Shepard Fairey / Ron English – London Pleasure Gardens

This is going on at The London Pleasure Gardens…. Looks to be turning into a very important part of the urban art scene in the UK…. plus Ron English is there. Going to check it out this weekend I think

Shepard Fairey’s big tings

Ron English clouding judgement

Not to mention Bloc festival next weekend

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Damien Hirst… like. hate. respect. contempt. in awe. I could do that. etc. etc. etc.

Damien Hirst. He is like marmite, some think he is an arrogant so and so, the fact he does not actually dirty his hands with his art very often and that he gets assistants to do the pieces irks me a little bit. There are those who thinks that he is a brilliant artist, commenting on society and the world we live in and it’s issues. I half agree with both viewpoints.

Pilled up

My view changed some what after seeing the body of work and reading the background info, I went with an open mind but was pretty sure I would still think he was a bit of a twerp, someone who lucked out a little bit and had become famous more through the PR machine and his shock subject matter. Now I still think the above is true but I also think he has created some truly beautiful pieces, some very thought provoking ideas and challenged people to look at themselves and every day items in a different fashion.

Self medicate

One of the most beautiful pieces is also one of the more disgusting, I am not referring to the cows head, nor the cow cut in half, not the fly electrocuter, the one that really has an impact is the huge wall mounted circle of flies, Black Sun. To look at it is visually stunning but it also stinks, the juxtaposition of beauty and the rancid smell is quite an eye opener

Pretty Fly

Hirst’s work with butterflies is quite a sight too, beit the room with live butterflies or the huge floor to ceiling murals featuring symmetrical butterflies and paint work.

Regardless of what you think, you should go and see this exhibition as it will probably never happen again in your lifetime and the Tate Modern is a brilliant setting for it. If for no other reason than Hirst is probably in need of the cash, that can be the only reason that he is selling painted skulls for £36k…. right?

Then there is the shark, love the shark

Were going to need a bigger tank

B-Town – Not just bummers and pebbly beaches

This weekend gone SF took a wee trip to Brighton to celebrate the 30th year on this planet of ours for a good chum of mine. It was largely about drinks and acting foolishly and then nearly getting put up for the night by Her Majesty’s finest…. I snapped a couple of shots while I was out Brighton has some cool streetart but I did not see too much…

Here is what I got.

Evil dwarves

I don’t like smurfs though…. colours are pretty fecking vivid though and it is amusing plus the mix of line work and the fluffy clouds is pretty cool

This is a weird chess thing…. but again great colours, does feature Run DMC which can only be pretty damn good, also has the Alexander McQueen-esq skull motif

It’s like that

Love a nice stencil… plus the sticker above amuses me as it features some of the biggest liars and cheats of our time

Making a political stencil

Apologies for the lazy effort, SF was too drunk to manage much more

Dr Dee – Preview

Dr Dee is the newest output from the ever busy Mr. Damon Albarn, since his days in Blur he has reinvented himself through various guises, and he has done it without ending up being a fat cheese chomping foppish cnut. Bravo Albarn for putting together this opera

Damo

Now Dr Dee or John Dee as he was also known was a mathematician, astrologer and magician amongst other things, he was supremely intelligent and his open minded ideas and search for knowledge and experiences ultimately led to his demise. Without giving the game away, his beliefs in other worlds lead to him making a decision which would ultimately cost him the one thing he loved the most.

Epic costumes

The show is visually brilliant and combines a great set with an elevated band area where Albarn sits with his cronnies, he plays guitar throughout and acts as a sort of watchman / narrator, singing some parts of the opera. With the creepy and intense set design there is a brilliant light display tracking mathematical equations against screens as the story unfolds. The second half opens with a brilliant full stage light display while the cast perform beneath, huge grids reminiscent of the Matrix build across the stage with numbers, shapes and quotage. I clearly could not take pictures but found these…

My afternoon view

This was the preview before the show has a short run at the London Coliseum, the opera came about following Albarn’s first foray into opera with Monkey: Journey to the West, the idea for Dr Dee came when comic book author Alan Moore suggested Albarn and collaborator Jamie Hewlett should use this as the basis for their opera over their original idea of superheroes. In the finish Albarn worked with Rufus Norris as Moore stepped aside for one reason and another.

My advice…. go see it. I have always wanted to see an opera and this is a good entry level one, even your heather mates might find this accessible… maybe

Things I’ve seen…. Barcelona pt.II

So a few more Barca shots

Where do you think I was….

Can you tell where it is yet….?

This guy has a few pieces around London, but Barcelona is Pez’s home city, it is literally everywhere. Nice and simple imagery, first thing I saw when I got to the city.

Pez dispenser

Looks like a dummy…. I guess

Dummy?

New Frens

Barca Fren

Things I’ve seen…. Barcelona pt.I

You have to love this city, it is vibrant, the people are cool, the music scene is good and it is home to one of the best festival breaks in the calendar…. more of that next time though.

Caught with nightlife

Got to say that the number of word pieces was immense, some cool stuff and I’ll need another visit without such a huge amount of partying to record more.

Little more pictorial types now. Love a good stencil at StandardFact. Love a lil bit of humour too, the world’s recent rejection of a certain Banksy

The anti-Banksy

Every shop shutter has paint on it, beit paid for street art, tagging, scribbles or original unsolicited pieces. Street art becomes the retail norm

Record shop per chance….?

More to come soon…..

Not the first time at the Rodeo….

Always nice to see a good combo at work. A lot of the street art world combine to create collaborations to devestating effects, Team Robbo must be made up of 15 plus, Sweet Toof has regular collaborators and Stik and RUN are often found in close quarters.

Latest lil combo I have seen is fairly new and on a regularly updated wall along the Lee Valley Canal in Hackney. Rodeo Skoya and TBK.

Green much

Now I kind of like it but it does feel a little too clean cut, I like something a bit more grubby, coarse and earthy…. but what do I know, maybe Fido Dido is the future

Skoya

Sweet-ness it’s my weakness

So it has been exactly one month and two days since I last did a post dedicated to our most prolific of urban artists, ol Sweet Toof. That is not to say that our gum obsessed toofy hero has been not spotted, has not been out putting his mark on any spare piece of London he can lay his mitts on, no Sir, StandardFact just took a wee break.

Sweet Skull

That was until I came across the Sweet Toof skulls, comedic whilst being a little creepy, huge and positioned in such a way that you can not help but spot them, but still a little hidden. A nice juxtaposition, bit like the big bright teeth in the skull.

Toof + a jonny

Once again the nOlympics wouldn’t be right without Sweet creating the aesthetic sound track to the journey.

Bravo

Canal knowledge

If StandardFact should say one thing, it is that you need to get yourself down on to the canals of East and North London, literally the best and most imaginative scribblings that you are likely to find.

This is my fave piece I have seen. Brass, I know little about him / her / them but will endeavour to find out more. Unless anyone can fill me a little bit.

What to say…?

Every wall tells another story, if tourists get lost on their way to the Olympics they might actually find themselves learning some truths about the Eastend, vibrant does not cover it. These two characters above would make brilliant kid’s cartoon characters… sans the swastika, unless it was the original Hindu version or the Buddhism version or the Jainism version.

Then there is this wee chap…

Like an angry westie

And finally the money shot, everyone likes the money shot

Money money money