Friday, 29 November 2013

Giles Walker & Candice Tripp: "I'm Never Shopping Here Again"

30th November - 12th December

Black Rat Projects/Gallery 223
137 - 139 Lower Marsh Street

All photos: NoLionsInEngland

Shopping is an evil which I put off until the need is way past the point others might have deemed a shop a necessity, as those who have checked my utilitarian taste in garms can testify.   A trip to a department store populated by Giles Walker and Candice Tripp’s morbid paintings and animatronicsconvinces me at least two other people also see the evil inherent in shopping.

Giles Walker

Inside this department store we reel and recoil from Candice Tripp’s sinister enfant terrible paintings and Giles Walker’s beastly and at times fetishistic mantronics. The staging of this show will remind many of the Lazardes/Old Vic Leake St tunnel shows though this hardly surprising as we are in essentially the same Victorian engineering structure around the Waterloo train tracks.

Giles Walker

Giles Walker

In small nooks, many times higher than wide, suspended shop mannequins gave occasional shrugging-off-mortal-coil spasms, I was reminded of a slightly macabre Sam Taylor-Wood, which is a very good thing.

Giles Walker

Giles Walker

Many there covered their eyes at the gothic horror of the children, terrorising eachother and abusing passersby with twisted senseless barbarities. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

Candice Tripp

Candice Tripp Sally Dolls
Candice Tripp

In a room of child’s possessions, a trio of hemp sacks are suspended from the ceiling and inside the live contents squirm and thrust out against their imprisonment…they look like puppies about to be taken to the river but our suspicion is that the contents are not canine. We sense that we are in a department store where man’s suppressed depraved inclinations have been freed of the normal contraints and decorums. Or Poundland.

Giles Walker

Giles Walker
(to avoid disappolintment - this one is not animated)

This is possibly the darkest show I have seen this year and Walker and Tripp are incredibly well matched in their ability to discomfort us. Gloom, depravity, sleaze and sinister threats are the standard BOGOFS in the Walker Tripp store.   I received an email today with the subject line “Happy Shopping Day”…there are no happy shopping days, “I’m Not Shopping Here Again” is as good as it gets.

Giles Walker

Giles Walker

Giles Walker

Giles Walker

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Mike Ballard: Advertising The Invisible

22 Nov – 29 Dec 2103

The Residence Gallery
229 Victoria Park Rd, London E9 7HD

Words, photos: nolionsinengland

Mike Ballard: Advertising The Invisible

Experiencing a Mike Ballard show tends to induce a profound revelatory consciousness and his latest offering “Advertising The Invisible” prompts the thought what a crackingly versatile word “warp” is. Obviously there is the connotation of intergalactic travel at a unit of speed probably faster than light. Then we have the twisting tone-stretching acoustic meaning where harmonics, sounds and pitches are all crushed together then allowed to expand into a vacuum exclusively occupied by percussive beats. A ship can be constrained, prevented from taking off can be tethered by a warp. Finally, there is the sense in which warped describes a fractured style of thinking, a deviant state of mind. All these possible senses collide, clash and rub eachother up in a Mike Ballard show, he is truly warped. Jesus weft.

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Media is another multi dextrous word one could twist and apply in a multi faceted way to the content of Mike Ballard’s show. Media rolled out include photographic collages, hacked objects converted to …… well, receiver/generator/transmitter devices, musical productions, chromatographic representations of digital signals. It sounds like I am making this up so perhaps some of those media can be illustrated using the time honoured tradition of photography and in the tradition of several other blogs we know and love this time, it’s pure single handed wobble-cam shooting.

Mike Ballard: Advertising The Invisible

A large cast assisted in the production of various musical and visual experiments, all part of the soundtrack for a completely fictitious and obviously unmade film but in this PR saturated era of spoilers, teasers and studio twitter leaks, it seems a logical step to release the soundtrack before the film has even been conceived. The Aerosol Orchestra played loud, ambient and percussive, leading a line up including The Clapton Rifles and The Long Range Desert Group, remarkably, all of them composed and conducted by Mike Ballard. Ensemble members name checked on the band bio include stationary related fictitious luminaries such as Rack Staedler, Phil Edding, Uni Wide, Zig 50, Shu White and possibly Pete Pental. Graffiti taggers will recognise a theme.

Mike Ballard: Advertising The Invisible

Ballard provides us with a broad range of visual treats ranging from his black and white photo montages inspired by Carravagio, Metropolis and brutalism to the optical elements of previous hacked audio visual experiments with record decks, cameras and light boxes via abstract cosmic geometry.

Mike Ballard: Advertising The Invisible

Despite the absence of direct cross over to Ballard’s notorious graffiti persona, this show still manages to illustrate what a hugely diverse and accomplished talent he is. We avoided clichés such as “internationally renown” at the start of the article and I’ll be buggered if they are going to be allowed to creep in here at the end but for sure after setting foot in LA, Europe and shortly, San Paolo, it’s nice to see catch a Ballard show on his East London doorstep.

Mike Ballard: Advertising The Invisible

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Hit Shot Walls - October 2013

words, photos: NoLionsInEngland

October sees itself out with a celebration of the macabre by the ghoulish, while people who aren’t street artists celebrate Halloween. This month has been a cracking month for new art and splashes of colour in our world, a large portion attributable to the Moniker Art Fair relocating from its previous village underground spot to the Old Truman Brewery and bringing hordes of street artists to the Brick Lane area

Alex Face

Alex Face (Thailand), Bon (Thailand) and Mau Mau (deepest Somerset) came together on several walls, this little beauty involved interacting with the iconic ROA bird, giving it a leg which Bon’s psychedelic bird chops lumps out of while Mau Mau’s fox relishes toasting the resulting leg fillets over a dollar bill barbeque, though quite why Alex Face’s baby is having it’s ear served up on a plate isn’t quite clear. It’s always great when new street art pays respect and homage to its surroundings like this piece.

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Mau Mau, Alex Face, Bon

Alex Face and Bon also created a real squirt of colour on a much less frequented wall off the Brick Lane beaten track.

Alex Face and Bon
Alex Face, Bon

Shoreditch Junk on Sclater St provides a permission wall which somehow manages to avoid the sterility of other muralista’s spots. This interaction/collaboration between Skeleton Cardboard and Nathan Bowen elevates a savage and brutal skirmish between War and Death to new bloody heights.

Nathan Bowen v. Skeleton Cardboard
Nathan Bowen v. Skeleton Cardboard

On the same spot, RYCA created a wall of clone troopers in a spare moment in between creating one of the knock out gallery project installations for Moniker Projects.

Ryan Callanan Clone Troopers
Ryan Callanan

During the night of the "Great Equinoctial Storm" of October 2013 the heavy rain and wind combined to jet spray large stripes out of the mural and Ryan was so taken with the effect he came back with a much drippier clone trooper paste up composition zig zagging around sprawling gaps mimicking the storm damage filled with a stunning pop art styled star wars stencil motif.

Ryan Callanan aka RYCA
Ryan Callanan

Clet Abraham from Florence made a return visit to modify our many No Entry signs, sightings have been reported from Kings Road to Shoreditch via the City. Previous visits yielded more or less just the sign man carrying a heavy weight but this time Abraham has put up all kinds of subversions from his full repertoire, more focus on Clet Abraham’s London activity HERE.


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Clet Abraham

C3 from Birmingham has been peppered all over Shoreditch in the past few months, the D7606 collaboration effect we call it, so it has been nice to see some of her own stuff on heavyweight parcel paper. She’s a heart breaker.

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Amanda Marie from Colorado USA was over for a Moniker Projects installation and she found a moment after that hectic weekend for a naughty bit of un-authorised stencil activity on a wall which years ago used to be one of the go-to walls for Shoreditch street artists.

Amanada marie
Amanda Marie

Blair Zaye is a London street artist whose work appears infrequently but who does go back a few years, in October he had the interesting idea of installing a network of drainpipes which symbollically drained the surplus colour washing off the walls of Shoreditch, while this weary eye keeps an eye on proceedings.

Blair Zaye

T.Wat has been raising the bar on the street art sculpture game.  The welding, papier-mâché and painting involved in creating this illegally installed bomb must be seen to be appreciated and you can see just that by clicking here.

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DScreet has featured music lyrics across his owl imagery before and now he leads the Lou Reed tributes with this beautiful Velvet Underground “I’ll Be Your Mirror” lyrics piece and in the process reclaims a long running Burning Candy/Dscreet wall from an equally stunning Soker Uno piece which also featured …. a mirror…cue X-Files music.

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Soker Uno
Soker Uno

Another spooky Lou Reed related image…this banana by RYCA mimics the Warhol Velvet Underground album cover and was done as a side bar to the main Warhol-esque storm damaged clone trooper paste up mural but it was painted a couple of days before Lou Reed passed away.

RYCA warhol banana

Trust Icon has a little pop at the commercialisation of street art, nice paste up humour from someone whose last round of street art was such a blatant commercial that he turned a photo of the paste up into the show flyer ;-)

Trust Icon

Finally, yet more by the legendary globally up artist Anonymous, the first an understated metal sculpture not spotted by many passing eyes, the second proving the enduring appeal of well observed and executed comedy genitalia



So the month of October celebrates death but unusually street artists actually ended up celebrating the hugely influential life of a genius lived to the full.