With good weather still prevalent (although I believe it won’t last much longer) we thought it prudent to get out and paste up some more of the numerous posters that are hanging around the studio. So with the sun on our backs and a cheeky smile on our faces we set out to take our wares to the streets.
Iron Jelloid Prophylactics
Take this Brititsh advert, purportedly from 1897, which for ‘Iron Jelloids’ which are ‘dainty, palatable, non-constipating and non-injurious to the teeth’. They even contained a little banjo salve and, as the advert claims, were widely acknowledged by discerning men as the best in the business. I’m sure they made a fantastic addition to the Prophylactic family of goods – which in 1897 was becoming something of a runaway success with their iconic cock logo being used even in this very early advert. I can only guess why they aren’t still available today…
Tobacco Bloom (complete with googly eyes)
I recently visited the ‘High Society’ exhibition at the Wellcome Trust and was very surprised to learn via a huge wall mounted infographic that the annual amount of money spent globally on the tobacco market is $625 billion as compared to $200 billion on the total illegal drug market and $825 billion on the entire pharmaceutical market (unfortunately i couldn’t find a version of the infographic image i’m talking about but have found more by same guy, David McCandless, on his website. This led me to thinking just how much the huge tobacco companies need to continue to sell us their product – and have us buy it. They have so much invested in continuing having millions of addicts that it boggles the mind. In some twisted way this led to the creation of Tobacco Bloom. The googly eyes are probably my favourite part of this piece. So there you have it.
I knew i had this one nailed when a friend came up with the title. Little did he know it at the time (as he was talking about something else entirely) but he had just helped me put this one to bed. I love it when a plan comes together…
All I do is win
‘All I do is win’ is my personal mantra which i repeat to myself 500 times each morning whilst staring intently at myself in the bathroom mirror. It hasn’t worked yet but i’m convinced it will some day…
The lady in this piece is indeed very particular. I think you can tell by the jaunty angle of her hat. That is all for now.
It would appear that we have something of a busy weekend ahead of us. And, as usual, we are woefully short of time. On the plus side we seem to work well under pressure so hopefully everything will work itself out…
First up, as long as we can get ourselves out of bed on time, we’ll be attending the Seize Art Fair on Friday to get ourselves involved in some East End fun. It’s something of a 90′s rave arrangement so we get confirmation of the meeting point in the morning then get to head off with some like-minded folk to have some paint related tomfoolery before anyone knows what’s going on. Well, that’s the plan and we’re in.
And then on Saturday morning it’s off to Bristol for the annual knees-up better known as UPfest. We’ve painted there a few times before and as long as the weather holds out it’s a good chance to paint what we like and catch up with whichever cool cats we can find. Now we just need to find a suitable old man to masquerade as us in all the TV interviews that are undoubtedly going to come our way…
Pictures will hopefully follow in due course as long as I can get said pictures before I manage to have too good a time. See you on the other side.
God save the Queen.
Undercover Lover (home furnishings edition)
We were asked by the lady who bought our original ‘Undercover Lover‘ canvas if we could recreate it as an urban camo window graphic for her new home. She wanted to let some light in to her living room but didn’t want net curtains, wasn’t convinced with shutters and decided frosted glass was passe. Without remembering how shoddy my Illustrator skills were I readily agreed thinking it would be a nice quick job. After doing a bit of research into one way graphics (like they sometimes have on the backs of buses – so it’s an advert from the outside but you can see out clearly) I ploughed ahead.
The design is relatively simple and the job is clearly not all that complicated to someone who knows what they are doing with Illustrator but for me turned into a nightmare of internet tutorials and working out how to convert a colour raster image into a decent vector image. Thankfully I eventually managed to get it right and the image was sent off to print. After a nervous wait (did i even get the window measurements right?) it was time to install which, surprisingly, went about as smoothly as one could hope. From the inside you can see out clearly and it lets in a surprising amount of light and from the outside you can only really see the graphic. Sweet. Job done. Finally.
The sun is back in London town! How long we have waited it’s hard to say but at least the good weather is here for the moment. And as it’s good to ‘make hay when the sun shines’ we thought we’d hit the streets for a little pasting action as you can never be sure if the weather will last or even if it will be back…
The Girls Romances magazine cover is actually to be used in another piece but I thought it best to make a couple of copies for pasting up while I was using the screen. The magazine is surely a must read for any young lady – complete with an interview with Gary Barlow on his great new tantric sex-ercise technique!
Graffiti Contract (wheatpaste)
Graffiti Contract (wheatpaste)
We have featured the Graffiti Contract before but thought it too good a chance not to have a few more out on the streets.
Prosecute this! (wheatpaste)
When I was growing up I occasionally saw the graffiti ‘Bill Posters is innocent’ about the place and didn’t understand it until my dad explained the joke to me at some point. I reckon I must have thought he was some kind of Robin Hood figure who the police were after but had public opinion on his side. This obviously appealed to me and lodged in my mind and now, after a good deal of processing, has now manifested itself in this piece.
I selected the date of 1880 as after a little internet research it would appear that was the date the ‘Bill Posters is innocent’ joke first made it to print (apparently in The London Graphic) so it’s certainly not anything new. I like the fact it still works today though…
Wha Gwan? (wheatpaste)
For the uninitiated, the phrase ‘Wha gwan’ (whaa gwaan) means ‘what’s going on’ in Jamaican Patois. The spelling varies but the meaning does not change. As we live in Brixton this is not an unusual phrase to hear around the place.
The fruits of today’s labour consists of a couple of newly commissioned prints which will shortly be ready to grace the walls at their new residence.
The Call of Duty
If you’ve ever played Call of Duty online and you’re about as good as I am (which isn’t to say i’m rubbish but I’m definitely a casual player as opposed to a hardcore 6-hours-a-day dedicated type) then you will undoubtedly have come up against an opponent much like the commissioner of this picture.
He works exclusively with a sniper rifle and will take you out before you’ve even seen him. Then take out the rest of your team too. To reflect this highly annoying level of skill we created a Call of Duty themed print that I’m pretty sure will hit the spot. Featuring all the deadly weaponry you can think of and his gamer tag I can only hope it’s an inspiration on the rare occasions when things aren’t going his way…
Storm Bird (pretty in pink)
Our next piece was commissioned for a young lady – hence the very fetching pink colour. It’s a one-off special of our Storm Bird print which was originally created as thank you for the good folks who helped us out with the creation of our video. And if you haven’t seen the video then you can turn the sound up and sit back for a couple of minutes of graffiti based oddness (featuring the god-like being of Tom Selleck – what more could you want?):
Forward the march. The burden and the glow.
Today, with the sun shining and all being well with the world we have a piece about love. But not your soppy Mills & Boon style romance. Oh no, this is about the kind of love that can be dangerous. For all it’s attendant positives there is a darker side to love…
Sometimes love can just be a little to much for any one person. This is where it feels as if love has becomes a burden to be endured in the face of mounting difficulties in the hope that perseverance will keep the flame alive. Too often it is extinguished before it has faced true adversity and perhaps this is the test. Any that endure will surely last a lifetime. Luckily for this young lover’s other half she has already taken stock and decided to forward the march, the burden and the glow…
Go on! Put ‘em up
Now for something a little different… Check out this feisty little bugger. He’s just spoiling for a fight and he’s got you in his sights! If you’re not careful he could get you with one of his right hook, left hook, uppercut combos. I’m not entirely convinced of how much damage it would do though as it looks like his skinny little wrists would shatter if he punched anything tougher than a pillow. It looks like they would sprain as he tried to swing his arm through the air!
Is it irony that he was bestowed with an unforgiving and aggressive attitude but has very little to back it up with? It’s difficult to tell how tall he is from the picture but I get the impression he’s quite small but a bit punchy and probably has something of a Napoleon complex. However effective he thinks he is in the ring I know I’d back a 90 year old granny to take the crown off this chump and become King of the Ring.
There’ll always be an England (front)
There’ll always be an England (back)
‘There’ll always be an England, while there’s a country lane’ or so the patriotic song made famous by Vera Lynn goes. Apparently it was written in the summer of 1939 and became hugely popular on the outbreak of World War II. Now whilst i’m not English I do live in London and have a certain affinity for England and, by extension, the English. It’s heartening to know that all the brave British soldiers who laid down their lives to defend our green and pleasant land did so in order that their progeny could bring the country to a standstill by rioting in the street – all to get their hands on the latest free stuff – trainers, computers, phones and the like. There’s nothing like having a good cause to fight for…
Now whilst i’m not about to pretend that there aren’t certain segments of the population who have a legitimate grievance over certain issues I’m pretty sure that rioting and looting is probably not the best way to get your voice heard in a democratic country. Maybe it was the voice of youth galvanised by the guerilla looting tactics employed by those who clearly only had financial gain in mind that led this to become a nationwide event. Or maybe the footsoldiers of capitalism were merely showing off their new found solidarity by rising up and showing The Man just how they run thing’s round here. Either way it was an ugly episode and one worth examining.
For those unfamiliar with the song and to commemorate last year’s youth rebellion I’d like to present Vera Lynn’s version for your listening pleasure (complete with lyrics). I’m surprised the rioters weren’t singing this en masse when they raised a people’s army and tried to seize control of the state by storming the ancient seat of democracy. Oh wait a second, I’m getting confused again aren’t I? They were just rioting for a laugh anad a new pair of Nike’s. My mistake…
In order to maintain our membership of the urban artist elite we are legally obliged to do a couple of these ‘social commentary with a cheeky twist’ style pieces every year. My favourite touch is the tiny rioter conducting the burning of the local JD sports store. Keep your eyes peeled for the next one as it may have even more obfuscated meaning, sarcasm and hidden irony…
This is what she made me
I don’t know about you but the ‘sparkle’ in this guy’s eye’s is pretty intense. I’m not sure if I’d like to meet him down a dark alley although you could at least see him coming. Why exactly he’s had his mouth stitched up I’m not quite sure either but it certainly doesn’t give me a warm feeling inside. That plus the kittens, guns and grenades in the background give him an overall feeling of being fairly sinister. Considering he’s involved in certain legal proceedings (mentioned in our last post) that’s all I’m legally allowed to disclose. You weren’t there man, you just don’t know what it was like…
This is who I always wanted to be
Sometimes in life we end up being the person that everyone else wants us to be and then sometimes, just sometimes we manage to transform into the person we wanted to be through a combination of determination and good luck.
Take this girl as a case in point. She used to be a straight A choir girl who read books on advanced maths in her spare time just for a laugh – but then one day things changed. The day in question is a little tough for me to talk about though as I was there in person and can’t really say any more until the current court proceedings are over. What I can say though is that it involved plenty of alcohol, copious amounts of drugs, numerous firearms, a small amount of explosive and, of course, one of the cutest kittens I have ever come across. Well, one thing led to another and the woman we have before us today was forged in that crucible of fire – a crazy cross between a Robin Hood, Major Disaster and an American Apparel model. Who would ever have guessed? That’s all I’m legally allowed to say for now…
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