Tate – old school

Having sampled some of the more modern art on offer in the Tate we also had time to wander around some of the older works (or, as I like to call it, the “real” art!!)

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Yes, controversial I know, but I am not a massive fan of “modern” art, Hence the last time I visited the Tate Modern I spent more time taking the mickey than enjoying the displays.

One of which I swear was a bathroom cabinet straight out of an Argos catalogue and just given a deep sounding title.

Probably something like “The futility of consumerism. Part 3. Mirror and chipboard.”

So give me a sumptuous Pre Raphelite any day!! Here’s some gorgeous Rosetti. The Beloved. 1866.

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Or this haunting Lady of Shallot by John William Waterhouse. A print of which adorned my teenage bedroom for many a long year. 1017739_10152682077302353_8155173633405313855_n

The picture illustrates the following lines from part IV of Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott’:

And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance –
With glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Another tragic portrayal, yet a highly beautiful painting, is Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais. Seems like artists can’t get enough of doomed women!

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This time the tragic scene being depicted is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act IV, Scene vii, when Ophelia, driven out of her mind when her father is murdered by her lover Hamlet, drowns herself in a stream:

There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

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Above L – R
John Singer Sargent
Philip Hermogenes Calderon

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Sir John Everett Millais,
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Tate walk through

Having a cultural moment now with a very quick whisk around the Tate gallery. It’s crammed pack full of an awe inspiring display of incredible art, from the rich, sumptuous pre raphaelites to uber modern, conceptual pieces.

10636173_10152682073087353_4666509623012620727_nAs we had very limited time we opted for the super quick immersion into all that the Tate has to offer with the BP Walk through British Art.

10903_10152682073677353_1535481112713762366_nAccording to the official blurb “The BP Walk through British Art offers a circuit of Tate Britain’s unparalleled collection from its beginnings to its end.

This ‘walk through time’ has been arranged to ensure that the collection’s full historical range, from 1545 to the present, is always on show.”

Foreground: Rasheed Araeen

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So whether you hanker for Hockney or are mad about Millais, there’s a bit of art for everyone.

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In no particular order, here are some of the snaps I took as I wandered around. Again. all taken on the phone so not best quality I am afraid!! I’ve tried to match up the art with the artist but some are missing. (and the spacing has gone a bit crazy too!)

L – R

in foreground: ??
in background: Walter Richard Sickert
Henry Moore OM, CH
in foreground: Dora Gordine

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Pauline Boty
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Close up of part of the Francis Bacon work

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L – R
Mark Gertler
???
Francis Bacon

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L – R
Henry Moore OM, CH
Family Group 1949, cast 1950–1
Henry Moore OM, CH
Woman 1957–8, cast date unknown
Frank Dobson

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Henry Moore OM, CH
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David Hockney

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L – R
???
John Hilliard

Hockney seen through William Tucker

Anabasis I 1964

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David Hockney

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in background: David Bomberg

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L – R
Francis Bacon

Sir Jacob Epstein

???

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Borough market

Fresh back from a weekend whizzing around London and visiting a few new places. One of which is the Borough Market in Southwark close to the Shard. Apologies for fuzzy pics, they’re all taken on my mobile!!

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Borough has long been linked with food markets and as far back as the 11th century, London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock.

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In the 13th century traders were relocated to what is now Borough High Street and a market has been there ever since.

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In 1755, the market was closed by Parliament, but a group of Southwark residents raised £6,000 to buy land known locally as The Triangle and reopened the market in 1756.

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The Triangle is still at the heart of the market today.

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There’s a wide range of stalls including fish, bakery, confectionery, dairy and more.

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Above is a selection of sea food, all artistically arranged for the discerning shopper while below are a colourful array of veggy friendly salads.

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There’s a global food vibe happening with French Duck confit and lavender from Provence along with tasty continental pastries.

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Italian cheeses are piled high alongside a mouthwatering selection of bread and brownies!!

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A favourite photogenic confectionery are the colourful little macaroons in a plethora of flavours including Earl Grey tea and pistachio.

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Or you can just stick to the tried and tested traditional tastes such as chocolate.

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These adorable little tins of liquorice would make perfect keepsake pots for all your useful stuff.

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More colourful snaps of veg and drool making cakies!

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And some intriguing mushrooms (shudder) wrap up our whistle stop tour around Borough market. Well worth a visit if you’re close to the Shard. (and have an obsession with markets like me!!)

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Colourful mishmash

This post is a bit of a free for all dumping ground for some of my most favourite pieces of street art from the Brick Lane tour.

From the colourful  D7606 telephone box paste ups to Icon’s re-imagining of childhood games, it’s a crazy whizz though some particular highlights of mine!

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Possibly my favourite snap of the whole day, this line up of psychedelic phone boxes is a sumptuous colourful treat.

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More phones boxes, a colourful wall and a sneaky C215 spot too!

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Here’s some angelic artwork, St. Gentrfiizian. Brick Lane and The Kraze.

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Another line up of phone boxes filled with iconic women, I think I spy Liz Taylor and Rhianna in these.

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More paste up boxes, C215 and a Gee thrown in for good measure.

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It’s a very good question . . .

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And finally Icon reinvents Thomas as an actual tank!

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And shows Mario the error of his mushroom experimenting ways.

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Birds, boys and British street art

Wow I took a lot of photos in a single graffiti hunting day!

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Above are some stunning Bom.K and Liliwenn murals on Hanbury Street in Brick Lane while below are a selection of paste ups, sticker art and close up details of other pieces dotted about the place.

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Here’s a few pieces of work from Louis “masai” Michel with an exotic green bird and Otto Schade

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Colourful concoctions, weird images and smoking frogs all combine to feel just a little bit trippy . . .

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And a few final snaps of things that caught my eyes!

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I still seem to have so many pictures to put on! I’m on a roll . . .

 

Walls of colour

Whether it’s walls full of eye popping colour or the tiniest little sticker, every crevice in Brick Lane is crammed with art.

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Whatever your preferred style you are bound to find something to tickle your artistic taste buds.

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A mix of stickers, stencils and paper mash ups ensure that no two walls are ever the same.

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From iconic film stars turned into munchkins to delicate praying hands, there’s a variety of different subject matters and styles to spot.

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No door, wall or building escapes some form of decoration.

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As interesting, hip and edgy as it all looks in the sunshine, during a flying visit, I am not sure whether I would want to be surrounded by graffiti and peeling posters all the time.

Would the novelty wear off and be replaced by a more mundane weariness as every surface is deluged with “art”?

Sclater Street art cluster

Some areas in the East End seem to see a particular concentration of art. One such place is Sclater Street, just off the main drag of Brick Lane.

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Entire buildings are smothered in gigantic images.

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The vivid colours provide a perfect foil to the drab, derelict industrial surroundings.

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There are some recognisable figures gracing some of the walls. Below is an immense Usain Bolt by James Cochran AKA James C.

According to details about it the portrait is “created in a distinctive ‘scribble style’ developed by the artist to reflect the inherent energy and vibrancy of Bolt’s personality, as well as visually communicate a sense of speed.” Read more about James C and his work here.

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This disturbing trio of washed out figures is called The Letter Box Bandit and is by Id-iom another prolific artist. You can find out more the story behind the image here.

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These snaps were taken about a year ago and most of the work will already have disappeared, painted over, tagged by other artists or covered in posters. Almost as if it never existed at all.

But part of the joy of street art is its transient nature. Fluid and ever evolving you’ll visit the same spot just days later and it’s all changed again. Does that make the art more or less valuable?

I look forward to visiting the same streets again soon and seeing what has changed and what has endured.

 

Words as art

Lots of the artwork dotted around the East End involves literally spelling out their messages. No one is more the master of this than Eine (Real name Ben Flynn).

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Eine is most notable for his alphabet lettering on shop shutters in around Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Broad Market areas of the East End.

Above is a piece entitled PRO. (Self explanatory really!) I love the frivolous colours and patterns.

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The vibrant typographical letters spell out a variety of different words – Scary, Vandalism, Exciting and more.

Eine’s street art is driven by a love of typography and he describes being influenced by how “letters change shape when combined with other ones”.

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Here’s his SCARY wall under the bridge on Rivington Street. Not looking too menacing on a sunny day.

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Eine was well-known in London circles for ‘Alphabet Street’ in the capital’s Spitalfields region where he painted the entire A-Z on shop shutters down Middlesex Street. It’s a delightful, colourful splash of happiness!

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He become even more well known when a piece of his art work was presented to Barack Obama by David Cameron.

A bit ironic given that after spending 20 years tagging he has been arrested between 15 and 20 times and has five convictions for criminal damage – not exactly a model citizen according to Cameron’s own government!

Art or vandalism?

Banksy is an interesting phenomena. Once classed as a vandal, his art work is now protected from other “vandals” and art collectors!!

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Here’s two examples of his iconic work. Preserved from tourists and the tender ministrations of other street artists by a sheet of perspex.

Above, His Master’s Voice – possibly one of his best known pieces – can be found in the pub garden of the Cargo pub garden.

His work now goes for thousands of pounds, but twenty years ago it would probably have been jet washed off by the local council. Interesting how the perception of “art” and value alters constantly.

The piece below is also in the Cargo Club beer garden on Rivington Street. The invite says come graffiti but the plastic protection shield says otherwise.

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Here’s a variety of interesting pieces from ALO. Largely self-taught, the artist honed his craft on the streets of Perugia, Milan and Rome before moving to London.

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His work was displayed in the Saatchi gallery in 2014 in a show entitled Hail to the Loser. Pieces were on sale from anything from £600 to £2000!

Incase you don’t want to pay thousands of pounds to own one, here’s some in their natural environment! (Plus a random pair of legs and a sofa!)

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Lots more still to come with colourful postboxes, stickers and mash ups!

More art on the streets of London

Moving on from the colourful mash ups on Fashion Street we actually start to be able to recognise the distinctive different styles of some of the artists.

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Here’s a few examples of an artist identified as Paul “Don” Smith whose work is instantly recognisable. His subjects are as diverse as they are delicate. From the stars of the 2012 Olympics to music heroes. There’s also some colourful work by Gee.

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This huge colourful piece covers up a drab wall.

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It’s not all about huge pieces dominating walls and buildings though, I love to spot the tiny pieces hidden away or the amusing, playful bits. Neil awaits further instructions. . .

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C215 is another artist’s sign off that we start to notice. With distinctive colour motifs and detailed drawing, its a very distinct style of work.

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Another very recognisable artist is Stiks. Whose minimal, adorable stick figures offer insights into contemporary society. But they also look super cute!!!

His work fetches high prices and apparently Elton John, Bono and other celebs sport him on their wall. But here you can see it for free!

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The little people appear everywhere, stealing artwork, promoting harmony and eyeing up pot plants!

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Next up a true icon of the street art scene, colourful postboxes and more!