Thursday, 9 September 2021

David Speed "Light Of Life"

Light Of Life
David Speed Light Of Life


Break out street artists are rare beasts. There are the street artists whose appeal grows way beyond the natural base of street art fans leading to popularity and commercial success. Commercial success doesn’t preclude artistic success of course.

Soundwave, Shoreditch 2021
Soundwave, Shoreditch 2021


David Speed started his neon illuminated portraits and animal painting around Shoreditch a few years ago and has achieved such ubiquity that he is one of the few artists, other than Banksy and Helch, whose art is recognised by Shoreditch Street Art Tour guests exploring street art for the first time.

David Speed Neon face, Shoreditch 2018
David Speed Neon face, Shoreditch 2018


David certainly wasn’t new to spraypainting at the beginning of this neon pink phase, his double life has him as Director of Shoreditch based spraypainting outfit Graffiti Life. Lockdown bestowed gifts on David in two ways –the reduced demand for commercial spraypainting services seems to have allowed him more time to focus on personal and artistic development and if you check out his Creative Rebels podcast that certainly comes across strong. There was also a significant increase in available street canvasses as business fearing a breakdown in law and order went for full plywood cladding as we went into lockdown in 2020.

Hoxton Ponies, Shoreditch 2021
Hoxton Ponies, Shoreditch 2021


David’s art exploded across Shoreditch property and caught a lot of attention.

David Speed neon "Creation" homage, Shoreditch 2019
"Creation" homage, Shoreditch 2019


It was a long wait, Shoreditch 2021
It was a long wait, Shoreditch 2021


Neon Tiger! Shoreditch 2021
Neon Tiger! Shoreditch 2021


In the street art world, London at least, David is synonymous with this pink neon street art style so it was an amusing irony earlier this year that a mural advert was painted in David’s signature colour combination by a rival spraypainted advert company. Many people erroneously identified David as the artist so he felt compelled to put up a deliciously executed take out.

Biting Style, Village Underground 2021
Biting Style, Village Underground 2021


DS Style, Village Underground 2021
DS Style, Village Underground 2021


He currently has a self-organised solo show running in Shoreditch, it turns out the neon illumination theme suits canvas and paper as well as it does brick walls.

Fly
Fly


Reunited 1
Reunited 1


Skull Left Facing, Skull .... ,Skull Right Facing
Skull Left Facing, Skull .... ,Skull Right Facing


Content
Content


Distance 2, Hope, Distance 1
Distance 2, Hope, Distance 1


Daily Walk, Poise and Reunited 2
Daily Walk, Poise and Reunited 2


A recent project that must have taken a long time to prepare was David’s “drop” of 1000 hand finished prints around the streets of London, to those with long enough memories this was a homage to Adam Neate’s 1000 print drop in 2008. We came across one of David’s murals on the Shoreditich Street Art Tour that day at which point a guest pulled a pair of prints out of his bag with a flourish and declared “I found those on the street as I was walking to the tour!” Lucky guy.

Various North, East, South, West
Various North, East, South, West


The show is located just a couple of minutes walk from where our morning Shoreditch Street Art Tour ends, so perhaps book a tour this coming Friday, Saturday or Sunday and complement it with a visit to the show.  Admission to the show is free.

“Light Of Life” show runs until Sunday September 12th.

The Depot
33 Boundary Street
Shoreditch
E2 7JQ

All photos: Dave Stuart With all that pink and blue no attempt was made at colour correction in processing the exhibition photos!

5 comments:

pontyboy said...

Dave, it's always a pleasure to read (and look at) your posts. Thanks a lot.

Unknown said...

@pontyboy - thanks ever so much. Its a rare and precious bit of encouragement. Dave

pontyboy said...

My wife (Italian) read your comment and said 'Raro? Strano!' Because we - with two other Italian friends - took your tour about four years ago and still talk about it. A literal eye (and mind) opener - as are your blogs. When travel gets simpler we'll be back to do the tour again, see the many changes. Art never sleeps!

Kirstie44 said...

I agree with @pontyboy! Perhaps I’ve been too much of a lurker all these years but I attended your tour many years ago - tell everyone about it and always read your blog. Super interesting, insightful and well composed. So THANK YOU, look forward to more!

Unknown said...

Wow @Kirstie44, thank you very much. It is honestly lovely to have some feedback - Dave