Secrets and Sins – A look back at Sickboy’s Heaven & Earth

November 11th, 2011 | By | 1 Comment »

Despite an afternoon of heavy rain last Thursday, a large crowd was on hand to watch security struggle (literally) to open the doors of the Sickboy’s 3 day London show – Heaven & Earth.  However that delay, plus the relatively slow name checking procedure, mattered for no one as they caught a glimpse of the collection of visual delights that lay beyond.

First up, upon peering into the large open room your eyes were drawn to a caravan standing proudly in the far corner.  Kitted out in the famous red and yellow Sickboy colours, it soon became apparent that this was actually the bar dishing out a variety of booze, and not surprisingly a large queue quickly formed.

But whilst your gaze initially descended upon the brightly coloured mobile holiday home come drinks dispenser, it was impossible to ignore the plethora of meticulously-detailed paintings, riddled with their religious undertones that covered the walls.  Appropriately titled with names such as “King of Undesire”, “Critically Zen”, “Forget” and “Forgiven” these colourful masterpieces encompassed Sickboy’s own notion of heaven and earth. Fantastically detailed with sickly looking characters, rockets, angels, tags, trains, and the odd temple, this body of work was exceptional and a perfect example of how a street artist can translate their work from street to gallery. In fact many other artists should take note!

Prior to the show Sickboy allowed his website visitors to confess all, and get any sins they may have committed off their chests.  Promising to display each and every one, these unedited misdemeanours were projected onto a big screen for all to read.  I rather enjoyed the West End drug dealers who admitted to lacing their wares with a bit of laxative to ensure a messy end for their clients.  And of course there were plenty of sexual references to teachers and their daughter’s, girlfriends and their mum’s.

For all those last minute sins, or for those that just couldn’t think of one before the show opened, a large confessional booth equipped with a priest was on hand.  Although to be honest I am not sure how many visited the booth to confess or to just explore and view more of Sickboy’s artwork which adorned both the outside and in.  Maybe if the priest was hidden behind a screen some may have been more forthcoming, I certainly found it a little weird to just be stood in a small room with another bloke, let alone go ahead explain any times I may have misbehaved.

Whilst the show was billed as one based around four major installations, I personally felt they seemed to blend into each other and consequently it was hard to see each as individual entities.  However I have to admit that that was not necessarily a bad thing and the fourth and final of these installations was perhaps the one I was most looking forward to – a collaboration with 12 of Sickboy’s fellow artists and friends. It came in the form of a series of wooden bricks, a medium Sickboy has visited before, which were then stacked to form a wall. Designs and editions varied but I was most taken by the Word to Mother and Paul Insect collabs and a couple of the Conor Harrington’s. From a sales perspective the installation certainly seemed popular, but it may have just been the due to the sheer size of the space that I felt it became a little lost, maybe it was the fact that the bricks were not over the top.  Nevertheless I really liked the concept and execution of the individual bricks.

In short this was Sickboy at his best and by far my favourite show of the year so far, and I am sure that many in the packed out venue will agree.  This was street art meets gallery, street artist becomes fine artist. It’s just a shame it only lasted 3 days.

For more information about Sickboy head over to his website, and make sure you check out the gallery section as Ian Cox has done a much better job, that I have, of taking photos of each of the pieces from the show.

Photos by Shower.


Category: Featured Posts, Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sickboy’s Heaven & Earth

November 2nd, 2011 | By | 1 Comment »

Best known for his iconic red and yellow ‘Temples’ sprayed onto walls and wheelie bins worldwide, Sickboy returns this Thursday (November 3rd) with only his second major London solo show. Personally I’m quite suprised it is only his second!

Inspired by semiotics and symbolism, Renaissance paintings and the surreal landscape workings of artists like Hieronymus Bosch, this new body of work promises to demonstrate “a deeper development of the artist’s visual vocabulary.”

A celebration of earthly sins and heavenly fantasies, the show is to be comprised of four major major installations, including a walk-in confessional booth and an additional exhibit of confessions from members of the public anonymously revealed before the show.

But for me I am most looking forward to seeing Sickboy collaborating with a who’s who of eminent artists on a third element; D*Face, Eine, Anthony Lister, Paul Insect, Vhils, Conor Harrington, Xenz, Word to Mother, Will Barras, Eelus, Mudwig and Hush.

With the final surprise installation to be unveiled on the opening night, this show sounds like one not to miss. But be quick as it only lasts 3 days, located at Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane, and ends on Sunday 6th November!

For a bit more info about the show and for those of you who would like to know more about Sickboy then I recommend 3 interviews he has recently completed with Londonist, The Playground and Zeitgeist Magazine.

Video courtesy of Sickboy. Photos by Viktor Vauthier.


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Art for Africa charity auction

November 14th, 2010 | By | No Comments »

Eelus' print for the auction

Temwa, a charity working on community-based projects in Malawi, is holding an art auction in Shoreditch next month. Art for Africa will take place on December 4th at Jaguar Shoes in Shoreditch. There’s a long list of artists involved, but some of the highlights for me are probably going to be Mr. Jago, Toasters, SPQR, Will Barras, Eelus and Xenz. Go here for more info.

Photo courtesy of Temwa


Category: Auctions | Tags: , , , , ,

Artists get started at WOW in Gambia

October 17th, 2010 | By | No Comments »

Logan Hicks sent over some photos from Wide Open Walls, the painting trip that he is on right now in Gambia. Logan, Eelus, Mysterious Al, Broken Crow and other artists are visiting small villages right now and painting walls there in an effort to improve the towns and increase tourism.

Juxtapoz, Brooklyn Street Art and the Wide Open Walls blog have more pictures.

Photos by Logan Hicks


Category: Photos | Tags: , ,

Wide Open Walls – street artists head to Gambia

October 13th, 2010 | By | No Comments »

This week, Eelus and other street artists are off to Gambia to for Wide Open Walls, a street art project that Eelus has curated there. I can’t wait to see what they paint. The lineup is very exciting: Eelus, Logan Hicks, Broken Crow, Lucy McLachlan, Ben Eine, Xenz and Mysterious Al. The aims behind the project art pretty clever. Eelus and the rest of the Wide Open Walls artists are trying to increase tourism to Gambia with their artwork. Like how FAME Festival and Nuart have brought tourists to places they wouldn’t have otherwise visited, this project has the potential to bring money to an area that could really use it. You can learn more about Wide Open Walls here.

Originally, I had planned to interview Eelus about the project, but then Juxtapoz and Zeitgeist each interviewed him, so I figured I probably didn’t have much to ask that hadn’t already been asked.


Category: Festivals | Tags: ,

Weekend link love

September 17th, 2010 | By | No Comments »

Billboard by Mobstr

This link post is definitely going to be a weekly thing. Hopefully it will allow me to link to things that I just haven’t had the time to cover here on the blog, my Twitter or Vandalog’s Facebook page. So here’s what you may have missed in street art this week:

  • My Love For You Is A Stampede of Horses and Arrested Motion have two sets of amazing photos from Fecal Face‘s 10 year anniversary show at The Luggage Store in SF. This show has a pretty sick line up including Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Jim Houser, Swoon and Maya Hayuk.
  • Nychos’ solo show at Pure Evil Gallery (in cooperation with End of The Line) opened on Thursday. Go here for the press release sort of info or go here for photos from the opening.
  • That I May See, Matt Small’s latest solo show, opened last week at Black Rat Projects and it looks absolutely stunning. My family and I can’t thank Matt enough for his support of the Robert Shitima School in Zambia, which is where Matt and Black Rat Press have decided to donate 40% of the proceeds from this show.
  • Eelus, Logan Hicks, Eine, Lucy McLachlan and others are headed to Gambia next month for the Wide Open Walls project.
  • OFFSET has once again put together an interesting conference of creatives who will be speaking next month (October 1st-3rd) in Dublin. OFFSET 2010 will have presentations from Gary Baseman, Steve Powers, Marc and Sara Schiller of Wooster Collective and many more. Early bird tickets are available online for 150 euros (with discounts for students thankfully).
  • A very touching work of street art in Brooklyn.
  • Just Seeds has put together Resourced, a set for political posters that you can download and print at home. There are designs by Gaia, Armsrock, Chris Stain, Josh MacPhee and many more artists.
  • When I first heard about JR’s new Unframed project, I didn’t really care for it. Basically, JR is wheatpasting other photographers (often famous) photographs around in cities. To me, this sort came out of left field. I don’t mind when Blek le Rat does similar things, but with JR, I always liked the stories behind the photos as much as the images themselves. I thought that with Unframed, that aspect of the art would go away. Luckily, Angelo at FAME Festival reassured me in an email and said once I learned more about the project, these would be just as interesting as the rest of JR’s art. Because I trust Angelo, I waited and didn’t write anything about Unframed or JR’s piece at FAME Festival. Earlier this week, Hi-Fructose’s blog posted a better explanation of the project as well as some photos of Unframed taking place in Switzerland. As usual, Angelo was right and after reading that post on Hi-Fructose, I’ve been convinced about Unframed.

Photo by Mobstr


Category: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Things to look at this weekend…

September 11th, 2010 | By | 1 Comment »

Detail of a painting by Bast

I’m guessing that with college only getting busier (although, as Stickboy pointed out on Twitter, freshman year isn’t exactly the busiest), I think I’ll finally have to resort to a semi-weekly link post. So Things to look at this weekend… will probably become a weekly feature on Vandalog (but maybe with more exciting name). So here’s what I’ve been reading recently:

  • Street Art: Contemporary Prints from the V&A is pretty much what the surprising title says. Turns out, the V&A museum has a pretty solid collection of urban art prints by artists like Swoon, D*Face and Blek le Rat. This show opens at a museum in Coventry, England on October 9th and UK Street Art has more info.
  • Tristan Manco‘s latest book, Street Sketchbook: Journeys, will be released at the end of September. Tristan is one of the people that I most respect in the street art community. Besides curating Cans Festival, he has been writing quality street art books for about a decade. He probably knows more about the artists he is writing about than just about anyone else, but he keeps everything accessible to a mass audience. Originally, I was skeptical of the concept of this book, but I’ve since been convinced that it will be at least worth checking out, and will probably be the best street art book of the year in terms of mass appeal (although other books will likely top it for street art fanatics). For me, the most exciting part of this book is going to be the exhibition that Tristan is curating at Pictures on Walls for next month. You’ll probably hear more about it on Vandalog in the coming weeks, but basically all the artists from his new book will be in the show. WallKandy has more info.
  • Bast has a solo show at Lazarides’ Rathbone Place. Most day’s I’m pretty indifferent to Bast indoors (credit to him for always getting up though), but I’m liking some of this work, and the Bast fans I’ve spoken with think this is some of his best work yet. Arrested Motion has photos.
  • Eelus has a solo show at Brooklynite Gallery in NY. The show runs through October 2nd. Hi-Fructose has some great photos.
  • It’s not a new idea and this video has been appearing all across the web, but if you haven’t checked out this “birds as CCTVs” project yet, it’s about time you do. I ignored it at first because I thought the idea was tired, but this version brings the idea to new levels and the video is very well-made.
  • One of my favorite art blogs is Street Art is Dead. If you haven’t read it before, it’s basically a no-holds-barred street art blog. Basically, I guess the writer of the blog is anonymous or just really doesn’t care what people think, so he/she really says it like it is and reveals juicy tidbits of gossip before anybody else. Today I want to link to two recent posts from Street Art is Dead. This one , on a topic that will not be discussed on Vandalog because I don’t want to play into the hype-machine, and this 100%-spot-on post about the latest Dolk prints and SPQR’s upcoming show at Signal Gallery. SAiD took the words right out of my mouth about SPQR and Dolk before I could post that here.
  • Old-school street artist Richard Hambleton has a solo show which just opened this week in Moscow. It looks pretty damn good. Of course, Arrested Motion has photos and all the info you need.


Category: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Whitecross Street Party

July 20th, 2010 | By | 2 Comments »

On July 24th and 25th, the “Whitecross Street Party: The Rise of the Non-comforsits” will be in full swing in London.  The whole street will turn into a creative canvas for leading street artists including Shepard Fairey, Dotmasters, Filthy Luker, Eelus, Burning Candy,  and much more. Right now, everyone involved is starting to put up the public pieces, but come the weekend, the road will be turned into a giant block party. Let’s just hope these pieces get to stick around for awhile because I am really liking what I see thus far.

The full list of artists and activities can seen on the Whitecross website here.

Here are some pictures of the setup of the event that were caught today.

Mr.E.Dawe

Shepard Fairey, Peter Dunne and Filthy Luker

Burning Candy

All Photos Via Wxstreet Party


Category: Events, Photos | Tags: , , , ,

The Colour Out of Space

February 26th, 2010 | By | No Comments »

Eelus‘ solo show, The Colour Out of Space, opened on Thursday night at Blackall Studios in London. It’s a really interesting show. While the images could be hit and miss, what you can’t argue with is Eelu’s technical ability. He’s not one of those lazy “artists” who figure that anybody who can afford a can of spray paint and an exacto-knife should try to cut crappy stencils and sell the resulting canvases for £1000. Eelus’ stencils are flawlessly cut and painted.

There were plenty of prints and originals, but Eelus also painted two large walls in the gallery.

While some of the work was classic Eelus, the best pieces showed a new direction for him. He’s using more color and geometric shapes.

Photos by Ian Cox, who has plenty more on his flickr


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags:

Eelus’ The Colour Out of Space

February 8th, 2010 | By | No Comments »

Later this month, Eelus will have his first London solo show. You may like the content of Eelus’ paintings, you may not (personally, I’m split, some I like, some I don’t), but you can’t argue with his technique. His stencils are always some of the best cut and best sprayed in street art.

Here’s a sneak peak at one of the Eelus’ new paintings, Firestarter:


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: