Friday, July 31st 2015
Tigger had noticed some new street art in Shoreditch as she went by in the bus on the way to work. So, this evening, on our way home, we decided to leave the bus in Shoreditch and take a look – and perhaps some photos – of the street art.
There is a lot of building work going on in the area and there is a large number of sites closed off with wooden fences. Street artists have obviously been busy and all the fencing is covered with paintings. I suspect that in many cases, these fence paintings have been commissioned and as a result, instead of the usual acres of boring black or grey, we have bright colours and lively designs – definitely an improvement in my view.
On the other hand, though the paintings were expertly done, I was disappointed with the results. Much of the pieces were abstract or lettering. I got the impression that the work had been done in a hurry without the artists having time to think up themes or subjects. Here and there, a better painting emerged from the mass but in many cases, these were paintings that had been done some time ago, apparently in response to artistic urging and not just in order to cover another acre of bare board.
I have chosen a few items from the works I photographed and post the pictures below. You should not think I particularly like any of these or chose them as being ‘the best’. Rather, they are the ones that, to my mind, produced viable photos. Anyway, see that you think and form your own opinion. Not all the paintings I photographed were on building site fences. Four come from from walls, a boarded-up window and a door. Some paintings have been partially overlaid or have been ‘tagged’ with graffiti.
Our decision to take a look was impromptu and I didn’t think to switch on my geotagger, so I cannot say exactly where I found the individual paintings. Nor have I taken time, as I usually do, to work out the names of the artists. Some of the paintings may be signed if you look closely but most are not. I have not added captions or any comments of my own except briefly at the end.
In the last picture, lovers of silent films will recognize Charlie Chaplin as he appeared in a film poster for The Adventurer – for example, see here. That and the reworking of Van Gogh’s self-portrait (sixth picture down) are examples of street artists ‘quoting’ existing works. Rather than plagiarism, we might call this paying tribute to admired artists of the past.