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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alongside some lovely work by Fanakapan and Mr Cenz, Unify has painted this lovely spray can. Representing a spray can as the main subject or as a ‘bit part’ is one of the recurring themes that I have noticed in street art. Acknowledging the tools of the trade.
Unify’s work has a charming quality about it, although it is often accompanied by a social or political message, which adds to the depth of his pieces. An accomplished and productive artist, who would be very welcome to come again to Bristol anytime.
Back to Shoreditch where I found this great stencil by Unify. It is called Go Fly Your Kite and features a teddy bear that has been used in other works by the artist. I first came across Unify in Bristol with this No Blowing Bubbles piece on the wall of the Highbury Vaults. It is still there.
I haven’t seen any more of his work in Bristol, but the more I wander around Shoreditch and Camden Town, the more pieces I am finding. I like his work a lot, and will post more when I am able to.
I couldn’t resist sneaking this wonderful stencil by Unify in during this ‘Upfest lull’. One of my earliest posts was a Unify piece in Bristol, that is as fresh today as the day it was sprayed. I have looked for other pieces by him, but found nothing in Bristol. In London however, his hometown, I have found some of his work.
This amazing piece that I recall seeing on digital media a little while ago, is obviously a commentary on immigration and probably the Brexit referendum. It is a powerful bit of street art.
This piece sits quietly next to the wonderful Mr Cenz and Fanakapan pieces that I recently posted here. More to come from Unify soon.
My wife told me yesterday about this very recent stencil work on the wall of the Highbury Vaults pub in Cotham. It is in good company, being just a few yards away from ‘Vandalism’ by Nick Walker (will post this soon).
The bubblegum boy is by Unify, an artist who appears to work in London mostly, but has done works around the world. I’ve not seen any others in Bristol, but that doesn’t mean they are not there.
It is difficult to find out much about Unify, although there is a website.
UPDATE – Somehow I lost all the original pictures of this piece, but have since photographed it again, and it is still in pristine condition. The original post was written in August 2015 and the photographs taken in June 2016.