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.
When looking for street art outside the borders of Bristol, it is always a genuinely pleasant experience to find a piece by a Bristol artist. And so it was in this fortuitous instance while wandering around Shoreditch fairly aimlessly, because I don’t know my way around. On a hoarding I saw a very familiar sight that was rather comforting, a couple of pieces by Decay.
Although Decay is a migrant Bristolian, a buit like me, I still consider him to be part of the city. In this first piece, Decay looks like he is branching out a little from his usual concentric shapes – I have seen another piece similar to this one recently. I think it works.
Right next to this first piece, Decay has painted one of his works which is altogether more familiar. I believe he sprayed these only a day or two before I photographed them, which is great, especially as I had no idea he had been in the area. A serendipitous trip to London, certainly in my case.
Shok1 is a very well known London street artist whose x-ray pieces are instantly recognisable. In this side street, which I almost missed, he has sprayed a remarkable picture of a hand tossing a drinks can away.
I remember watching him at Upfest 2016 when he sprayed the x-ray skull of a unicorn and couldn’t believe the painstaking work that went into creating the misty effect of his pieces. He would spray a mist, step back, return, spray a mist, step back, return dozens of times over until the layering and tone was exactly right.
I think that Shok1 has cornered the market in this kind of work, a little bit like Fanakapan and his helium balloons. It would be interesting to see what other styles he could do, with his exceptional understanding of anatomy.
I went to stay with my sister in London for a night a little while ago, and before getting on the train at Paddington to come home to Bristol, I took a bit of a diversion to Shoreditch. It was on this street art hunting expedition that I dropped and broke my camera, which was incredibly annoying. All good now though as I was covered on our insurance policy and I have a new, slightly better, camera.
One of the first pieces I saw (before broken camera) was this wonderful musical character by Thierry Noir. I love the apparent simplicity of his work and the bold colours he uses which add character to the locations he paints. I always think there are elements of a fusion of Picasso and Matisse in his work, but that might just be me. I do like this piece a lot…pity about the car parked right in front of it though!
Another one from my time in London last year. This one is by Artista, whose work is characterised by this rather sweet little toast guy. I think that this is an avocado-toast hybrid – a lovely piece, nicely framed and in amongst a hotchpotch of graffiti, tags and wheatpastes.
I may have seen other pieces by Artista during my walks in Shoreditch, but this was the one that leapt out at me. I have seen a lot of work by the artist as she seems to be something of a favourite on the London Calling street art blog.
Just a quick canter back to last summer when I spent a while working in London and, of course, took quite a lot of pictures of street art in Shoreditch and Camden Town. Most of the pictures I took are so far unpublished, but I will try to post a few more.
This amazing piece in Shoreditch is by Ananda Nahu. I will let her Facebook profile do her talking for her:
‘Ananda Nahu was born in Juazeiro, on Bahia, Brazil, in 1985. Moved to Salvador in 2001, in 2003 she attended College of Design abandoning it to start in 2004 to attend Fine Arts at the Federal University of Bahia. In this period, she became interested in studying photography and engravings, marked by time studies and research lithography, Serigraphs, metal engraving, and consequently a deepening works in references to these engraving techniques that are Posters.
In 2005 begins to develop the stencil, one type of engraving that is leaked into the mold to obtain shapes of and pictures. From the beginning of the fitting colors of the pictures, apply this combination on the stencil and began to work with multiple layers of color. Use these pictures in creating artistic compositions in urban environments and canvases, also begins to improve regional fabric painting, oriental and African, as well as calligraphy and sources together to compose the picture stencil.
The photographs used to make stencil or free hand painting of his (sic) characters are mostly written by the artist itself, which is done a photographic essay for construction work, or if not, are based on photographs from renowned photographers of Latin America.
In her references are album covers and movie posters, posters and banners, black culture, Latin, Islamic and Asian, urban and goticas calligraphy, printing and fabrics Brazilian, African, Chinese and Japanese, also classical and religious paintings.
Ananda has established itself as a reference in the technique of stenciling and painting, she maintains an international presence for the Arts since 2006, mainly in Holland, Germany, France and Brazil, having many collectors around the world.’
This was one of the first pieces I saw in London and it had a lasting impression on me. There is something about it that reminds me of Gustav Klimt. It is a lovely piece.