Monday, 23 March 2009

The human CCTV on Brick Lane

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CCTV was a street performer on Brick Lane Sunday avo. Was a great concept, and he was attracting more than his share of attention. There's a lot of CCTV around that area now, so it's good to see some nice street art going around there despite the added attention.

Great guerilla Job near Bethnal Green

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Was wondering around on the sunny sunday avo just been, on my way to the Bazaart exhibition in Bethnal Green, when I came across this brilliant piece.

I was walking next to the fence and noticed a bunch of plastic cups stuck through the wire mesh fence. The kind of thing you'd see where a bunch of cycle couriers would hang out on a break. I'm not sure what part of it grabbed my attention, but all of a sudden I saw a pattern emerge. I studied it for a while, but couldn't see exactly what it was. Stepping back further and further to take it all in. It's not until you're actually on the other side of the single lane road that you can fully take it in. I thought it was (like all the best ideas) so successful in it's simplicity.

I'd love to see this taken further creatively in public spaces...

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Refreshingly original style making waves

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New post from Blacklodge!! last week with this great style. The piece is from Reka & Phibs, and can be found on Rose Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne. Great retro colour-way too. When I get tired of London I think I'll relocate to Melbourne - there's just so damn much creativity oozing out of every corner if that city.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Brilliant site of the week

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Fantastic site that does exactly what it says on the tin - nothing. Funny tho, well worth checking out for a few minutes (which is all it takes), a guaranteed laugh.

Resurgence of bold messaging

Nice little bit of graphics/messaging around at the moment. Liked this piece and came across a nice site called webwithoutsense over the weekend too, which I'll post up some screen grabs from in the next few days.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Lifelounge 108 - The Twinkle Toes Edition

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none, and THIS little piggy had crack cocaine sprinkled all over him, got addicted and ended up selling himself in shady train station bathrooms to strange men wearing tie-clips until he contracted Hepatitis and went on to write a best-selling memoir about his days as an addicted prostitute. You can buy it at Borders.

Love those guys at Lifelounge - sometimes Aussie humor is the best!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Secret Wars official London finals night photo

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Ha! I love it when you (I) end up in the official photo for an event that I have really enjoyed being a part of. See if you can spot me sitting in front of the Monorex section...

The Art Of Lost Words at London’s German Gymnasium

Text/gallery is a new experimental showcase for art and design projects inspired by the printed and written word. The brainchild of curator Rebecca Pohancenik of Studio Zwei, text/gallery has opened its first exhibition entitled The Art Of Lost Words this week at London’s German Gymnasium which promises to showcase “new design and illustration inspired by language’s forgotten words”.

The exhibition’s 41 participants have produced a piece of work based on a seldom used word he or she has selected from the English dictionary. Here is one that I really like from a quirky design agency called No Days off:

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No Days Off created this piece in response to the word “jussulent” - an adjective meaning having a soupy consistency: full of broth

Close up of No Days Off’s hand painted piece(click to enlarge)

The Art Of Lost Words runs until 9 March at The German Gymnasium, Pancras Road, London NW1 (opposite St Pancras International station). Open daily 10.00–18.00. Admission free.

The works are available to buy online at, with proceeds going towards the National Literacy Trust.

Monday, 9 March 2009

YTL Residence, Kuala Lumpur

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I don't usually feature architecture on this site, but this residence recently completed in KL took my eye on the Coolhunter website today.

Paris-based Agence Jouin Manku took on its first large-scale integrated architectural and interior design commission in 2003, when YTL Design Group from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, invited it to design the residence of a Malaysian power family.

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Completed in the latter part of 2008, the residence is the ultimate expression of the taste, influence and industrial-scale capabilities of the prominent family whose entrepreneurial activities have shaped Kuala Lumpur’s skyline.

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The building includes nine bedrooms, two family rooms, a family kitchen and a private dining area, a family library, a game room, a study, a public reception area, a formal dining room, a ballroom, chapel, 21 bathrooms, a swimming pool, two guest suites plus indoor private and guest parking.

Nice to be so unaffected by the credit crunch eh...

Old Person's Home by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu at Saatchi Gallery, London

Marwan Rechmaoui - Beirut Caoutchouc 2004-08 (click to enlarge)

Ghost - Kader Attia 2007 (click to enlarge)

On Friday, after going down to see a very disappointing exhibition near Sloane Square featuring photographs of Russian Prison Tattoos, I decided to check out the always reliable Saatchi Gallery. The exhibition featuring there at the mo is called Unveiled: New art from the Middle East. Some really nice pieces running through their 12 gallery spaces. However, when I got to the 13th room (located in the basement) I had my mind blown by possibly one of the weirdest installations I've ever experienced.

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Sun Yuan and Peng Yu - Old Persons Home (click to enlarge)

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu are two of China's most controversial artists, renown for working with extreme materials such as human fat tissue, live animals, and baby cadavers to deal with issues of perception, death, and the human condition.

In Old Person's Home, Sun & Peng present a shocking scene of an even more grotesque kind. Hilariously wicked, their satirical models of decrepit OAPS look suspiciously familiar as world leaders, long crippled and impotent, left to battle it out in true geriatric style. Placed in electric wheelchairs, the withered, toothless, senile, and drooling, are set on a collision course for harmless ‘skirmish' as they roll about the gallery at snail's pace, crashing into each other at random in a grizzly parody of the U.N.dead.

This sculpture was produced in 2007, and features 13 x life size sculptures and 13 x dynamoelectric wheel chairs. You can observe the installation from a mezzanine floor, or venture down onto the gallery floor and stand amongst the action, but beware - these guys aren't looking where they're going - they don't even know where they are!

There is a very trippy video of the installation on the Saatchi site:

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Havana 100 minutes final (review)

Monorex detail (click to enlarge)

Well, I was lucky enough to score a last minute guest list pass to Havana 100 minutes Secret Wars final at Village Underground's awesome 5,000 sqm space in Shoreditch last night (mucho gratsi Emma/Balance PR). The gig kicked off with the usual hour or so of schmoozing with free cocktails courtesy of Havana Club, fantastic finger foods from JJ Catering, and some pretty nice dj styles from dj Session & friends.

Celebrating street art and Cuban culture in a creative and original style, Monorex v Intercity art-off began about 8pm, and ran for 100 minutes with a giant projection of the logo on the far wall acting as the clock (1 of the 100 pieces disappearing every minute) until the final countdown. The cocktail barmen and waiting staff were run ragged as the arty/streety/trendy/wanky punters packed the space and consumed as much free shit as their little faces could manage.

Intercity detail (click to enlarge)

Style-wise, in my opinion, Monorex kicked Intercity's ass, with a strong, considered piece created by the 5 artists using a fantastic style and solidity of line and colour. Intercity seemed to have 5 artists all working independently of each other, using a weak, almost single weight of line and a definite naive aesthetic. The only apparent point of teamwork for Intercity was at the beginning, when they painted a giant target in the background of their area, and at the end, when they paint bombed their entire piece (and the audience) with watered down red acrylic paint balls.

Judging (click to enlarge)

Judging was carried out by some members of the judging panel, and by the audience (measured with a decibel meter.

Monorex detail (click to enlarge)

Monorex detail (click to enlarge)

The party rolled on into the night, a good time had by all. My camera is completely stuffed now, so had to rely on my phone for the pics from the night - sorry, even photoshop can't help a pic that's shite to start with. I'm sure more pics will be posted up by others soon, as soon as their rum hangover wears off...

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

All Aboard For 100 Minutes Of Havana

Around August last year 100 Pieces of Havana project was run by design studio Intercity and Havana. This year sees Intercity working again with rum brand Havana Club on the next iteration of the project: 100 Minutes of Havana - a live, one-off art battle set to take place on Wednesday 4 March at East London’s railway arch venue, Village Underground. A selection of the artists due to take part in the art-off met up at the venue earlier this week to have a practice session, customizing one of the four underground train carriages that sit atop the venue…

A cleverly animated projection of Intercity’s 100 Minutes of Havana logo (above)will serve as a clock as Intercity’s Nathan Gale explains: “The original 100 Pieces logo was made from circles, representing 100 bottles – so for the 100 Minutes event we turned the circles into timers, each representing one minute. This also gives the logo a stencil-like aesthetic, making it perfect for the event. The art battle will be timed and a projection of the logo will animate the 100 minute countdown.”

Shown in these photos are artists Austin from NEW, Ian Stevenson, Andrew Rae, ALFA, Teck 1, Jimi Crayon, Mr K, Teck 1 and Stika – all practicing their various styles…

Whilst a whole range of pens, paints and spray cans were used here at the practice session, the rules of the forthcoming battle state that the artists will only be able to use colored acrylics and Edding pens on the 16ft high, 40ft wide white battle wall. The freestyle masterpieces created in battle will be created without the aid of sketches or pencils…

Going head to head in battle are two teams, one selected by Intercity from the artists that took part in last years 100 Pieces of Havana, the other put together by Monorex who organise the regular Secret Wars battle events. On the Intercity side of things are Ian Stevenson, Andrew Rae, Robbie Wilkinson, Andy Forshaw and Austin from NEW. And on the Monorex-selected team are the considerably more street sounding ALFA, Teck 1, Jimi Crayon, Mr K and Stika. The two teams will have 100 minutes to do their art thing - the work will then be judged by a Havana Club and Monorex representative as well as an all-important crowd vote, which will be decided using a decibel reader.

Special thanks to Havana Club, Emma@Balance PR, Monorex and Intercity for the pics and blurb.