Ready for signing, embossing and numbering. Amazing work from Mesh as ever. Ready for release Monday evening 8pm from the shop on this site.
I’ve had a thing for Astroboy since exhibiting in Tokyo a few years at Gypsy Eyes Cafe. The recent mural in Croydon only helped to me love him more. So here he is, the latest one of the TOY series i started painting them for Nuart festival in 2008.
Printed at the wonderful Mesh silkscreens on 375 gsm Lambeth cartridge stock
100% cotton rag with a wapping 12 colours it comes as an edition of 50, signed numbered and embossed. The size of the print is 90cm x 35cm and is a partnership print with Attollo art.
I will be releasing this print through this site around the 10th of May, a more definite date to follow.
Marrakech was a blast. a real change of cultures, a lesson in patience and a change of pace. It started weirdly with Louis Theroux and his family on our easy jet flight from Gatwick (the unfinished airport). He was to reappear daily while we were painting, just to weird us out. Marrakech is an assault on the senses, the bustle of the souks the smells of spice and moped fumes, the call of shop keepers “come look Ali Babba”. It’s a crazy whirl of getting lost continually, trying to find the walls.
It was a nice mix of folk curated by Atttollo, for the Mb6 street art festival. Local boy Kalamour joined Alexey Luka from Moscow, Giacomo Bufarini aka Run from Italy via Stoke Newington (my old stomping ground), LX one from France, Remi Rough and Yesbee from Saaf London and all three in the Agents for Change crew, Mad C from Germany and old friends Lucy Mclauchlan and Sickboy from Nuart and the Widewalls Majorca easter break, with Ian cox on the camera it was like old times.
When first asked to participate in MB6 street art festival i was very aware i was going to paint in a culture not my own. My usual subjects were not going to work in an islamic country. Islam resists to the representation of living beings both man and animals this ultimately stems from the belief that the creation of living forms is unique to God. So my western stuff like trash, toys and rude kids were out. Marrakech is often called the rose city for its colour, everything is painted a reddish brown, coupled with the fact that Morocco is a major producer of rose oil with a unique fragrance meant that i had found something local i could focus on. The cabbage rose that grows there is not a looker, (its called the cabbage rose for a reason) so i picked a prettier version to paint.
The scaffolding was scary but the locals made me welcome, being asked to eat with the local masons and given countless cups of Moroccan whiskey (mint tea) from the berber barrow boys who carry goods in and out of the souks.
We were housed in a couple of cool riads across the city with the sun beating down on us painting during the day it was a cool place to hang out at night. As the week went on the Marrakech Biennale started with a series of parties, where tiny snacks and large amounts of alcohol often equalled drunk artists, a bloody good laugh was had by all. A massive thanks to Ahmed our local fixer and practical guy and of course his assistant Hassan. Big thanks to both Gladys and Elena who helped the wheels stay on the cart, and of course to Vestalia and Terrence who organised the whole affair.
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
The Westbank Gallery have moved, and their first show in their new space is Big Bang a group show in a really quite cool space, It was the old social centre, so it has a bar in the middle of it, it’s a cool place to see art, or have a drink, or both. There’s a lot of friends in the show and last night was a good chance to catch up, not sure the tequila helped much.
I had other works planned for it, but with the death of Lemmy and Bowie recently i had to mark there passing somehow and the dollar bills seemed a good way to do it, the serial numbers are their birthdays and dates of their deaths.
The shows on for a month, nearest tube is Ladbroke grove, adress is 3-5 Thorpe Close W10 5XL, it’s under the westway.
Its that time of year again! Happy to be part of this show at the Crows Nest in Latimer road, West London. I’ve worked or played or both with nearly all of those on the roster, Its a proper fam affair. The last show there looked great, i’m not a huge fan of group shows but when they are done so well, they are a pleasure. Really looking forward to getting down to see what the combination of works produces!
Picture by Ian cox aka Wallkandy
The second mural as part of the Croydon Mural Project is finished! Luckily i was the first artist to be asked to paint so… when offered a wall, I thought i could put one on the wall opposite and have the two Toys facing each other, luckily they said yes. After the very girly image of the Ragdoll i thought it would be nice to produce an image that was more male, Astroboy! All of the toys i paint are actual toys from my shelf of plastic crap i have in the studio (see below), Astroboy was something i got given in Japan a few years ago when i was doing a show with Rat king in Tokyo and have painted smaller versions for shows as part of the Toy series but really wanted to see it big!
A huge thanks to the Croydon Mural Project for getting me the walls and sorting out all the logistics. I had a fun couple of weeks in Croydon if not a little wet and i look forward to seeing what other artists put up around the town during the duration of the project
There are some new toys in Croyden! I’ve been painting there for a week and the first wall is done. The second is underway and should be finished by Friday. The two will stand opposite each other and are part of the biggest toy’s in Toy Town series first started years ago at Nuart in Stavanger.There’s loads of new street work in Croydon at the moment and there’s series of large scale street works planned by The Croydon Mural project which is produced by The Rise Gallery and Attollo art, Cheers guys!
can be found on google maps here
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.