Street Art News


Written by Marlon Dolcy
22 Monday 22nd November 2010


In street art news this week we look at Street artist Mantis’s solo exhibition at the derelict Lord Napier Pub, we also head to Ronzo’s show at Stolen Space gallery. We discuss Banksy’s burgeoning fame in Hollywood as he is nominated for an Oscar. We also discuss a project to tackle Hackney Council’s graffiti policy and we look at a fantastic piece of art from Sinha.
Last week Thursday was the first solo exhibition of East London Street Artist Mantis. For only three days, Mantis held an exhibition in the derelict Lord Napier Pub on White Post Lane in Hackney Wick. Mantis has for a long time been a brilliant artist within the street art scene. His stencils and the like typically combine humour with social commentary, as this imagined picture of Mugabe as Scarface shows. What was impressive about his show was that there was no indication that any of the art was for sale, this was just to platform for die hard street art fans to admire his work. Also it was revelatory in proving that Mantis is competent in painting and drawing, as some street art stencillers have no talent for hands on art at all. The pictures from the exhibition are shown above and his street work below.
At the Truman brewery Ronzo’s second solo show went up with a bang with a giant cockroach on a moped terrorising the audience. We did an interview with him before the show yet still did not know what to expect. His work will draw a lot of attention, even in an area filled with street art.
A couple of weeks ago we reported that Hackney council were about to obliterate a fine piece of street art from Roa. Well, thankfully it was saved by a group of street art vigilantes who cared about preserving Roa’s giant sized rabbit. Those same people have now set up a project called Wild Hackney, View Here, in order to lobby Hackney Council about a new approach to its graffiti policy. This is a good in theory but concerns are held on what represents good street art, and we wouldn’t want this turning into an X Factor style judging panel, as that would be just too contrived.
In Banksy world, it appears that he is moving further away from the “keeping it real tag” by being nominated for an Oscar for his groundbreaking documentary film Exit through the Gift Shop. It perhaps isn’t his fault that he was shortlisted, as the film is remarkably good. Having already won a Greirson documentary award for the film while characteristically failing to turn up to accept the award, my money is on that he will do the same if he ever wins the Oscar for best documentary.
The best piece of street art this week goes to this work by Sinha in Sao Paulo. The surreal nature of female creature is at once sexual and magical at the same time, reminds me of a surreal Miss Van piece. The use of bright colours adds to the amazing quality of Sinha’s perfectly realised vision, which is purely fantastic.
Till next week.


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