Street Art News


Written by Marlon Dolcy
01 Monday 01st November 2010
In Street Art News this week we will be taking a look at the villainy of the London Borough of Hackney’s street art policy. We will be investigating the mystery of the artist who made a satirical stencil in Shoreditch of both George Osborne and David Cameron and we will be looking forward to an exhibition by Richard Hambleton.
Even Mr Untouchable Banksy has had his work erased from the boroughs streets. Islington operates differently by preserving works with plastic or Perspex. Hackney council has never been a fan of Street Art. Ironic given that Hackney is arguably the arts capital of London, and possibly even the whole of the UK. Yet you would think that those people would embrace a movement that is growing and continues to do so. Not at all, they’re too busy caring about the money that they’d be getting for two weeks of Olympic Games in 2012, rather than any other cultural value.
So when an amazing work of public art made by an internationally renowned artist and done with the permission by the building’s owners, what does Hackney Council do? They issue the building’s owners with a 14 day ultimatum to get rid of the art. If not they will do it themselves then fit the owners with a bill.  Never before has the definition of the word Philistine, rang true with these dense bureau-prats.
The work in question is a picture of a 12 foot Hare painted on the side of Premises Recording Studio with the owner’s permission. It was made by the renowned Belgian artist ROA, who adopts an anonymous profile and has exhibited his art in Paris, New York as well as London. It has also attracted tourists from across the world. What Hackney council fails to realise, is that this art belongs to the public. Not to the council, but to you and me. We don’t have to pay a fee to see this work in a gallery, and its purpose is to brighten up its own surroundings. Hackney’s theory though is that it is “anti-social, has an impact on perceptions of crime in the community, and diminishes the local environment”.
Well Hackney Council, the masses beg to differ. There is an online petition which you can sign, so if you are a fan I recommend that you do so here.  Remember there is only seven days left.
I would have expected nothing less from the Conservatives when they proposed their cuts to the benefit system. Housing benefits are being cut, new tests are being undertaken to prove that YOU ARE NOT entitled to disability living allowance that you deserve, and the cuts in child benefits will most likely hit single parents the hardest.  So what best way to convey this hypocrisy of the government than this great piece of anti-capitalist graffiti? This stencil was found on Curtain Road, in Shoreditch, a road which also hosts works by artists such as Insa, Dep and Solo One . It has been there since at least mid October, but the artist is unknown to me. If anyone could shed some light on who the artist is that would be much appreciated, because they deserve some recognition. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
Meanwhile coming to London after touring Cannes, New York, and Milan is an exhibition by the pre-Banksy artist Richard Hambleton. Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld is curating the show at The Old Dairy in Russell Square from the November 19 to the December 3 and Giorgio Armani is sponsoring the event from of who he claims is his favourite artist. Okay it does seem like a bit of a highbrow affair for my refined tastes, but Richard Hambleton deserves his place in the movement’s history and he deserves his title as “the godfather of street art”. His work in the early 80’s of shadowmen and the theme of mass murder all over New York City was groundbreaking for the time and has had an influence on the artists that came after including Banksy and Blek Le Rat. I will definitely be there.
That is all for now. Till next week.

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  • Guest: rheap38
    Thu 04 - Nov - 2010, 15:43
    GREAT 1, Ive now had all my dreams cum true as 2 c giddion & ca"moron" 4 what a pair of twats thay r while thay cut bennifits 2 poor & disabled but not them selfs as there the rich & THAT WONT DO, WILL IT!