Saturday, 26 July 2008

Street Fart (and other hot air)


we like having stuff we like on our walls.

A self-styled accidental gallerist (no apologies necessary), an art establishment academic/critic and a “street art” gallerist spouted off at a panel discussion at Tate Modern on collecting street art.

Pure Evil, the blushing gallerist, blew the debate out of the water with the truism that once it’s in a gallery or a home, street art is just art. Hooray for that truth cos with a lot of so called street art and street artists, it is impossible to see how the label is relevant, it’s just bandwagon jumping. Glazed porcelain street art pistols???

JJ Charlesworth bumbled through his talkie bit but really hit his stride in the Q&A, though it was difficult to concentrate long enough to follow the whole of an answer. He disagrees with Pure Evil, in his view just taking art off streets into a gallery doesn’t make it art. Well at one level he has a point, the barrier to entry is too low and there is some shite which passes muster on streets because it’s up and it’s illegal, which transforms into just shite on gallery walls. Most of it really should remain in the “I made 10 of these and gave 2 to my mum” realm of private hobby art. On the other hand, a decent street artist producing a well composed and executed image with a deliberate designed intent on communicating something is art all the way, regardless.

Charlesworth assassinated a Dotmasters as being by a Notting Hill Trustafarian type who’d never been further east than Cork Street. Knowing that Dotmaster is a particularly feral fucker with a housing estate complexion, it would be interesting to see Charlesworth explain that comment to Dotmaster if he ever goes east of Piccadilly Circus.


Side of a posh gallery

Curiously, Charleworth at one point challenged the audience to go out an bomb the Tate walls with non-commissioned stuff, exactly aligning with Dotmaster’s reason for doing that piece above: “graffing a art gallery with something they appreciate as art was supposed to provide a dilemma. Testing their snooty attitudes by seeing if they buffed them”

Charlesworth has a concern about middle class art buyers buying street art as a life-style accessory, well spotted. He could but didn’t also have railed against buyers who see only the investment potential and think that this market goes in only one direction. He glaringly omitted one of the main and perfectly acceptable reasons why art by street artists is purchased by its’ fans, we like the stuff and we like the spirit! For those who get a tingle up the spine upon discovering a nice new street piece with a good “message” (social, political, humour, subversion, offensive, whatever), well placed, working with its environment and illegal, then non-street stuff by that artist serves as a homage to that artist and this form of “art”. And we like having stuff we like on our walls.




Eine - big and scary



A Little Scary


(yeah - I am aware this may confirm suspicions that street artists don't transfer indoors)



One curious contention concerned Banksy’s apparently na├»ve approach to communication, in terms of failing to use the media well in propagating his message. Much sniggering under breath among the smelly hordes at that one.

Much circular and crappy debate about the issue of authentication ensued, Andipa supporting Pest Control’s refusal to authenticate pieces ripped off the street versus the art bloke’s position that authentication merely comfirms whether a piece is genuine or not, and thus Pest Control’s stance is intended to control supply and support values. The yawn factor was enormous, right up to the moment of Andipa’s claim that they’d never sell a piece presented to them as originating from the street.


Andipa Gallery - photo borrowed from Eddiedangerous

Back to Pure Evil, at the start he set the tone in an un-usually subtle way with his manifesto that street art has to be fun, immediate, illegal and almost without pre-meditation. In his words get pumped, get the tools, get out, find a spot and do something. Street Art is one of the most bullshit umbrella labels ever conceived (and lets not even start on what the fuck urban art means), perhaps the evening could have ended there.


Bigglesworth - Is This Art? (by Cauty)




Keywords- rebellion, fun, anarchy


Yes - I am aware of the irony that all this bullshit and intellectualisation is the exact opposite, (or antithesis - snigger) of what I love about the graff and street art scene.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Cancer Sell Charity Art Sale

98 Leonard Street, London EC1. 6pm 'til 11pm Free Entry!

http://www.cancersell.org.uk/

http://www.flickr.com/groups/cancersell


Cancer Sell is almost upon us! With the quality of the artwork that has come in in the last few days, the organisers have been as pleased as punch and are really looking forward to putting on a great show.

There is so much going on throughout the evening, come along, bring a friend, enjoy the atmosphere and a beer on us and help fundraise for The Florence Nightingale Hospice and Cancer Research.





Barry Poppins - Son of Mary


SNUB23

Ben Lawson

ALSO ON THE NIGHT!

* A 20 lot art auction

* DJ line up - organised by Debbie from http://www.debbie-does.co.uk/

* Manicures by Mavala

* A Prize draw with over 15 prizes not less than £35

* First come first served art sale

* Misled + her crew for the evening drawing LIVE - own a piece of art thats created on the night http://www.flickr.com/photos/miss_joanna_h/

* Customised Munny prize draw

* Limited free bar (once it's gone, it's gone)

* 100 goody bags for the 1st 100 guests inc. mini vinyl toys, buttons, stickers, and a one off zine produced by Mjar

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Less Well-Known Banksy, and introducing.....

To fill the void of this incredibly dull period of inactivity on the local streets, lets have a look at some obscure, less well-known but not likely to have been forgotten Banksy pieces. Firstly, in one of those grotty yet achingly trendy shoreditch arty farty bars Mr HowAboutNo, obviously being younger and trendier and still able to rock a goatee look from time to time, revealed an indoor happy chopper and Grin Reaper, their appeal enhanced by the accumulation of many years of dogging.




Yes, that is Faile just to the right.

Then by complete coincidence the same week something came to light at a friend's book launch in one of the wierdest old buildings in London's West End, its' internal architecture being arranged to serve a medicinal purpose not required since the petrol engine achieved mass popularity (sorry - obscurity here is to protect the location's identity). Down a flight of back stairs were a couple of very sharp Banksy tags.




photos T. Lezard (who had a camera WITH functioning batteries!)

The manager of the building said that they had been done in about 2000 and that they had apeared at the same time as a couple of stencil images which they now know as Banksy on a wall outside. I conferred with a expert at turning guesswork, supposition and speculation into hard fact - Shellshock, and he confirmed the existence of the pieces on the outside wall, so those tags inside must the the genuine article, right?

Anyway, as his name has been brought up, lets introduce the latest addition to the Graffoto stable of bullshitters. Hailing from the west country but none the less able to read and write, Shellshock carved himself a niche as a Banksy guru. He organised and led the now legendary 2006 Banksy guided walking tours and wrote the Banksy Locations And Tours photoguide book to London places where there are or used to be Banksys.



In between acting as a poster child for the debilitating effects of a vegan diet ("I'd give it 5 minutes if I was you") and (genuinely) being heavily involved in community and charity activities both in the deprived areas of inner cities and voluntary work overseas, Shellshock has acquired an advanced taste for visual vandalism. Having recently moved up North in his relentless pursuit of an older civilisation to complement his strict adherence to the ancient art of printing photos without electricity, Shellshock is going to brighten our lives with news and opinions on hardcore graffiti matters from the Manchester area. And anything else he can be arsed to write about. Or photograph. yayyyyyyyyyyyy!"

Friday, 11 July 2008

Deadbeat Donny - Pulse Discovered


Pure Evil Gallery, Shoreditch, London
11 July 2008 - fuck knows when



Deadbeat Donny somewhat underwhelmed on previous viewing at the Open Studio transient gallery in Dec 07.




With a three week window to create something under the intermittent gaze of the public, a mess of cardboard shifted around between wall and floor and in a blizzard of masking tape and pen drawings some sort of Mary Poppins cityscape materialised on the closing night. Expectation were not high for this new viewing.

This time out things are markedly different, though the subject matter has echoes. The bulk of the art consisted of moderate sized canvasses featuring elevated city views, levitating girls and retro hi-fi objets.







The dungeon walls had been wiped with the oiliest grimiest smears seen on a gallery space for a long time. What was an evil flagstone floored brick lined cellar has ground down a notch further into a subterranean crypt like gloom, and the ambience perfectly suited the murky pieces on the wall. It was also the exact opposite of what is required for decent photography so apologies for the shitty photos here.




The pallete is dominated by shades of black and dirty grey, the execution is striking for its heavy pen dribbles. With cityscapes littered with wrecked cars and littered with discarded shopping trolleys, this is sub-sonic richter scale dirty gorgeous and ugly, Deadbeat Donny has really rammed the urban up art’s jacksie.




In the second cellar (there is a third cellar, which goes under the pavement but that is so grim you’d want to clean your coal after storing it in there) a cardboard encased TV shows details of Deadbeat Donny’s hands brushes and pens at work while the walls hold a large number of postcard sized frames of notebook jottings and pages from ornithological books. This kind of artists’ workings exposed is becoming more and more common, it almost always looks like a dead aunts loft has been cleared out and its not clear that this is a good thing.




The two partners forming Deadbeat Donny preserved a mysterious non-personna, though it would be bizarre not to mention that they are very well known to a large number of street art forum-istas who shop for their prints at Pictures on Walls. On a previous meeting at Open Studio, Deadbeat had been, to say the least, diffident about discussing their achievements, so the self-effacing approach at this show's opening seems in character. This didn’t deter a fairly stellar audience of people who really can make things move and shake in the urban art world from turning out.









Markedly different, hell of a sight better.

Set of photos here

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Greek Missus and Leg-ends: Athens Graf pt II



The Parthenon, democracy, any song by Demis Roussos, this post about Athenian graffiti - one thing they all have in common is they never seem to get finished. Well here is part two, part one is either a little bit lower down the page or here.


Thanks to its intractable bureaucracy where even a simple house purchase requires the signature of a myriad of government officials and utility suppliers, religious leaders and acts of parliament, Athen’s crumbling ruins quite often collapse completely. The ghost building sites in these back streets provide a characteristic derelict ruggedness, the loose stone construction and failing flaking plaster enhances the charm of the sun faded art on the walls. And since no one cares enough to buff, the best and longest lasting art can be found here.


JNOR NDA



Unknown


In the same back streets, one vacant plot had a single story glass mirrored, errrr don’t know what it was about, some kind of two-sides-of a-square concept, the effect was that you could stand in one spot and simultaneously check the graffiti on two opposite walls, how coooool is that!

b., Alexandros Vasmoulakis, plus (TBC) JNOR NDA


Despite being an ex-pat London dauber for several years, the mark of The Krah remains visible in many Athens locations. Boy has he come a long way geographically and technically. On this first pic, note how the Athenian tactile parking habit has worn a horizontal strip away.


The Krah


Early Krah


For the benefit of anyone not aware – shame on you - of The Krah’s more recent London work:


The Krah – Foundry, Gt Eastern Rd, Jun 18 2008


JNOR NDA’s distressed figures deserve admiration, is the expression hang-dog or are they just falling short of the full 8 hours kip?


JNOR NDA, more here


This picture HAS to be shown if for no better reason than the height Lie has reached


LIE


Epic permissioned pieces seem to be few and far between, Alexandros Vasmoulakis is one of Athens’s more accomplished painters with a growing art reputation:


Alexandros Vasmoulakis


Though he can mix it up filthy, rough and ready when he wants to


Alexandros Vasmoulakis


Another painter who ranks among the best Street Artists is:



Pete, more here

Athen’s highways have three big plus features for this ancient civilisation’s street decorators, big walls, lots of eyeballs and again, no one cares so no real buff program. The highway walls tend to attract comparatively simple tags, nothing too wild.


Stik



rolks?

The main road, well, particularly Syngrou Avenue is crossed by a number of subway tunnels and here the tagging does get a bit wilder.


Barns


Stoner


Placement doesn’t have quite the significance to Athenian vandals as it does for street artists elsewhere. It’s a case of anywhere will do, though we love the exceptions!


Spit


Shutters don’t escape the Athenian public writer and there’s more than a just nod to UK’s Eine and Cept in a couple of compositions found


Unknown



Unknown

There doesn't seem to be as much of the grandstand hall-of-fame type of spraycan showboating you might get in other cities but the effect is a much more hurly-burly rushed and pacey style, total in tune with Athen’s character. The Athenian graffiti writer’s natural enemy is not so much the authority as the loose flakiness of the wattle-and-daub which make up the facias and internal coatings of Athens buildings. The sooner the authorities act to improve the longevity and earthquake resistance of the skims the better for all vandals.


Possibly JNOR NDA


All the work above is pure freehand can work which dominates on Athenian shutters and walls. There fewer stencils to be found


Unknown


And hardly any paste-ups, which seem to be associated more with cheesy nightclub acts and politicians.



Mute


"Mrs Poisonurse and Mrs nutcracker" - Dreyk The Pirate and Iquado


Congratulations if you have made it this far, and if you have the stamina, you could check out the rather large set of photos from these two brief whizettes around Athens, perhaps do it in stages?
BIG BIG PROPS to The Krah for pinpointing where I should look and for taking the time to go through all my pictures and identifying culprits, he’s a diamond and an awesome artist to boot. Props also to Alex-The-Greek whose love for graffiti comes on in leaps and bounds and whose willingness to ignore traffic codes is clearly in the Greek DNA, and to his brother for loan of the scooter. Thanks also to Ryunosuke who also flicked through the pics and helped with identification, view Ryunosuke's awesome photos here


Sunday, 6 July 2008

Pure Evil Brighton Solo Show

Ink-d Gallery, Brighton
4 Jul - 2 Aug 08


Un-diluted, 100% concentrated, fully refined malevolence filled the sea air surrounding the Ink-d Gallery in Brighton. This phenomenon has a sweet herbal scent and it manifests in the form of Pure Evil. The master of the double bluff shields his evil bunny alter-ego behind a veneer of decency which deceived a national press "used-to-think-street-art-was-shite-but-now-its-value-has-rocketed-I-get-it" art ponce who saw only the “sweet and smiley bloke, greying at the temples...”; all the better for clandestine manic outbursts of aerosol tourettes and paste-up madness on the streets.




 
Evil Bunny is a very real freeform wicked Oryctolagus cuniculus, its piercing eyes and sharp fangs threaten disorder, malice and sinister fun from many a wall.






So long as there is an evil bunny on a wall in Shoreditch, anarchistic artisans will find the Pure Evil gallery in Leonard Street a lighting rod for situationist fun, general chaos and the occasional bottle of Vedett beer. Prosecution has never struggled with lack of evidence of Pure Evil’s street credentials.




Pure Evil's Pearly Kings and Queens admire Swoon filigree. Jef Aerosol and The Krah lurk with intent




Pure Evil testifies for East London’s mandatory euthanasia program
 


And the Leonard Street Gallery doesn’t exactly softly whisper “Pure Evil” in grey micro lettering on a small white card.



 

Deep in the slimy dark vaults where Pure Evil fabricates his latest apocalyptic vision, the machinery has been busy exploring fresh craft techniques to propagate the message, honing the cutting edge sharpness of the artwork and improving quality control!

In autumn last year the evil bunny morphed into a neon light on canvas. Prospects for world domination increased dramatically when the neon evil bunny was put into a reflecting Perspex box, now the latest version of the infinite neon bunny comes brighter, in various colours and thankfully, better manufactured - distracting electric cables are banished to a hidden recess within the box which also improves the hanging.





That pretty awful last photo fails to capture an interesting feature of two of the show’s infinite neon bunnies; due to slight concavity of the outer surface of the box (or was it convexity of the back surface) the multiple reflections get bigger and bigger as the images recede into the distance, the earlier versions had bunnies which got smaller.

The Evil Bunny has chosen to spread its caustic influence by annexing the supposedly harmless motif of a butterflies stencilled on canvas, lending it the acidic fluorescent light outline while Pure Evil is subliminally cut into the mottled variegations on the butterfly wings.



 

This Pure Evil collection provides a first outing for images stencilled or silkscreen printed onto glass which is then painted behind to give a glossy fluorescent coloured or silver background, the stencilled image just leap off the pop art colours. Its like the images are stencilled onto ultra smooth polished coloured plastic and looks awesome.
 


 

Pure Evil hooked up with London’s pearly Kings and Queens earlier this year to produce a series of street paste ups and canvasses, emblazoned with Live East Die Young. Rather than repeat the simple stencil seen at Banksy’s Cans Festival a couple of months ago, Pure Evil has slapped the gorblimmeyluv kings and queens onto a glass with lurid pink background.




Pure Evil Bunny mission to add a bit of colour to walls the world over has been captured by blasting the CGI silver surfer off his board and carving a stencilled path through a canvas New York, spraying slogans and swear words down into the metroplolis as he goes.




Fresh from the Pure Evil crypt is the stencil on glass goya-esque apocalyptic vision of the Wild Thing leaving the war scene, winsomely titled “May God Have Mercy On My Enemies... Because I Won’t”.






Evil Bunny can’t even leave its friends in the Pure Evil show alone, well someone must be blamed for the Wild Thing on glass that appears to have an unfortunate case of spray paint diarrhoea.



Pure Evil’s cross-fertilises his work to produce bastard offspring of earlier pieces, such as the latex bunny woman, in a gimp mask natch, who now has silver buttons nicked from the pearly Kings and Queens.



Panda-ing (boom boom) to the edtioned print market, Pure Evil has produced the silk screened “Tagger Scum”.



"Tagger Scum"

Pure Evil can at times give the impression of having too many ideas rushed onto gallery walls but this show, notwithstanding the loose bowelled Wild Thing, has a polish to both content and product which would surprise anyone who hadn’t seen much Pure Evil beyond the Pictures On Walls panda prints.

Pure Evil’s show is too strong to be contained within the mere physical confines of gallery walls, psychadelic glows flood out under the doors, through the windows and quite possibly up the chimnies too. This show is a feast for the eyes and but beware, it may strike terror into your soul.

These and more pictures from the show can be seen here


www.ink-d.co.uk