on the not entirely unexpected news that Arsene Wenger will be leaving My beloved Arsenal Football Club at the end of the season. As one who remembers some dire football before he arrived, I cannot thank him enough. The pride of North London.
About 18 months ago I was on a secondment with my work, and spent two days a week in Westminster. This gave me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with parts of London as a visitor, rather than as a Londoner, which I am originally, having been brought up in North London. I left in my twenties, lived in different parts of the country and abroad and have been settled in Bristol now for about 26 years or so.
The great thing about seeing things through a visitor’s eyes is that nothing is ignored or taken for granted, every small detail examined and logged. It is so easy to miss that with which you are most familiar.
So…to the door. This door is in the wall surrounding Westminster Abbey garden, a door which most people simply walk past. For me it is not the wood or hinges, or even the sombre utilitarian sign that holds the interest, but it is the surrounding doorway, the mix of stonework and the way it is keyed into the wall itself that I am attracted to. Of course, there is also the mystery…What lies beyond? Who goes there? How can you get in?
The first time I saw work by Unify was when my wife had spotted a piece in Cotham, Bristol next to a Nick Walker ‘Vandal’ piece on the wall of the Highbury Vaults. At that time I had no idea the artist was based in London. How much I wish he would return to Bristol and leave us some of his spectacular stencil pieces.
His pieces tend to be quite small, and often in a portrait orientation…maybe it is the way he likes to cut his stencils. I love this teddy with a balloon composed of ‘unify’ tags, something a little sad and also happy occurring. Another thing about tjhis artist is his eye for selectingh great walls. This one is pretty much perfect.
On a trip to Shoreditch a little while back I came across this unusual and very attractive piece by Raphael Gindt, a young artist from Luxembourg. This is the first time I have seen any of his work and I know precious little about him.
I took a look on Instagram, and found his feed where he actually has a video of him painting this piece. What is interesting is that he uses palette knives which he loads up with spray paint and then smears onto the wall, a technique I’ve not seen before.
On his website, Raphael Gindt describes himself as an urban artist, street artist, muralist, surrealist, painter. A quick look at his street work demonstrated the obvious talent he has and the range of his artwork. This particular piece has a soulful quality and is eye-grabbing. I’d like to see more of his work but I’m not sure if Bristol is on his radar.
This sensational piece, which was part of the Ferdinand estate initiative organised by Global Street art and Camden Council, is by Bristol’s very own Andy Council. So good to see an artist’s work in London that I am very familiar with.
This has all the hallmarks of a great AC piece: An animal (in this case a horse with a flowing mane), a fantastic colour palette and the whole being composed of architectural elements and local landmarks.
I remember seeing this on social media when he first sprayed it and thinking that I would probably never see it. When I found it, I certainly hadn’t been looking for it. If I had done my homework properly I would have known where to look. Somehow though I prefer to wander around places using my instinct to track down potentioal street art spots. It is like a sixth sense.
When I first saw this piece, I thought I had found another Gregos mask, but I was wrong. It is a piece by Urban Solid, a street art duo from Italy. To see more of their work, take a read of this great blog by London Calling.
Unfortunately, I looks like the piece has been damaged, there is meant to be something in the mouth of the face, but it has been snapped off. I am a fan of this kind of 3D installation art that challenges the viewer with humour and sometimes political rhetoric. All part of the broad spectrum.
My not-so-recent trip to Camden Town took me back to some places that I had been to on previous visits. This was a particular joy to behold. Always, seeing Dzia pieces is thrilling but to see one so perfectly worked into a wall with an existing piece is just perfect.
I first saw this wall, with only the Dotmaster piece in September 2016, but the additional character that the Dzia pigeon has given it works so well. I love the clever touch of the pigeon’s heart, as if it is saying I love this piece.
One just has to marvel at the way the lines and shapes that Dzia draws, which on their own don’t make any sense, come together to create such astonishingly lifelike creatures that appear to be animated. Such clever work from this exceptional Belgian artist.