Diary

25/10/2010 13:00

Calculate

Hollywell Lane, London
October 2010
Freehand Spray Paint on Wall

The first year of Moniker Art Fair I was invited to re-visit the wall that I had previously painted VANDALISM on, many moons ago.  Painting this wall gave me the opportunity to think about how much street art has changed and how different it was not so long ago.  When I had painted Vandalism on this same wall the question I was pondering was is it art or is it vandalism.  Painting walls and producing street art has become, in those years, a much more calculated process, with artists concentrating more on using their pieces to market themselves with an aim to make money rather than just the sheer enjoyment of painting something outside for effect.   This being the first large-scale event concentrating solely on street art and targeting an international audience this fact was more apparent to me than ever.   Calculate fitted the space and it fitted the motives.

05/10/2010 13:00

Pro Pro Pro

Corner of Redchurch Street and Ebor Street, London
October 2010
Freehand Spray Paint on Wall

The morning after I finished Anti-Anti-Anti I received an email from a friend who works for Mother, an advertising agency (EVIL).  Mark, whom I had worked with before was asking if I would be interested in painting something on his wall directly opposite Anti-Anti-Anti.   I jumped at the chance as I thought,  “Wow, I’ve got half of the street and now I have the opportunity to paint the other half, this kind of thing doesn’t happen very often”.  As well as this, there was going to be a budget, meaning I could recover the money spent painting Anti, Anti, Anti.  Two weeks later I painted Pro, Pro, Pro in brightly coloured circus font, which was in stark contrast to the monochrome piece directly opposite.  Half way through painting the police turned up which in my line of work is not out of the ordinary.  However the police that turned up on that day, for some reason, were the river police although they didn’t turn up in a boat.  Graffiti not being something that happens very often on the river meant that the attending police officers weren’t used to dealing with artists and didn’t believe any of our assurances that we were allowed to be painting and had in fact been commissioned by the owners of the wall.  They insisted on speaking with someone from Mother to confirm we weren’t criminals, and were merely making the world a brighter place.  Once our story was corroborated we had to pose for photographs with them as they thought that one of us might be Banksy.  I think Graham, my assistant, even had to sign something for one of them. 

20/09/2010 15:00

Anti-Anti-Anti

Corner of Redchurch Street and Ebor Street, London
September 2010
Freehand Spray Paint on Wall

Sometime in July 2010 I received an email from Neville Broody, graphic design and typography God and one of my design heroes.  Mr. Broody was organizing the Anti-Design Festival and asked if I would be interested in taking part.  I jumped at the chance to work with somebody who I had admired for many years.  I said to Mr. Broody that if he could find me a wall then I would paint it.  Cut to the middle of August and he’d done just that.  They’d found me a wall but their budget was zero pounds and zero pence.  As the wall was in such a prime location I thought “Fuck it’, I’ll pay for this, I’m going to have a really big wall in the middle of Shoreditch, its worth every penny”.  We had a meeting prior to painting the wall to work out what I was going to write and the colours I was to use.  At this meeting the landlord insisted that he didn’t want the windows painted over.  The inside of the space is an art gallery and there is a fake interior wall running the length of the outside wall that I was going to paint, completely covering the windows so it wasn’t like they were being used anyway.  I suggested we would cover the windows with a clear vinyl and at a later date if they wanted to use the windows they could simply peel the vinyl off.  Mr. Landlord was happy with this so it was full steam ahead.

When we turned up in the morning to start painting we began to cover the windows.  All of a sudden Mr. Caretaker came running out bellowing “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!, YOU CAN”T DO THAT!!”.  We explained what we were doing and that we had permission to do it and he insisted that under no circumstances would anyone ever have allowed us to paint over the windows.  Blah blah blah blah blah blah, and half an hour later he’s storming off to speak with the landlord.  The moment he turned his back, we got out the rollers and white paint and start painting the wall white.  By the time he returned, 45 minutes later, nearly the whole side of his building was now white.  He went absolutely ballistic but it was too late to do anything about it.  We explained that as we had already started the best solution would be to let us finish.  Then ‘the powers that be’ could have a meeting and if they didn’t like it we would come back and paint over it.  That evening, around 10:30pm, we finally got the go ahead to paint the wall.  Over the next two days we painted ANTI, ANTI, ANTI and they must have liked it as it’s still there.