In Metz, France
On Great Eastern, Shoreditch.
Well hello there.
I’m not really sure how I feel about Mr Fahrenheit’s work because it seems awfully similar to Mr Brainwash’s work, and his themes are a bit derivative, a kind of celebrity-culture-inspired collection without actually saying much about the culture therein…. also, his shit is EVERYWHERE. You can’t shake a spraycan without dribbling over 10 of his pieces. And for me, familiarity breeds disinterest. So I’m kind of Mr Fahrenheit’d out. But here’s most of this stuff that I found in Shoreditch recently…. judge for yourself!
Across the street from Shoreditch High Street Overground station.
Have you seen street art disappearing from your neighbourhood? Those are art thieves! You may see them with official looking uniforms and identification badges, but they are the real vandals.
Reminds me of this from Toronto.
I had found one of these in Soho in December, and one of my readers informed me that this is by Clet Abraham.
This is much better than the first one I found, because it is unblemished, and you can appreciate the work that much more. This was on Greek Street in Soho, London.
What I really like about these simply-designed stickers, is that they remind us that the government has a monopoly on the language of the street, and the language used to paint the street. But who do the streets belong to, if not the people? Clet Abraham is launching an attack on the streets, and everyone is invited.
This Phlegm mural was in the same courtyard as the Roa that I posted earlier this week. The Roa was easier to photograph than the Phlegm because the cafe that’s situated in the courtyard had erected a stupid awning that was in the way. Yes, people want to drink outside without the London rain pouring down on them, but it’s blocking the Phlegm! DON’T YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS?!
See what I mean? I had to angle and manoeuvre my way around the awning just to get a shot.
I like how they light comes down exactly where a painted candle is situated.
WHO YOU LOOKING AT?
Check out my Phlegm category for more of his work that I’ve photographed.
Never was so much owed by so few to so many/never was so much owed by so many to so few.
Found this near Old Street.
OCCUPY STREET WALLS!
Aging I did not fear, until I examined her wrinkles.
In her wrinkles appeared a prevailing darkness and monstrosity.
All sorts of vesicles, salts, and ruddiness
And life is swallowed up by these wrinkles,
suffocated while still sleeping.
And no one sees, man pretends himself awake,
But falls asleep, reclined upon his chest.
Never in his life to wake.
From what I’ve been able to gather, Nitzan Mintz is an Israeli street artist and poet, and she recently had an exhibit in London. This was found near Old Street.
TO THE SOUP KITCHEN!
I found & photographed this on the Essex Road in London the other day. Nicely done, random pub-sandwich-board-chalk-writer.
Yesterday I was in transit for 11 hours, from Phuket to Koh Samui, I took two buses, one ferry, vomited my guts out (stupid Delhi belly), then hopped on the back of some guys motorbike in the pouring rain to get to my hostel at beautiful Lamai Beach. It was a long day and this morning I’m still recovering, my body feels a bit weak. I’m testing the waters right now, I may or may not go out today ( at present, quarter to 11am, I’m still in bed) but since I don’t have much in way of travel stories to share, I thought I’d share more of the graffiti and street art photos I took in NYC earlier this month. I have so many to share! After this “Situ-Asian” is over, it will take me a long time to blog them all, so I might as well start now whilst I’m under the weather.
First up, I thought I would continue with that Hope post I initially briefly blogged earlier this month. Amber and I found this post, where people are invited to write what they hope for on a tag and leave it for others to find, and we decided to contribute our own hopes.
there’s Amber writing down her hope tag.
you see that “I handprint ny” poster? That’s a Jef Campion
so many tags and hopes to discover. I love ephemeral, community projects like this. It’s free, democratic, liveable, and it connects you to other people in a fun and creative and meaning-potent way.
this one is probably my favourite. It meant something to me seeing as how I was about to embark on my travels, and my heart is constantly bursting with love. (Shaddup)
Found this just outside the Highline at 20th and 10th in Manhattan.
It invites the public to write down what they hope for, anything at all, on one of the tags provided and attach it to the hope pole. I loved how it was just underneath a Jeff Campion piece. I wrote down my bit, which basically said I hope my trip to Asia will help me remember the woman I was, and give me the strength to become the woman I will be.
Like they say in Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is a good thing. And no good thing ever dies.”
i’m not kidding you, i stopped to talk to the guy who owns this house on bertmount avenue and his name is james bond.
seriously kids, you must pay a visit to this house in the east end. it is many things, but dull or unoriginal it is not.
a plaque signed by the former mayor of toronto, barbara hall. THEY GIVE OUT AWARDS FOR THIS?!
if you insist.
dundas and shaw.
jimmy p LIGHTNING, ya’ll.
found this on queen west near dovercourt
Finally! After months and months of blogging my New York Shitty and Montreal photos, I’m back to covering Toronto’s urban art. Here’s the thing. These photos were taken waaaaaaay back in June before I set off on my adventures (and there’s still more adventures to come!), so from now until I leave, all the street art I will post comes with the caveat that it may already be gone. That’s the nature of the beast, unfortch. Short shelf life, and all that. Street art is like a dairy product.
Anyhoo, here’s a find from Trinity Bellwoods park.
while this is very inspiring and ephemeral, it’s not by any street artist. this is a media campaign for North by Northeast (NXNE, a music festival akin to South by Southwest that occurs in June), which i discovered a few hours later when i found this poster on college street near beatrice.
oh well, it’s the (derivative) thought that counts!
Recently, I had a very fun photoshoot and interview in Toronto’s infamous Graffiti Alley with TorontoVerve. If you don’t know, TorontoVerve is one of the more popular street style photoblogs in Toronto, and presents a really great cross-section of the personalities and characters to be found whilst traversing our awesome little city. Also, the photos are absolutely stunning! Anyway, they asked me if I would like to be one of their subjects, and I was humbled and flattered by the invitation.
It turned into a really fun 101 lecture on Graffiti and Street Art from Toronto, which as you all know, I can yap my freakin’ head off about! We wandered together through the alley for a few hours, and I even made him hike up Spadina to show him the last Banksy left in Toronto!
Here are some of the photos of me in the alley, but for the full interview (We talk about Banksy, Spud, Poser, graffiti turf wars, and of course, Mayor Rob ford), click over to TorontoVerve now!
Fanks for Nigel for the invite and for being made of awesomesauce.
(All photographs copyright Nigel Hamid/TorontoVerve)
Among many of my things to-do whilst in New York, one of them was The Madonna Tour of New York. This isn’t something that is organized and run by official tour guides. This is something I fashioned myself using Google. I’ve always been really inspired by Madonna’s life. Her music, I can take it or leave it, but I find her struggle for success really inspiring. Unlike most celebrities today who are famous through nepotism or for nefarious acts, Madonna made her own life. She arrived in New York with no money, knowing next to no one, and was even sexually assaulted. She squatted in buildings and barely scraped by for 5 years in New York, until she finally got that record deal in the early 1980s. So I’m not particularly interested in the Madonna of now, more of the Madonna from the late 70s. Every year or so, I reread Andrew Morton’s biography about her (which I bought 10 years ago in a second-hand bookstore for $3) and it really gives me a kick in the pants to do more with my life. To be more ambitious and driven.
Anyway, Morton’s book is so detailed about the places and people in her life in the late 70s that I realized I could actually (probably) find these places and meet these people whilst there. So after scouring the book once more for precise details, I set about fashioning my own Madonna tour of New York… one that visited most of the places that were a part of her tapestry. I also contacted one very important person from her life at that time (more on that later…)
First stop, the synagogue in Queens.
In the late 70s, Madonna met the Gilroy brothers, Dan and Ed. They were musicians in a band and she was still a dancer at this point. She began a relationship with Dan and promptly moved in with him and Ed. Dan and Ed at the time were living in this above synagogue deep in the heart of Corona, Queens.
You can tell just by looking at it’s size and architecture that it was built sometime in the early 1900s and was converted into a house probably in the 1960s after falling into disrepair and disuse by the Jewish community.
Ed Gilroy and his wife still live in this synagogue actually, but weren’t there when I visited, so I left a lil’ hello note in their mailbox. When Andrew Morton visited this synagogue, Ed took him down to the basement where 30 years prior, Dan had taught Madonna how to play the drums. She had been a drummer in their band The Breakfast Club before becoming the guitarist…. and finally wanting to take the front position. Also, in the basement, are reel-to-reel recordings they made back then of Madonna singing and playing, of her chatting with Dan and Ed playfully …. it’s like a time machine back to the 70s and of her unfamous life, Morton wrote.
Standing here, I was imagining a young black-haired skinny Madonna, younger than I am now, bounding down these steps and heading for the subway to go into Manhattan, taking the exact same steps I had taken to get there by subway….. it was a pretty connecting and exciting thought.
Next stop …. The Russian Tea Room in Manhattan
When Madonna first arrived in New York in the late 70s and was still a dancer, her dancing instructor (Pearl Lang) worried about how thin she was and how she was getting by, so she got Madonna a job at The Russian Tea Room on 57th. Now from all the sources I have read, she was a “hat check” girl there in the late 70s before getting fired. But I walked inside the TRTR and asked the hostess, and she said Madonna was a “coat check” girl in the early 80s. So I’m not sure which is correct, but either way, the hostess confirmed that yes, Madonna worked there.
Next stop …. The Music Building on the shitty west side.
The Music Building is an infamous shitty building on 8th avenue in the shitty “Minnesota Strip” part of Manhattan that, in the early 80s, must have been 100x worse. Drugs, violence, crime, and then this towering inferno, floor after floor, of disgusting sweaty, smelly wannabe rock n’ roll superstars jamming all hours into the night, spilling out into the street.
This is also where Madonna recorded her first demos and met her first manager, Camille Barbone.
Madonna used to actually squat illegally in the music building and wash herself in the ladies loo. Fab Five Freddy once said that when he met Madonna, she smelled so bad and it seemed like she was the type to get around, hahaha. Anyway, I tried to go inside but the doors were locked (you need a fob key to get in) and I didn’t have an appointment (which you also need if you want to look around).
But I looked up and knew that inside one of those windows was the studio where Madonna and Steven Bray put the finishing touches on Everybody…
Next stop, 30 West 21st street, which now is a very gentrified and beautiful area, but 30 years ago it was …
…where Danceteria used to be. Danceteria was the club where Madonna passed her demo tape to Mark Kamins (the DJ there, and sometime A & R rep, who briefly became her boyfriend) who then passed it on to Seymour Stein, head of Sire Records, who was laid up in the hospital after heart surgery and told Kamins to bring Madonna to him in the ward. Danceteria is also where Madonna had her first live performance of Everybody, and where she recorded her very first music video (Everybody).
Next two stops were the former locations of Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s, where Madonna and her early band Emmy played some of their first gigs. Emmy was actually Madonna’s nickname when she was younger so the band adopted it as their name. I have found some of Emmy’s recordings online, and I think my favourite is “Little Boy Lost.” It’s very punk-influenced and Madonna’s voice is so pure in it. She strains to hit some notes, but that’s what I love about it, she’s putting so much heart into it. Now they’d auto-tune out all her strain, which really is a sad thing. On “Little Boy Lost” you get to hear her voice unfiltered by subsequent technique and lessons. She had a lovely voice then, now it kind of sucks. When the critics in the 80s called her voice like “Minnie Mouse on helium” I think that really struck a chord with her and she has since tried to lower her octave (listen how deep she goes on “Papa Don’t Preach.”). But I kind of miss her spritely, natural voice.
CBGBs only officially closed in 2006…. and I made my first ever NYC visit in 2007 so I missed it completely, but luckily the dude who took over the space and turned it into a shop kept most of the memorabillia around.
The walls were never painted over. This wall and space was almost right behind the former bar.
Now, as promised, here’s the story of the person I contacted …..
Through a lot of online digging and sleuthing, I found the mailing address of Dan Gilroy, Madonna’s former boyfriend (mentioned above in the synagogue section), and also the man who taught her how to play the drums and guitar…. and basically how to make music.
So I wrote him a hand-written letter a few weeks before I arrived in NYC, basically asking him if he would be okay meeting up with me for a cuppa and a chat.
I figured that by the time he got my snail-mail letter, I’d already be in NYC, so I gave him my email address as a reply method, and kept my fingers crossed.
Whilst in NYC, I received an email from him! He said he was now living in Texas (my letter had been forwarded to him there, so the mailing address I had found was technically wrong) so we couldn’t meet. I won’t include all of his letter here, for privacy reasons of course, but here are some select lines:
He’s so kind!!! His letter was so generous and giving, he didn’t even have to write me back at all, so I was so grateful for his response. If that man wasn’t like 60 years old, I’d be all up in his grill.
So there you have it, that was my own personal Madonna tour of New York.
I would highly recommend it:)
Madonna once said that what you do in life, and how far you go, depends on how hungry you are.
The Dorian Grey Gallery on E 9th Street between 1st Ave and Avenue A has been running an exhibit called Street Artists Unite! which brings the best of NYC’s street to the inside walls, in collab with Hank O’Neal. The exhibit opened the day I arrived in NYC, and I visited it right away, but of course, I’m only getting around to blogging it now because of the ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY NINE other street art photos I had taken whilst in NYC. Omg, I’m still not done yet, and there’s still so much to blog! Anyway, the exhibit closes this Sunday, so if you’re in Manhattan, I highly suggest checking it out. Admission is free free free and the work is cool cool cool!
Recognize this? It’s a photo of 5pointz that has been altered on canvas by Art is my Weapon.
wocka wocka wocka!
Another piece by Art is my Weapon (he also goes by TMNK if you ever see that tag… it stands for The Me Nobody Knows)
this is by ChrisRWK (robots will kill) who takes a piece by Basquiat and adds to it.
it used to look like this.
Art is my Weapon blending his rifle stencil with his love/hate motif
It’s called Save the Children and as you can see, here he’s using the TMNK tag.
this is Billy the Artist who adds to an old Mr Brainwash piece. You might remember when Mr Brainwash came to Toronto and I photographed this exact piece here
this is by Screwtape whom i’ve blogged about many times before. he’s super nice & wicked talented.
yes he does.
i’m not sure who this by because it wasn’t hung on the walls, it was just sitting off to the side next to some books for sale, but it’s a really nice piece, and i wanted it but couldn’t afford it.
this is by Jef Campion aka Army of One
War and Peace with bullet holes in it. Did you know that War and Peace embraces more than 500 characters? I learned that from Trivial Pursuit. Board games from the 80s pay off!
here’s another War and Peace, killed by bullets.
I wonder if Campion actually shot a gun at the book… or if this was done by a drill…
that toy soldier is disco dancing.
At the gallery you can buy an OUT OF PRINT book that features all these artists, and it COMES with an Enx canvas on it! MUST BUY, PEOPLE! original art and out-of-print books!
me too, campion!
they also had a collection of old subway signs that have been graffiti’d aka improved. this one was for the 6 train. you can be like J.Lo and be “on the 6!” < / sarcasm >
i think i’ve only taken the 2 once or twice, and it wasn’t a great experience.
my fav subway trains are the N, Q, the 7, the G, sometimes the F, sometimes the J, Z, or M…. and most definitely the L. i’m not going to lie, i’m a hipster. SUE ME! i’ll see you in that new court house that i bet you’ve never heard of.
blonde lady in this pic is Lizzi, she was super helpful, chatty, and full of cool information about the work and the exhibit. her and Chris who owns the gallery (i spoke with him on the phone) were awesome and it made for a better experience.
look for this little unassuming doorfront if you’re going to visit the exhibit!
sorry for the grainy picture, i snapped this with my blackberry.
i found it inside the ladies loo of the Think Cafe on the corner of bleeker and bowery that sits across from the former location of CBGB’s.
yoko ono and john lennon, i betcha, fucking loved graffiti.
on a ceramic tile, no less.
berry street, williamsburg
the #SYVW was a movement in williamsburg for Shop Your Values Week which occurred in May… but some remnants of the movement still abound….