Monday, April 28, 2008

Cancer Sell Street Art Tour

The freezing temperatures and shitty smells of Hoxton, Shoreditch and Brick Lane are tolerated by vandals going about their clandestine work on walls, so a little dank mist and a few squally showers weren’t going to deter a hardy group or walkers in search of graffiti enlightenment and soul purifying charity support.

Photo: HowAboutNo (all other photos NoLionsInEngland except where noted)

We headed first towards Clerkenwell where Nick Walker’s 11 day old Ratatouille was found to have been partly dogged, evidently in a petty fit of graff jealousy.

Around the corner in Whitecross Street, Banksy’s Ratapult was thankfully intact but the small oil painted vegetable that appeared nearby a while back had developed a stalk and budding flowers, added by the original unknown artist. A bit of communication on flickr revealed that the plant has grown in stages and who says it has stopped growing?

Photos: top-NoLions; above-with kind permission of Unusualimage; right - HowaboutNo

At Blackaller Street we came across a new paste-up by MJar that hadn’t been there the previous Friday. By the time we had admired the quality of the 2007 Swoon and Elbow Toe paste ups it was apparent that the walk was slower than we had really allowed for.

We observed a great variety and quality of street art, the various techniques looked at including stencil, free hand, paste up, rooftop roller jobs, shutter jobs, stickers and thanks to the observational powers of our youngest vandal-to-be, mastic graffiti.

Among the new pieces we were able to spot were a rich collection of stencils by Asboluv, a titifreak on Brick Lane and a well worked Dicky Smif on Pedley St.

Colours, smells and swear-words our graffiti neophytes were exposed to were produced by Apishangel, Banksy, Kriebel, C215, Eine, Cartrain, Prefab77, Ace, K-Guy, Insect, Asbestos, Titifreak, Sickboy, Elbow-Toe, Rowdy, Elmo, Cyclops, Sweet Toof, Hera, Bortusk Leer, Swoon, Copyright, Mantis, Dicky Smif, The Krah and many many more than a sane person would want to be bothered with right now. The prolific international artist Unknown had also been pretty active.

Photo: HowAboutNo

We did miss out probably 3 key Shoreditch locations in an effort to end before darkness fell, one being the EndOfTheLine spot (think Eine’s Vandalism) which would have revealed the jaw dropping ultra fresh ATG paint job, another that twilight zone behind Curtain Street and also we missed the Banksy sniffing copper alleyway where we woudl have seen MJar at the top of his game doing a collection of his fantasy figures on a transparent paste-up.

Photo: HowAboutNo

Most of the week the wall in the Sclater Street car park is blocked by cars and vans but this Sunday evening we were able to catch Lister, Sickboy, Dscreet et al in stunning glory with the stench of piss and billowing market debris to lend true street ambience.

Eventually, we wound up in The Archers pub down at the bottom where Brick Lane turns into Osbourne Street, beer at £2.50 a pint suggested some kind of timewarp pricing kicking in. We bumped into MJar of all people who shared a pint (or two) and loads of cool stories about getting up and being involved over the past decade or so, the group was wowed by meeting someone whose we art been seen on the walk. Coooool. All our exhausted perambulators received an envelope of stickers and cards collected (by Howaboutno and Rattusamorus, not by Cancer Sell) from street artists and shows over the past 6 months and in a particularly unusual form of lottery, two copies of Martin Bull’s Banksy Locations and Tours were given away.

We enjoyed sharing quite a lot of facts and no little bit of fiction with the group and as Cancer Sell remains a truly noble fundraising cause, we will dare to repeat the venture.

Another good reason to repeat is the wonderful efforts of this mob whose self-perpetuating job-for-life is to prepare the blank canvas for our street art creatives, keep up the good work guys!

Our plans are probably to do another Sunday afternoon job in a month or so, and possibly also a couple of mid-week evenings. Keep ‘em peeled for further news and as usual, more pics here.

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