. With the epic catalogue of work developed for this theme, C215 says he now feels the freedom to separate his work of the streets from the work on the gallery.2010 (honest - that's the title)C215 had come to recognise a regrettable paradox between his desire to work for the streets and his growing gallery significance, it discomforts him to feel he might be moving into a genre of artist who profits from the street communities rather than just document, celebrate and give back. With this show C215 marks a clear separation in that the subjects are almost entirely un-touched by the influence of homeless street dwellers.OdysseusC215 has dramatically broadened the colour pallete in this work, gone are the almost two tone sweeps and sepia styling of paste compositions. The application of colour on the faces now seems to be more about contour than skin tone and texture, the backgrounds are more about loose abstract rather than the patterned background he preferred in the past.BlowingThe coherent direction in this collection is the link between visage and mind. Apparently each of the subjects is based around friends, family and people familiar to C215 rather than anonymous people from the streets. The abstract background becomes a glimpse into the state of mind and various levels of frenetic mental activity. Sometimes the background speaks of confusion, others intense motion and speeding neurons.Lost MindYet occasionally C215 slips down the gears to serenity, almostVolareWith is background as a street artist C215 of course prefers anything but canvas, the compositions here are executed on a variety of bits of recycled wood, “salvaged” street signs and other random bits of metal.ShakerAmusingly, the picture that lends its title to the title of the show is actually a painti[...]



EINE INTERVIEW

2012-02-05T20:05:40.592-08:00

Eine Goes L......Errrm, Small. Then GLOBALHowAboutNo & Nolionsinengland interview Ben Eine and take snaps, except knocked-off flicks where stated.Some may have thought that Eine's fairly recent departure away from the big smoke to the sleepier climes of East Sussex would have meant a quieter existence for the person with probably the most raw pigment in public places in the UK. Graffoto thought it was going to cover the story of EINE’s re-appearence on East end shutters with a new lower case project but little did we, or even Eine, know of the sudden and dramatic high profile feature role Eine was to take on in the UK-US “special (care) relationship”, more of that later.Less damage to walls and shutters may have seemed true for a while but to compensate, a short hop skip and a jump down to the the South East coast evidences that Eine has gone about introducing himself to the residents of Hastings and St Leonard's in his usual brash and colourful way.He began painting Hastings shutters at the end of October 2009 and has continued to add them throughout the town, hitting a variety of seafront, backstreet and high street properties with his classic Eine shutter font capital letters.More evidence of Eine's campaign in Hastings from HowAboutno hereSince the spring there have been signs of a resurgence in Eine's London focussed decorative output. Other than court appearances there aren’t too many times that a rough diamond art vandal might make a mark in the poshest parts of London but in achingly expensive Knightsbridge, where usually the only spray is a very expensive parfum, Eine turns his hand to designer fashion accessories, coming up with a range of canvas shoulder bags (says our fashion correspondent) for the Anya Hindmarch boutique with a fancy West End price to match.Eine – Anna Hindmarch bag, no other accessory necessary.Scattering some Eine letters across the shop front gives the venture the cachet of a connection to street art cool, as Eine is supping with the commercial devil here perhaps it’s appropriate the shop interior ends up looking like a pussy pampering corner in Hell’s chill-out zone.Not HELL. (click here for HELL!)Anya Hindmarch boutique, Sloane St, LondonWorld cup fever spawned the Umbro teeshirt design but the emotion an Englishman is least likely to connect with that event is ecstasy, so Eine tempted fate by incorporating an acid smiley. Not to be down on the idea though, the appeal was immediately obvious upon seeing Abby Clancy modelling the tee.Umbro England World Cup Tee detail - nicked from Umbro Blog. Abby not includedEine provided some signature shutters to the RED cafe which opened earlier this year in the building which until very recently housed legendary core arts grunge gallery-bar The Foundry (RIP). The nice touch in this piece was Eine i[...]



Printing as Process: 3 Workshops @ High Roller Society

2012-02-05T20:05:40.592-08:00

HIGH ROLLER SOCIETY10 PALMERS ROADLONDON E2 0SY10, 17 and 24 July 2010 (at time of writing, 24 July is next Sat)photos: NoLionsInEnglandWhen Graffoto professes ignorance of something, deep rooted fundamental mental blankness is only the start. Screenprinting is a term whose meaning hadn’t troubled us too much. Whatever it was, the result could be an object of beauty to grace the living room or, depending upon artist and taste, something even the late Bobby Sands wouldn’t have had on the wall of his cell.High Roller Society is holding a series of Saturday afternoon workshops demonstrating the basics of monoprinting, screen printing and linoprinting.NoLions in the inquisitive and fascinated company of Little Miss NoLions and a dozen or so other printing affecionados revelled in yesterday’s screenprinting exposition by the ever wonderful printer to the stars Aida of Aidaprints.With two printing frame thingies set up in the gallery, Aida demonstrated printing on paper, canvas bags, teeshirts and a blended colour print on paper.The group was inducted into the East London Anti Graffiti Network, a clandestine graffiti vigilante group evidently dealing graffiti everywhere it – sorry – dealing WITH graffiti everywhere they go. Over the course of the three hour session everyone had lots of goes at printing the network’s ironic logo onto paper, canvass bag and teeshirts.Aida has been printing since she was an embryo, starting in her bedroom and destroying her bathroom in the process. There are a million different technical aspects which she is the master of and during the course of the afternoon we heard lots about registration, paper shrinkage, ink mixing, water spray research and development(!), the dangers of keeping urea in water bottles and Poundland double-sided sticky tape. The bit about heat lamp selection sounded a lot like the project proposal for an attic cannabis nursery. This had me pondering a new circular conundrum: which came first, the artist or the dope-head?The event was fun, informative and superbly put together, we owe thanks to High Roller Society Gallery for setting the series up and Aida and John for their time both on the day and also preparations prior to the event. The final workshop of the series covers linoprinting and takes place next Saturday 24 July, more details from the High Rollers Society website here. Also, various High Roller flicks including the various workshops herePS – there are some stunning APs and low edition prints on sale at High Roller Society, check out the shit in the racks, the "shop" page on the High Roller Society website isn't even the half of it. Simply mind-blowing. [...]



OMT: Rollers, Stones and Athenian Graff

2012-02-05T20:05:40.592-08:00

On My TravelsI travel on overland rail maybe a dozen times a year. Filter that for sober trips with a charged camera and I have more chance of winning the lottery than I do spotting graff on rolling steel. So it was with delight on my way to Gatwick that I spotted this beauty heading South somewhere near Croydon. Hot shit rather than crap tags, the piece on the left appears to be Gekoe, can anyone read the right one?Gekoe and ? Thanks to Bravo99 for tarting up the picOn to the Greek island of Kos en famille, about a mile from our hotel, past the Italian hotel (bella, bella), past the German hotel (put ‘em away love) we came across a rather intriguing landscape of balancing stone piles. Reminds me of Richard Long's landscape natural work. I remember a few years back a micro-debate on a forum as to whether some geezer balancing stones could legitimately claim to be an artist. These piles were curious, effective, pointless, thought provoking and fun. Sounds like a reasonable definition of art dontchathink.Technical note: Camera - Nikon; tripod - wastepaper bin from hotel.Back to Athens and a short hour carved out of a packed week of indulgent corporate lotus eating (call that work?) was devoted to a quick whizz around Monisteraki , last explored two years ago and reported here and here.A surprising amount of stuff found two years ago still survives intact, suggesting not so much tolerance as no budget for the buff.A nice treat was coming across a large mural by favourite Greek artist Alexandros Vasmoulakis, no idea how old it might be though.Alexandros VasmoulakisStreet artist Pete always pleases the eye with his doom-laden shadowy portraits, hadn’t previously seen one directly contextualising the street as gallery in this framed style.PeteUnsurprisingly we found some more old stuff by friend of Graffoto The Krah.The KrahThe Pete and Krah flicks above the fabulous ambient surface textures, colours and decay that Athenians get to work on but its not all cumbling ruins. Near the station on a clean and rather boring wall the unknown Greek street artist casts a wry reflection on the state of Greek society as the IMF try to bang some sense into the place.UnknownSpeaking of the parlous state of the economy, one curious symptom is offered by Athens huge proliferation of legal and illegal road-side advertising. Huge numbers of advertising hoardings across the city have been blanked out, I guess this is the advertisers not having enough paid adverts to cover up old ads when their rented time has expired, no pointing in letting the previous advertisers getting free extensions of their time I suppose. A second theory may be that the authorities are cracking down on illegal un-licensed advertising spots but too many of them looked like flash [...]



Crack and Shine - book review

2012-02-05T20:05:40.593-08:00

Photos from Crack and Shine, used with kind permission. Care about the copyright? Buy the book and check the copyright stated there.Graffoto rarely reviews books, usually because we just drool over the pictures and don’t understand the words. One book that has “4Real” written right through it is Crack and Shine and having completed the secret ritual necessary to buy a copy, we were so impressed we felt compelled to shout out “buy this one”.The book determinedly asserts its’ mission is to be a real graffiti book on real London Graffiti and targets an audience interested in graphic design, illustration, art history and contemporary British culture. The curious and the disbelieving will also learn a heck of a lot.The book is a compilation of anecdotes and reflections, reminiscences and polemic about writing (painting) by graffiti writers of yore and today, clustered around a stunning set of “insider” pictures from shoeboxes under the beds of writers backed up by stunning photos by Will Robson Scott.Drax - Electro Magnetic IntercourseThe most compelling and gripping anecdote is “The Farringdon Burglary” by Bozo DDS in which a troop of legends including Fuel, Fume, Elk and Teach crack the underground labyrinth under Farringdon, break into the building which later housed legendary club Fabric, find a bong and a lump of hash in a skateboard shop office, open a sealed one foot thick vault door and finally, what was the point, oh yeah - paint trains. Painting the legendary Farringdon yard, “Fuel produced a lighter and shone the way like a scene from The Lord of The Rings” while Fume hits his carriage with three tins in one hand, two in the other, tins sticking out of every pocket and “painting like a four armed Indian God”. The pace of the story and the epic brazenness of the escapade take your breath away.Inside the yardReflecting upon the then versus now, drawing on the technical advances in paint in recent times, Diet DDS pays tribute with “it’s mad to think to that people like Fuel did whole cars (front to back and top to bottom) with no fatcaps” (the interchangeable spraycan nozzles, skinny or fat caps for fine lines or covering big areas). As Diet says in his final words ”Oh how things have changed”.The words of the graffiti writers themselves expose the lie in the myth that graffiti writers are mindless morons universally suffering a lack of education, discipline and morality. The book documents the inner thoughts and motives of a scene whose fundamental concern is expression, so it should come as no surprise to find such articulate and also entertaining writing.Yeah, 1995 (Check the E, pinch yourself and remember - not done in a legal Hall Of Fame!)It’s not all[...]



Mike Ballard - Shadows Of Tomorrow

2012-02-05T20:05:40.593-08:00

Mike Ballard has done two previous illusion room shows. Amid the intense imagery fusing fine art collage with wild style forms and the synapse searing contrasts of the black and white colour scheme, Graffoto has never really done justice to those experiences. His latest illusion project is located in a private upstairs room above the Macbeth Pub, Hoxton St, London. This time Graffoto asked Mike Ballard to talk us through his latest wall, ceiling and floor illusion installation, then decided to throw away its own rulebook (though no one could find it so we think it got thrown away long ago) and let the artist speak direct to you in his own words. Words: Mike Ballard with intro, endy bit and swear filter by NolionsinenglandPhotos: nolionsinengland except Mike Ballard where noted“The title is The Shadows of Tomorrow. As in today is the shadow of tomorrow, and just sort of now...Present and stuff. Taken from the Madvillain tune 'shadows of tomorrow.Photo: Mike BallardThe character with the rays coming out of his eyes, that’s Vision, but in negative.The first ceiling focal point is a man exploding, just opening to the universe,he looks a little bit like Jesus but its actually a silhouette of Quasar from the comic era. I thought I’d put him on the ceiling because its [like] opening up to the sky.There are power figures like the wolf, the superhero, and the face looking backwards is a really graphic version of a character from Carravagio. Then it goes psychedelic with the doors leading out to the universe, mortality, double skulls. This looks like a turban but its a chest, I mirrored it there, on top of the cloak coming down then it starts going into a bit of wild style.The other ceiling focal point is based on synchronised swimmers, I did this stop animation of this clock ticking round – I thought it would be a good centre piece,. The first focus is more of an explosion but this is more of a 60s trippy looking and round here, more false perspective type thing.Down the other passage [along front of building] we get mystical again with this horse, a power figure and these dismembered bodies, is part of a sketch by Rubens, part of it is figurative, then the female superhero’s arm is going up and another superhero with a knife where the horse’s second leg would be and then it just flows of into style.The fissure, the crack is the cosmos all just opening up, the clouds, the energies, the dust from the hooves from the horse, then a bit more planetary solar system stuff, and then..i just thought the girl looked right painted opposite. At first people didn’t see the girl, until I joined it up with the ceiling. Since I did the rest, the girl and the animals have become a[...]



ROA

2012-02-05T20:05:40.593-08:00

Pure Evil Gallery London 8 April – 2 Mayall photos: nolionsinenglandAutumn last year, London’s walls (and a concertina door) turned into one of the largest scale bestiaries possible and those of us who had been watching the flickr photos of Belgan street art documenter Kreibel knew the moment eagerly awaited for over a year had come. Roa was in town.Curtain Rd, LondonEpic in scale and tackling manifestly damn difficult surfaces to paint, Roa has risen swiftly from painting in derelict building in Belgium to become highly prized in any decent street art collector’s portfolio.East end, LondonHis first London solo show has just landed at the Pure Evil gallery in London. The work consists of paintings made directly onto the gallery walls coupled with large pieces on scavenged metal.In the gallery Roa remains true to his core themes out on the streets – black and white creatures done in either figurative or cross-section. Most of the metal works have had a previous life as a clothes locker door, such as you might find at work, at school or in the changing room. Being locker doors they come hinged ready open and close and been keen on a bit of the lenticular image which looks different depending upon the viewing angle (like those moving pictures on the front covers of books from your childhood), Roa sets up most of the art to be played with with different images being achieved by opening and closing the doors.Most of the two-way pieces flip between surface fur and anatomical innards. You could have hours of fun selecting different combinations of opened and closed doors to skirt around the old image enuii.Taken as a whole you might see the whole of nature’s life cycle present in the show, right from conception done as a Beatrix Potteresque piece of squirrel lovin’. Roa has allowed a little bit of ambiguity to soften the rodent porn, are we looking at the inner thigh of the rear squirrel’s right leg in which case oh how cute, two squirrels next to eachother, or is it the outer left thigh of some nubile young squirrel-ette in which case the grinning and gimlet eyed rear squirrel should be allowed to get on with his work un-disturbed.Therein lies the puzzle with Roa’s work, we are inclined to read human emotions and predicaments into the faces and postures of the various animals. It is fairly ridiculous to imagine we can interpret the equivalent “turning Japanese” look of a squirrel on his money strokes, never mind expecting Roa to be painting from intimate knowledge. Yet that’s exactly what we can’t avoid doing. Every Roa piece is squinted at to determine the basics, alive or dead? Hungry and feral or fully fed and bloated? [...]



Alex Young "Portraits Of Alter Egos"

2012-02-05T20:05:40.593-08:00

Westbourne StudiosAcklam St, London W10April 5 – May 10 2010all photos nolionsinenglandGraffiti artists need a lot of skill to make a successful transformation to canvas. Alex Young’s new outing at the London Miles gallery shows him using not just a completely different non-graff skill set but also strong ideas too.Tat EscarriotYoung pursues a pointillist impressionism style and skews the composition, adding inverted and blended multiple images.StitchDots become drips and dribbles. In this canvas below the drips flow up and down the surface.LatexAlthough the subjects have a kind of goth appearance, it isn’t really important to know whether the brief character biogs accompanying the pieces are fictional or real life. Kitty Cutthroat, mild mannered daytime tea-drinker, burlesque glamour model by night; Kitty Peel, circus performing trapeze artist and pharmacist, if they aren’t fictional Young would be guilty of cultivating and showing off trophy cool mates. The clue to the answer lies in the title of the show.Kitty PeelThese photos don’t do the luscious tones and textured surfaces of the work, don’t be fooled into thinking they have all the life of flat giclee prints. The other photos also fail to convey the size of the paintings, perhaps a few "contextual" gallery shots would have helped but they'd be full of Vyner St First Thursday trendies.Jane DoeYT is an un-reformed indie dinosaur with no inkling of scratch or mixing music but the DJ furiously working away on the decks kept up an impressive set of choons. London Miles have found a novel strategy of launch viewing for one night out in the heart of East London’s “First Thursday” circuit then transferring to their Westbourne Studios location off Portobello Road.Glam, Kitty CutthroatA great show with some classy art pieces, how Odd(isy).EscarriotAll usuable photos taken at the launch viewing are shown in this little write-up, if Graffoto gets the chance to pop along to Westbourne Studios during the show’s run then more photos will possibly appear in the flickr set.[...]



Banksy v Robbo - War Continues

2012-02-05T20:05:40.594-08:00

.........Or does it?Are these latest changes by Banksy or not? Opinion in the Graffoto bunker has been divided. Can’t say that passions rose to anywhere near bloodshedding levels though.All the changes basically involve buffing the Team Robbo wording, tidying up and re-working the defaced images.The Waiter rat has changed to this, little more than buffing out the Team Robbo words, which is ironic as Graffoto likes to imagine Team Robbo left the stencil intact because it was pish anyway and sufficient embarrassment to Banksy itself."I don't Believe in Global Warming/War" has been buffed and replaced by a well executed roller headed flamingo, witty for the proximity of London Zoo with its well stocked flamingo pond. Is the perpetrator saying any bird brain could have done the Team Robbo effort?Fishing boy has caught a no fishing sign and the Team Robbo tagging has been removed, ok, so its funny but not brilliant. The stencilled fish has a weird white dot and dribble from its tail, either this was a deliberate bit of the art in which case what the fuck is it, or it is a complete accident and would definitely suggest this wasn’t a Banksy. If this had been done by Banksy, wouldn’t the drips of canal water present in the original fishing boy have re-appeared?Finally and utterly predictably, the King Robbo painter is now FUCKING ROBBO, a modification forecast on many forums and flickr comments. It’s done well but all of the other modifications have basically eradicated evidence of Robbo/Team Robbo rather than provoke him, its intent doesn’t seem to fit with the pattern of amendments to the other canalside pieces. Also, the tagging has been completely removed from all the other pieces but on this one the “Team Robbo” tags survives.Perhaps the flamingo and the No Fishing boy might be Banksy but the other two look more like the efforts of some adventurous and over-sensitive disciples of Banksy. But wtf do we know?If you need to read more about how the story started, it was covered by Graffoto here.Robbo got the hump for reasons described here and a Team Robbo reaction kicked in with the wallpaper graffiti roller being taken back.More details on the Team Robbo crusade against Banksy as it progressed were covered here and here.[...]



Remed, Grems, Zbiok, 3TTman - The New Fantastic 4

2012-02-05T20:05:40.594-08:00

Pure Evil Gallery, London18 March – 5 AprilPhotos by nolionsinengland except pure evil where statedSuperheroes gain un-human powers and infinite energy from all kinds of sources but rarely do they apply them to a good deeds and art combination. 3ttman (Madrid), Grems (Paris via London), Remed (Lille), and Zbiok (Wroclaw) aren’t just the most impossible combination of alpha-numerics to trot off the tongue, they are the latest artists to arrive at the Pure Evil Gallery, summonsed by Daphne Polski to combat the evil Tacoman.The evil Tacoman has a dastardly plan to destroy every other street artist in the World, the Fantastic 4 have chosen to accept the mission to fighting back on behalf of spraycan users and art punks everywhere. The combat starts with a chase across the rooftops of London.London Rooftop – 3TTman, Grems, Remed, Zbiok, Pure EvilTacoman eventually lures them back to his hideout where the Fantastic 4 indulge an orgy of wall cartoon art and ...... well, rather than spoil the ending, check out the comic which comes with the show illustrated by the mental pental 4-some. Hardcopy is available from Tacoman’s lair which in your dimensions doubles as Pure Evil’s gallery or download here.The New Fantastic 4 in Tacoman’s basementBy day, Tacoman turns into comparatively mild mannered Pure Evil, an accidental gallerist whose guiding anti-philosophy might be “no control” and in Daphne Polski he appears to have found a soul sister as curator. Daphne has conceived a theme based around 4 dashing superheroes, though by her own admission “it was just a funny excuse to make them get together because they fit so much together”.Such prominence as 3TTMan has in the UK will mainly have come from his Bear Gardens building makeover as part of Tate Modern’s 2008 Street Art walking tour.Tate Modern Street Art (detail) - 3TTmanIn this show he presents a cycle of 6 canvasses depicting the stations of the cross, primarily a Catholic cult. Ever the modernist, 3TT has chosen the hardcore more literal progression of the story adopted in 1997 in which the stations are more formally based on the writings in the gospels, rather than the looser more myth embellished version that was followed until John Paul II continued his drive to strip the fun out of religion. 3TT has executed these in his very lurid and anti-classical style combining symbology, cubism’s fragmentation of planes and rough drawn comic-ish characters.Jesus In The Garden Of Gethsemane - 3TTmanThe Stations of the cross are typically displayed in chronological order around a church mosh pit to tell t[...]



Warped and Pieced - Return to Huncoat (Part 3)

2012-02-05T20:05:40.594-08:00

Back in July 2009 I wrote a piece about the graff co-existing with the rubble of the old Huncoat Power Station in Lancashire. Join me for the final return visit and a visual ride into them thar hills...All photos by shellshockQuick link to the July 2009 blog……Quick link to Part 1 of this blog....Quick link to Part 2 of this blog....The disused power station at Huncoat (between Accrington and Burnley) is easily the best hidden graff den I’ve ever been to. Rubble and crud are everywhere, right next to stunning pieces from the Trans Pennine Nomads (TPN) crew (and a few others). A visual overload; you don’t know where to look (actually I do know where to look….. look up for graffiti… and look down for that pit full of glass and old shoes that you are about to fall into you spanner….). In February I finally summoned up some enthusiasm to get out of Manchester and bob back up to Huncoat (see part 2 of this blog). Due to the snow and my own internal GPS system going strangely loco [Pryme later described it as a “schoolboy error” - lol], I didn’t manage to get down to the other spot, so I went back a week later after arranging to hook up with the fabulous Mr Pryme himself.Pryme had been painting with TeaOne from Preston (check out TeaOne on flickr) the day before, and he wanted to finish off his own piece, so we yakked whilst he tried to perfect his side of the wall. TeaOne's piece.....Pryme in action.....I probably put Pryme off, because he ended up not liking it and going over it a few days later with a chrome and black number (watch out for a 'Chrome & Black' blog coming soon-ish...)We then went off to the other spot where back in brassic January Pryme had been doing a lot of work with Burnley writer, Slack - a name I previously didn‘t know. Yes, these pieces (and they genuinely can be called masterpeices!) were all being done outside in the coldest winter for years, when many writers are still hibernating! :-)Check out Slack on flickrCheck out Pryme on flickrThe whole wall looks great, including this first piece, the most ‘traditional’ of the three, and one that looks extra sweet when cropped down to just the wall itself.Everyone loves a good chrome and black don’t they (it’s like a friend who makes you smile, or a musician that makes you gasp; it‘s the comfort blanket of graff…) and this is one of the best I’ve seen, with a really effective idea of having two cut-outs of how a colour piece would look.And last but definitely not least, this peel-back style had writers everywhere wondering why they hadn’t tho[...]



Matt Small, Zac Walsh – This Is Us joint show

2012-02-05T20:05:40.594-08:00

Signal Gallery, London 11 March – 1 April 2009 all photos: NoLionsInEnglandLondoner Matt Small, nominated for the BP Portrait award in 2001 shortly after graduating from the Royal College of Art, has a compact and colourful joint show with Manchester boy Zac Walsh at Signal Gallery in London.Matt Small has been a darling of the street art aficionados though if it wasn’t for the urban grime suffusing his work that might be a puzzle as he never works on the streets. Over the past three years Matt has shown extensively in the specialist street art galleries, predominantly Black Rat Press and the late lamented Leonard Street Gallery.In the previous shows the dominant subject has been the human face. Matt is well known for taking his inspiration from the anonymous citizens who shimmer briefly across his vision and through camera lens before passing on with their lives, usually unaware of their subsequent immortalisation in the distinctive riot of colours which give his portraits contour and expression.Kaz, found car bonnet, BRP show Mar 09.Back in 2007 Matt Small gave an amazing demonstration of how he works on flat surfaces, mixing oil based and water based paints then dragging the immiscible colours around the canvas, creating beautiful portrait from the violence and chaos of the squirming liquids.Leonard Street Gallery live painting, Nov 2007.The key pieces in this Signal Gallery show are undoubtedly the trio of urban landscapes. Paradoxically for someone so strongly linked to portraiture, these micro communities are actually devoid of human beings though not necessarily lacking humanity. “These landscapes are from my journeys around town. I find there is something beautiful about these estates. You can walk through them and think they look horrible, you never see anyone but in each house there is a drama going on, there are thousands of lives being lived, there is a lot more than just the outer walls.London Estate 2, Matt SmallIn creating these Matt has used basically the same technique to mix and apply the paints on the metal, the effect is a vibrant colour and windswept motion to the essentially static subject. The pock marked surface of buildings seethes with life reflecting the hidden dramas contained within.London Estate 3, Matt SmallWhilst London Estates 2 and 3 are essentially 2D paintings, in London Estates 1 Matt has transplanted a meccano styled system of layered laminar deconstruction used in creating some of his 2008/09 3D portraits. This creates a sense of depth and perspective and yet at t[...]



Eelus - The Colour Out Of Space

2012-02-05T20:05:40.594-08:00

Blackall Studios73a Leonard StreetLondon25 Feb – 6 March 2010all photos: NoLionsInEngland except where statedA few years back Eelus was a full time working guy making a valid contribution to society when along came street art to ram an exacto knife right through those wh-Eels. The release of Shat At through Pictures on Walls coupled with a street furniture sticker campaign at the same time as the street art rocket went stratospheric forced Eelus into the radar screens of forum bothering Banksy fans .His most stunning outdoor piece is a version of his career defining Shat-At done in Bristol in collaboration with Xenz.Eelus, XenzAlthough he says he has done very little in the past three years outdoors, that’s forgetting the Butterflies And Watching Eyes last year at Cargo, raven haired at One Foot In The Grove and modestly understating his contribution to the collaborative effort with Little Miss NoLions at Cans Festival in 2008.Cans Festival 2008, photo Paulo_nine_oEelus’s influences come from an enduring fascination with astrology, UF-ology, heavy metal, science fiction and mythology. Among a set of strong new images shown for the first time is this super image based around a photo of a boy in the beach throwing stones at the sun transformed by the fragmenting arrival of a UFO, givng the picture its clever punning title.We Come In PiecesIn Queen of Cydonia, Eelus touches on a UF-ologist’s pet conspiracy theory regarding extra-terrestrial architecture in the face on Mars and various pyramid structures held up as evidence of lost cities, intelligent life, they’re coming to get us, NASA is suppressing the truth.....run run run. Or a nice semi-mystical painting.Queen of CydoniaEelus’s technique doesn’t allow for any shortcuts, from sketches or photos he works up the artwork on computer using a wackpad. The final result is printed out in its different layers, placed on stencil card and cut by hand. The wackpad allows Eelus to achieve the painterly effect evident for example Lung Mixture and in the arrows on We Are All In The Gutter, close inspection of the nicks and irregularities leave no doubt that the work is painstaking in the detail.Lung Mixture Detail)A pair of quite spectacular wall applied stencils are prepared in exactly the same way as the smaller canvasses. Eelus manages at the scale of the Icarus on the back wall to give a real sense of his wings disintegrating in the solar glare.IcarusLilly Stay Put , sold lock stock and barrel “as is” off the wall, shows clearly the i[...]



Warped and Pieced - Return to Huncoat (Part 2)

2012-02-05T20:05:40.595-08:00

Back in July 2009 I wrote a piece about the graff co-existing with the rubble of the old Huncoat Power Station in Lancashire. Join me for a couple of return visits and a visual ride into them thar hills....All photos by shellshockQuick Link to the July 2009 blog - if you are interested..... Quick Link to Part 1 of this blog....The disused power station at Huncoat (between Accrington and Burnley) is easily the best hidden graff den I’ve ever been to. Rubble and shit are everywhere, right next to stunning pieces from the Trans Pennine Nomads (TPN) crew (and a few others). A visual overload; you don’t know where to look (actually I do know where to look….. look up for graffiti… and look down for that pit full of glass and old shoes that you are about to fall in you spanner….). A week ago I finally summoned up some enthusiasm to get out of Manchester and bob back up to Huncoat. I knew there was some new stuff there; although I hadn’t really done my research on what exactly was there, and if anything new was down at the other spot.We only had a dusting of white stuff in Manc so I hadn’t expected to be greeted at Huncoat with thick fog and snow. I’d never seen this empty shell like a magical realist playground before. I knew that Pryme and Riot 68 had done a piece upstairs so I headed there, not to be disappointed by a typical Pryme piece (is it just my eyes getting adjusted but are his letters getting slightly easier to read?), and Riot’s futuristic slabs of metal (I’m not into sci-fi at all, but I could imagine this forming part of a space ship, or a missile shield…), plus umbilical cord style swirls connecting into and out of both pieces.What I didn’t realise was that Pryme had been doing a lot of work with Burnley writer, Slack - a name I previously didn‘t know. They have reclaimed the main wall, with a more bird / aeroplane like Pryme piece, and Slack’s classy wild style.Slack on flickr Pryme on flickrIt’s always a hard wall to photograph (especially for someone as cack as me), coz of the gaping entrance next to it always streaming in with light, so on this shot I thought I'd embrace the light rather than try to deny it..... And on a less used side wall, they’d done another collab. Slack uses big bold day-glo colours, whereas Pryme goes for drips and perfect shadows. All on a slightly psychedelic background which makes we wonder what they might have been smoking….And I’m saving the best ‘til last. Part 3 will be coming s[...]



Warped and Pieced - Return to Huncoat (Part 1)

2012-02-05T20:05:40.595-08:00

Back in July 2009 I wrote a piece about the graff co-existing with the rubble of the old Huncoat Power Station in Lancashire. Join me for a couple of return visits and a visual ride into them thar hills….All photos by shellshockQuick Link to the July 2009 blog - if you are interested..... The disused power station at Huncoat (between Accrington and Burnley) is easily the best hidden graff den I’ve ever been to. Rubble and shit are everywhere, right next to stunning pieces from the Trans Pennine Nomads (TPN) crew (and a few others). A visual overload; you don’t know where to look (actually I do know where to look….. look up for graffiti… and look down for that pit full of glass and old shoes that you are about to fall in you spanner….). On bobbing up there for a return visit in November 2009 I was a bit gutted to see three of the best pieces from July had been partly gone over by, frankly, some really amateurish bits (I can’t call them pieces….). Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. I can’t complain. It’s graff. It’s not supposed to last for ever. There are no ’rules’….. But surely, if you are gonna try in an abandoned power station, where there are walls a plenty, you better bring your end game if you are going to deliberately go over some of the best pieces in the North-West, and not bring the friggin toy zone set-up that you see in these photos….Ok, rant over. I’ll get off the soap box now (although it’s actually quite handy to take photos from…)Forgot to include this one when I did the last blog. I presume it’s by Ziel, who’s done quite a lot of stuff in nearby Rochdale.As I take photos, who do I bump into? Only Mr Pryme himself, up here to take a few photos himself. And we yak for many hours. I think his footballing chances at Turf Moor might be behind him, but if there are two things that Pryme could represent England at, it’s, 1) writing, and 2) talking :-) And usually it’s talking about ‘the Turf‘! We agree on most things, including the revelation (cough! hardly…) that neither of us gets Nick Walker….. (actually, I think you’ll find no-one in the game really likes it…)Anyway, he shows me a quickie he did with a friend, Petra, upstairs.I’d gone up to Huncoat partly coz I saw some internet photos of a side wall I hadn’t noticed before, so we wheeled round to see that. The surface wasn’t the greatest to work with but the low wall suits Pryme and Crie’s style well, wi[...]



The Buff - RIP Graffiti and Street Art in Shoreditch

2012-02-05T20:05:40.595-08:00

all photos Nolionsinengland except where statedShoreditch is a colourful, artistic furiously beating heart within the borough of Hackney. Among many forms of creative and cultural excellence, street art within Shoreditch is significant on the global scale if not even world leading. Visitors come from far and wide specifically to see the street art and graffiti, indeed the Graffoto inbox is often filled with emails from overseas visitors looking for advice and information prior to their visit. The actions of the local council, Hackney are exposing the ridiculously confused and inconsistent practise over the control of graffiti and the development of the area.Blatantly CriminalReturning to the streets after a few days outside London this week, probably the most notable new piece of street art was this painting by Neonida on the side of The Foundry, a legendary decade old arts and social space on Old Street.NeonitaThis piece is more notable for the politics of its’ existence than its’ artistic accomplishment. This spot spent a long time hidden behind builder’s scaffolding though that provided a suitable canvas for various quasi political artistic statements.PMPAfter removal of the scaffolding a series of beautiful pieces were executed at the invitation and permission of the owners of the Foundry Bar.The Krah/FORS (2008)Inkfetish (2008)Then to everyone’s horror, about three days after another masterpiece the council’s contractors came along and without so much as a “may we” obliterated the masterpiece using a semi glossy black tar.mmmmm - Thats better (Dec 2008)The council’s view seems to be that this commissioned public art is graffiti and therefore vandalism and must be cleaned up. Hackney Council’s stance on graffiti is summarised on their website, regarding private buildings which means almost any wall not owned by the council, this is what their policy says:“The Council has no authority to immediately remove graffiti from buildings that it does not own or manage.When graffiti is reported on one of these buildings, we will notify the owner/occupier and can undertake works by default if they fail to act.”From conversations with the staff at the Foundry, no notice to remove graffiti was served on them and there is no record of anyone ever making any kind of complaint. The manager’s at the Foundary even protested that the work had their permission and was neither racist not offensive but to no[...]



OSCH - London Street Art

2012-02-05T20:05:40.595-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEnglandOver the past year or so occasional street art pieces have appeared in London tagged with a stylised OSCH. Although not a common sight, a piece by OSCH has become notable for the quality of the work and curiosity as to who OSCH is. With the appearance of a new piece on Cargo’s outside wall it is time to introduce Otto Schade, a young Chilean artist currently to be found living and working in London (it says on his website!).“Hunted” below appeared last Summer on the iconic Banksy location on Old Street (Ozone/Pulp Fiction). The spot isn’t difficult to reach but anyone getting up there stands accused of riding on Banksy’s coattails even though the last Banksy there was buffed early last year."The Hunted", Old Street, LondonThe maddening thing about this piece was the stencil was obviously well cut and the spraying is but being this far off the pavement and hogging such a large wall facing direction the traffic is going makes it hard to see and also completely the wrong scale for the location. Graffoto wonders if Schade just got a kick out of the “mission”. Otto Schade’s website describes this piece as a credit crunch allegory with the capitalist system, represented by the tiger, mauling “us” which generously suggests that none of us are capitalists and that corporations are self-conceiving and perpetuated by robots.The next time OSCH was spotted on the streets was painted over an INSA piece on Redchurch St. There is a repetition of The Hunted alongside a large seated featureless figure with stretched limbs and torso. This rendition of The Hunted looked much more sensibly positioned given the size of the work.In December last year a beautiful OSCH stencil appeared in the Old Truman Brewery. The intricate and very precise painting is a wonderfully surreal couple unravelling as they kiss, Schade’s composition suggests the meeting of minds and the physical lust are both the same thing.The Kiss, Old Truman Brewery, LondonLast week Schade did a new piece on the outside wall at cargo. The fragmented lattice style is there again in the angel/butterfly girl’s wings and the colour scheme the gorgeous contrast effect seen previously on the Old Street and Truman Brewery pieces. The seated figure symbol is there again but there is no obvious link between it and the angel/butterfly girl but obviously being a bit surreal you can’t dismiss the possib[...]



Crunchy: The Ronzo Credit Crunch Monster

2012-02-05T20:05:40.596-08:00

subtitle -"Hurrah, its not about Banksy or Robbo"photos: NoLionsInEngland and Howaboutno except where statedPinpointing the beginning of the credit crunch depends for most of us on personal factors such whether you read your paper from the back to the front or the moment of hard impact such as loss of the McJob. Ronzo reacted to the credit crunch in about March last year with a massive economy devouring sculpture at the edge of the City.Ronzo Credit Crunch monster, 2009He now responds to the announcement last week that the recession is officially over by launching a small army of Crunchy, his Credit Crunch monsters around the ancient portals to the City of London.Crunchy by Ronzo, Feb 2010People not familiar with London may need to know that the City of London is a comparatively small square mile of suited financial chicanery at the centre of the metropolis of London and indeed, the whole developed World. The City of London is actually the original area where London was founded and before Styrofoam coffee cups and Flaming Lambourgini’s were discovered, the City of London was a walled city with 7 gated access points, commemorated still by areas bearing their names such as Aldegate, Ludgate, Moorgate and so on. The main roads into the City at those points are now protected by a fenn of dragon statues (not Griffins, Graffoto regrets to inform those who cherish that myth).City of London Dragon, photo by xynt4x Graffoto located a few of the Ronzo credit crunch monster sentinels this afternoon. Apart from one example that we know of, Crunchy sits on a 3 foot high pedestal bearing close resemblance to the permanent Corporation of London dragons installed mainly in the 1960s. The “Pity Of London” slogan is a mocking mash-up of the “City Of London” wording of the conventional dragon plinths.Crunchy by Ronzo, Feb 2010Ronzo fixes his sculptures in place by drilling into the pavement and installing masonry bolts, a technique he has used successfully in the past. Anyone wandering around Shoreditch staring at their feet and let’s face it, the place isn’t lacking for emos, may have chanced upon small cement frogs drilled into the pavement. For sure at least two of these three inch high petrified amphibians survive to this day though they bear deep scars as evidence of determined but doomed efforts to remove them.Ronzo Frog – photo HowAboutoSadly, in the case [...]



And The Beef Goes On....

2012-02-05T20:05:40.596-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEngland In the beginning there were four targets. Following a Christmas Day Robbo-mission and a little memo-to-Banksy early in the New Year, there were only two left. Now in the gap between yesterday afternoon (Sunday) and this afternoon, Team Robbo has collected the set.Slicing the knife into another chink in the armour, Banksy gets mauled for churning out stencil artwork derived from the rat theme pioneered by Blek Le Rat 30 odd years ago.Banksy La RatYou eagle-eyed linguists won't miss the feminised definite article there.Now can you guess who said "Some people want to make the world a better place. I just wanna make the world a better-looking place. If you don't like it, you can paint over it!" ?Team Robbo accept Banksy's invitation, changing probably the most original and perceptive of Banksy's Regents Canal quartet from thisDon't believe...Global Warming, Banksy to thisDon't believe...in War, Robbo. Every graff writer and indeed street artist has those moments of frustration when their execution flops and they pray for the buff to take the piece out as soon as possible (or, more commonly, just paint it out temselves). It's worth a chuckle at Robbo having re-worked and painted over three of the canal bank Banksys chose to merely add a slogan to the toff rat, so preserving to Banksy's enduring embarrassment one of the worst public pieces by Banksy standards seen for a long time (until that dire utilitybox monkey turned up in Utah last week).Props to both teams for dedication in reaching those spots. Robbo's witty manipulations land a solid one-two. Banksy, scourge of big institutions has had the tables turned on him but with a film premiering in Utah and an international glamour streetart anti-profile to be assidiously maintained, Banksy probably has bigger fish to fry than those landed from the banks of the canal at Camden. It's quality beef but it gets a bit dull when one side pretends not to notice.[...]



Burning Candy - Getting High, Battering Clouds in 2010

2012-02-05T20:05:40.596-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEngland except Romanywg where statedOne of the joys of cycling to work is chancing across fresh graff and street art. This morning, even with only half an eye for walls, rooftops and side alleyways I found two unexpected specimens of Burning Candy rooftop freshness.Firstly, thanks to a minor deviation down a route I don't take often, there was this pair of freezing monkeys.Mighty MoThen in the 3 lane mayhem at Kings Cross, a glance skywards revealed this beautiful collection.Mighty Mo, Gold Peg, Tek33These high spots Burning Candy are hitting aren't your so-remote-its-as-safe-as-legal zones, we are talking high in the clouds and high eyeball count, that’s Kings Cross above and the one below is London's Oxford Street.Mighty Mo, Gold PegProminent in all this rooftop activity have been Gold Peg and Mighty Mo. Gold Peg is setting new standards for girls on rooftop illegals, matching the boys cojones for cojones.Burning Candy in forceGraffoto believes most of the rooftop jobs featured in this post have been done in the past couple of months, Kings Cross is part of my daily bicycle rat run and I didn’t spot that Kings Cross nest-feathering yesterday. [edit: found someone's flick dated yesterday]Mighty Mo, Gold PegTo us who gawp in admiration from ground level, it is fascinating to ponder the logistics of access and the elevating (literally) joy of painting with panoramic views of the surrounding rooftops and the streets below. That thought brings Will Robson-Scott’s rooftop photography to mind for capturing some of that buzz but we’ll leave that until we finish the Graffoto Crack and Shine review, if and when we can be arsed (if you can’t wait, check out Art Of The State’s review, we are coming from exactly the same angle and wild appreciation) [update: Crack and Shine Review].Gold Peg, Sweet ToofIts getting hard to recall a time when various members of the crew weren’t getting up on walls around London but this current burst of graff creativity seems to go back to this epic legal wall painted by all BC bar Cept who was flat out on his solo show (LLB’s contribution was un-finished due to man-flu and painted over). Photo by epic art and urbex photography legend Romanywg.Burning Candy - photo Romanywg Big up Burning Candy, keeping it real and getting high in 2010.click here for [...]



Robbo vs Banksy - Did You Think It Was Over?

2012-02-05T20:05:40.596-08:00

This post is written by nolionsinengland and is not necessarily reflective of the thoughts of co-bloggers Howaboutno and Shellshock, in fact they may not even be my friends any more!About 4 days after you read it here on Graffoto, The Times proclaimed ”Not since the rivalry of Picasso and Matisse.... has there been such a clash between artistic camps". But this isn’t about The Times dissing us when it backed the only facts in its belated article as “The Graffoto website claimed that..”, this is about the ineptness of their headline “Banksy rival King Robbo has the final word in street art feud”.The backstory in brief is, Banksy had a confrontation with London graff pioneer and legend Robbo resulting in a slap to the face for Banksy. Banksy painted over an ancient 25 year old Robbo throwie, days later Robbo struck back with a reworking of Banksy’s effort.Full back story here.Graffoto had a tip that there was more to come and so it proved, Team Robbo returned to Camden canal and modified another of Banksy’s masterpieces.Before:After:This latest Robbo intervention lacks the killing finesse of “KING ROBBO” but carries the fight back to Banksy, who without doing anything is looking like a wounded animal.The personal aspect of the Robbo/Banksy handbagging and the merits of the work produced in the feud have really become a sub-plot to the Grafitti vs the whole of creation posture-fest, so lets concentrate just on this second phase of Robbo’s riposte to Banksy. The original Banksy artwork employed street art stylisms to proclaim a message in general about the ubiquity of graffiti tagging and specifically about a society that equates the tag to rubbish fouling the canal. Banksy stencilled a boy fishing a Banksy tag out of the canal. Robbo has turned it around completely and now the fisherman is Banksy, neatly labelled in case there was any doubt and nattily attired in country garms befitting the “bumpkin” slur flung by the capital’s graffiti community (Bumpkin is a term of endearment used by London writers for any writer from the provinces).Banksy’s catch represents the charge made by the graffiti community that Banksy is exploiting the culture of graffiti to boost his personal profile, by linking himself to the world of graffiti he is latching onto the maver[...]



Banksy vs Robbo WRH, WD - checkmate

2012-02-05T20:05:40.596-08:00

Christmas day is traditionally, in London at least, an occasion for graffiti writers to brush the turkey off their chops and head to the tunnels and lay-ups for some seasonal decorative activities. Banksy got his Christmas celebrations in early by hitting Regents Canal in Camden last weekend. In doing so, this spectacular piece caused uproar among London’s old school graffiti writers and if you want to get a sense of the outrage, check the comments on this flickr picture here.The issue at stake is going over an ancient 1985 piece by Robbo WD, WRH, (World Domination, We Rock Hard etc etc) truly one of the pioneers of graff in London in the mid 80s. I am indebted to Citrus Topnote Jr who put up this historic picture. This piece gone over by Banksy was 25 years old (check the date in Citrus’ picture)!photo: Citrus Topnote Jr There is more to the beef than appears at first glance. In the 2009 book “London Handstyles”, there is a story from Robbo: 'I was out one night with a load of old writers and got introduced to Banksy. He asked what I wrote and I told him, he cockily replied ''never heard of you'' so I slapped him and said, ''you may not of heard of me but you will never forget me''. The truth in the story is evident in Banky’s very pointed taking out of Robbo’s piece, there is no mere accident in the placing of Banksy’s decorator.The riposte from Robbo has been swift and classy, in effect saying you use my piece in your shit, I’ll use your shit in mine.Banksy’s decorator now pays homage to Robbo. Talk about attention to detail, even Banksy’s roll of wallpaper under the decorator’s arm has been removed. Beef doesn’t get much more heavyweight than this and Robbo has more than matched Banksy’s wit. Robbo’s piece deserves wide recognition and it’s quite unlikely that Banksy’s intended effect was to give Robbo the massive elevation, appreciation and profile that is coming from this spat.The only way to this ledge is by water, in Robbo’s words on his flickr this morning “down the canal ina wet suit on Christmas morning ho ho ho”, the property over this ledge is occupied by BTP – a delicious irony. The bit that puzzles me is I believe (but risk being corrected quite sharply) that one of Banksy’s key crew also writes W[...]



Banksy Hits Regents Canal

2012-02-05T20:05:40.597-08:00

Before I set out this morning on the minimal effort that passes as my contribution to the irreligious Xmas consumer fest, I glanced though my Flickr contacts' latest uploads and saw ArtOfTheState had uploaded a new Banksy. And when AOTS calls it as a Banksy, it damn well is a Banksy.I recognised the building and thought "I'll bring my camera", the Christmas shopping (quick trip to QPR club shop) was even more brutal than usual. Within the hour I was on the canal chuckling at Banksy's timely comment on the failure of the Copenhagen accord to produce any significant cooperation on global measures to reduce climate change and its impact.Global Warming ScepticismThis can only have been done from a boat, they must have looked a bit like the marines delivering the milk tray.Street art's greatest pleasure comes from finding an unknown, well executed and well positioned piece of art and when that piece is a Banksy the thrill is squared. I was knocked out to find nearby this fishing boy on the canal bank hauling rubbish out of the canal with the added joke layer being that the rubbish is a Banksy tag, now a ubiquitous piece of urban detritus.Tag fisher boyThe canalside location looks exactly like the kind of place where a feral estate rat might cut school to go fishing and pull nothing but crap out of the river and the self deprecating humour of the rubbish being Banky's own tag, magic.While uploading pics from the camera at home, a txt "heads up" to street art fan Romanywg produced the response "there aint two, there's four". More to the point, Romanywg told me one of them was very special and, without giving away the secret, he suggested I'd regret not heading back out into the sub-zero Camden frost and seeing the others.Boy was he ever 100% right, the other side of Camden is the gorgeous and comical instant graffiti decorator. The spot is underneath a bridge and rather dark but the colours are lush (there are no colour tweaks in the picture below). Use of the working man device makes this a spiritual brother of the yellow line painter in east London and sort of the polar opposite of the graffiti remover from Cans I.Instant GraffitiYellow lines painter (East London, 2008)prehistoric buffer (Cans I 2008)Finally, there was a fourth sma[...]



Mike Ballard: The All Of Everything

2012-02-05T20:05:40.597-08:00

The Art Gallery,University Of The Arts, London10 Dec 09 – Feb 2010all photos: NoLionsInEngland and Howaboutno where statedTwo major solo shows, a couple of crew shows not to mention some shutter painting have already made 2009 a prolific year for Cept.Bethnal Green Rd, 2009Not to be outdone, Cept’s alter ego Mike Ballard has a major heavyweight solo show to see out the old year and also to see out an old building too. The location is the University Of The Arts, an educational establishment that will be demolished in February and whose imminent demise frames the challenge addressed by Ballard which is to celebrate the existence and conclusion of the gallery’s life cycle.In 2008, Mike Ballard and Cept had a joint solo show in a ramshackle warren of a warehouse which featured an illusion room created by Cept.Cept vs Mike Ballard, London 2008First thought upon entering the large single storey hall of this show is that Mike Ballard has created a very similar illusion room. But there are several critical differences; the scale is much much larger, probably three to four times the floor area; the ceiling is a wild collage of black and white digital images rather than paint and there is none of Cept’s characteristic graff writing and almost none of the lichenstein-esque pop women.The walls are dominated by about seven key images which relate to the themes of the show. In the corner furthest from the entrance to the room, a large hand points into the wall and an explosion erupts from the finger, starting time, the universe and bringing everything to life.Existence is dominated by man’s desire to control time whilst living the simultaneous delusion that time is something the rolls out ahead of the now, the artist sees existence as being part of a continuum in which the past, the present and the future are all equally present, always have been and always will be. The illusion and delusion of mastery of time is symbolised by the hands grasping at a tilted pyramid. At the foot of the pyramid the initials MB are the only nod towards the artist’s identity.Around the room Ballard brings the whole of creation at a broader cosmic scale into the room. Technology clashes with the ancient everywhere, a pyrami[...]



Josh Sutterby (Alfa RT) solo show

2012-02-05T20:05:40.597-08:00

Rolling With The Punches The Print House Gallery18 Ashwin St, London, E8 3DL4 Dec 2009 – 10 Jan 2010Celebrating identity is at the heart of graffiti, which makes Joss Sutterby of RT (RepresenT) crew a bit of a novelty among London’s finest for his avoidance of letter-form self promotion. While Vibes and Towns drop big “my-name-is” burners around the parish, Alfa chips in with lavish but virtually anonymous characters which introduce a cartoonist’s humour into the RT crew’s pieces.Eating Beef For Breakfast, Alfa RT and Towns RT, West London The RT crew are not exactly casuals, winning the 2009 European final of the Write4gold battle in Germany coming top in the tagging, throwie and concept sections (sounds like Final Score at 5 O’clock on a Saturday), Alfa produced the two characters in this Sclater Street piece in April 09Molotow Cocktail, Towns RT, Alfa RT, Sclater St Joss Sutterby’s first solo show takes place in Dalston, much better known for its rooftop and wall graff than artfag action.The dominant theme in Sutterby’s canvasses are tattoos, characters with tattoos and straight use of the art of the tattoo. Portraits feature strongly in the collection and nearly all feature tattoos on flesh, tattoo art motifs on clothing and tattoo art in the background. One of the kings of traditional nautical based tattoo art is Sailor Jerry and references to Sailor Jerry appear in several of the works, most notably the Love Thy Neighbour canvas with its sullen and whey faced man with his death heart teeshirt set on a montage of stock Sailor Jerry tattoos.Love Thy Neighbour The shows suggests that on canvas Sutterby is pursuing a style with comparatively little reference to his graffiti work, though through the subjects themselves he brings his involvement in the movement the scene indoors such as in Antagonisers, a portrait of a friend in which the title (AnTaGonisers) and the tee suggests a member of the ATG crew. A GP would likely recommend the friend gets to bed a bit earlier.Antagoniser A gothic darkness runs through most of the art, purple roses and skulls form a bed for the anguished figure in Mother posed in painted version of the classic face obscured crew [...]



Is Street Art Dead?

2012-02-05T20:05:40.597-08:00

all photos: NoLionsInEngland I come to praise street art not to bury it. If that gives away my answer to my own question fear not, for purpose of dramatic suspense the best is still saved till last.There are a myriad of ways I can cycle across London from home in the West to work in the East and luckily today I was able to choose a meandering tour-de-W1 which took in two new pieces which I had spotted Ian Cox aka Wallkandy teaser pics.This Paul Insect was not difficult to locate (ok – it’s W2 but lets not quibble) and as I took some flicks the adjacent door disgorged a family of mum and three kids under the age of 5. They loved the art but hadn’t witnessed its creation as the kids asked if I did it, ho ho ho ho. Somewhere in London, a young family may now believe Paul Insect goes to work in Lycra.Paul InsectThe Mode 2 piece is rather saucy and of course, being W1 I couldn’t get this shot without some damn gorgeous woman walking into the frame.Mode 2Mode 2Lunchtime presented the opportunity for a 1 hour whizz around Shoreditch, wandering the streets is great for blowing through the synapses after a hectic morning and this time I had five specific objectives.I met Fauxreel aka Mr Dan bergeron at Pure Evil’s gallery last week and although he has been a flickr contact for a while I wasn’t really conscious of his art, my ears pricked up when he talked of his plans for a paste-up in a grubby but frequently hit alleyway. Seeing a flick of the end result on unusualimage’s flickr put the idea in my mind for a shot as if the camera was the eye of someone holding the ladder looking upwards, the pic here is the full piece, the “propping-up-the-ladder” shot is here on my flickr. Tick the box marked “not permissioned”, always worth an extra star on the street art rating scale and also the piece works so well with the wall funriture so top marks for placement.FauxreelContinuing towards Brick Lane I paused at End Of The Line’s Curtain Road wall to photograph some Aryz, Tizer, Probs, Nychos, Biser and Does pieces, when I chanced upon them painting this last week i got some comedy pics of a grass on a moped watching them brazenly painting a[...]



Shades Of Things To Come

2012-02-05T20:05:40.597-08:00

feat ARYZ, BISER, BOM.K, DOES, NYCHOS, PROBS, RABODIGA, TIZERMaverik ShowroomRedchurch St, London25th - 29th (Sunday!) November 2009All photos: NoLionsInEnglandWhen Probs23, laden with experience of putting on shows at The Dragon Bar (RIP) and a little black book filled with phone numbers of some the World’s best graff writers, not to mention the arranger of several London Meetings Of styles jams says he’s working with London graff heads favourite adopted son Tizer to put on a show, well you sit up and pay attention.Probs – Shoreditch, LondonTizer – West LondonThe line-up is phenomenal and all apart from Bom.K (if memory serves) featured in this year’s London Meeting of styles.Askym Bonsai Nash Biser Nychos Wany Aryz Does, MOS 2009, LondonOn the upper ground floor each of the artists has taken on an 8 by 4 panel , the standout being the violent distress of Biser’s abstract pterodactyl painted over cardboard, ink, paper and almost anything he could get to stick to the surface.Biser – 8 by 4 panelBiser – 8 by 4 panel detailA set of four very deep chipboard boxes have been painted by Nychos, Does, Aryz and Biser , each producing something distinctive for their individual style yet each has used the managed to work the underlying chopped wood as if it was an un-prepped surface behind their graffiti.Nychos, Does, Aryz and BiserTizer is a legend for letterforms, fills and characters so it is not a surprise that his work moves easily into the gallery. Among the canvasses, panels and sketches it is cool to find framed sketches featuring instantly recognisable Tizer characters annotated with the music that set the mood.TizerProbs has been working with swirling vortices and warped intergalactic space effects in a number of wall pieces over the past year and these themes appear in several sketches and prints displayed in the show. The most stunning pair of canvasses take things in a very abstract direction and whilst the title Big Spaceora suggests more inter-planetary cosmic goodness but they could just as easily be read as sub microscopic intra-cellular life form skin fragments.Probs – Big SpaceoraRabodiga has [...]



Hunto - The Graffiti Cubist

2012-02-05T20:05:40.598-08:00

The Rag FactoryHeneage St, London19 – 22 Nov 2009all photos: Howaboutno (where noted) and NoLionsInEngland Nothing really prepares you for the colourful orgy contained in the world of Hunto – The Graffiti Cubist. Internet searching doesn’t reveal much evidence of street style, Howaboutno among others captured this rare London piece in the Wick.Hackney Wick with Twesh, Pharos, Saro (not in shot); Photo stolen from HowAboutnoHailing from Italy, Hunto often paints with Heavy Artillery’s Italian representative Mr Wany, the London piece above was painted in the company of Twesh, also of Heavy Artillery. As a graffiti artist Hunto is a character man rather than a letterform purist.A Rag Factory booking cock-up has forced the Hunto show to a utilitarian white cube about 100 yards further down Heneage St from the main Rag Factory site but at least the lighting is slightly better than the typical graff art cow-shed/dungeon/on-the-stairwell-down-to-the-pub-toilets space.Hunto – The Graffiti CubistHunto is showing a collection of canvasses, a mixed media painted-wall-plus-props installation and a beguiling set of screenprinted line drawings. His basic form involves character canvasses in lurid colours, cubist style with views from different angles collapsed onto a single plane (as opposed to intersecting flat planes and shapes).The HugThe first cursory glance will take in a collection of cubist faces with multiple viewing angles of various portrait figures. Closer inspection heightens the tension when erections and penetrated orifices become apparent. Finally, the penny drops when what at first looked like “urban art” splashes and dribbles are found to represent milky cum shots. All over the place!Happy Time (7 pieces)Hunto celebrates the joy of sexual abandon, multiple couplings and the erotic first crack, the moment when the budding relationship is consummated. The Bride is splattered with an excess of man juice, either she has had a traditional hen party or perhaps the catholic and horny Italian groom has been forced to wait until the first night.The BrideOn these canvasses Hunto has us[...]



The Thousands

2012-02-05T20:05:40.598-08:00

Opening This Wednesday, "The Thousands" is a celebration of the gallery work of some of the top street artists in the World curated by RJ Vandalog. Artists to be shown includeAdam NeateAikoAnthony ListerArmsrockBanksyBarry McGeeBastBlek le RatBurning CandyChris StainDavid EllisElbowtoeFaileFutura 2000GaiaHerakutJenny HolzerJosé ParláJudith SupineKawsKnow HopeNick WalkerOs GêmeosRoaSam3Shepard FaireySkewvilleSwoonWK Interact Vandalog has developed an unrivalled coverage of what is new, news and fascinating in the world of street art. The energy he has brought to covering the street art scene on a daily basis is a tour-de-force, digesting his Vandalog blog in the form of a daily email has become required reading at Graffoto towers. Where one person gets the time and energy from is a mystery.Graffoto is privileged to be involved in presenting a display of about 50 photos from the combined library of HowAboutNo and NoLionsInEngland at The Thousands, many of which haven't been published before.The idea is to juxtapose the gallery art and installations with examples of work on the streets of London by the most of the featured artists.The show also sees the launch of RJ's book "The Thousands: Painting Outside, Breaking In" again we are honoured that this features a modest photographic contribution from ourselves, we can't wait to see the finished article.Entrance is free, details of location and opening hours are as per the flyer, see you at the opening - refreshments by Brewdog [...]



Panik - Changing Faces

2012-02-05T20:05:40.598-08:00

5 Nov – 28 Nov 2009Sartorial Gallery, LondonPanik atg aka Mr P (and now – also known as Jack Murray) has been a feature of London streets for a decade or so, currently as a key member of ATG and formerly as a member of the now defunct London Frontline.His second solo show this year has opened at Sartorial Art Gallery in the small project space which was previously earmarked as Tek’s Writer’s Bench space.As a bomber Panik has a pretty impressive ability to access rooftops and various other walls.As a painter, Panik rocks a highly coloured a tribal geometric style tending towards a cubism with acid colours vibe.UntitledThere are three larger canvasses, of which this gorgeous Basquiat influenced work blew the eyeballs off my face.Free n EasyThe earlier show at Pure Evil gallery was characterised by a couple of nuggets surrounded by a large degree of untamed chaos, consisting primarily of the Panik dub at manageable canvas scale, this show is a far more accomplished artistic achievement and confirms Panik’s ability to leave the large scale street stuff behind and produce “art”. Having become accustomed to many recent shows incorporating pieces which the artists failed to sell last time out (which actually is a blessing, remember the bad old days when you walked into the PV to find every piece of shit had a red dot), it is also a relief to find that apart from one editioned print everything here is new (or at least, wasn’t shown in the Pure Evil gallery show).Take Time To DreamMore pics of Changing Faces art here[...]



Tinsel Edwards, Twinkle Troughton, Meter Maids!

2012-02-05T20:05:40.598-08:00

Irate motorists in Shoreditch and Hoxton took a hammering last Thursday as a blizzard of parking tickets were issued in a blitz on cars in the area. The usual sealed sellophane wrappers warned that it was illegal for any one other than the driver of the vehicle to remove the ticket.While on a lunch break constitutional Graffoto caught un-expectedly up with a pair of wardens leading the onslaught on parking in the area. From behind there was something familiar and saucy about the cascading black hair, the seamed stockings and the red stilettos and catching up our suspicions were confirmed.It was Twinkle Troughton and Tinsel Edwards dressed to kill as meter maids – pulses raced I can tell ya, if only real traffic wardens looked like this.The very realistic cellophane wrappers turned out to contain not a ticket but a limited edition signed piece of mini art titled “It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times”, featuring a closed UK high street institution, Woolworths.Loss of jobs, industries and insecurity are a wide-spread reality for millions caught in the recession fall-out yet one senses a ray of hope in Twinkle adn Tinsel's sentiments, a possibility that within the recession people do find the inner reserves to rebuild, recover and grow. Out of the negative coming a positive.Imagine the shifting emotions of a driver thinking they’d picked up a parking fine only to find they’d actually been gifted a piece of free street art. Again, out of a negative coming a positive.So there you have it, Twinkle and Tinsel make an event of giving out free art, cheer up at least two wandering wage slaves (Graffoto doesn’t run on fresh air you know) and throw around complex ideas about emotional polarities into the bargain.[...]



Heavy Artillery - Haters

2012-02-05T20:05:40.598-08:00

Prescription Art GalleryBrighton, England22 Oct 2009 - all photos: NoLionsInEnglandHeavy Artillery, awesome top end graffiti writers have opened their first whole crew show in Prescription Art’s gallery in Brighton. This show takes place in a distressed and dilapidated former music library with scene-of-the-crime tripod lighting, unlit external toilets and no running water, so a graff crew is bound to feel comfortable.Heavy Artillery HatersThe derelict feel and distressed textures of the large single room floors and cavernous basement create an ideal ambience for graffiti art. Upon entering at ground level the first explosion of colour and elaborate writing comes from three floor to ceiling pieces by Giroe, Gary and Roid. Giroe and Gary look more or less exactly as they would on a street wall, a crisp clean riot of colour.Giroe - large piece on multiple canvas matrixRoid’s writing outdoors takes the law of the letter and throws the law away, deconstructing the alphabet to the point of virtual illegibility to all but the most tutored eyes so it is a surprise that for this indoor show he has gone for a less wild word form, making the lettering more legible whilst setting them against a backdrop belching comic style smoke trails.Gary, Roid – large pieces on multiple canvas matrixRoidAnother bit of Heavy Artillery info, there are twelve members of the HA crew, 9 of them have work in the show – Alert, Rench and Relay missing. Upstairs the standout piece is a combined mural and installation by HA’s friend INSA. Its centrepiece is a dulled down version of the chrome arse from his “Looking For Love In The Wrong Places” show set into a circular black and white vortex flanked on either side by female posteriors , each caressed by a hand whose nail paint features a mash-up of the classic INSA pink, black and white stripy heels, a pair of which adorned a suitably willowy lady enjoying the show. INSA has enjoyed a trigonometric exercise by creating a visually complete circle drawn acr[...]



Keep 'Em Peeled. . . Or Don't As The Case May Be

2012-02-05T20:05:40.599-08:00

As that eternal twat Shaw Taylor used to tell us back in days gone by, onto another twat that needs to be kept an eye out for and had some polite words with.

From Flickr friend eddiedangerous http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiedangerous comes this annoying story of street art theft - seemingly no one is safe, but currently hardest hit is the currently most active streeter - Mr Kid Acne.


(image)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiedangerous/4029576457


Follow through to eddies picture on Flickr for the current discussion taking place, am sure it will grow - but this guy seriously needs a word or two in his shell-like to maybe tell him that we do appreciate it, and we mostly appreciate it being left where it is thank you very much!

For more pics of how great the recent batch of Acne "stabby girls" looked, view my Flickr pics here, Nolions pics here and the Kid Acne Flickr pool here.




Miss Van – Lovestain

2012-02-05T20:05:40.599-08:00

Stolen Space, Old Truman Brewery, London1 – 18 October 2009all photos: NoLionsInEngland except W10 where notedMiss Van - LovestainIn a year which has seen fewer significant international street artists coming to grace the walls of London’s grittier galleries it is a relief to find a major artist prepared to stage a large scale show. Miss Van is renowned for the coquettish femine figures she calls her dolls or “poupees” and throughout this vast exhibition she doesn't scrimp with these gorgeous sultry beauties.Miss Van - LovestainSightings of authentic Miss Van originals are rare on the London streets and thus far, sadly, no sightings of new street Miss Vans have been recorded. This one from Ladbroke Grove goes back a few years, thanks to W10 for the flick.Miss Van – Ladbroke Grove c. 2003 - photo W10 (thanks)Lovestain is partly retrospective and partly new 2009 material and is presented within two separate spaces in the same block within the Old Truman Brewery. The new Lovestain material is in the smaller permanent Stolen Space venue.There seem to be a couple of recently new twists to the Miss Van style. The first development introduces the rather uncertain show title; a collection of images of pious, angelic and saintly females have been modified to look like clowns, each piece called an Inmaculada. Throughout the retrospective, none of the pieces shown are anything other than 100% Miss Van creations whereas a significant portion of the new material works on an existing image from some other source. An IMmaculada is a Spanish Catholic reference to the virgin Mary’s immaculate conception or, in the more literal interpretation of the Spanish devotion, “without stain”. The English prefix IN quite often in English conveys a sense of negative and opposite, think incapable versus capable, so Miss Van seems to be setting up her show to represent the opposite of the immaculate conception, a celebration of physical love. And [...]



Keep It Crap. . . A.K.A Councils Are Bullies!

2012-02-05T20:05:40.599-08:00

Further to last weeks premature death of the Brick Lane hall of fame that had started and allowed to continue after the Meeting of Styles event this year, word has reached the Graffoto news desk of underhanded tatctics by Hackney Council in trying to bully shopkeepers into having graffiti cleaned from their shutters.A Shoreditch shop owner has this week received a letter from the council stating, with somewhat imposed authority that "he must paint his shutter within 14 days of this notice, or legal proceedings will begin" - thankfully he told them to take a long walk off a short plank and is standing his ground, but how many others have received the letter and will believe it to be official, and just paint the shutters out as quickly as posssible? Hopefully not many.After all, it's not like it's an eyesore:Whilst it isn't believed that the two are connected - being that Brick Lane falls under Tower Hamlets Council, who to date have been slightly more leanient and forward thinking in their approach to graff and street art (they surveyed local residents and business owners as to whether the art should be allowed to stay) It does leave a bitter taste in the mouth that councils, or housing corporations feel that they can bully people into submission and somehow agree with their small minded belief that buffing these walls and shutters actually makes the place any better.A word from Bristol graff artists is what's needed here (after the council buffed a LEGAL WALL):[...]



Banksy Self Assembly Flat Pack Graffiti Slogans

2012-02-05T20:05:40.599-08:00

photos: Romanywg and Nolionsinengland where statedBanksy appears to be getting the limitations of a formal show out of his system by going back to decorating street walls. First the M40 Bandit appeared a couple of weeks ago and is generally accepted to be Banksy although no "official" confirmation has been made.Westway bandit, NolionsinenglandNow, a very nice stencil has surfaced in Croydon and thanks are due to our friend Romanywg for this pic, there's nothing beats going out on a graff hunt and Mr R spent over two hours and made two trips down to Croydon before finding the right wall.Flat Pack Anarchist, Romanywg Stylistically this looks like classic banksy and we've seen versions of the anarchist punk before in "Don't Forget Your Scarf Dear" from the Bristol show.Banksy vs Bristol Museum, Nolionsinengland Banksy is noted more than most for his placement and use of the environment, it’s hard to see the full context from the pic here but apparently it is close to the Croydon shop-in-a-barn-on-the-outskirts IKEA. With a nod to someone off a forum for the research, apparently IKEA in Canada jumped on the guerrilla marketing bandwagon and hired an agency to go out and spray un-authorised advertising on walls using, errrrrrrrrrr, “chalk paint”. So Banksy hits two birds with one stone in this piece – convenience weekend anarchists and the appropriation of street cool by mega multi-national corporate.Romanywg No obvious explanation for the “IEAK” spelling, Graffoto certainly doesn’t subscribe to the theory that Banksy is afraid of breaching trademarks. I’d like to think Banksy has suffered the living hell that is Ikea’s Returns Desk and this is his jest at how often IKEA stuff is defective.Some Assembly Required, Romanywg Some have said this lacks the sense of "Banksy spectacular" but Banksy is fundamentally a street cartoonist and this is up to his usual standards.[...]



CEPT - A Frozen Explosion

2012-02-05T20:05:40.599-08:00

The Writer's Bench26 Argyll Square, Kings CrossLondon3 Sep - 25th Sep, Thurs-Sat 1.30pm til 6pm or by appointment.Last time we met Cept, he was a cackling mad-man “I’m free; no more shows; painting streets...”.Cept, DScreet, Mighty Mo, Jeff Soto, even some Conor Harrington remnantsSo, a few months on here we are at Cept’s second solo show of 2009 and third in less than 12 months, marking the opening of new gallery The Writers' Bench, housed within the Sartorial Art gallery space in Kings Cross and curated by TEK33, BC. Although the proverbial cat would come to grievous gyratory-inflicted harm in this tight basement space, Cept has managed to cram in loads of canvasses, a couple of wall murals, a floor painting and a split screen TV looped audio visual multi media experience.The key painting to grasping the threads of inter-galactic supreme beings, mind control, superheroes, and deviants in the machine is a single oil painting of a mutant galactic being formed of the cosmos or perhaps forming the cosmos. Creator or created of? There is a knowing nod to the iconography of Ganesha in the way the gas mask tubing comes to resemble and elephant trunk.90% Of You Is MeSomewhat curiously this image stands out for being stylistically as well as physically quite a distance from the rest of the show.This galactic omniprescence sends messages to the minds of the sentient beings inhabiting the universe, strong black and white perspective lines link this source to the messages, presented in the form of tightly grouped words and messages on canvasses, “Not Everyone Thinks Like You”, “Bad Meaning Good”, “Art but Casual” - throw-away, individually meaningless but all quite sinister looked at from the conspiracy theorist’s point of view.Under the stairs leading down to the basement is an audio-visual installation, a split screen presents on one side[...]



Banksy v. Bristol Museum

2012-02-05T20:05:40.600-08:00

BristolJune 13 - Aug 31 2009Photos: Nolionsinengland, Howaboutno, Art Of The State, Shellshock Banksy is a bloke from Bristol who leaves messages on the streets and in Museums, you may have heard.Banksy In London; NolionsinenglandHe is more than just my favourite cartoonist, even though he doesn’t have a daily newspaper slot yet, he is immensely popular which explains why 2 months into the Banksy vs Bristol Museum show the queue is 500+ queue long with more than an hour until the doors open. True to the myth, Banksy does things his own un-conventional way, in this case he has colluded with a few staff at the museum to give his hometown a monster of a show with virtually no pre-opening publicity and even most staff remained un-aware up until the week of the opening.The show is mainly new material, though most of it works by reprising themes from many prior phases of Banksy’s modern era career, from an echo of the Natural History museum stuffed rat, the modified masterpieces of the Crude Oils/Barely Legal period, modern interpretations of classical sculptures (Crude Oils/Cans Festival) and the bulk of the New York 2008 Village Petstore animatronics show. Confession time, Banksy made up some of the caption for the pictures here, Graffoto made up the rest, it's not clear which are which.Animatronics Room; photo HowaboutnoThree rooms plus the entrance foyer in the museum/gallery are exclusively and explicitly Banksy’s. The first contains a burnt ice cream van with the melted ice cream cone surrounded by various sculptural figures; the second room contains his paintings and a compact reconstruction of his Studio, whilst the third uses a zoo cage format to house the animatronics. Other than those dedicated spaces the rest of the museum is sprinkled with Banksy’s covertly (for sake of the legend, let’s pretend) inserted ar[...]



Petro

2012-02-05T20:05:40.600-08:00

24-26 July 2009The Rag FactoryLondonGraffiti writers have been appearing in galleries for 25 years, though in the context of the hot ticket that was street art moving into galleries to prostitute itself as Urban Art, proper graffiti writers have trailed behind in the gutter. A welcome trend surfacing in chisel fringed, skinny-jeans wearing Shoreditch is the profusion of shows from real graffiti writers (however - see footnote), Vibes, Insa, and Panik being a few mentioned here recently, not to forget Andy Seize.Petro showPetro is a writer whose recent graffiti productions in the wild (well, HOFs perhaps) have a very distinctive style, strongly characterised by diagonal themes and lots of arrows.Petro, EOS - BristolPetro was one of the first un-invited writers to piece over a launch piece from Cans II.Petro is old skool and thanks to Skire for this pic of a piece from 1994 which indicates a wilder scratchier and harder to read stylephoto: Skire Petro has seized the initiative by hosting his own brief show in The Rag Factory, a corridor like space set back from a side street off Brick Lane. Pop up gallery would be less accurate than “out of sight, hidden, knock on the door, speak through the slot and give the password” off-piste space. The show is housed in a couple of long out-houses which surfaces the hidden, reminding me of well light cowsheds. The distribution of work in the main show room falls into four distinct groupings.The key phase which is characteristic Petro, the trademark outdoor lettering delivered within, consists of some 30 or so varied landscape PETRO words on plywood and natural coloured canvas. The word Petro is explored in a variety of letterforms and a profusion of squirming arrows which almost stretch the letters like a medieval torturer’s rack.The outlines explore a rang[...]



K-Guy Framed!

2012-02-05T20:05:40.600-08:00

We generally know what to expect wandering Shoreditch, the epicentre of London’s street art scene so more than a little curiosity was provoked by the oddity of a picture frame stuck to a garage door known in the past as a street art magnet but more recently just splattered with gig flyers. The latter phenomenon is a product of the zero tolerance buff on street art but that’s a debate for another time.Cursory inspection determines that the frame comes from Ikea, it’s a totally standard package even down to the standard IKEA backing sheet inside the frame and the impenetrable and unlikely scandi product name visible. So we thought.ITIFFARGIt is immediately obvious that this is conceptual art on the street and the concept is thankfully not obscure. Actually, there are several concepts, the anomalous mass produced frames is referencing the commoditisation of art, decrying the exploitation of the street art phenomenon as a shameless marketing tool and then there’s the dig at people who are happy to buy their art pre-packaged from any soul-less furniture emporium, shrink-wrapped and anodyne, bland and innocuous and brimful with the deception of a designer lifestyle on a mass production budget.YUGKThe current state of street art is pretty damn poor, anything aspiring to imagery more complex than photoshopped cartoon characters or production values beyond inkjet printouts put up with flour and water or poorly cut single layer stencils is going to stand out. This particular example shines because it takes the simplest art necessity and by putting it in the street context raises so many interesting thoughts and questions.TranabruClose inspection reveals that what looks like standard IKEA packaging is in fact clever re-modelled work from the artist. Firstly those Scandinavia[...]



INSA – “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places”

2012-02-05T20:05:40.601-08:00

Bateman Row Arches, London17 – 29 July 2009all photos: NoLionsInEnglandI’m a sucker for Illusion rooms. From Cept’s mindblowing 3 week individual labour of love in Dalston last year to D*Face’s memorable Haring inspired room at his Apopalypse show, any time an artist gets to indulge themselves in something which is more experience than product, I raise a glass and a cheer.Entering Insa’s show to find a large part of the space given over to a dis-orientating ultra-perspective black and white illusion room with a pair of chrome buttocks at its’ focal point presses all the right buttons.Looking For Love In All The Wrong PlacesThe words Insa and fetish often appear in the same sentence. If you ever come across a website which has sidebar links such as Legs, stockings, heels, booty, candy pink, ankles and stilettos, chances are that INSA has started a porn site based on various favoured fetishes.But before getting to that, it’s worth reminding ourselves that Insa has awesome skills with a spraycan. At the 2009 London Meeting Of Styles INSA got his name up with nice fades, sharp lines and a perfect facsimile of what since has been found to be the signature tune logo of 80s sitcom Cheers.Insa 2009INSA’s warped stilettos have popped up on shutters, walls and boarded up shopfronts in colour (pink) and black and white across Shoreditch.Insa - 2009This Escheresque repeated image mural in a suitably sleezly Shoreditch location has been done more than once by INSA. Some people believe the sculpted piece is a heart, they could be right, even the PR company sits on the fence in its printed puffery, describing them as his trademark hearts/asses (which I thought was an animal Jesus rode in the bible. I always have seen these as a pair of buttock[...]



Dead, Abandoned and Pieced

2012-02-05T20:05:40.601-08:00

The Trans Pennine Nomads (TPN) could rightly be considered to be the best writers crew in England, and a lot of their pieces co-exist with the rubble of the old Huncoat Power Station in Lancashire. Join me for a visual ride into them thar hills….All photos by shellshockThe disused power station at Huncoat (between Accrington and Burnley) is easily the best hidden graff den I’ve ever been to. Rubble and shit are everywhere, right next to stunning pieces from the TPN crew (and a few others). A visual overload, you don’t know where to look (actually I do know where to look….. look up for graffiti… and look down for that pit full of glass and old shoes that you are about to fall in….). Local taggers, toys and throwuppers also use the place, and being quiet and off the beaten track it’s a great place to practise and perfect. Take your time, have a can, and use your cans……It’s not as difficult to find as you might think, and there is even an old sign to welcome you :-)Crie and Pryme (local lad and founder of the TPN) are my two fave writers and as you duck down into the building one of their (relatively rough) joint pieces greets you. But there is far far more than that to come….Despite all the advantages of being next to a colliery and railway line, the power station actually had a fairly short life, only working from 1956 to 1984. Most of it was demolished by 1990, apart from this one building. At some point it is due to be turned into a waste treatment plant. The end wall of the central area is obviously an attention grabber, including for photography angles, as the suited characters hold the pieces out as canvases.Small rooms abound everywhere, all with rubble and paint. It’s so peaceful[...]



The Short Guide to 'Banksy vs Bristol Museum'

2012-02-05T20:05:40.601-08:00

By less than popular demand, shell shock (a train spotter and admin monkey at the Banksy group on flickr, and author of ’Banksy Location & Tours’) trawled 2,000+ photos, poured over a hotch potch of info, asked people stupid questions, and drove many miles to the Museum, just to bring you this short guide to the greatest exhibition of all time (well, maybe....the art jury is drunk and is utterly incapable of anything, including a verdict)What is in the Exhibition?The exhibition is officially ginormous. Easily Banksy’s biggest exhibition ever.Apparently it contains 100 artefacts, of which 78 of them are new.Although there are several whole rooms dedicated just to Banksy‘s work, there are also bits of his work dotted all around the various rooms of the Museum / Gallery. The guide below tries to round them all up.People have already noticed that some exhibits seem to have moved over time (or possibly even turned up late for the bash...?), so please don't think we are totally mad if something isn't there, has moved, is wrong, makes you looks stupid, causes an argument with your partner, etcNOTE - the names I've given them aren't necessarily 'official', correct or sensible. Some may be funny, but it can't be guaranteed. I’m not paid [in peanuts] to make you laugh you know......There is a free small flyer/guide to exhibition available at the venue (see below). For ease of wandering, this guide references some of the (usually unofficial) room names given on there.Many thanks to unusualimage for scanning this in (click to enlarge)GROUND FLOOREntrancePart of the ‘Boghenge‘ installation that was done at The Glastonbury Festival in 2007 (note entrance sign, and the gross Crow with Tam[...]



Bill London: They Seek Him Here

2012-02-05T20:05:40.601-08:00

Rarekind GalleryLondonJul 10 – Aug 1 2009all photos: NoLionsInEnglandAfter a fallow period buried beneath the post Banksy tidal sludge of pasted lazer jet print-outs, real painted graffiti has been showing signs of a pulse the last four months or so in Shoreditch. Some spark has triggered an avalanche of graffiti in all its' full glorious letterform manifestations from pissed up tags to Olympic standard wild-style burners. Many sperm have nibbled at the egg to create this fertile explosion of life, one of the most potent seemingly being the arrival of Chrome and Black in the area, the other obviously being the Meeting of Styles event.Among the various species making up the spectrum of graffiti life, at the top of the food-chain are master writers from RT crew such as Vibes.Vibes RTOf course, there is no link between the artist Bill London whose show opened in the Rarekind Gallery beneath Chrome and Black and anyone who would write VIBES RT on walls around London, at least there isn’t in the show flyer, and no one met at the show preview went by the name VIBES (actually, no one I met went by the name Bill London either but there ya go, just one of those evenings where people weren’t wearing lapel badges).Vibes RT, Parklifers, DasRFirst impression of the show was a refreshing sense of restraint, this wasn’t a pile ‘em high sell em cheap “here’s everfink from my black book ‘n stuff the gallerist had out the back” exercise. The gallery walls have been given an illusionist relief jigsaw treatment, providing a background matrix to small number of canvasses spanning themes from urban realism to oriental fantasy landscape.They Seek Him HereWith the range [...]



Subway Art 25th Anniversary Edition

2012-02-05T20:05:40.601-08:00

I thought that as a reference book and an X-ray shot into a counter culture that generally is inclined to shun publicity, Subway Art could not be bettered. Sitting with the 30cm x 43cm 25th anniversary addition on my knees (the book – not me) I conclude that as a photograph album this new edition just blows your socks off.When I looked at the picture above I wondered if it was just the irregular lighting in my irregular kitchen that made the colour of the old book photos look a bit richer but a close comparison reveals the truth. At the larger scale the over-saturation of some of the colours is reduced and you can see more of the detail of the graff archaeology seeping through from the pieces underneath that have been gone over. Obviously, you can only really prove that with the Mk I eyeball, the pics you look at here have been distorted by being captured on the camera, buggered about with the flickr resolution compromises and then knackered by displaying on whatever device you use to read this. This picture is a detail of the L in a BLADE piece, old edition above, anniversary edition below.The launch and signing graced by the presence of Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant and Blade drew a legendary attendance of current graffiti writers and London Ol Skool (HAN – “Court and Social” page on this blog?).Blade, Chalfant, Cooper. Sweet Toof canvas behind.Interestingly, along with pages from the book being displayed on the wall, some huge canvasses painted by members of the Burning Candy crew provided their own stylistic and lyrical interpretation of a few of the historic and renowned images from Subway Art. Gorgeous stuff. And the Burnin[...]



K-Guy - Brown Stuff

2012-02-05T20:05:40.602-08:00

Street artist and biting political humourist K-Guy has passed verdict on UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s political career. A new installation in front of the Houses of Parliament shows Brown’s career going down the sewers.Public anger at the sight of politicians with their snout in the tough doesn’t abate while Brown faces decimated popular support (though to be fair – we’d vote against all politicians if there was a suitable box on the ballot paper) and luke warm tolerance from a Cabinet that he appointed.Stencil portraits passing down the toilet show Brown in a variety of tick-ridden and stressed out poses.K-Guy’s edgy work has in the past included the spectacular Memorial to The Boom Economy at The Royal Exchange, London, the "cash under the matress" family banking pieces and his celebration of Britain as a multi-cultural society, even more relevant now since the election of the first UK representative from the far right wing BNP party.all photos: NoLionsInEngland[...]



Royal Albert Hall - LOAD

2012-02-05T20:05:40.602-08:00

The Wonderland CollectiveThe Royal Albert Hall, London22 June 2009 – only!The Royal Albert Hall has an almost un-paralleled status in the history of high-brow entertainment and in its’ 138 years has hosted some of the truely iconic performers. And my kids did a percussion workshop and this is the story of how a troupe of stencil based urban artists came to together to pay tribute to them.Under the Albert Hall is one of those backstage areas most of us never get to see, a place where artic lorries transport huge stage sets and overblown egos, also known as a loading bay. The Wonderland Collective were commissioned to create an enormous freize in the loading bay, hence the title of the opening, as tribute to the hall’s own history and today the fruits of their squirts were on show to the public for one day only.LoadThe beauty of this work is that the real legends, those icons from the pioneering days when British bands ruled the world and American torch singers and balladeers found their audience in the UK remain legends to many generations. Their famous poses and celebrate moments from the archives still have the power to thrill.Bob, Elton and The Bolshoi BalletThe installation splits into four distinct elements. There is the Icon wall featuring a montage of giants and Jay Z. Painters on this wall included Grafter and Eyesaw.Roger Daltry, Muhammed Ali, Noel, Shirley, Jimi, Jay Z, Pavrotti and FrankOpposite this curve piece is an elongated timeline featuring luminaries such as Paul Weller, Elton John, Jimi, Mick, The Beatles, Eric Clapton and Einstein, the last somewhat out of con[...]



C215 - Shoeshiners

2012-02-05T20:05:40.602-08:00

Signal Gallery, London19 June – 11 July All photos: NoLionsInEngland except Romanywg and Artbleat where notedThere are only a few people in any art niche who can be said to set benchmarks, who are the constellation in the heavens that every looks up and points at. In the world of street art stencilism, C215 is one of those novas.Hailing from France with a background that might described as challenged, C215 first came to wider attention in London when he bombed spots east to west and across the centre with his trademark monochromatic stencil portraits featuring grizzly men, suffering but saintly women and portraits of his young daughter pouting moodily.C215 almost always marries the subject to the location, the rough grimy street corners provide a natural habitat for gentleman wearing the crude, un-kempt look of a life on the road on their faces. From Morroco to New York, Istanbul to Sao Paolo, C215’s forte is seeking locations off the beaten track and not blessed by an over-abundance of first world consumer luxury (like Hackney Wick).c215, Delhi, Oct 2008. Photo: Romanywg C215 was one of the original stencillists showcased by invitation at Banksy’s Cans Festival in May 08 and his spot was one of the highlights of the best street art show of the year. The hyperactive and swift working C215 had by year end visited the UK several times and ran dangerously close to stepping over into excessive bombing which, unlike tagging, isn’t such a good look for street art.C215 at Cans Festival, 2008However, after a break from these shores, C215 has returned to Lon[...]



Rowdy - Never Smile At A Crocodile

2012-02-05T20:05:40.602-08:00

Sartorial GalleryLondon4 June – 27 June 2009all photos: NoLionsInEngland except Romanywg where notedBurning Candy crew of Bristol and London has knack for pleasing both fans of graff and street art. A crew show in October 08 was followed in short order by a Sweet Toof solo show in Dec/January and now it’s Rowdy’s turn to rock his skills at Sartorial Gallery in London.On the streets, Rowdy is best known for his crocodiles with their oversize teeth and luminous eyes.Burning Candy – Brick Lane, LondonOccasionally cameos come from a scraggy wild faced fox and a prickly hedgehog, which like the crocs are invariably given menacing snarls and grins.Rowdy/Sweet ToofRowdy/Sweet Toof/Cyclops/DScreetRecent isolated examples of indoor daubings which have cropped up at urban art auctions have suggested a preference for the abstract, it was a pleasant surprise of sorts to find the large upper room full of crocs and foxes familiar from the streets. Indeed, a very substantial mobile of menacing wooden crocs the same as ones which used to be seen glued to road signs, gates and doorways dominates the room. Little jasper will grow up a twisted and terrified brat after having one of these hanging over his crib.Never Smile At A CrocodileRowdy’s anthropomorphised animal characters cruise an urban landscape of offices and towerblocks, the town is the swamp and the crocodiles are the king predators. Bold primary colours and a simple style gives the Rowdy panorama the feel of nursery book illustrations. Curiously, about half of the paintings are[...]



Jeff Soto – Inland Empire

2012-02-05T20:05:40.602-08:00

Stolen Space GalleryLondon14 May – 7 June 2009all photos: NoLionsInEnglandOne characteristic of the austere and spendthrift new age we live in is that the great American giants of the urban art scene have been noticeable by their absence from London this year – give or take a Ron English show in the past week. Jeff Soto bucks the trend by coming to Stolen Space for a new solo show – hold on to that sentence, turn it over and over and see how many words make you feel gooooood.Wandering over to the Truman Brewery last Friday to have a daylight peek at the show we un-expectedly find Jeff Soto merrily painting away on an outside wall, and some would have us believe that this is the first time in a long time he has painted without the benefit of a ceiling.Jeff Soto LivesSoto eschews the purists pre-occupation with the spray can, applying his acrylic paints with a “normal” sized art paintrush. The fine-ness of the draughtsmanship leads to a plea for loan of a finer paint brush, we didn’t have the nerve to make our offer of a strand of hair too loudly. I say “we”, this is the royal version as of the small bunch of observers I was the only one who actually bothers with a comb these days.Greetings From California!Stretching my employer’s patience over what constitutes a reasonable length Friday lunch break, I wander down to the Whitechapel end of Brick Lane and find two more Soto wall pieces. A third is Work in progress and a forth remains un-discovered –something to chance upon in the near fu[...]



The Ti(des)zer...They Are A Changing? ?

2012-02-05T20:05:40.603-08:00

A fairly prominent wall in Shoreditch, almost a whole building 'taken out'. . . HA and ID crews in attendance....

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Buffed by the trigger happy council boys like everything else? Who knows!

But by christ if this is the shape of the future state of Shoreditch, I like it!



Kid Acne – Smoke And Mirrors

2012-02-05T20:05:40.603-08:00

Stella Dore GalleryRivington St, London2-25 April 2009all photos: NoLionsInEnglandYou can take the kid off the street but you shouldn’t take the street out of the Kid. Sheffield’s renaissance man Kid Acne covers the graffiti, gallery artist, music producer and DJ hipness angles and has staged his first London solo show in London at Stella Dore.Kid Acne occasionally illuminates walls of London with colourful masked cat-girls, showing great effect from an economic cartoon style. Towards the tail end of 2008 Kid Acne introduced a 1 foot tall army of Bouddica-like women pasted around the footings of many London walls and pillars, All the women had warrior like garb, occasional lavish fur stoles, a few injuries and each carried a sword. It was clear they were by Kid Acne but not exactly clear what these women were about. Kid Acne’s first London solo show opened at Stella Dore gallery, so achingly hip it even has paps staking out the Eine-painted front door. Street Artists are under pressure these days to have a few more tricks up their Kangol sleeves than just a few stencils on canvas and, luckily, Kid Acne has mounted three light boxes just inside the door. Why lucky? Well as soon as the gallery doors admit the first few rubber-neckers a machine hic-ups quantities of dry ice Spinal Tap would be embarrassed by, the diffused glow from the light-boxes casts a lighthouse beam guiding Shoreditch’s cool and thirsty to the buckets of beer.The lightboxes[...]



dr. d “HMP Brainwash Launderette”

2012-02-05T20:05:40.603-08:00

222 bethnal Green RdLondon5 March, continuing.all photos: NoLionsInEnglanddr. d is one of London’s more mysterious street art institutions, their (the mystery extends to doubt as to whether dr. d is singular, plural, boy or girl) manipulation and subversion of street billboards flickers at the edge of public conscious, playing games via a medium most of us have learnt to filter off our radar screens. dr. d rails against Big Brother state intrusion, the supremacy of commerce’s self interests and suppression of basic human rights in totalitarian states. They probably haggle upwards over the price of their fair trade pint of milk as well. Scale is not an issue with Dr. d, simply the bigger the better. The most recent example being this response to Welsh “Best newcomer 2008” Duffy’s rapid escalation to coca cola bunny. dr. d - Amy spreads those Duffy Rumoursdr. d has maintained long running poster campaigns proclaiming London’s proud boast as the world’s largest open prison and declaring Hackney and various other London parishes as The Sterile State. The Sterile State Of Hackney Last year’s Olympic games provided a focus for protest against suppression and exploitation within China and even its occupation of Tibet, dr.d pasted a blood slashed “Made In China” poster all city. Brainwashed An open and normally functioning launderette has been take over as the home base for a dr. d installation of anti propagand[...]



CEPT - Galaxy Rays Show

2012-02-05T20:05:40.603-08:00

The Long Arm GalleryBridewell St, Bristol,20 Feb - 13 March 2009all photos: Howaboutno and NoLionsInEnglandIt seems like moments ago that Cept and Mike Ballard got up with a joint show in a Dalston, London workshed yet here we are 4 months later and half a world away in former police station in Bristol for Cept’s new solo show.You’re nicked! – photo NoLionsInEnglandAs in the London show, CEPT hangs gorgeous canvasses on the walls and indulges himself and us with a variety of mixed media installations. A vertical stack of TV screens inside a cage-door lift greets visitors timidly crossing the ex-cop shop threshold, flickering black and white film loops backed with crackling American voices issue barked ultimatums and set a jagged and staccato tone for the show.photo: HowaboutnoThose familiar with previous Christmas group shows at the Bridewell St police station will need to know that the cells downstairs are not in use, though the rooms that are open retain a strong institutional spartanism. The main gallery room is shared between a collection of canvasses and a swirling wall painting. The wall painting echoes the style of the Dalston illusion room but is a minor fanfare for the half height cubby hole entrance to the installation room beyond.photo: Howaboutno Neither the sharp lines of the wall painting nor the strong colours of the canvasses in the main space can explain the dissonant indu[...]



Bortusk Leer/Five Four (joint show): Cheer Up You Rotters

2012-02-05T20:05:40.603-08:00

Brick Lane Gallery, London5 – 16 Feb 2009photos: NoLionsInEngland except donnierobot and Prescription Art where statedSome Street artists wouldn’t be seen dead at their gallery openings. Some artists grudgingly turn up, mix with their mum and their crew and mumble “cheers my dears, been doin’ it for years”. Some front up with a natural effervescence that just explodes in everything they touch. And they would be jealous of Bortusk Leer’s off-the-scale panache.Bortusk Leer’s fluorescent naïve-cartoonish monsters are now a familiar part of the urban decor through-out London’s East End but the street paste-ups are no preparation for the explosion of colour and nursery wackiness that characterises his second joint show, this time with mots-deux specialist Five-Four.Just to recap, Bortusk Leer started under the Thinkfly pseudonym pasting colourful pigeons on newspaper, morphed into Bortusk with those un-mistakable childish monsters, surprised us with his Supine/Chapman-esque (Jake and Dino, not Mark) defaced vintage prints at his spring 2008 Viola Gallery (dec’d) joint show with Eefos (later to morph into Shuby) then branched his characters out into zany TV quality reality-cartoon montage video shorts and most recently provided regressive urban art affecionadoes with a darts-at-balloons lottery at London’s 2008 Urban Art Awards.Brick Lane Gallery has been[...]