With this wheatpaste we enter the complicated world of large corporates ripping off the work of street artists to use as a backdrop for marketing their goods without acknowledgement or payment to the artists. This is a long-standing and difficult issue and one that is becoming more of a conflict zone as street art becomes more and more popular. This article on the BBC website explains it really well.
Face the Strange and many other artists ran a campaign highlighting a particularly high-profile marketing strategy by clothing company BooHoo after they had featured work by Bristol’s own SPZero76 and Kid Crayon amongst others on some London walls without bothering to identify or contact the artists. It is clear from this paste up that this kind of corporate behaviour is unpopular and that payments/acknowledgment should be made to the artists.
This is a minefield if you venture into it too far, so I tend to keep to the periphery of the discussion, for example it has the potential to bring legal protection of potentially illegal activity and how do we square that one? I just wish people would treat others with respect and decency, I think that is all most people are expecting.
About Ponny left us a few of his poignant wheatpastes about the place during Upfest, of which this is the third I have posted. All of them have featured subjects who have hit upon hard times. The beautiful stencils in dark tones highlighted with copper have a sad but gentle feel to them and they are full of pathos.
I am full of admiration for the work of this Italian artist, and how, in a quiet and subtle way, he reflects the troubles of our age of austerity and economic struggles. No fuss, no ranting, simply an honest portrayal.
My fondest discovery from my November trip to Shoreditch was dozens of these unusual and fabulous wheatpastes by Sten and Oli. There were so many, that they will keep me busy for some time to come. These paste ups were the first three I found by this talented partnership.
A monkey skeleton with an Idiot crown…
A rather sad-looking character mask positioned over a faint portrait…
A curious rabbit kind of thing with button eyes…
All three pieces are full of imagination and curiosity. Positioned quite low down on walls, these beautiful wheatpastes are missed by many going about their busy lives. Their loss. Regulars will know that I am a sucker for wheatpastes, and ones such as these tick all my boxes.
This is the second Mini Gabi wheatpaste I have posted from Upfest 2018 which this time features our heroine making a strong and contemporary statement ‘girls’ rights to feel safe!!’
Before the festival I had never heard of Mini Gabi but strangely enough on my trip to Shoreditch in November I saw several of her paste ups, which felt really good. I’ll be posting them in due course. I’m rather liking this little character who has real attitude (some similarities to Phoebe New York), and regular readers will know I am very ford of wheatpastes.
Well, I have taken a couple of weeks off from Thursday doors for two key reasons. 1) I had run out of door pictures and 2) is irrelevant because of 1).
Last Sunday I found myself in London with some time to kill, so I took off down to Shoreditch to hunt down some street art. Over the course of 4 hours or so, I took just shy of 500 pictures and walked 15 miles. While I was there I managed to find a few doors, and I am sharing the first of them here. There is, rather predictably, a strong street/graffiti art connection.
These doors are in a street heavily patronised by wheatpasters – it is worth taking a moment to look at the artworks as there is a real spectrum from poor to excellent.
There is hardly a square inch of un-pasted door/wall and looking at it is almost like looking at an archeological dig, with different eras exposed. To many this is just a mess, to me it is individual expression in a space where freedom is tolerated/permitted.
I think this one from qWeRT goes back to roughly the time of Upfest 2018 and is pasted on a door, along with multiple other wheatpastes – you can see one from Losthills just to the left – that is opposite one of the Upfest feature walls.
I am always happy finding qWeRT wheatpastes, it is a little bit of a game to hunt them down, and I am pretty safe in the knowledge that there are others in Bristol that I have yet to find. The googly-eyed character is in loving mode in this piece.