Thursday, 6 October 2011

Saki And Bitches - Tokyo Lady Chatterely


London,
30 Sept–7th Oct, 2011




all photos: NoLionsInEngland




One of the joys of wandering the tarmac’t gallery of London’s outdoor artists is finding a new talent, an artist with an un-familiar signature getting up in a novel and unique style. One evening over a year ago, skirting around old street roundabout I spied a paste up and straight away was intrigued. An array of naked burlesque girls contorted themselves into the shapes of letters and spelled out a somewhat hard to decipher message.

Saki and Bitches


The first word was clearly SAKI, the last appeared to be BITCHES. This blatantly eroticised alphabet appeared to announce a rather extreme identity. Saki and bitches, and little doubt that the bitches in question were disporting themselves for the sexual gratification of Saki. The lewd tone made me think it wouldn’t last a day but it persisted for possibly a month or so.

Over the next three to six months, more pieces appeared including one high up on the infamous “fuck the fucking fuckers” anti Judge Clark spot, I mention this given the un-confirmed rumours as to which hardcore graff writer was likely to have been responsible for that beauty.

DSC_3175
October 2010


The body of work grew but the mystery over who or what Saki and Bitches was about didn’t resolve itself. The very first piece suggested a graffiti writer’s letterform creative sensibility, the location of the second paste up suggested a writers ability to climb and desire to get high.

Saki and Bitches


Over the coming months, more paste ups appeared, then about 4 months ago, the first teasing messages started to appear…”first show coming soon” they proclaimed. I began to suspect this was a hoax, a double bluff, some kind of knowing wind up of us over-earnest street art crazy fan boys. I even began to loathe the artists exploitation of the medium to deliver their self advertising, this one spotted nailed up over a dub on Ladbroke Grove on Carnival weekend was just a bit too much zeitgeist jacking.

Saki and Bitches, Carnival
Carnival weekend, 2011


A waning affection for these naughty lined images was revived by the beauty of these transluscent pieces placed on phone boxes and bus shelters, double and triple street art points when you show just a teeny bit more imagination in execution and a location less mundane than the average hall of fame paste up spot.

Saki and Bitches
August 2011


When I spotted this over-size buxom cut out figure high up on the old Shoreditch railway sidings then I knew it was time to devote myself at least to a bit of research. Sure enough google located a single entry blog by Saki proclaiming the date and location of a show (- - though how under the radar Saki was at this point is indicated by the fact that the first three google hits were for photos and shit posted by…..yours truly, it seemed like no one else cared!

Saki and Bitches
September 2011


Saki is actually a demure, petite and smiling young ex tokyo-ite living in London for the past 7 years or so. She admits to a fondness for old school Japanese soft-core, tattoo artist iconography and she enjoys painting female curves.

Saki and Bitches


Saki and Bitches


The bulk of the works on show are executed on glass doors from old British Museum display cases, they look about the size of those waist high wooden cabinets with the sloping glass tops dedicated to interminable and obsessively documented moths or middle ages corn dollies. The pieces all have a super saturated intense colouration which Saki explains is due to the material itself, apparently the paint in contact with the glass never dries and when viewed through the glass never loses that flat cartoonish colouration.

Saki and Bitches


Saki admits to deliberately toying with men’s emotions particularly in the selection of her nom d’artiste. which provocatively combines a strong Japanese drink with a masculine misogynist view of woman-as-slut-object.

Saki and Bitches


The soft eroticism is given a sharp twist with the subtext of S&M in most of the images, I suspect that with some considerable research I might report a lot more knowledgeably on these fetish elements but - well, right now I don’t have the time to be as comprehensive in my due diligence as the subject matter warrants.

Saki and Bitches


I won’t lie and pretend this is the most brilliant art ever to come out of the Orient but I do love her execution and I’m a sucker for the innocent-pornographic overtones. My response to her art may be significantly coloured by an admiration for what Saki has put out on the street, which although it recently fell into the trap of abusing the public walls for apparently commercial promotion still continues to impress with its originality. Only one other female writer out there in London reaches illegal spots like Saki. An entirely average piece of street art – the horse by Stewy's Stencils was converted into one of my favourite by Saki’s brilliant Lady Godiva enhancement (below). I hope that nothing will have been lost in her future street work now that the veneer of intrigue has been stripped– Banksy beware!
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Buxom Godiva - Saki and Bitches v. Stewys Stencils
Stewy's Stencils v. Saki and Bitches

more photos here

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is that a typo in the last sentence or not, you hoe? :-)

NoLions said...

i was HOPING someone would spot that, thanks