We’ve been busy photographing art over recent months and it is now time to let some of these loose on the website. We have just added three new artist galleries which help flesh out the rather impoverished ‘Z‘ section of The Street Art Directory. Two of these – Zurdie and Zippy were snapped in Belfast earlier this year are works completed for the ‘Hit The North 2022’ street art festival. Alongside these we include Zezão‘s beautiful piece from under a bridge in Hackney Wick and a series of new pasteups from Shoreditch by Zone Two.
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Following a trip to Northern Ireland back in December we are pleased to be able to add multi-disciplinary artist Carla Hodgson to The Street Art Directory. Carla is based in Co Down and graduated from the University of Ulster with a BA Honours degree in Fine and Applied Arts in 2001. Through her training she has been able to explore all avenues of art and she regards herself as an artistic allrounder able to work across all media.
In the biography section of her website Carla says:
A growing part of my practice is large scale murals, indoor and outdoor. I am growing more and more committed to making socially engaging art, involving local community to create projects that have a positive impact on the public. I feel it is vital in these times to animate dead spaces and bare walls.
Whilst in Bangor, Co Down, before Christmas we found one of those dead spaces with a bare wall that had been well and truly animated with a stunning purple octopus reaching a tentacle across the footpath and round a nearby rock.
The walls of Shoreditch have for some time been the epicentre of London’s street art scene and the go-to place to find murals, stencils, pasteups and other delights. Until recently pasteups have been largely relegated to quiet cul-de-sacs and side streets where they can be installed without drawing attention and often being pasted over in a matter of hours or removed (sometimes within minutes) by fans selfishly wanting a piece of the damp artwork for themselves. A few months ago, in a breath of fresh air for the genre, there was a well publicised legal pasteup event on Cheshire Street, just off Brick Lane. Here the wall alongside the Secret Art Gallery was covered in colourful work from a range of artists, organised by the gallery itself with help from prolific paster Subdude.
The LIPF was held from 4th to 7th Nov 2021. With the help of many of the artists a series of dedicated street locations in East London were covered with an amazing array of paste up artwork. All these locations were conveniently just a short walk from the Hoxton Gallery, which hosted the event, and held an exhibition of selected artists’ original artworks and a pop up store selling prints and the like. The festival also included a guided walk around the sites and live pasteup sessions.
The artists involved in the festival included: Donk, Luap, Wrdsmth, Dr Cream, Ben Rider, Carla Mata Hari, Shuby, Hellothemushroom, Endless, Subdude, Apparan, Tweet, Apparan, ‘Orrible, AKC, Morgazmik, Neon Savage, Oddo, Mort, Werck1, The End Of Animals, Ezura Forest, Bentoghoul, DD Regalo and Lucie Flynn – along with very many more. We have already uploaded some of the work from the LIPF to The Street Art Directory and we have lots more to add in the coming weeks.
A massive well done to everyone involved in making the festival a huge success. We are now looking forward to the next LIPF – is 2022 too soon?
It was back in 2019 during a visit to Manchester’s notoriously street art-laden Northern Quarter that we first stumbled across the work of Cliff Phillips. We were instantly taken by Phillips’ paste-ups featuring slightly grotesque expressionist skulls and skeletal figures as they jostled amongst the works of DPH24, Martha Hope, Dmstff and Face the Strange. In 2019 and we encountered another stunning piece of Cliff’s work but this time in East London. He doesn’t exactly go out of his way to promote himself but we have tracked Cliff down to find out a bit more about Cliff Phillips the artist and ask him a few questions…
The Street Art Directory – Hi Cliff. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Cliff Phillips – Hello! I was Born in 1975 and am a proud Englishman from the county of Lancashire. Although only the first five years of my life were spent in this decade I do think the atmosphere in the UK throughout the 1970’s is what may be responsible for my considerable bleak conspiratorial outlook on life!
TSAD – What is your background as an artist? Cliff – I was educated at possibly one of the finest education establishments in Lancashire! There I received a truly wonderful comprehensive school tutoring in art which equated to pissing around for approximately an hour a week. The end result was an ‘F’ in GSCE Art. This was my only GSCE, I might add.
TSAD – Are you a full-time artist? What else do you do to keep the wolf from the door? Cliff – I’m not full time, no, and to be honest with you I try not to pretend to be either – if you know what I mean. I paint as and when I can which suits me fine as I like to put my energy into other things. Should this change in the future, and the opportunity arise, then that would be something I would need to think about. But again, being honest with you, I think there are many more people deserved of becoming full time artists than me. As far as wolves and doors I would recommend reading “Who moved my Cheese” [the best-selling book by Dr Spencer Johnson].
TSAD – What is your preferred medium/media? Cliff – I started off, as most people do when they want to start out painting, using shop bought art supplies: canvases, acrylics, oil paints, etc. After some time I found that the oil paint was definitely a no no for me as I got it everywhere and I found that the acrylic paints were not opaque enough for the finish that I wanted to achieve. Anyway, I had read somewhere about painters in the early and mid 20th Century who were skint and couldn’t afford genuine artists’ materials so they used what they could get their hands on. Hardboard, usually from the back of cupboards and other pieces of furniture, was primed and used as canvases and household paint was used as an alternative to oil paints. These things were more freely available for them at the time and they also came at a fraction of the cost. So this is what I tried and I never looked back. I find it works great for me, and the colour palette available is always on trend – and all this for a fraction of the price of the art shop stuff. Recently though due to space limitations I have been having to experiment using acrylic paint pens. It’s not the same has throwing paint on a canvas but for now it’s what I have to do, but with that said I also have been pleasantly pleased by the results.
TSAD – When did you start doing street art – and why? Does it have a message? Cliff – I had wanted to do street art for years but it was only in 2018 that I put my first pieces up. Obviously I had seen my fair share of graffiti growing up but I saw my first piece of what we now commonly know as street or urban art, thanks mainly in part to that Banksy chap, whilst working in London back in 2004/05. It was a street-worn piece of pasted up paper that read, “H.M.P. London, Open Prison, I.D. Must Be Carried at All Times“. The Artist was Dr. D (how prophetic was he?!). It’s funny how things turn out as it was Dr.D himself who would give me the nudge I needed to put my own stuff up on the streets. As for does it have a message, I think people will see my street art and take from it what they will. I suppose that I hope to reach more people and get them thinking something opposite to that of the enforced narrative. Sadly though it seems that street art is now being turned into something that resembles the shite shovelled by the mainstream media. You only have to look around at the amount of virtue signalling pieces that now regularly appear on the walls.
TSAD – I’ve seen an eye motif used in street art and on the rear of framed paintings. What is the relevance of this logo? Cliff – It’s a reminder that we are constantly (I mean this literally) being watched and monitored but don’t worry folks because “if you’re doing nothing wrong you have nothing to fear”. Mwahahahaha!!
TSAD – Where in the world can your street art be found? Cliff – Mainly in Manchester. Back in 2018 me and my good friend the artist Dmstff went to London and met with a few of the local urban decorators. The response was really good and every intention was made to build upon this and continue to keep putting up my art around various cities in the UK but unfortunately this wasn’t meant to be and the art was temporarily put on hold.
TSAD – Which mainstream and/or street artists inspire & excite you, and why? Cliff – I get excited at very little these days but I have always respected the work put out by Dr. D. I really like the art of D*Face, an Italian London based Artist named Renato Hunto and the stencilling skills of the Franco German artist L.E.T.. As far as mainstream art goes like most things in life some is good some is bad but probably none of it really matters in the big scheme of things. Just to add that I do get excited by books. I am a self confessed proper nerd though, I will only buy first edition first prints unless it’s something I really want to read or simply the price of a ‘first’ is out of my reach. I do enjoy getting lost in a good story and it never ceases to amaze me at how an author is able to put together such rich detail within the space of a few hundred pages. As to what excites me about books, well everything really: the art on the dust jackets, opening a new book for the first time, the weight of the book – and that moment when I read the last passage in a book that I have enjoyed. I shall very much miss them when they are outlawed!
TSAD – What would you like to achieve with your art? What does success as an artist look like for Cliff Phillips? Cliff – Probably not what most artists would hope for or even class as success. I have never painted for self-gain. I am not rich or wealthy or even well off and yes of course any extra cash gained by selling a painting here or there is always appreciated and always comes in handy but painting for me is something else. My style of painting came about after years of struggling to find my own style but with that said I don’t think anyone is truly original in the art world. The style came unexpectedly and at a time when I least expected it. The act of painting was, and is, a release. I find painting for the most part hard work and an achievement for me would be painting something that I was happy with (which rarely happens). I get the most joy from hoping that those who do own a piece of my work or see a painting or a piece on the street get some form of enjoyment from it.
TSAD – Away from street art have you had solo or group exhibitions? Cliff – Again this is difficult for me as I have never openly promoted or pushed my paintings. I was invited to take part in a joint exhibition in London at The Crows Nest Gallery in 2018. This was at a time when interest had started to happen in my work. I was selling quite a few paintings both in the UK and abroad. I had just had a painting published on the front of a book by an American writer [see below] and a couple of London galleries were showing some interest but sadly my Dad became poorly so the art was postponed until further notice.
TSAD – Do you have a website people can visit to see & buy your work? Cliff – I don’t, and I’m not on social media. I don’t even own a mobile phone. To be honest with you I am somewhat of a hermit.
TSAD – Where next for Cliff? What can we look forward to in the future? Cliff – Who knows? I try to take it one day at a time. I will keep painting, keep spreading my message until the day comes when having an alternative opinion is against the law….oops, sorry, that has already happened.
You can see more of Cliff Phillips’ work on his gallery page on The Street Art Directory website.
We’ve not updated The Street Art Directory website for a while but are pleased to bring you a new selection of artists having raided the archives once more. We include Ácaro Llevacento‘s fabulous mural in collaboration with Libre HEM in Camden, Ewelina Koszykowska‘s mural in Hackney Wick and a Secle Style paste-up that has seen better days from Shoreditch. From outside London we include John D Edwards‘ octopus mural in Ipswich. There’s also a piece from Norway, by Spize & Phat Phunk, and an Artez mural from Serbia.
Last year we did a run down of the top 10 most visited artist gallery pages on The Street Art Directory website and thought it would be a good thing to do again for 2020. Before sitting down to compile this year’s list we were expecting it to end up being a who’s who of household names – those street artists who seem to be never too far from media attention – Banksy, Stik, Ben Eine, Shepard Fairey and the like. Instead what we found was these big hitters nowhere to be found at he top of the list. So here they are, in reverse order, this year’s most popular artists on the website.
First up, and in 10th place, we have Anne McCloy. Anne is a multi-disciplinary artist working in the visual and multimedia arts and design. She trained at Central St Martins College of Art and Design where she now lectures on the BA Fashion course. Anne McCloy works in music and design under the moniker ‘Some Product’ under which banner she can be found on Instagram.
On The Street Art Directory website we feature a large mural which used to reside at the junction of Great Eastern St and Old St in London. The building (which has also hosted works by Phlegm, Invader, Thierry Noir, Roa and many more over the years) has now been demolished.
Next we have Deranged Elf in 9th place. Anyone who has spent time wandering the streets around Brick Lane is likely to have stumbled across Deranged Elf’s diverse range of paste-ups, stencils and stickers. The artist’s work sometimes make political comment such as this Boris Johnson/Pinnochio portrayed here and other works which highlight environmental issues. Deranged Elf can be found on Instagram here.
We’ve found a few of Eiknarf’s paste-ups in East London, including the above typical “Crying but still punk” piece. On Eiknarf’s website you can purchase similar herpetologically-themed paintings, prints and T-shirts and you can also see more on their Instagram page.
The 7th most visited gallery is that of the prolific Atomic Hercules. Looking for interesting information about this artist we found this on their Twitter page: “As snake oil salesman, I prefer to shows off my quaint quirkiness with quackery. A practitioner of Choas Magik, Graphic Design & Linocut.” Atomic Hercules’s snails, beermat-style pasteups and stamp designs are to be found widely across East London at least and we feature a good selection on the website.
Humor (Hugh Whitaker) is represented on the website by just this one piece – a tribute to the street artist who painted under the name Pow. This work, in Allen Gardens in London, is one of many tributes to Alex that have hit the walls since he passed away in 2019.
Captain Eyeliner is the 5th most visited gallery and an artist that describes themselves as “a wheat paster, culture jammer, and an occasional pain in the ass“. We’ve captured a few of their cat skull images around London for the site. Captain Eyeliner has a presence on Instagram.
Our number 4 is Cliff Phillips. Born in 1975, Phillips comments on contemporary social behaviours through his vibrant portraits. As well as powerful works on the streets of Manchester and London he works in acrylic on reclaimed canvas, boards and found objects. We can’t find a website or social media profile for Cliff Phillips.
Our Number 3 is London based Cyborg iconoclast, Hallidonto whose “Cyborgia Manifesto” art, is created through the use of a variety of media, including virtual reality, crypto, digital, painting, drawing and poetry. On his website he explains his cyborg obsession:
“The cyborg image has been an integral part of my childhood. The cold war had just ended – the cultural landscape of the 80’s, was very much rooted in the future, the inherent feeling of that time was dystopia from the cartoons/films I watched as a kid, the advent of console gaming: Nintendo, etc. The image of man was always his metamorphism into the machine, or the machines taking over. I identified with the cyborg image, I wanted to be one. I identified with the concept of such a being and it has informed my work to date. They are infantile and simplistic in their appearance but not in their construction, being drawn in one continuous line. My visual discourse is motivated by transcribing the sociological constructions of our age, the evolution of the flesh its reflection of the coming state of mankind, flesh anxiety, the departure into a new being.”
Fosh topped the list last year and is still ‘up there’ this time around, taking the 2020 number 2 place. Fosh’s Instagram page doesn’t give away a lot about the artist behind the tags, paster-ups and stencils. Some seem to have wondered if Fosh the artist was Max Fosh the London-based YouTuber though this appears not to be the case.
The 2020 most visited artist gallery is that of the artist who goes by the name Bedroom. Several works by this text-based artist have appeared in Ipswich over the last year. The first of these doffed its cap to the highly successful ‘Sound City‘ music event in the town whilst subsequent stencils and plastic lettering pays homage to Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed. Bedroom appears not to have a website or social media profile currently.
So there we have it – The Street Art Directory‘s most viewed artists of 2020. We have many more artists in our archive still to upload to the site but very much look forward to the post-vaccine freedom of being able to wander the streets and find more new and interesting art.
Six new artist galleries have been added to The Street Art Directory. We include stickers by Elfie Sunshine, Bazzagramz, Brandon Roberts, paste-ups by Grim Finga and Vermin and an attractive piece by Blonde Karmart. All the photos in these galleries were photographed in London last month. Our archive of pictures ready to be added to the directory ensure we will have more new works and artists coming soon to the site whether or not there is another national COVID lockdown.