2845. Camden Town, London

Digging deeper into the archives. I took this picture in November 2017 in Camden Town, a full year and five months after it was painted by JXC. Frankly it is probably as good a photorealistic piece you are going to find anywhere, anytime. Why didn’t I post it before? I baffle even myself.

JXC, Camden Town, London, November 2017
JXC, Camden Town, London, November 2017

The picture may feel familiar and that is because it Chunk from the film The Goonies although with the addition of a tattoo on his stomach of JXC. I met the artist at the Cheltenham Paint festival last year, and he is such an incredibly nice guy and so modest with it.

JXC, Camden Town, London, November 2017
JXC, Camden Town, London, November 2017

It can be difficult to process that this piece has been painted with spray paint, and the sharpness of the patterns on the shirt are simply extraordinary. Similarly the out of focus background adds to the apparent authenticity of the piece. A small miracle.

2703. Shoreditch, London (38)

A stencil artist whose work I have always admired is London’s Unify. Unify’s work, for me has a real human touch, grabbing the viewer’s attention through an emotional draw. These works are more than illustrations they are stories, sometimes political, sometimes satirical, sometimes child-like and they are all pretty powerful.

Unify, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
Unify, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

This beautiful small stencil depicts a young girl painting some little red hearts that collectively form a peace symbol, something that is used a lot in Unify’s work. It is a touching piece full of hope, and beautifully presented between these two flowerpots.

2702. Nomadic Community Garden, London (3)

The Nomadic Community Garden just off Brick Lane is an extraordinary place. A labyrinth of sheds and raised beds made from old railway sleepers. It is kind of untidy but un an organised way. At the far end of the garden is a large wall and it is covered in ‘high-end’ pieces from established artists.

Irony, Nomadic Community Garden, London, November 2018
Irony, Nomadic Community Garden, London, November 2018

I think I read somewhere that the garden was being cleared out. I’m not sure if this is the case, but it would be a pity. Cities need these eccentric spaces, without them we are all impoverished.

This fabulous piece is by Irony, whose work really is unparalleled. The mural was painted as part of the Meeting of Styles street art festival in May 2018. So, so cool.

2701. Hanbury Street, London (3)

I wish I had posted this piece when it was still politically relevant back in November 2018. It is of course an anti-Brexit piece with the words ‘leaving is the easy way out’, by New York artist BKFoxx.

BKFoxx, Hanbury Street, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
BKFoxx, Hanbury Street, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

This is a magnificent photorealistic piece irrespective of the message, and fits the wall perfectly. I love it when artists use the space well. There is more about this piece from the excellent London Calling blog.

2700. Shoreditch, London (37)

Continuing with some pictures from a (not so recent) visit to Shoreditch, I thought I’d share this rather atypical piece by SkyHigh. Regular readers will be familiar with his exceptional graffiti art pieces where each letter in the word SKYHIGH has its own unique font and style. This however is something completely different.

SkyHigh, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
SkyHigh, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

SkyHigh’s command of his craft is clear when he can paint something like this amazing kingfisher, which at first glance I thought might have been by Aspire. I’d love to know what it is about kingfishers that so many artists depict them… note to self, do a ‘kingfisher special’ some day. This is a magnificent piece by a magnificent artist of a magnificent bird.

2699. Shoreditch, London (36)

I was inspired by a recent post from Dosenkunst to go back through some old folders and pull out these amazing wheatpastes by Sten and Oli from a trip to Shoreditch in London back in November 2018. I have already shared some of their paste ups in two previous posts and still have more on file (watch this space).

Sten and Oli, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
Sten and Oli, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

The rather forlorn characters remind me of childhood toys who have long since been forgotten by their owners, and have grown up sad, bitter or resentful – there is something unsettling about them, but also very endearing. I guess the word I am looking for is ‘outcasts’. These little characters are outcasts.

Sten and Oli, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
Sten and Oli, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

Each wheatpaste is so beautifully crafted and carefully cut out before finding the perfect spot to paste them. This one looks like he has just discarded the orange peel, or maybe is just about to pick it up… who knows?

Sten and Oli, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
Sten and Oli, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

I know nothing about the artists, or is it just one artist? And there is very little information on the Interweb, so we’ll just have to wonder who they are.

Sten and Oli, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
Sten and Oli, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

All of the characters in this set are wearing crowns (a symbol used a lot in street art), and this last one is having a bit of fun exposing himself.