Reconnecting with street art

Thursday 17 August 2017 – London.

I have settled nicely in to my new job, I have a good team, everyone has been really welcoming and has made me feel at home. A good start. The best bit is there have been no stressful days, hopefully that will remain. I work in a fabulous bit of London, not far from the Houses of Parliament. I expect I will be taking the camera in when the days start to get shorter and sunrise and sunset more closely bookend my working day.

I have not been on street art run for months, so I was really looking forward to seeing my mate Daryl after work and going to check out a bit of street art. Daryl still goes out most weeks and still posts the best bits on Instagram, he is the right man to show me around.

We met at Liverpool St station, I was 20 mins early so stopped in for a swift pint with the city types, nice pint of something I cannot remember. The first stop was some new boards that have been put up by the front of a new tower. A tower that is part of a complex built on the ruins of the warehouses, shops and businesses that lined these streets only a few years ago.

Mr Cenz is one or a few artists to have painted where I live in Walthamstow in NE London, in fact he painted a side wall of a snooker hall at the end of my street. Sadly the wall, along with the entire hall has recently been demolished so a new (and probably hideous) block of flats can be built. Mr Cenz has been painting in London for a few years, though this is the first time I have seen a piece that is largely monochrome. I liked it.

Another artist to grace the walls of Walthamstow is Carne Griffiths, I particularly liked this piece of his.

Daryl and I did not have much a plan, short of finding somewhere later on for a drink and maybe something to eat. In the end we stuck to a fairly traditional path and headed up towards Great Eastern St. This area has changed a lot since I first came here, buildings have come and gone, hoardings have come and gone, and a lot of the painting spaces have disappeared along with them. A pub that used to be pretty much deserted after work on a Thursday was now heaving with new city types and the younger, hipper, wealthier crowd that has moved in to the area. There were a couple of things I liked. This by Loreto,

and a traditional, old school work from Dscreet, which did not quite fit in the frame. It was good to see that as much as things have changed, Dscreet has remained true to his art.

Daryl was keen to show me a new bar that had opened in an old police station, the reception was a bottle store and the cells down in the basement have been converted into a cocktail bar. It had a very nice whisky menu, so it would have been rude to walk out without sampling some of the product. On the way we passed a more traditional and colourful Mr Cenz piece and a Fanakan, in a style that he has developed since I last saw some of his work.

It turned out that having one whisky was not enough to form an opinion on the new bar, so we had a second before heading back out again to explore a bit more of the new work around. It seems that the big global artists are not coming to London as much these days. There has been a big surge in the popularity of street art around the world, and around the UK, so there are now festivals in a whole bunch of new, and sometimes obscure places. Good for them, not so good for us as there is not a  great range of big and interesting work to see. The upside to this is loads of small paste ups and painting on the old walls. I quite enjoyed exploring again after such a long time.

There were a couple of pieces by Kai, the first has been tagged,

some C215,

and a bunch of stuff by artists whose names I can no longer remember, though I am sure Daryl pointed them out to me at the time.

In a yard near Truman’s Brewery there were a couple of large pieces, one by Conor Harrington, who I have blogged about before; he has also painted in Walthamstow before.

I do not know who painted this, but I like it.

The light was starting to fade as we got to Hanbury St, always a good location for bigger pieces and bigger name artists. First up was a traditional Dale Grimshaw piece.

With a fairly traditional Alex Senna opposite.

The far end of the street has a couple of newer walls, I really like this large piece, though again I cannot remember the artists name!

Ant Carver had the wall at the end of Hanbury Street.

The light had dropped too much to be able to take a decent hand hold shot so we decided to head off and find something to eat. We passed a new work by a recent visitor to London, Falko One. He had caused some controversy by painting one of his signature elephants on to the bottom of an old piece by Stik. This was deemed, and I sort of agree, as some form of artistic vandalism. Though to counter that argument, street art should be transitory, and in my mind nothing should last forever. Though, if some artists work should last forever, Stik should be one of those artists!

I had a really good time, it is always good to catch up with Daryl, and it was great to rediscover a bit of street art again, it was almost like I had not been before.

I am some art.

Friday 14 October 2016  – London.

I have not been on a street art walk in Shoreditch, or anywhere else for quite a long time. I have dabbled here and there with a quick visit, but rarely have I been inspired to take photos. I have been to a few gallery openings with my mate Darryl, and have seen some pretty good stuff, but nothing has gone into the blog for ages.

I had a couple of photo exhibitions to visit today, both in the east end, and with a slight diversion or two, separated by some street art walls. It was time to take a walk – even if it was just a short one.

img_4974

To be honest, the heydey of street art in this and most other parts of London seem to be over. That rush of 2012+2013 when fresh, new and exciting artists were being created locally or visiting from far of land is long gone. On the odd occasion I have had a look around, there has been nothing much to report.

However there was some good stuff out there today. I am bit out of touch now, so there are a few artists I do not recognise.

I will start with the ones I know, and very definitely my favourite from the day.  I am a fan of Dale Grimshaw, I own a print of one of his pieces, but I have never seen one this big – on the back wall of the Village Underground. Brilliant! Those eyes….

img_4982

img_4983

img_4980

I also really like the small paste ups of Jana and JS, I haven’t seem them around much, so nice seeing some of their work back in the country again.

img_4976

The always colourful Thierry Noir.

img_4979

Mr Cenz.

img_4970

Dan Kitchener.

img_4973

Ant Carver.

img_4975

The rest I liked, but cannot name!

img_4969

img_4971

img_4968

img_4977

img_4972

I am off to Berlin in two weeks time, it is a work conference, but I hope to be able to sneak off for a couple of hours while I am there to do some tourist things. One of which will be to check out some street art.

Two days after I get back from Berlin I am off on my travels to India, Australia, New Zealand and Dubai. I am almost organised now. Wahoo !!

Music never Lied to me.

January 29 2016 – Shoreditch.

It has been a really busy week, a small and frustrating project at work filled far more time that it really needed to. I have been really good this year and have not taken work home with me very often, working my allotted four days and not much more. Though, having said that, this project has spilled into today and I will probably do four or five hours on my day off. It has also been busy socially, El and I had a quick drink after work on Monday for our third anniversary, followed by a wine tasting on Tuesday and  last night we attended a talk in our local bookshop by legendary rock photographer Kevin Cummins. El worked with Kevin many years ago when she was editing 90 Minutes – an English football magazine. I often envy El her work in journalism! The talk was excellent, Kevin is an engaging speaker with some great stories. It did leave me deeply envious and with a plan to do more photography this year.

Even though I do not work Friday I was up early with El and got stuck into work as soon as she left, I managed to knock most of what I needed to do on the head by lunch time and decided I would go to Shoreditch and check out any new street art. I have only been out a couple of times in the past year or so, being a full time worker has certainly cramped my leisure time!

There is also a lot less happening street art wise now, the gentrification and citification of the area is well under way so sadly a lot of the old walls and hoardings have gone. It is the area’s loss in my opinion.

Though I have been to a few gallery openings lately and still keep an eye on my mate Plumms’ Instagram photos, I am really out of touch with what is going on and who the artists are. I have even forgotten the names of a few familiar painters as well. You will have to forgive me for having a few unknown artists below.

Like this one to start with! This photo was taken a few weeks ago as well, but I did not have anything to post it with and I really like it.

IMG_3028

There is a huge amount of construction going on in the area at the moment, which means lots of hoardings around building sites. Some allow painting and some do not. Most seem to be covered in graffiti rather than street art, but there are things more to my taste around. Like this by an artist I feel I should know…

IMG_3082

Good to see Dscreet still panting owls here and there.

IMG_3083

Gent 48

IMG_3084

This piece by Olivier Roubieu is fabulous.

IMG_3085

Blackall Street was always a favourite place, loads of paste-ups and stickers, and I have never seen a Dale Grimshaw paste-up before so this was a cool find.

IMG_3086

Savant provided this post’s title.

IMG_3087

A new artist to me, Lapizola. As it is on a hoarding round a building site I suspect it will not last long.

IMG_3088

Unify

IMG_3089

Unknown

IMG_3090

Another piece by Unify.

 IMG_3091

Nice to see Jim Vision is still painting walls, he has done some great pieces on this wall off of Redchurch St over the years.

IMG_3092

I am a big fan of Alo, and it looks like his style has changed a little since I last saw some of his work.

IMG_3093

I do not know this artist either.

IMG_3094

But I am very familiar with Dan Kitchener and was hoping he would paint in Walthamstow last year.

IMG_3095

This Shepard Fairey has been here for a very long time, but I do not recall ever having taken an photo it. Given the rate that buildings are being knocked over, I decided I should grab one just in case!

IMG_3097

I stopped in a Rough Trade to grab El a copy of the new Savages LP, ‘Adore Life’, and also grabbed a photo of this on the way past.  I like them both.

IMG_3098

There is a new(ish) Otto Schade in Brick Lane, I think this a spot he has painted on before.

IMG_3099

It started to rain as I walked down Brick Lane, the rain was not forecast and I was not prepared for it, so decided to call it quits and headed back to Liverpool St Station.

I was shocked to find the old London Exchange building was completely gone, I knew it was going to be demolished, I mean who needs old buildings when new glass ones are so much better. But the hole in the ground was a complete surprise, and an unpleasant one at that! Nice to see they kept the facade… 

IMG_3104

It was good to get out and see some street art again, though I was mildly disappointed at how little there was, and at the lack of something that really wowed me. It is likely there is a lot more hidden away, and if wasn’t for the rain I would have explored a little further.

Yep, Shoreditch again !

Tuesday 06 August 2013 – Shoreditch, London.

Another week, another street art walk in Shoreditch. With the ever changing nature of street art it is always worth checking out what is happening around the streets of Shoreditch. With the street art blogosphere full of stories of new works being painted over the weekend Darryl and I agreed to meet up at Liverpool St and take a lunch time stroll.

I was really keen to check out four new panels from Alex Senna that went up while I was away last week. However, I was already too late, with all four panels blanked out and a new commissioned advert was being painted in their place, damnit. I love street art for its temporariness, but hate it for the same reason!

P1020354

Darryl and I walked around for a couple of hour, checking out a few of the new pieces as I discovered a few works I had not seen before.

This new work from Vinie and ReaOne is really cool, I really liked the hair made out of their names.

P1020360

On Blackall St I found a rarely closed shutter with an old Dscreet owl and some Sweet Toof teeth.

P1020364

And a new mashup from phonebox artist D7606 collaborating with Ben Murphy.

P1020365

I was really looking forward to seeing this wonderful work from Otto Schade.

P1020369

Brazillian artist Cranio is back in town and has been pretty prolific, fixing up some old pieces as well as adding a few new ones.

P1020370

Shok-1 has done a couple of his ‘x-ray’ style pieces, this is definitely my favourite, I would really like to watch one if these being painted as I am intruiged as to how he does it.

P1020396

As you will know I am a big fan of the work of Jana and JS and had not seen these small stickers before, I have seen larger copies of both of these around Shoreditch and the kneeling Jana is one of my favourite pieces of all.

P1020397

The more I look around the alleys and doorways of Shoreditch the more work by French artist C215 I find, often these are small pieces tucked out of the way, but they are always worth stopping to look at.

P1020402

P1020373

It was a good couple of hours out, I was bummed to have not see the Alex Senna panels, but I have read about some more of is work being completed over the past week so maybe I will get a chance to find some next time.

this was cool !

P1020381

I have uploaded a bunch more to my Flickr stream.

Shoreditch street art updated.

Monday 15 July 2013 – Shoreditch, London.

Shhhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but it was another glorious glorious day here in London with nary a cloud in the sky all day – so it’s a good day to for a ride up to Shoreditch for a street art walk/ride then! I have not been to Shoreditch for at least a week so of course there is a load of new things to see and photograph, and having the bike meant getting further – and more coolly. By cool I am, of course, referring to temperature, not me being stylish – something I definitely was not today!

I had a great few hours out and about around Shoreditch, I got to see a few things I was looking for and finally found a massive wall by ROA that I have tried to find twice before. I also ran into fellow street art aficionado Darryl who I met once before while watching RUN paint the wall at the Village Underground.

One of the things I had been planning on doing for a while was visiting the exhibition by RUN and Dscreet at the Cock and Bull Gallery in the basement of The Tramshed in Rivington st. It was really worth the wait as there were some great pieces on show there, as well as a very cool backdrop of painted walls, I bought a booklet on the show and am tempted to buy an art work as well.

IMG 6907

After a wee coffee break I rode up Bethnal Green Road in search of the large wall painted by ROA a few weeks ago, and this time I found it. Though only having a fixed fifty mm lens on the Canon I could only shoot some of the details as there were too many cars in the narrow alley way to get a wide shot. I will go back as it is such a cool cool painting.

IMG 6921

From there I rode around the streets of Shoreditch and snapped a few photos, most are on Flickr, but below are a couple as a sampler.

In a park behind Brick Lane I found a theatre group doing an outdoor rehearsal so I watched them for a while which was cool.

IMG 6926

I was really excited to find this Phlegm that I knew was around but had never seen before, again I was not able to capture it all due to today’s lens choice. Weight won over flexibility – plus it is always good to shoot with a fixed a lens every now and then – keeps me honest!

IMG 6948

IMG 6950

Alex Diaz has been painstakingly painting this wall by hand with a tiny brush for most of a week, stunning piece.

IMG 6937

A Jana and JS I have been looking for, I really like their stuff.

IMG 6901

And a Stik I haven’t seen before.

IMG 6909

It was a great few hours out 🙂

IMG 6938

Street art update

Wednesday 03 July 2013 – London

I took my new bike for a spin on Tuesday and was just riding down City Road when I spotted this Toaster up on a window. Last week I found this video from the creators of Toaster and it is an amusing watch as there are not a lot of Toasters left in London that I can see I was quite pleased to have seen it.  Of course, there are probably thousands of them all over London, I just do not see them!

P1020104

http://www.thetoaster.co.uk/

And this new piece from Phomer.

P1020105

Today I met a friend who has never been to London before and we took a pretty major walk around town sort of ending with a brief walk around some of the main parts of Shoreditch, as always there were new things to see – or things to find that I had missed before….

Conor Harrington in Whitecross Market.

P1020127

Dscreet outside the gallery at the Tramshed, I must try and arrive there when the gallery is open as there is an exhibition of Dscreet and Run work that I am quite keen to see – has anyone been yet ?

P1020129

DALeast

P1020130

Stik

P1020131

AngryFace

P1020132

T*wat

P1020135

Alo

P1020133

P1020137

And another Jana and JS, still looking for more of their new work before it disappears.

P1020145

P1020146

Thanks to Inspiring City  for identifying the next two for me.

Swoon

P1020134

Alice Pasquini

P1020138

Some unknowns.

It would be nice to see some more political stuff around too….

P1020140

P1020141

P1020136

Blackall St – ‘Art thieves operating in this area’

Friday 14 June 2013 – Shoreditch, London.

P1020030

I frequently walk up to Camden on Friday afternoons and today I decided to go via Shoreditch and visit Blackall St, an alley off of Great Eastern St.

Blackall St, is a narrow single lane road surrounded on both sides by the back of office blocks, it is also the home to a wide range of graffiti and street art. I imagine it is worth a visit every couple of months to see what is new. It is a cool little street and I had an enjoyable twenty minutes perusing the large number of small pieces, too many to really take it all in.

I did not recognise many of the artists, so will start with the few I do know.

RUN

P1020026

P1020027

P1020029

I have not seen any Bortusk characters since my first street art walk along Regents Canal back in December – and the ones I saw then have all gone from the canal walls.

P1020042

MOTFU

P1020037

MOTFU and Alice Pasquini’s lovers

P1020041

D7606 stickers

P1020038

P1020033

And loads of other things, I really like the Thomas the tanks and the sheep.

P1020028

P1020039

P1020031

P1020032

P1020035

P1020036

The woman on the bottom of the door is by C215

P1020043

P1020040

P1020034

Swan with hands – the completed RUN painting

On Friday afternoon I went back to the Village Underground wall in Shoreditch to have a look at the newly completed piece that I spent some time watching street artist RUN paint on Wednesday.

I did not take the Canon with the wide-angle lens, so could not quite fit it all in – it is a big wall!

I love the painting though – and it will be gone in a month…

P1020023

P1020025

A street art walk in the snow.

Sunday 20 January 2013 – Shoreditch and Islington, London

I was awake far too early yet again and yet again I whipped the blinds open to see a completely unchanged garden of green plants and grey concrete 😦

However, just like Friday at around 8:30 the snow started to slowly drift down from the clouds and by the time I had myself organised to meet a friend up at Shoreditch and was out the door there was an inch of snow on the front step; and I was going to be the first one through it.  It looked like it was going to be a good day !

IMG 6443

I caught the train up to Liverpool St again and with new yet still vague knowledge of the area headed off towards my first stop, which was going to be Columbia Rd flower market. However I had not gone too far up the road before I started to find street art to photograph, there is just so much here and I just cannot help but stop and look at it.

I think this piece from Broken Fingaz crew is quite new as I was only reading about it earlier in the week. I was surprised to find it as the location was not divulged, I just walked up the alley after seeing the “Kilroy” at the entrance and there it was!

IMG 6444

IMG 6445

IMG 6446

I spent the next thirty minutes or so wandering the area near the Village Underground, the venue where I saw Mono play a few weeks back. There is a lot of art here and I have added it and the rest into a slide show at the end of this post. The words have been there for a while but the Phlegm piece is quite new, and of course I love the “tube” carriages on the roof.

IMG_6451

I then headed up to Columbia Rd and was surprised to find the flower market was on considering the snow was falling lightly but steadily. The snow would continue like that for the rest of the day, surprisingly it was not that cold, as I had dressed reasonably well for it though and staying dry was the key.

IMG_6463

IMG 6464

The streets were fairly deserted which is kinda weird for London, one of my NZ friends commented in an email that London looks so much better with a layer of snow, I think she is absolutely correct.

IMG 6465

IMG 6472

IMG 6473

I walked back to Shoreditch and stopped in a pub for a coffee and a heart starting brandy as I waited to meet my friend and then we were back out into the falling snow with umbrellas up to walk the streets and enjoy the relative peace that snow fall brings.

IMG 6478

IMG 6480

We decided to walk a section of Regents Canal that I have not done before and walk up to Islington. The canal was just beautiful under the snow, and once the odd car was out of sight, some of the canal looked like it was back in Victorian times.

IMG 6485

IMG 6486

IMG 6489

IMG 6496

IMG 6497

IMG 6499

It was a great walk, capped off with a delicious and warming leek and parsnip soup and a  decent glass of red before heading off home.

It was very nice out walking in the snow !

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sleet is not snow, just wet and cold.

Monday 14 January 2013 – Bethnall Green and Shoreditch.

[edit] hmmm, I have just reviewed the entry after posting and it seems I screwed up the image sizing, not going to go back and redo it sorry ![/edit]

The weather forecast for the past couple of days has brought a promise of plummeting temperatures and snow on the ground in London. Sadly, all that has happened so far has been the plummet in temperature. A week or so ago we were averaging ten or so degrees during the day and now we are down to one to two. Wisely I had been making the most of the new year sales and had bought a few winter items, else I would be trapped indoors, and with the cold forecasted to last for a month – it would have been a real drag.

I decided to head back east and walk more of Regents Canal, take some photos of the canal boats and try to find some of the street art I did not photograph due to low light when I was last there. I tubed it to Bethnall Green station and found the canal easily enough.

IMG 6339

Naturally soon after arrived it started to gently snow, not enough to create any sort of base, but just enough to make me cold and wet – I was not prepared for it and only had a woollen jacket on. I did not linger on the tow path in the end.

IMG 6343

IMG 6341

I really like the “reflecting” sign on the building, very clever !

IMG 6352

This nearly deserted Samuel House apartment block has images of its residents on boarded up windows. It is an interesting story, and well worth a visit if you are walking Regents Canal. http://www.iamhere.org.uk

IMG 6353

IMG 6354

As the light snow started to change into a more steady stream of sleety rain I turned onto Kingsland Rd and headed back down towards Shoreditch and Liverpool St station, quite by chance I found Rivington St which had the two Banksy pieces I saw the other night. They are both in the garden of Cargo Bar and are covered up with screens. Sadly there was still reflection from the bar lights but here they are anyway.

IMG 6355

IMG 6357

This was a great and very detailed piece.

IMG 6356

And this Banksy “copy” that I photographed nine days ago, next to its original, has gone already !

IMG 6332

The shifting face of street art!

I stopped for a coffee and a bit of shelter before wandering a little further up Rivington St to see this cool shop front by Cranio.

IMG 6362

IMG 6360

IMG 6361

And I really like this face by an artist I do not yet know….

IMG 6363

IMG 6364

IMG 6359

As I was getting damper from the drizzling sleet I started to get a bit cool so headed back to the warmth of the flat – and another couple of episodes of Game of Thrones, my new favourite TV series – into season two, awesome.

It was good to get out, even if the sleet was wet and cold.