Painting the town red (and blue and green) – a paean to London Street Art

 

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phlegm

The Textiliste, as her title suggests, is a touch arty (crafty too, but that’s another matter).

She received a gift at Christmas from the Lawyer (thoughtful chap) of an Street Art tour around Shoreditch (which for those not familiar with London is just north of the Office bit of the City, in the London Borough of Hackney – a deprived borough with areas, like Shoreditch, that are being ‘gentrified’ – they pass through Shoreditch street art 067stages of awful poverty and urban depredation to become edgy art zones, then niche hip areas for affluent youth and finally yet another bankers paradise). Currently this one is in the art to affluent transition having been home to an increasingly artistic and IT literate groups. It’s cool, trendy, chic, sick or whatever adjective, a la mode, describes its up-and-coming-ness. It, necessarily, has bars and clubs and boutiques and cafes and artisan everythings and is, currently, the place to go to see London’s most comprehensive selection of Street Art. But don’t delay – the art community will be ousted by money soon enough and another backwater found to start again (what’s the betting on Peckham and Bermondsey?)Shoreditch street art 014

We took the tour – fantastic value (try it yourself – we spent over four hours for our fifteen quid being shown everything). And because it was curated by the most knowledgeable guide it passed in a flash.

I can’t give you the exact route, and, indeed, that might be unfair on our curator but we started at Old Street roundabout (‘Silicon Roundabout’ to some), took in Great Eastern Street, off into the like of Phipp Street and the blocks there, across to the roads around the London College of Fashion, New Inn Yard and Bateman’s Row, winding our way towards Shoreditch High Street station. If you wander on your own you’ll find lots but you may miss some gems.

Shoreditch street art 015It would be both rather pointless, and not a little arrogant, if I tried to explain what we saw. Indeed I hesitate to ascribe the art to an artist because I’ll surely get some wrong (if I’m pretty sure, I will include the names).  However this will give you a flavour of the talent around in the hope that, if you find yourself in London you’ll find a half day and take the tour. If you want a little more information on what’s happening, click here. Though it is probably already out of date.

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Chewing gum man’s work

I learnt so much but mostly I learnt to LOOK.  I learnt that in a city of such bustle and rush as London you miss EVERYTHING if you don’t slow down once in a while and look down (and not at your phone). Or up. If you fail to look down you’ll miss Chewing Gum Man‘s work. Or up and you’ll miss the image on the right. I will leave you to enjoy the pictures and make up your own mind. Shoreditch street art 025

 

 

 

 

 

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famous French dude who painted on the Berlin wall Thierry Noir

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this doesn’t do it justice as this is a 3D picture made from exploding plaster – Vhils

Watch this, about exploding street art!

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Stik

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Pretty sure this is Phlegm

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Miss van

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Clet, I think

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Phlegm? or Roa?

The only jarring note came courtesy of the Infant Terrible – in that he’s become his own icon – Banksy. People sell the walls, the buildings are massively more valuable with a Bansky on them. So much so that Bansky’s stencils are now being covered in screens to protect them and to stop them being painted over. Street art was intended to be ephemeral. Banksy said, in one work, ‘If graffiti changed anything it would be illegal’. Surely it becomes a corruption if it can’t disappear to the work of the next genius? Just saying…

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Loved this one; just round the side of the wall is a figure holding the string, waiting to give it a tug..

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there are some challenges between artists

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About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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18 Responses to Painting the town red (and blue and green) – a paean to London Street Art

  1. Norah says:

    Interesting what street art tells about a changing community. The tour sounds fascinating. Once an artist’s work needs to be saved for posterity then it needs to be other than street art?

    Like

    • TanGental says:

      I do love Banksy’s humour but it does distort the idea if you protect it. In Barcelona we came across a wall which was whitewashed every so often but in the meantime painted or whatever by street artists. Just fantastic and the ultimate in a self regulating community

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      • Norah says:

        That’s an interesting idea. I like the sound of that. Self-regulating and ever-changing to reflect the mood and attitudes of the fluid community.

        Like

  2. willowdot21 says:

    Amazing art, as you say we all need to stop and look. xxx

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  3. Charli Mills says:

    This is an awesome post! Love all the photos of the street art. The trains that pass by are often full of graffiti which can be artistic.

    Like

  4. Lisa Reiter says:

    Wow, I’d heard something of Banksy and the dilemma of protecting something that has become a phenomenon is a tricky one. Why have his stuff lost when there’s much drivel in the Tate Modern (Oh you heathen girl!) Love the clip of the exploding art! How long must that have taken in planning and preparation! Amazing

    Like

    • TanGental says:

      Ah but that’s what the Tate Modern is all about. It’ lie the chart show for artists. Or Glasto on the try out stages. If you looked at the charts of say 20 years ago, how much survives? It’s modern so it’s necessarily unfiltered by taste and cultural snobbery. But when you find a gem in amongst the pretentious, up your **** dross it’s so worth it. Like the RA summer exhibition, or the Turner. Loads to grimace at but then *big smile*

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  5. Fantastic. I love the vibrancy of it.

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  6. Rayray says:

    Amazing pictures!!!!! I’ll keep my eyes open from now on!

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  7. Pingback: Dulwich Street Art – part one | TanGental

  8. JT Twissel says:

    It sounds like the Brooklyn area of London!

    Liked by 1 person

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