id-iom Haus of Pain – t – The inside track

You have been certified

SF have had the pleasure of knowing the id-iom boys for many years and along the way there have been some interesting sites… not least the 7am sessions on Brixton Hill with leopard print onesies and facial hair. This interview gets a little closer to the brothers of paint as they answer questions at their Haus of Pain-t

Twin paints

Firstly when is the house there till? and can anyone come and have a look around?

Sholto: The house is probably going to be around for another week or two but we’ve no final date at the moment. We’d love to have people round but i’m not entirely sure how an open house would work out

Hugo: Just the other day a part of one of the rooms in the attic fell down. I’m not talking about a whole collapse here where we can see the clouds in the sky but just a little bit of the plaster. I hate what i’m going to say next  but we have to think about health and safety, not ours of course but to others we invite around.

Skull fuct

How you feeling that all the pieces will be rubble in the near future?

S: Like any bit of art done on the street it’s not going to last forever so I don’t really mind that it’s going to disappear some time pretty soon. In fact it’s quite liberating to know that it’s so ephemeral and will only be around for such a short time. I would however love to see the looks on the faces of the demolition crew when they have a poke around…

H: It doesn’t bother me at all. As we paint on the street as well we had to get to grips with our work being buffed after we’ve finished it. I think the quickest time has been about 5 hours before it was buffed, that only annoyed me because we hadn’t taken a photo of it yet, so we had to learn the hard way with that one.

How did you get this space?

S: We have had our studio in the basement for the past 18 months and when the tenants moved out we had the place to ourselves and so asked the developer if he’d mind if we painted the place up. He’s a fan of street art so he readily agreed and that was that

Curly suit

What is the theme you have gone for throughout?

S: We don’t really have a theme for the whole place. We just started off painting whatever we wanted and went from there.

H: What did happen though was that when we started in a particular room slowly something would jump out at us and we’d take it from there.

S: Then once we’d got a couple of walls done in any one room we would then try to come up with a way to tie it all together.

Just sign here

Where do you take your inspiration from?

S: Everywhere and anywhere really! Books, tv, music, the internet, something you hear in the pub, something you hear on the bus, the things you see whilst on the tube. its not really a conscious thing, you take everything in and see what comes out the other end. Its also good that we are a duo because i can be talking about something that i have seen to the other half of id-iom and then he’ll say something that will spark me off or vice versa

Blowing a bird

What’s with the hand grenade bird?

S: Well, living in London it’s hard to ignore the pigeons that are constantly hanging around looking shifty with their scruffy wings and malformed feet. They are particularly numerous around the city centre and obviously flock around you whenever you produce something to eat. Well now we have the answer. Pigeon Grenades! Safe to use – even in an urban environment. They will blow those suckers right out of the sky with a minimum of collateral damage. Get them now whilst the good prices last. Email Mark for details…

I first came across Mark Aburi when he sent me an email promising a sizeable share of several million dollars if only i’d help him shift it out of Africa. Since then I’ve decided to do my best to make sure he gets some emails – although they probably aren’t quite the emails he was hoping for. Welcome to id-iom’s continued attempt at artistic scam-baiting. You can view our earlier efforts here, here and here.

Please feel free to get in touch with Mark (at about Pigeon Grenades, any of our earlier efforts or just about any topic at all as he’s happy to help on any issue – from the mundane to the world-shatteringly important. Just drop him a line…

A few of your pieces are self portraits with a twist…. are you trying to tell us something dark about yourselves?

S: I hope not – unless Hugo has some secret agenda. It’s probably more just that we are always available for our own modeling assignments…

H: if i could i would love to use other people but the muse doesn’t wait around that long and we’d probably get bored waiting as well.

You are Brixton based…. If you could re-paint something in Brixton without fear of arrest what would it be?

H: There are a few places i’d like to paint but the one that i suppose is the most ambitious is the side of a 4 story house on josephine avenue. Since i’ve lived in Brixton it has been there with out a lick of paint and just asking for it.

Do you go to many other artist’s exhibitions and which ones would you recommend?

S: We can often be found in the East End on a Thursday night having a look around at whatever new exhibitions are on and quaffing whatever free drink can be found. It’s always good to check out the competition. I think we are happy to go to just about anything as you never know what you’re going to get until you check it out.

Guns don’t kill people….

What’s next for you guys then?

S: Well, we’ll be working on the house right up to demolition then it will be all change as we’ll have to move our studio out of the basement and find somewhere new. Other than that it’s finding more work and taking id-iom to bigger and better places

You are also into your music…. what would your prefer…. be deaf or blind?

S: That’s a tricky and fairly sinister question. I think I’d have to be deaf although it would be a difficult choice.

H: Deaf for sure!! No question!! You can teach yourself to lipread and you can still feel the bass if you went out to a club.



Sony a 125 year of musical history celebration

Alex Fowkes gives Sony HQ a new outfit, the brief was to make the office space live and breathe the legacy of the previous 125 years. A slightly wanky way to put it but the result is cool and charts some of the best audio talent. It is a nice way to remind everyone of the past in a cool and visual way, especially when the back catalogue includes Iggy Pop, Bowie, Tony Bennett, Who, Janis Joplin, Beyonce, Elvis, Wham, etc. etc.

Michael Clark – New Work 2012 – We’re converted….

Michael Clark. That is all

On Wednesday night SF had a treat, the closest we had been to dance was Saturday Night aged 13, throwing shapes in some dive club somewhere in Europe or Starlight Express. Now all of these have their merits but after seeing the truly mesmerising New Work 2012 by Michael Clark, a frustrated dancer has emerged.

Rhythmic blues

New Work 2012 is currently at The Barbican in EC London, and comprises of two 25 minutes pieces, the first a piece set to atmospheric music by Scritti Politti which was the sound track to a ballet come contemporary display of strength, poise and rhythmic dance. Four lean as feck male dancers and four supple female dancers moving together and against one another.

Orange wall of sound

The second act saw the dancers dressed in beyond skin tight lycra that luckily left nothing to the imagination, their lythe bodies springing across the stage as huge words shot across the black background, a wall of sound literally beating off the stage as the dancers shot across performing in pairs, threes, fours and all in unison to weave shapes on the stage.

Perfect balance

The wall of sound is interspersed by strange dark noises, which it emerges is none other than Jarvis Cocker of Pulp fame. Halfway through the performance, emerging from the shadows comes a 70’s glam rock rockstar come Worzel Gummidge. Suddenly the event is transformed into a creepy Electro rock show as Cocker prances and curls around the stage while the dancers perform to the high energy and rather filthy sounds. Cocker’s new band Relaxed Muscle pound out the sound track to an ever more charged performance, he even leaves the stage in true rock god fashion to greet the crowd… only this time handing out sweets. Odd and amazing

Never seen anything like it but now a confirmed dance fan, throughout the show Clark makes the odd appearance and add the end the 15 or so bows to rapturous applause were probably worth it.

id-iom – Haus of Pain-t… a teaser

id-iom  the full house is soon to follow. A few tasters in the mean time….


More to follow

Love in your hands

There are just not enough hours in the day…. would be a good reason / excuse if it was true

Ich liebe Mehringdamm…. Berlin

Home from home

Few shots from the latest Berlin soiree. We have found where the new SF office will be…. Mehringdamm.

In the middle of Berlin city

Why is it good? Well it has this beautiful park on a hill with a waterfall running from the top by a gothic tower at the very top… like a little castle kingdom

Creepy castle

A cocktail beer dive hut with what appears to be god’s picture on it, so we can only assume he runs it

God’s bar

Then there is the graffiti trees…. to signify the cruising are we can only assume


Then there is a pay by weight thrift store….

Lots of local businesses thrive such as bookstores, cafes, restaurants and mini galleries… and the battle against gentrification

Clear messaging in any language

It even house the a museum of gays

Plus of course splashes of paint on walls

All you need is a sharpie…

Tag tage


Mehringdamm is close enough to the ‘cool’ bars and busy nightlife of Kreuzberg and the area of Oranienstrasse, but far enough away to be cute and quieter. If K-berg is Dalston then Mehringdamm is Stoke Newington

The Other Perception – non titled by Anish Kapoor

The Lisson

Anish Kapoor is one of our most well known sculptors, regardless of what you think about that big slide at the Olympic stadium, he creates some pretty impressive stuff.


Wall mounted

The sheer scale of his collections often make the work impressive, in this collection at the respected Lisson Gallery is not so much about the size but the form and the perception created using different shapes, density and colour tones. The senses are hightened by the distortion of the shapes, meaning that your eyes are tricked into misjudging depth, the tunnel balls outside reverberate you voice so it feels as if it is coming from behind you

Sand curl

Rusty balls

This exhibition is only on for one month until November 10th, a short a sweet run indeed.


Best of the Shadow Puppets – Noble & Webster

Back to back

Noble & Webster – I heard about this duo a little while ago so it was with baited breathe that I waited for the next opportunity to see their work in person. It arrived in the shape of Nihilistic Optimism at Blain Southern.

Shadow Chic

Many artists are too studious, too serious, too up their own fucking arse…. no names mentioned ahem. Tim Noble and Sue Webster are like the rock n roll version of artists, ones that you can well imagine living slightly in hedonistic debauchery. The now estranged couple were once married, married in fact by one Tracey Emin, the holy matrimony did not last however and for the sake of their creative partnership they had to split. Since then they still work together and thank goodness for that.

Solo Shadow

Through their Shoreditch studio designed by David Adjaye, the Dirty House, they have created some of the most visually striking pieces I have seen.

Shadow Man

On first site the constructs look like industrial piles, thrown together with abandon and with more of a maverick approach, but once shine the bright light through the shapes at the correct angle something beautiful appears across the wall.

Lone Shadow

Each of the pieces when placed together in a certain order with the correct spacing will shine a silhouette

Shadow Lands

SF does not own a big studio to house one their pieces but we are currently considering removing all the lounge furniture in order to house one of these creations.

id-iom – Haus of Pain-t

Get used to one style, and you know I might switch

Somewhere in Brixton something quite delightful is occurring, the anti-gentrification of a building, call it the emancipation of bricks n’ mortar, call it whatever you like but it is worth checking out the results before it is raised to the ground.

Id-iom, the bro-duo based in Brixton hailing for an Isle called Man, have inhabited this  paint sodden wasteland and called it their studio for 18 months. In a series of posts SF will outline some of the pieces and maybe share a story or two from previous nights of debauchery with these brothers id-iom.