Just back from Japan, i had a great time! First off a week in Tokyo with Gypsy eyes showing me around town, helping me find walls and the gallery Kawamatsu for a show on the 8th of October. I first visited Kawamatsu 4 years ago when i first had a show in Tokyo. The owner is a keen street art fan and had one of the only walls that you could paint legally in town. 4 years later i was exhibiting inside. Thanks to everyone who came, bought something and drank a little too much Asahi beer, it was a great night!
photograph Yuki Loroi
Finding walls to paint in Tokyo is tricky, Its a dense city with complicated wall ownership and a young appreciation of art on the street. However Gypsy eyes pulled it out of the bag with this stunning newly renovated cafe/bar soon to open calledKitsune (fox). A weird shape and full of windows with only the stencils i came with to work i think it worked. God knows it took us a couple of very long days to finish! Thanks to Taro who was an incredible help thorough out the week and to Murao who drove like a crazy man to get me around! Thanks all you made a fantastic visit!
address of the cafe
quick skateboard during the night.
In Marrakech this week painting for the Biennale with MB6, amazing place, really another world. Its early days and i’ve just started painting, going to be a weird Dotmasters piece and i have had to find something non figurative to fit with the local culture. More info as it happens
With the media reporting that the conditions in the migrant and refugee camp in Calais , where about 4,000+ residents, including an increasing number of women and children, are living in conditions “far below any minimum standards for refugee camps” its hard to ignore calls that ask you to help. On friday night, I had just finished the ‘Biggest Toy in Toytown’ piece mentioned in the previous post when the phone rung. The Connor Brothers were calling to ask if i would help them build some shelters for some of the more vulnerable residents in the place they call the Jungle.
It’s not often you get asked to directly to make a difference in stories you hear about in the papers, so i said yes. We set off to France on the tunnel the next monday started work, money from a Connor Brothers charity print release had been sent before we arrived and lauberge des migrants had materials waiting for us. There are a core of volunteers that make sense of the sprawling squalor, it was hard to know who to help and where to start, but with help withing the camp (mostly David) we soon started making shelters for families.Here’s our first shelter and occupant family, Coptic Christians fleeing persecution in Eritrea, they asked me to put coptic crosses on the doors, proud of the faith that was in part responsible for their displacement. Luckily i had some old religious themed stencils Adam & God and angels from Sistine Madonna.
Day two brought very different problems, after a days had work on our second set of shelters, we were just packing up and walking back from the Eritrean area when fighting broke out between the migrants and the CRS, a back and forth antagonism between the two drew tear gas from the police and stones from the migrants on the road below the motorway. Twice as we tried to get into the vans we were tear gassed, wether it was at those throwing rocks or us opening foreign registration plated vehicles, it is hard to tell. Getting a face of gas with your eyes burning and streaming doesn’t make you very charitable to their motives. However we got out in the end safe and sound and returned the next day to build more dwellings for the folk who are forced to live in these dire conditions.
We made a difference to a small path in the camp, it will take months to get the most vulnerable the women and children housed for the winter with more turning up each day it’s hard to see an end to it. We will be back, having learnt some lessons in dealing with the terrain, people and materials it would sad not to make the next trip even more effective.
I’ve been busy in the studio the last couple of months preparing for a couple of shows that are coming up in March and April in Dubai & Los Angeles respectively.
Dubai’s first up, with a show at the Courtyard Gallery in collaboration with Graffik gallery from London. It promises to be a interesting show with stablemates from Graffik and artists from the local Courtyard gallery merging middle eastern and western ideas of pop art.
The show coincides with the Dubai Art Fair, so there will be a buzz around town. We will be live painting in and around the gallery for a week or so, so if you have a public wall in need of some trash drop me a line via the contact form on the site.
The Courtyard gallery
AL QUOZ 3, STREET 6A
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Opening Reception: Sunday 16 March, 6:00 – 9:00pm Exhibition Dates: 16 March – 17 April 2014 Gallery timings: Sunday – Thursday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Well if you can remember San Francisco, you haven’t been there, or so the saying should go. Had an amazing week in San Fran, it’s a hell of a town, Thanks to John, Kristen, Julio, Ben & Carrie and Megan.
Can’t really say why i was there, thought i’d be doing some stuff on the streets, having some meetings about projects to come…. but ended up painting large walls with Eine. However i did make a load of work thanks to the generous studio of EineSigns. It was a crazy week and there’s little to say in words but apparently pictures speak louder so…
Thanks to megan at the Dog Patch Saloon who kept us watered, like good dogs, no one in San Francisco mixes a whiskey sour like you girl! You rock!
I had a great time at easter with Widewalls, unfortunately those tricky guys at Saft films managed to convince me to front the bloody thing. I’ve worked with Saft many times before and soon the camera kings Zoomintrude and Nano shakes and myself fell into our old Rinky Dink Productions habits. The Final 6 minutes 66 second version should be released some time over the coming weeks.
Well it’s been a great few days, the weather has been great, St Ottilien is an amzingly peaceful and beautiful spot and the people have been amazingly helpful, chill and entertaining. Arrived after a hectic couple of weeks in Stavanger for Nuart and a really break neck stop in London on route to Munich.to say this monastery is a change of pace is to understate it. Curated by Vis a Vis with the hleping hand of Loomit the mission for 12 artists was to paint large scale works around the Monastery outside of Munich. Yes thats what i thought, crazy. as it turns out not so crazy the works work well around the place and the artists have really taken the theme of heaven meets earth into their murals….I know what your thinking…what on earth was i going to paint….me too. So i squared it with them first that it would be ok to paint a massive pile of trash. So far so good. So half way through a massive pile of trash, its 12 feet high, (see pics below) i had just finished for the night when the producer of the festival a nice guy called Al;exander came up to me and said “where’s the rabbits?”
“That’s funny” i said “the guy who’s wall it was was asking where the rabbits were too”. (hes a butcher and the building is a slaughterhouse, makes good sausage apparently) The producer says “you said you were going to paint a pile of rabbits”I nearly shit myself laughing, No mate a pile of Rubbish! To bring it on message with the projects title i added the boy writing “we were given paradise” as much to make a comment on them letting me paint as to make trash on their walls as the general decline of the world into detritus entropy. (just a construction shot below to give you some scale)
Thanks to all those who made this possible especially Father Cyrill, Christian, and Alexander who has more rabbit than sainsburys.