Thursday, March 31st 2016
This evening I went to meet Tigger from work as usual and, as usual, passed through St Katharine Docks on the way. Though I had my camera with me, I thought of taking a photo with my iPhone 6. This phone’s camera has a rather nice panorama function that is easy to use and the dock seemed a good place in which to try it out.
There is a slight amount of distortion but this is inherent in panorama photos if any part of the subject is fairly close to the camera. (Click on the photo to see it to best effect.) The camera in the iPhone 6 is much improved over previous versions and turns in good results though it lacks features that some photographers would consider essential (e.g. a proper viewfinder).
The main business of the evening was to visit an art exhibition, a solo show by one of our favourite artists, Dan Kitchener, aka DANK. Dan is a very prolific artist who travels all over the world to paint often large-scale murals on walls, on the sides of tall buildings and in other open-air locations. Like most street artists, however, he is also an active studio artist, producing paintings on canvas in the traditional manner.
The exhibition is at the 5th Base Gallery and is entitled Dan Kitchener (DANK). Queen of Neon. It is advertised to run from April 1st to April 6th and it was only afterwards that we realized that this evening’s showing was a preview for invited guests only and that we had gate crashed! Happily, no one seemed to mind.
Although the paintings were for sale, photography was allowed in the tradition of street art. What follows is a selection of the works on view. I post them without caption or comment, allowing them to speak for themselves. They explore two of the artist’s favourite themes, night-time urban scenes in rain and the figure of the geisha.
The exhibition was well attended and there was a lively atmosphere with lots of talk about Dan’s art and art in general.
When we left, we decided to round off the occasion with a visit to the famous old pub car park in Brick Lane to see whether there was any new art on display.
The car park, as the name suggests, is often full of cars, meaning that it is sometimes hard to see, let alone photograph, the art painted on the walls. This evening, there were just a few vehicles and I was able to take a wide-angle view centred on one corner. This shows how the structure of the walls creates ‘compartments’ that can each conveniently host a single painting.
The works by Artista and Tizer (middle and right) have been there a while but the one by Jess replaces a painting by Fanakapan that I photographed on a previous visit – see the third picture in A few from Spitalfields.
This piece by Airborne Mark bears his signature and the tag ‘ORIGAMI RIOTS’.
This intricate piece of work is not signed, so far as I can see, and I don’t know who the artist is.
This final work is a collaborative effort by Atomik (the orange face) and Artista (her characteristic foliage).
There is an interesting contrast between the works that ‘street artists’ produce on canvas in the studio and that sell for hundreds or even thousands of pounds, and those that the same artists paint in open-air locations that anyone can see and enjoy but which are ephemeral and often disappear, over-painted, with weeks or even days.