Corner of Redchurch Street and Ebor Street, London
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.