2209. Allen Gardens, London (4)

This is the last in this little sequence of Shoreditch pieces from November 2018. I feel I have to post them because they are just too good not to share. Although I have loads of pictures of Thisone’s work in my archives I have never actually posted any of his work before and I hope this will be the first of many.

Thisone, Allen Gardens, London, November 2018
Thisone, Allen Gardens, London, November 2018

This work is larger than his typical pieces but contains some of his key themes, which are the use of black and white paints only, an animal of some kind and beads and jewelry. When I first saw this piece I thought it might be a swan, but on closer inspection the beak is taht of a gull of some kind – maybe an albatross? Whatever it is, the whole thing is very beautiful, and I am pleased to report was still on this wall when I last visited in April.

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2208. Shoreditch, London (32)

An artist whose work I have long admired is London-based SkyHigh. His work is always immaculate with fabulous clean lines and complex designs. Most commonly he spells out his name using a contrasting style for each letter and somehow bringing the whole thing to life. His pieces almost feel like animations as the styles spill over from one to the next.

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

This one using pink tones with black is in my view one of the best I have seen, each component skilfully laid down to create a magnificent whole. I particularly like it that roughly once a year SkyHigh makes a trip to Bristol, and one of his pieces has lasted for probably a year or more. Always top class.

2207. Shoreditch, London (31)

My visit to Shoreditch, London, back in November last year reminded me of a significant difference between the London and Bristol street art scenes. In London, there is a strong wheatpaste movement, and in some places there is barely a square inch of a wall that isn’t covered with a paste up. In Bristol on the other hand, wheatpastes are a rarity, and are normally provided by visitors to the city such as Face the Strange, D7606, Tian, Losthills and of course qWeRT. The last frequent Bristol-based wheatpaster was Kid Crayon, but he has moved on to spray-painting now. I think Kedals might be the only one doing it at the moment – room for some new entrants?

qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

This is a little collection of wonderful googly-eyed paste ups by qWeRT which are dotted all over the place in Shoreditch.

qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

qWeRT’s pieces are always rather cute (a word I rarely use) and endearing, like this one holding up a banner saying simply ‘need more love’.

qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
qWeRT, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

I have always liked this form of street art and qWeRT’s work in particular.

2206. Allen Gardens, London (3)

Sometimes it is just too difficult to talk about how good a piece really is, because the words used are clumsy and don’t really do the artist justice. This is a case in point. It is a zombie piece (not to everyone’s taste) by JXC, an artist I have come across a couple of times at Upfest.

JXC, Allen Gardens, London, November 2018
JXC, Allen Gardens, London, November 2018

Everything about this is good – an arresting subject, incredible precision and artwork, great colour selection and a level of detail rarely seen on the street. As an observer, sometimes it is just so hard to comprehend how these guys do this with spray cans, I am left in awe. As you can see, I rather like this piece which I photographed in London back in November last year.

JXC, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
JXC, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
JXC, Upfest, Bristol July 2016
JXC, Upfest, Bristol July 2016
JXC, Upfest, Bristol July 2016
JXC, Upfest, Bristol July 2016

2148. Shoreditch, London (30)

I took a walk with my sister, who lives in London, a week ago and on her suggestion we headed over towards Brick Lane. On the way there we passed this wonderful stencil by Unify, which definitely met with her approval. There is something rather special about doorway art… perhaps it is the combination of two of my loves – street art and doors.

Unify, Shoreditch, London, April 2019
Unify, Shoreditch, London, April 2019

In my view, there is something a little sad about this chimpanzee who has sprayed ‘I Love You’ on the door, as if completely misunderstood and marginalised and yet still articulating love. We humans have done just about our worst when it comes to the fragile ecosystems where our great primates live but they bear us no grudges… that would be a human quality.

I love Unify’s work, but find that it is often tinged with a little sadness.

2146. Shoreditch, London (29)

Sweet Toof is a London artist who has always had strong links with Bristol especially through his long-standing friendship with Rowdy. Even now, there are several toothy pieces dotted around the city. It is funny, but I have always thought of him as a Bristol artist, because of his legacy here.

Sweet Toof, Shoreditch, London, April 2019
Sweet Toof, Shoreditch, London, April 2019

It was extra special to find this triptych of shutters, that look rather recent, when in London last weekend walking in the Brick Lane area with my sister. It doesn’t seem to matter where I pitch up in the world, there always seems to be a Sweet Toof piece close by.

Sweet Toof, Shoreditch, London, April 2019
Sweet Toof, Shoreditch, London, April 2019

These three are really rather special, and have a feel of ‘see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil’ about them. It is nice to see the three different aspects of the skulls. Obviously that Master’s degree from the Royal Academy of Arts was not wasted.

Sweet Toof, Shoreditch, London, April 2019
Sweet Toof, Shoreditch, London, April 2019

I do like Sweet Toof’s work very much indeed, always blending mortality with humour in his incredibly distinctive style. Great find.

2069. Shoreditch, London (28)

I think that this piece by AKA Jimmy C is another one that falls into the category of ‘recently done, just in time for my visit to Shoreditch’. It is a touching painting of a man carrying a child with fatherly affection and care. As with all AKA Jimmy C pieces it is painted using tiny spots of paint to make up the whole – pointillism graffiti.

AKA Jimmy C, Shoreditch, London, November 2018
AKA Jimmy C, Shoreditch, London, November 2018

I had walked past this charming piece and it was only when I turned back, checking for traffic, that I saw it. It goes to show that in this game you really do need to keep your wits about you. This is a sensational piece and simply adds to the enormous spectrum of street art.