Friday, 6 March 2015

Dr d Extends London Open Prison and Social Cleansing Zone

Dr d., London’s top political malcontent street artist is on a roll and has been out again, this time taking over pavement advertising sites. The new version of HMP London (HMP: Her Majesty’s Prison] open prison advises us that innocent or guilty, we are all now being spied on.

Dr d HMP London Oopen Prison

Highlighting the pernicious erosion of freedoms through unwanted surveillance is the main thrust of these previous versions of Dr d's Open Prison.

Dr D - HMP London
(apologies for repeating an image used another recent blog post but it's relevant)

Dr D sees things from every angle

Social cleansing Curfew Zone works in a variety of way but when a van with Immigration Enforcement drove past this morning, Dr d’s subversion became a clear warning to beware the insidious intrusion of UKIP’s thinly disguised racism into mainstream politics.

Dr d:  Immigration Control = Social Cleansing

Dr d Social Cleansing Curfew

Cycling around hunting for these pavement advertising boards makes you realise firstly how much you just filter these thing out of your consciousness (clever thing the brain) and then, how the hell did so many pavements become obstructed by these monstrosities. You can bet that if you blocked the pavement like this for a good cause but hadn’t paid for the pleasure you’d be having your collar felt double quick time. The authorities don’t mind the obstruction to the pavements but they do mind you doing it without their control and without topping up their counting houses.

These delicious political annexations of the mechanism and locations of paid for advertisements by Dr d is one of the un-sung wonders of London’s street art scene. Read HERE how and why Dr d declared the City of London a Central Curfew Zone.

Links: Dr d.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Borondo Animal

London Newcastle Space
28 Redchurch St
Shoreditch, London
5 – 26th Feb 2015
All photos: NoLionsInEngland

Spanish street artist Borondo moved to London in early 2014 and blew us away with his street art. It was painterly, impressionist and frankly very inventive.

Shoreditch, 2014

Had we ever seen a piece of street art specifically designed to be viewed as a reflection? No, so Borondo does it.

Hackney Wick, 2014

His long awaited debut London solo show is an epic exploration of light, space, time and behaviour; Borondo checks out mankind’s role as the beast-king, the top of the food chain.

Borondo’s conversion of the space yields a series of zones which we journey through. The first, “Prologos” introduces a manifesto regarding man’s fear of and thus desire to conquer nature, set against a trio of flickering super-8 cine projections and a floor of bark chippings. Anyone who has ever taken their kids to a playground and witnessed the juvenile puking, peeing and nappy disgorging that takes place on bark chippings is going to hasten through this earthy terrain.

"Prologos". Borondo/Carmen Main

Last year in conversation, Borondo confided that before he had a show here he really wanted to understand what made London tick, he wanted London to get under the skin of the art and this gives us a very interesting lens to view this work through. We progress through a corridor of mounted antlered skulls which bring to mind the stately symbols of authority, power, "sporting" triumph and wealth we see in the homes of British gentry.  Hunt trophies, how English, how human. This is one of three zones created as collaborations with other artists and craftsmen, in this case Despina Charitonidi, to some extent we are left wondering how much beyond the concept was Borondo responsible for the creation of this element.

"The Passage". Borondo/Despina Charitonidi

In the next zone, the highlight of the show, are sash windows with ghostly figures etched into whitewash on the glass and illuminated by a series of projectors. On the rear of each window there is painted evidence of man’s supremacy as hunter, We see furs, stoles, dead creatures and the pair of images on the front and reverse of each window combine beautifully in the silhouette cast on the wall by the light from the projectors. The projectors clunk and whir as the slide change mechanism operates (there aren’t actually any slides in the carousels) and if you listen carefully, the sound is processed and amplified ever so slightly to give it a deathly resonance and reverberation. Below each window a pile of scrap wood and chippings may suggest collateral damage fallout from  the battle between man and beast.

tn_DSC_0085 copy

tn_DSC_0088 copy

Borondo has painted bales of hay in fields which not an easy feat and he brings this shadowy technique into this show with a mother protecting a gathering of children. Generally there is a separation of the roles of women and men in this show, we see women as prey, as protector and, adorned with the furs and spoils from the hunt in the room of sash windows, as decorated trophy.

tn_DSC_0092 copy

One of the most intriguing zones, sharing a space with the hay bales is a trio of fine mesh cubes from which birds are escaping. Inside the cages the birds are flimsy, pale and lifeless, as they emerge through the cage and out into freedom they become strong and full bodied. The metaphor contrasting slavery and freedom is obvious but also the birds remind us of ravens, again this is a London thing, we have a pointless kind of myth about the crown falling if the ravens ever leave the Tower Of London.  If only revolution were that easy.  The metaphor can also remind us that captivity isn’t just about creatures in cages, many of us can’t survive without contracts, more or less willingly we enter into contracts which have a similar effect in limiting our freedom, think employment, I bet some of you are also adding "marriage" to the list.

tn_DSC_0095 copy
"CONTROL". Borondo/Edoardo Tresoldi

Another small enclosed space appears to be a cage with the protective glass smeared and dirty as if a captured animal has been trying to escape. The guide notes for the show talk about the presence of a pregnant women, a pun on the double meaning of the word "confined" but to these eyes it looks like one of those irritating zoo compounds where the precious wild life has had a moody and gone to hide backstage in its sleeping quarters (I can't see the link pregnant woman link).

tn_DSC_0097 copy

An animation in the next space has a naked women prowling in circles while a tom tom percussion sounds out the beat of a march to war. Friday nights down the disco were always thus. It seems that’s not quite how Borondo sees it, curiously the guide text makes it appear that the women is somewhat to blame, craving her own routine, domesticity and capture. Parading like this would do the trick.

"LA CARNE". Borondo/Carmen Main

A collection of paintings reflecting details of poses from the animation painted on canvas is arranged like a haunting stained glass window. In the animation you can actually brief moments when those canvasses are placed onto the wall to be painted in the process of making the film.

tn_DSC_0098 copy
"LA CARNE". Borondo/Carmen Main

Then we come to a small enclosed dead end in which Borondo manages a fascinating play with time which eluded me the first time I visited the show.  A short narrow passage lined floor and ceiling with real grass on one side and artificial astro turf on the other guides our sight towards a wreath at the far end. In the early days immediately after opening this was a luminous green space bursting with life and colour with the wreath perhaps reminding us of our ephemerality or destiny.  Returning after two weeks the process of decay and discolouration has withered the “real” half of the room while the fake artificial elements opposite survive unchanged by the passage of time. Even the wreath is half and half real and fake, the half of the wreath made of real flowers has decayed, petals have dropped off, stems have wilted while the fake half, placed over the real dying greenery of the natural grass radiates an un-natural healthiness.

tn_Eternal time lapse

In another compartment a lantern of framed portraits scratched into white paint on glass hangs mute in a sparsely illuminated room. A message on the glass confirms that this is THE END. The paintings are as ghostly as any of the larger windows Borondo has painted on the streets of London and the play of shadow and light on the floor and into the lighthouse lantern of the sculpture is as significant as the portraits themselves.


One more corridor hung with framed rough impressionist skulls numbered 1 to 6 show how man’s bestiality is not just a mind set, as the numbers increase the jaws of the skulls protrude more and more, becoming more sabre toothed and beast like in the progression.

tn_WP_20150208_14_06_33_Pro copy

Finally, perhaps the piece de reistance, a collection of canvasses adorn the walls of a large cube space like trophies while in the centre of the room hang three hunt scenes painted on Perspex. In each of the scenes, man the victor poses with the ruined remains of his once beautiful and majestic prey. Painting on Perspex is a cunning device. Simultaneously Bronodo allows us to see the progression of the hunt scene, we are at the posing-for-souvenirs stage and he has chosen to allow us views through the perspex to the similar scenes of triumphalism hanging behind while from the rear he shows us the very rough background to the scenes, the crude impressionist strokes making up the base layer of each scene. Borondo wants us to see how base we are behaving like this.



Is this work art? Too damn right.  A huge amount of care and thought has gone into every detail of every piece of art and each room and the overall progression and concept.  This is hugely deserving of proper critique and coverage by the educated and intellectual critics who share their plum-voiced opinions in “proper” magazines and newspapers. At the same time, it speaks to anyone and everyone, there is no need to acquaint oneself with bizarre intellectual concepts to see and enjoy what Borondo's art is about, we can all see this is beautiful painting and the symbolisms are straight forward, in fact, pretty much that all that street art stands for, we can all “get it”.

Beastiality, it’s innate innit.

More photos here

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Keith K Hopewell Broken Systems In C Major

The Hoxton Gallery
16 Jan 2015

All photos: NoLionsInEngland
Videos: Keith K. Hopewell, NoLionsInEngland

This scribe’s ugly and wizened fizzog appears for a nanosecond in an artist’s video. Quite sufficient justification for a belated blog musing, a video clip and a video clip of the making of the video clip.

Keith K. Hopewell is many things, probably at the top of the list should be graffiti legend, a real old school pioneer of UK graff, one of the original style meisters from the days when graff first broke on UK shores on a tide of hip hop vids from the US. He is a music producer, he has oft bent these ears with plans of new music projects and releases of archived dance tunes. He is a conceptual artist, a conceptual street artist actually and when we use the word conceptual, we mean something that goes way beyond the colourful fractured paintings of the self styled graffuturist movement.

A few years back the streets saw Hopewell, operating under the graff moniker Part2ism, indulge in a form of fetishistic photorealism with gas mask wearing nudes and a wholly deconstructed CMYK colour scheme project.

Leake St, 2008


Photorealism? Yup.

Rammellzee RIP by Part2ism
Rammellzee RIP, Trellick, 2010

The latent tagger within might still occasionally come to the surface but when he painted the legendary Pit in Ladbroke Grove with a piece with no connection at all to any font based form of graffiti, there was a very uncomfortable shuffling among graffiti purists who recognised his contribution to the graffiti movement here in the UK but struggled to accept the presence of this “art” among the burners and tags of those hallowed but now lost walls.

The Pit, 2010

Of course, to disprove the doubters, Part2ism then slaps down a pure old school wildstyle burner, conceptualise that toys!

Part2ism: The Art Brutalist. The Pit, 2010. (View LARGE)

Banksy’s street art has been prone to many tags and spot jockeying daubs down the years but Part2ism augmentation of Banksy’s Ratapult shone, the simple addition of cross hair sights around the catapulted mouse and a supersonic fighter plane coming into attack was pure class.

Banksy - Ratapult
Part2ism vs Banksy, 2007

Earlier this year, Keith K. Hopewell (the K has become significant to different from a member of Lost Souls Crew also by chance bearing the same name) put on a conceptual multi media installation in the Hoxton Gallery under the title Broken Systems In C Major

The main barrel of this tunnel shaped brick lined railway arch space was given over to a video installation backed by a lo-fi droning pulsating soundtrack with a thumping industrial beat. The black and white video showed shapes skipping and flitting to the stuttering digital beat and was made by placing paint shavings from a hall of fame over a tight skin stretched over a speaker cone. Mesmerising, here Hopewell’s video of the agitated paint shavings, aka Broken Systems in C major, towards the end it morphs into actual footage capturing the experience of the gallery installations.

Video: Keith K Hopewell

Behind the screen was a newly constructed partitioned space with the entrance shrouded by a heavy curtain. Pushing through the curtain one entered a space with absolutely no light and an incredibly loud sound system, somewhere.

I had a phone with me, I tried a panning shot starting with the film in the first space then progressing through the curtain into the second space. The result was hysterical, sorry, laughable. There wasn't any light in the second space so nothing to film, you just hear the droning scuzzy soundtrack, the occasional grunt as contact is made with some obstruction or other in that darkened space and the occasional giggle of other explorers of the void. Here is a fragment of the film of the first part of the installation (whose “making of” was captured momentarily in Hopewell’s video)


In that second space, the key sensation wasn’t so much about the pulsating noise as the uncertainty induced by the sensory deprivation. There was no telling how big the space was, one’s gut feel was to assume it was quite large, like the kind of space they show installation films in large institutional galleries, you know, you go in, there’s a bizarre disjointed film and it doesn’t matter what point you arrive at as there is no linearity as such but seating such as there is is provided by two rows of the kind of bench your school had in the gym. That would be wrong. It seemed like just a couple of paces brought your face up against another boundary in the room. Then you wondered how the giggling sounded so far away, or was it just very soft and actually right next to your ear. Then as someone else walked through the curtain you realised they would be walking like an Egyptian mummy in Scooby Do with their hands out in front and they also had no idea that you were only a foot away. Blind fold dodgems played inside a kettle drum. There is no way to document the appearance or sensation of being in that room, you could only take away the memory.

It was great fun, at different times soothing and panic inducing, sometimes both at the same time!  It was exciting to attend an opening where total engagement with the art was forced upon you, no sicial chit chat with a vague awareness of art on the walls, you had no choice but to concentrate!  Hopewell is an incredibly adventurous and experimental artist and his work always impresses me with its variety and intelligence. It’s a long way from a bit of chrome on a public wall that’s for sure.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Dr D Designates Curfew Zone In City Of London

all photos: NoLionsInEngland (with anonymous passerby help gratefully received where noted!)

Dr D is a perhaps the perfect street artist. His paste up works are epic in scale and they commandeer outdoor channels generally exploited for advertising or control, if they can advertise there, Dr D will hijack it. His guerrilla advertising talkeovers inject political truisms and subverted corporate messages into our consciousness. His needle sharp wit pops the balloon of up-your-own-surgically-sculpted derriere celebrity pomposity and mocks the self interested control assumed by authoritarian state bodies. That’s why I love him.

Dr D - HMP London
Dr D, Kingsland Rd, London 2008

Dr. D - Amy spreads those Duffy Rumours
Dr D Whitecross St 2009

After an evening in Shoreditch, my late dash to the tube station was abruptly halted at the sight across the road of a very official looking warning sign which faced traffic up the very busy Shoreditch High Street. This enormous paper sign had evidently slowly detached itself from its host surface but even from across the road it was evident that was a pasted “pastiche”. The paste was still wet but a hunt for a stick or brush or any kind of implement to push the peeling paper back up into its intended position proved fruitless so holding up the paper myself, a passing kind young lady who didn’t run off with my phone when my back was turned took a photograph.

Dr d Curfew Zone (repair in vain)
Dr D Curfew Zone

Dr D’s Curfew Zone spoofs the conventional “Congestion Zone” signs which fortify the “Central Zone” where traffic has to pay for the privilege of less vehicle strangled roads to allows for faster assaults on cyclists and pedestrians. That big threatening red letter C now stands for Curfew. Now Dr D brings it to our attention, doesn't “Central Zone” sound quite sinister, used to be that all our districts had historical names, not designations that look like geographic Big Brother tags.

Congestion Zone sign London
Enter Ye At Great Cost

Dr D doesn't rail against injustice by daubing screaming capitalised angry messages over official signage(*), he creates subverted adverts that use the same visuals and prose as corporate advertising, or he creates signs that look so much like the authority's signs that we initially think they are. His witty distortions hit us with the realisation that actually, we are pretty damn close to the authority abusing its mandates and powers in exactly that way. Our new official Dr D designated Curfew Zone highlights the police powers to Stop And Search which can be exercised without reasonable suspicion so long as it has been approved by.....the police!
(* Maybe he does actually)

About the location, this is virtually the north eastern gateway to the City, London’s financial district. Dr D's unilateral curfew denies ne’erdowells free access from 6pm until 7am but keeps the City open and safe during financial market opening hours. Guess whose benefit that might be for.

I am pretty sure that the last time I looked closely at this wall, which was only a few days ago, there wasn’t a wooden frame masquerading as an official billboard spot. Dr D, going that extra mile is applauded! Even if you didn’t do that framing… the accuracy of the reproduction and the scale of the spoof. This is how you get your message up on the public highway yourself, don’t wait for consent, don’t pay, just do it.


Dr d returned the next day and skilfully repaired the peeling paste up where your scribe failed miserably.

Dr d Curfew Zone

Taggers also left their mark, either they mistook this for new official signage or they were just asserting graff's natural superior position over street art.

Representatives of Dr d have also confirmed that the fame is a fresh addition to the wall and that the piece also has relevance as a reaction to the response of authorities to the Charlie Hebdo atrocity or a housing issue, itself subject of a major march today from just up the road from this spot to City Hall.

To get the idea of the intelligence and concepts which have made Dr D’s street art stand out you can see a selection of pieces from down the years on this photo set here.

I also went to a Dr D show a few years ago in the unpromising location of a fully functioning open as usual Bethnal Green launderette which I wrote about here.

Saturday, 10 January 2015


All photos NoLionsInEngland except Jef Aerosol where stated

On Weds 7th January, two masked men claiming to belong to Al Qiada armed with Kalashnikov rifles burst into the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris and embarked on a killing orgy that saw 12 killed in the that building including editor Stephane Charbonnier and cartoonists Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski, Philippe Honore and Bernard Verlhac (BBC). The attack was carried out in “revenge” for satirical cartoons which the murderers considered offensive to their religion.

Street artists have been quick to express various forms of outrage at the specifics of the incident as well as the more general assault on freedom of speech. Using the collective association of the hashtag #Jesuischarlie, artists are assuming the identity Charlie to emphasize that an assault on one person’s freedom of speech is an assault on freedom of speech of all. This is going back to the heart of street art, taking control of the message and the medium, using this freedom to re-assert the fundamental right of freedom of speech.

In Lille, French stencilist Jef Aerosol was quick to produce tributes to the editor and three of the cartoonist cartoonists (It appears Philippe Honore is omitted), the images were stencilled on to paper then pasted to a wall. Jef Aerosol sees this atrocity as making victims of all of us, we are all Charlie.

10929015_10152932847252225_4787075268080939536_n art and photo by Jef Aerosol
Art: Jef Aerosol; photo courtesy Jef Aerosol

10891896_10153023373311310_4252148813345942426_n art and photo by Jef Aerosol
Art in the studio: Jef Aerosol; photo courtesy Jef Aerosol

In London, Pure Evil, a frequent user of protest slogans, modified an existing collection of Pure Evil Bunny tags with the message “Crayons are mightier than bullets #JeSuisCharlie”

Pure Evil
Pure Evil #jesuischarllie

“Charlie” has painted a huge chrome and black boomer on a wall in Shoreditch with a Lichtenstein-esque hand claiming “Freedom of Speech” back. Although “unsigned2, the piece is not anonymous, it is by Charlie.  Charlie was likely assisted by a member of The Rolling People crew whose name may also begin with “C”! The way this piece was stopping passers-by in their tracks was incredible, reminiscent of the sort of the response to a new piece by Banksy.

Je Suis Charlie

Freedom of Speech

Commercial spraypaint artists Graffiti Life put up their rapid response to the atrocity by painting this anti gun plea to disarm.

Graffiti Life
Graffiti Life #jesuischarlie

Many other artists have produced tributes and protests in their studios and on the streets, just google “street art #jesuischarlie”.

Apart from the attack on freedom of speech there is a very shocking human tragedy and our thoughts and evidently those of artists across the world are with all those who lost their lives at the hands of those fanatical murders in the past few days.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Years Eve? Never Too Late For Street Art

All photos: NoLionsInEngland

We’ve done our 2014 review ,twice, already but we just fancy signing off 2014 doing our favourite things..taking photos and spouting shite. All these photos were taken mid afternoon on New Years Eve and we believe the art to have been put up in the preceding 24 hours.

Donk had an epic 2014 and signed off with a major mission on the past 24 hours. How on earth did I forgot in the Graffoto 2014 Review that Donk did two of the most awesome paste ups in 2014 both placed without permission? He has put out a curious new image in the past month or so featuring a dude in a whisky bottle holding a whisky bottle which contains ..a dude..holding a whisky bottle. Here is a small medley of some of his (eve of?) New Years Eve hits.


The fragile translucence of this tissue paper must make the printing and pasting of this a very delicate process.


This could also be a new addition to the DONK oeuvre, I don’t recall seeing it before.


This is like a hall of fame featuring three of our favourite street artists ACE, Mr.Farenheit and Donk though we can’t be sure that any of those pieces were put up in the past 24 hours.

clockwise from top left: Mr.Farenheit (x2), Donk, Ace

A couple of weeks ago we spotted a guy very verrrryyyyyyyyy carefully lifting a Donk print from its street gallery display; this morning in an alleyway we spied a pair of Donk screen prints pasted onto a sticker battered unloved window but when we returned mid afternoon wafting a camera in the general direction of anything street arty, lo – that pair of Donk screenprints had gone. Also, speaking of the ephemeral existence of the best street art, another of Donk’s paste ups had already been gone over this morning by a repeat of a Paisley image imprinted with rubbings of old Republic of Ireland coinage. The image is by Belfast artist TLO, apparently critiquing the cult of Ian Paisley.

Ian Paisley by TLO

A number of other paste ups appeared wishing “evolutionary Greetings From Ireland”. These may also be by TLO given the coincidence of the timing of their appearance, the fact that both these and the paisley posters were printed over multiple sheets of A4 paper and both touch on “The Irish Question”.  It’s hard to be certain what the Ikea logo juxtaposed with terrorists is about, something to do with modern corporate colonialism perhaps. Artist unknown (TLO is a guess).

Artist Unknown

Last but definitely not least, The Rolling People rang in 2014 with a big piece on the Sclater St wall and they signed off 2014 doing what they did quite often throughout 2014, taking over that wall with a fresh new blockbuster. Cap doffed to Karim too who hadn’t finished on a spot next to TRP.

BRK, Snoe and Kev ring in the new


So, you get a feel here for what we love and little impromptu wanders like this New Years Eve perambulation reinforce why we love this art. Thanks again to all the artists who made 2014 a fantastic year, many of you were just plain forgotten on the reviews I wrote and for that I am humbly sorry but HowAboutNo, Shellshock & I wish you and all the audience for the blog, our photographs and everyone involved in so many ways in this culture a peaceful/successful/exciting/prosperous (pick as many as you wish) 2015.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

London Street Art Highlights 2014

Photos: NoLionsInEngland

Undoubted star of the London street art scene this year was Spanish artist Borondo. Among a series of great pieces the stand out has to be the upside down canalside face in Hackney Wick, a gem of site specific dynamic art. With just the right wind, a gentle slop of the water surface results in a face whose lips mouth words silently and eyes that wink at you, pure genius.


Working with a bunch of wooden planks found among the fly tipped materials lying in a car park, XO from Amsterdam produced a striking collage of wood grain and plank colours, topped with geometric string art.  With a high novelty value quotient this was one of my favourite pieces this year.


Italian visitor Luis Gomez painted at least three great murals in Shoreditch this year though the real stand out was his Narcissus, many folk missed his deft use of the different surface of the base of the “flower bed” to create the reflection of this vain creature.

"Narcissus" - Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez

Sell Out kept up a solid output of butterflies and sculptures throughout the year, with many visitors taking home a souvenir of Shoreditch’s street art courtesy of Sell Out’s blu-tacked butterflies. Some do find the way he imposes his art onto other people’s work rude or disrespectful but we have no problem with it, street art is ripe for modification and interaction the moment the artist leaves the wall (but not before!).

Sell Out
Sell Out

As always lot of great stickers have appeared throughout Shoreditch, we loved this burst of fiendish colour brought to lampposts by Steek and Arrex.

Arrex (RX)

Street artist and gallerist Pure Evil embarked on a mission to create a piece of street art on the streets whereever he happened to be every day for 365 days. A number of his pieces were commemorative including tributes to Kieth Haring, JFK and Robbo and the work became highly personal and poignant with the sad loss of his father to cancer during the year.

Pure Evil
Pure Evil

Another artist from abroad who stayed to make a big contribution was Furia ACK from Portugal. His first chalk and charcoal portraits were the very definition of ephemeral as rain eroded and softened the chalk highlights. He then specialised in people’s heroes usually connected to a defining moment of historical change where oppressed people asserted a wish to be free from despotic tyranny. More recently he has moved on to icons of female power.

Furia ACK
Furia ACK (also feat. WRDSMTH)

Another artist on a political bent was HKG, addressing social politics, geo politics and environmental politics, it all boils down to them and us, and greed.


We saw a number of conscience driven activist art campaigns during the year. Masai’s endangered species slant on environmentalism crystalised in two campaigns, the first raising awareness of the consequences of bee wipeout and the second in conjunction with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Animals) and Synchronicity Earth highlighted the perils of endangered species in the UK.


Sadly no year is complete without its fallen soldiers and this year saw the London graffiti and street art community mourn two significant losses. Robbo WRH WD PFB succumbed after a 3 years in a coma to injuries sustained in an accident. Palpable grief was expressed not just throughout the London graff brotherhood but worldwide with many writers paying tribute on walls dedicated to King Robbo.

Robbo RIP by DASr
Robbo tribute by DASR

Street artist BEN NAZ fought a hugely courageous battle against cancer, appearing at his solo show just weeks prior to his death when it was already known that the battle had been lost. He created a considerable amount of stencilled imagery in the past year or so before his sad departure.

Ben Naz RIP
Ben Naz RIP

The roaming spraycan art festival Meeting Of Styles returned to Shoreditch this year and produced some stunning permissioned murals, all technically exceptional and stunning to look at, probably defined by this signature wall on Network Rail property.

Gent 48, Vibes, Odisy, Soker, Ders, Twesh
Gent48, Vibes RT, Odisy; bottom: Soker, Ders, Twesh

ALO continued his steady ascent in the art world with a solo show at the Saatchi Gallery but still found time to travel internationally and to add some beautiful portraits to Shoreditch surfaces.


One of the more controversial episodes this year involved a small number of youths paint bombing a portrait collaboration by Edwin and Josh. The youths contended that the face portrait, painted as a highly stylised pair of eyes and a nose across three shutters signified a one-eyed devil. Of course, nothing could really have been further from the truth of the artists' or the shutter owner’s intentions. Community censorship appeared to strike Saki and Bitches mildy eroticised geisha girls, and an image of a seating nude female by Benjamin Murphy had only the tape parts which defined the lady’s feminine charms buffed. Shoreditch has a significant Muslim population.

Edwin (not the defaced piece)

Saki and Bitches
Saki and Bitches

Augmented reality technology came to the streets of Shoreditch for the first time courtesy of INSA's Cycle of Futility, INSA's Gif-iti Viewer, an iPhone app, replaces the static mural with the animated version of the artwork when viewed through the phone on the street. You can get a weak proxy to the experience by downloading the app and pointing it at the static photo in this blog post. Amaze your friends!


A curious population of sweet little bug eyed creatures exploded all over Shoreditch this year courtesy of Noriaki and boy do we love them. No corner is too dark or dank or remote for these unobtrusive people, they remind me of the way Monsieur Andre's character populated Paris or even Banksy's rats in the middle of the last decade.


Because the night ...belongs to artists, night time photography has produced a number of fun and pleasing photographs which are included here just because we can

Mr Cenz
Mr Cenz

Code, Graffiti Life
Code FC, Graffiti Life behind

Nemo, Rask
Nemo, Rask

For a slightly quirkier look at some of the great art created on Shoreditch streets in 2014, there is a slideshow of the finished versions of some of the street art the Shoreditch Street Art Tour came across during their creation, click here.

We’d love to include a shed load more highlights but the quantity of art and the number artists seen on the walls of Shoreditch this year was extraordinary. Going to finish with a slide show of just a few of the many many pieces that really impressed us this year.  Let’s just say that all their efforts have been seen and appreciated and we wish all artists a fantastic and productive 2015.