The Don of Portraits

Unmistakable style

Unmistakable style

A little return to street art for SF, after a little search for some nice piece by a certain Paul Don Smith (link missing as his website seems to be down, so find it yourself you lazy so and so’s)

Skeleton Key

Skeleton Key

PDS has been an active artist on the streets of London for over 25 years, his pieces are unmissable and you could not confuse them with anyone also, dreamy colouring of culturally relevant characters have come to be synonymous with the artist. Not exclusively a street artist or one for galleries, just an artist who choses the place and subject and gets on with it, some may say too commercial being that he has done many a celebrity but if it spreads the work then who are we to argue.

Familiar faces from London 2012

Familiar faces from London 2012

PDS uses both stencils and free hand spraying which in itself shows his versatility and skill.

Swallow Your Pride

Swallow Your Pride

Marlon

Marlon

If you hit Brick Lane and just around by the Barbican centre you will be able to find numerous Paul Don Smith pieces

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A veritable aesthetic eye Wank

by Jason Pierce - Williams

by Jason Pierce – Williams

What does a company that practices law everything from banking to copyright to IT to real estate have to do with creative imagery? Well they put up the £££ to sponsor a photographic portrait prize that serves to exhibit your casual amateur snapper with the best and most lauded in the business. Therefore even the most anti brand luddites must admit that their cash money has a purpose.

Sponsorship is a good thing when done to bring otherwise lost arts and areas of interest back to the masses. For one it is only £2 to go and see Taylor Wessing at the National Portrait Gallery.

Anyway on to the entries.

Mo Farrah by Mate Peters

Mo Farrah by Mate Peters

Sixty portraits have made the shortlist from over 5000 entries taken on everything from a mobile phone through to digi and on to old school film, a veritable aesthetic eye wank. There are award winning artists shooting Olympic champions, there are absolute novices snapping their family, there are the fringes of society pictured and a heroic photographer who lost multiple limbs shooting in an area of conflict.

Gillian Wearing by Robin Friend

Gillian Wearing by Robin Friend

Ai WeiWei (hero) by Matthew Niederhauser

Ai WeiWei (hero) by Matthew Niederhauser

My personal no.1 Gandee Vasan

My personal no.1 Gandee Vasan

Moving, funny, dutty, crazy, sexy, cool.

The year that was in Lego

SF loves Lego, everyone loves Lego. Children around the world let their imaginations go wild to these little block of plastic. Anything, even if at first glance seems perfect or without comparison can be improved by Lego. I think all advertising should have a lego version, music videos would be far more appealing made in glorious Logo-colour, big budget movies would also be improved. Imagine porn in Lego…. hold up that’s just plain weird, but you get the idea.

2012 was the finest year in living memory for London, for the UK in general it was annus mirabilis, key events such as the Jubilee and Olympics make the top ten moments of the year… and now in Lego. Created by a certain 18 year old called Harry Bossert. Enjoy.

SF does to agree with all entries (Psy, Twat McCartney) but the medium used makes it ok

Spotted on Shortlist

Olympic flashback with Usain Bolt care of Jimmy C

SF was not the biggest fan of the Olympics originally, a little concerned about what it would bring and what the legacy would be. Today a wee pang of Olympics withdrawal hit home which lead to a little pointer to one thing we still have to enjoy from the greatest games ever.

He’s not the Messiah he’s a very speedy bwoy

James Cochran AKA Jimmy C created this massive piece of a certain fast runner who goes by the name of Usain Bolt, a huge and permanent (semi) reminder of what went on over the space of roughly two months when all eyes were on London for the Olympics and Paralympics.

At the risk of sounding a bit like a marketing pessimist, I think that Puma had a hand in this somehow, seeing as there was a massive Puma party throughout. Whatever it did not have their logo on it and it looks sweet.

Back to the original point though… what else will London see as it’s legacy. There are still some great Olympic leftovers from street art, to posters, to flags to Londoners being proud and a little nicer. The legacy of the stadium, centres and equipment….. what’s next?

Nike Hyperdunk+ Old Street stunt and Beats By Dre seeding

If you are not an official Olympic sponsor then you are pretty much not invited to the party. Sponsors have paid millions to be the official fast food, soft drink, credit card etc etc etc.

So If you are going to do it then you have to be brash, up front and above all a little clever.

Nike have branded up some of the top athletes feet, which is a standard tactic. Nike wanted something more disruptive in the Eastend, so they went huge with thew biggest Nike kick SF has ever seen. Nike owns Team USA basketball and the Nike Hyperdunk+ worn by some of the biggest basketball players at the games can clearly be see on Old Street opposite Mother Bar

Another clever ploy has been by the earphone manufacturer, Beats by Dre have visited Olympic team hotels, setting up a room and inviting competitors to pick a pair of their liking. So the fact you have seen Olympic hero Michael Phelps amongst. They have had to pay nothing for this brilliant awareness, being shown on TV channels across the globe and in countless photographs. Making Beats by Dre earphones the official unofficial earphones of London 2012

I can’t hear you….

Chinears

We have bemoaned the way sponsors have acted in such a overbearing fashion, so it is nice to see some creative tactics employed. Though without these sponsors spunking millions then we would not have the games. Double edged sword

nOlympics Thank you very much

I have said before that not everyone in London and especially the Eastend is over the moon about this thing called the Olympics. Some are dead against it. I was one who was nonplussed but after some campaigning by my good friend I started to feel the excitement. I am even going to the games… I am a guest of a rather large brand…. but I fear the tickets are for women’s beach volleyball… nothing could be more inappropriate for my goodself.

Another reason for liking the idea of the Olympics is the rise of streetart based on the biggest event to hit these shores in anyone’s living memory. Here is another cute and curt piece.

Toxic Olympics

The Olympics…. Every Londoner can not wait….

So it is 58 days until the biggest show on earth comes to town, everyone is besides themselves with excitement and anticipation. Well not quite…

nOlympic pigeon shitting on rings

It should be the greatest show on Earth but the over OTT approach of LOCOG and some of the sponsors no doubt runs the risk of creating a negative feeling amongst those who actually live in the Eastend and further a field.

News of Florists being forced to take down flower arrangements which are in the shape of 5 rings, food places getting into the spirit of the games being told to remove their Olympic themed offerings and even a granny fearing prosecution for her home knitted dolls at a car boot sale.

Olympic Jerk… how apt

Sponsors mean that these big events can go ahead, but should there be a little bit of humility amongst these super-sized multi-nationals? For me it is all a bit bully in the playground. Surely there is a clever marketeer out there who could maintain the benefits of sponsorship whilst not looking like the party pooper de jour?

Amazingly…. even this Olympic countdown clock has had to remove certain references…. I wonder if I might be hit with an order to remove certain words.

Can’t wait for London 2012 me….

Not everyone loves London 2012 clearly

It could potentially be brilliant, but equally it could easily be a disaster of gargantuan proportions, most Londoners are generally positive about it but not everyone.

Artistic protest

In the Eastend it is probably because the Olympic juggernaut has ploughed through wherever it pleases and not always considered local residents and businesses.

Monkey protest

One thing that Seb Coe and his cronies can rely on is that the Euros in Poland and The Ukraine will be worse without a doubt

Olympic Standard Sweet Toof

Sweet croc

It has been ages since I saw our old friend Sweet Toof. He is pretty damn prolific as we have already figured out and Sweet has been beating a path to that white elephant in the Eastend room otherwise known as the Olympic Stadium.

Tunnel Toof

If you take a mosey down from Victoria Park towards the stadium there are a few examples of his work plus a couple which have been started and not finished. The route to the Olympics is a pretty rich place to graf right now, so many open spaces and it will be the perfect place to showcase his wares to a huge amount of people throughout the summer.

Hazardous Toof

Sweet tag

On thing that did strike me though is while they are making some of it look nice for all those tourists… some of it looks rather dilapidated, and I don’t mean shabby chic either

I hate London 2012 – Tube Strikes

I have not ranted about the Olympics for a while, because I have been in a good mood, too busy with work and generally not thinking about the hideous chocolate teapot of an event that will be the Olympics.

thoroughly nice chap?

Tomorrow sees a tube strike, orchestrated by that donut gobbling bastard Bob ‘principles’ Crow, so what will happen if he decides he wants a lay in when the biggest show on earth rolls in to town. The sheer weight of numbers when everything is ‘fine’ means every form of public transport begins to feel like a Thai jail cell in the midst of summer. Imagine if we have no tubes and it is down to our guests from around the world to cram on to buses, share black cabs or god forbid even walk.

There's more room in Jo Brand's underwear

I have a bike so this is going to be yet another interesting / amusing part to watch unravel.  What do you reckon Boris?