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Faile @ Thousands (Organart 2009)THE THOUSANDS @ VILLLAGE UNDERGROUND, East London  - 18th Nov

       If the point of tonight’s rather ambitious Thousands show, at the impressive Village Underground complex (a converted Victorian factory in East London), was to “attempt to show the art world and the public that there are great works of art within the sphere of “street” and that these artists deserve a place in art history." well then yes, it more than succeeded. If the art world really does still need to be shown, then there it all is, up there on those big brick walls. Not sure how many of the creators are bothered about a place in “art history”, we all like an audience for our work though don’t we?  Set out with plenty of space to breath, with lighting that shows things off in a very positive, airy, slightly more formal way than your usual street art show, the Thousands is a triumph. Every piece in the extensive show is worthy of attention, no filler here - all seriously good pieces of street art doing all the talking that's needed. RJ, the curator, he of Vandalog, has pulled together a collection of top names and rarely seen pieces from private collections – names that include Barry McGee, Faile, Banksy, KAWS, Shepard Fairey, Swoon and many (many) more. More importantly than the pulling together of the ‘star’ names of the scene, RJ and his team have pulled together a serious statement and one of the finest collections of exciting refreshing fine art assembled in one place for quite some time. 

           There’s fresh street art all over the outside of the building as well (the place is always covered of course, ever evolving outside walls, something different every time we pass), a new Burning Candy piece is up on the outside wall right now. The Burning Candy crew will be familiar to anyone who’s glanced at a painted wall around London while on their way to a gig of something in the last ten years. You might think you don’t know them, you do though – their number includes Sweet Toof, Tek33, Cyclops, Mighty Mo and more, those giant apes and such, yes, you’ve seen them...  There’s an ice cream stall at the door (this is Mid November in London isn’t it?), the street fun and the ice cream stays outside and gives way to something far more formal and serious inside - we need serious tonight, hadn't realised that until we got here, but we do, we need high-art gallery formality, a show on 'their' terms... 

Fairey reflections at Thousands 2009 (Organart)         The inside formality works. This feels like a major retrospective, a body of seriously considered work, rather than your usual street art ‘pop-up’ affair. Surely this is the kind of thing somewhere like the Tate Modern really should be doing? This is what’s really going on, this event should have been on the cover of last week’s Time Out, the BBC with their Culture Show should be here...  They’re probably all at home watching the Where Is Modern Art now documentary the BBC are running tonight. They're looking for the next bright young things or something. at least that’s kept all the Hoxton poseurs and look-at-me scenester art students away from this opening, there a delightfully unpretentious gathering of genuine people exchanging thought in here tonight - faces put to names, information exchanged, flyers, website addresses – good people, artists and enthusiasts – good people, good art (and good beer too, the event has been backed by the Brewdog beer* people, we like them Brewdog lot, our kind of beer...) 

            The Thousands, the coming together of the outcasts, the dreamers, building their art out of the discarded disused materials of the city. The Thousands is a short story by Oakland based Peruvian writer Daniel Alarcon - apparently that’s where the title comes from (we can google with the best of ‘em). 

          Look, to put on the definite street art retrospective is an impossible task, the beast is an ever evolving one. There’s plenty of things not here, but that’s not the point, this isn't a historical statement, this is a strong collection, a positive slice of now, this is what's going on this week... And what is street art anyway? When does a Shepherd Fairey portrait of Muhammad Ali cease to be street art and just become art? Surely he’s as important to the now in terms of iconic pop portraiture as Warhol was to the Sixties? When does a piece of Swoon’s detailed work cease to be street art and just become a beautiful piece of gallery art? There are some historical pieces in here, classic early Bansky copper (thankfully the place isn’t bursting with his work, just a cluster of small pieces, done just right – and no that isn’t a dig at Banksy, we got lots of time for the man and his work), there’s a Futura 2000 over there, now that's a serious piece of strret art history (the guy who painted on stage behind The Clash back in their early days). Most of the work is from this century though, most if it current, new, right now – there’s a great painting on a window blind by a relatively new name – apparently the pretty much unknown Roa has been paining on window blinds and then just leaving them in windows of old buildings - “his work maybe unknown and most people haven't heard of him but this piece deserves a place here as much as any piece does” said RJ – and indeed it does... 

Roa @ Thousands (Organart 2009)          You’ve got works by Jose Parla, Skewville, Mick Walker, WK Interactive – actually to start picking out pieces or names kind of defeats the object. This is one whole body, and we really didn’t see anything in here that wasn’t worthy of the wall space (or indeed your time). The Thousands is an inspiring collection of contemporary paintings, there’s a lot of depth here, street art isn’t just about a five minute throw up, it isn’t just hit and run, this is where the serious contemporary art is, street art yes, but this body of work is a lot more than just that. The show is an inspiring triumph, this is Where Modern Art is isn't it? or are they still looking down their noses at it? . 

The show runs, at the Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, London EC2 until Sunday 22nd November, that’s right, you’ve only got another four days to catch it, it really is worth your time and effort. The exhibition also served as a launch for a rather good looking book that’s also called The Thousands (twenty five quid was a little beyond us last night but it did look good, twenty five quid is quite a few cans of Montana...)

RJ’s Vandalog is
More about the book via

15th NOV '09: LOSLOHBROS @ GRAFFIK...  The last date of the Loslohbros English art tour (if we've got the facts right) hits the Graffik gallery in Ladbrook Grove on Thursday 19th November and runs until 22nd November... There’s an opening night party with live DJ, live painting from the artists involved and who knows what and where and who... More art, busy week... More details and such from or

14th NOV '09:  THE THOUSANDS is an art exhibition and book launch that kicks off at the Village Underground, London EC2, on November 18th. Dealing with the ever evolving ever exciting world of street art, graffiti and such. The whole thing is put together by RJ from VANDALOG. The show features a new mural by Burning Candy as well as pieces from Swoon, Banksy, Faile and many more... 

Here’s what DRAGO say about the book....

Michael “RJ” Rushmore is an eighteen year old young man living and working in London. He is the founder of Vandalog, a blog highly respected and widely known throughout the contemporary art world. While taking a gap year before heading to university, he has taken on the task of curating his first exhibition called “The Thousands.” To accompany the show RJ has written “The Thousands: Painting Outside, Breaking In.” The exhibition will feature original work by some of the top names in street art including Faile, Banksy, KAWS, Shepard Fairey, Swoon,  Herakut, and Barry McGee. Many of the works have come from private collections, but several pieces have been provided directly by the artists participating in the show. The faith that has been placed in RJ at his young age by artists and collectors is a tremendous testament to his natural inclination toward having an eye for art. Despite his modest and level-headed opinions about his qualifications, the International art publishing house known as Drago has also placed their faith in RJ’s endevour. “The Thousands” is an attempt to show the art world and the public that there are great works of art within the sphere of “street” and that these artists deserve a place in art history.

What else? is the only place where you can buy this book until November 2009. Check out the work of Armsrock, Banksy, Calma, Cept, Chris Stain, Dan Witz, Dscreet, Elbowtoe, Flip, Gaia, Gold Peg, Herakut, Judith Supine, Know Hope, Luc Price, Nick Walker, Nina, Pure Evil, Rowdy, Sickboy, Skewville, Sweet Toof, Swoon, Tek33, Titi freak, Veng, Vitché, and Zezão. Get it here, get it first. Visit the shop to order your copy of "The Thousands: Writing Outside, Breaking In."

14th NOV '09: 100sqft: The idea is simple, the idea is great. Gather together one hundred pieces of art, each exactly one foot square. All to be exhibited together in a ten by ten grid at a gallery in North London (as well as on a website). The art was gathered together at the start of November, you'll find it all up there on the 100sqft website now. It works, well it does on line, we haven’t seen the show in the flesh yet. That website is so satisfying, those little squares demand you keep going ans clicking on another one and enlarging it. Go have a look and explore the squares here. Bet you can’t resist hitting on a square can you? The show opens on November 22nd and runs for a week over at Boleyn’s Boys Club, 68 Boleyn Road, London N16. Opening night party/view is on the 22nd with a bar and music from the Our Friends Electric team.  Explore it all via
3rd NOV '09: NEWS: JOHN LEE BIRD presents a selection of paintings from Before Encore alongside new work You Made Me. All happens at 10 Gales Gardens under the arches in Bethnal Green, East London. Opening view on Thursday 5th November, 6pm - 9pm with special guest performances including Princess Knickers and more to be announced. Exhibition runs from Friday 6th November to Tuesday 1st December. There’s imagery, links and more over here
TRANS 130th OCT '09: NEWS: TRANS 1, rather graphic street artist type who specialises in a black and white photo-realistic style, has a solo show coming up at Graffik here in London. Graffik is a gallery/shop in Portobello Road, Ladbrook Grove, West London, they’ll host a show of work that opens on November 26th. Read an interview and see more imagery on the Crack For Your Eyes website over here.  Graffik is at 284 Portobello Road, they open on Fridays and Saturdays. That's some Trans 1 work right there

NEWS: HALLOWEEN AT MUTATE BRITAIN – The good people underneath the Westway at Mutate Britain have announced that they’ll be holding a special event this Saturday 31st October to celebrate Halloween. So far at the exhibition, each weekend has been highlighted by a spectacular parade. This Saturday, in honour of Halloween, there will be a special Halloween parade, in trademark Mutate style as once again some of the exhibits will be paraded through the crowds. Exhibits featuring include Lyall Rowell’s Lrry the Dog, Jo Peacock and Packa Horse. The parade is expected to begin around 7:45pm. The Westway will be decorated in full holiday season style and Mutate’s festival atmosphere will be at a peak. The exhibition will be open as normal from 12pm to 10pm, Saturday 31st October. Admission is £1 before 6pm and £3 after. There is a fully stocked bar and food available courtesy of Andi Oliver and Neneh Cherry. Mutate is under the Westway, Ladbrook Grove, West London, this is the final weekend of the show that’s packed with Mutoid Waste Company scrap-sculpture, street art, graffiti, stencil art, counter culture and... Well grab it all while you still can... 

29th OCT '09: NEWS: Seems SHEPARD FAIREY has been leaving new pieces of Obey artwork up around London, here’s one UK STREET ART spotted the other day in Farringdon, seems he also popped in to Cargo and left a different piece there...

NEWS: The 100SQFT show is on, the hundred pieces/artists have now been gathered together and the organisers have announced the exhibition is booked and the private view and launch party will take place on 22nd November at 6pm. The Exhibition will then run from Monday till Friday of the following week over at the Boleyn's Boys Club, London N16, full details and. more

NEWS: For those who haven't made it yet, the highly recommended MuTATE BRITAIN show, under the Westway in Ladbrook Grove, West London, continues for one more weekend. Seems so many people are attending that they need to run things for an extra week  Catch it this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Looks like they've got some live music down there this weekend as well, more on that later - catch the Organ review further down this page...

27th OCT '09: NEWS: SHEPARD FAIREY AND THE COURTNEY SPIDER LILY...  Artist Shepard Fairley, the man behind the Obey Giant art as well as that iconic Obama painting that became one of the symbols of the US election, is auctioning a painting on ebay as a benefit for Rock Hill:  “My parents grew up in Rock Hill S.C. which is a beautiful town in a mostly rural part of upstate S.C. I worked with my Uncle Wade Fairey to create this art to benefit Historic Rock Hill preservation. The story of the Courtney Spider Lily art is that it is a rare flower thriving in the Courtney Island section of the Catawba river. The art is designed to promote water quality on the Catawba River which has been greatly affected by “run off from urban development”, bird – wildlife habitation and “availability of movement along the Catawba”, which has resulted in a 100’ buffer on either side of the river. There are many individuals and groups interested in seeing the Catawba remain a lovely river.”
            Shepard Fairey is the man behind Obey Giant, the graphics that have changed the way people see art and the urban landscape. What started with an absurd sticker he created in 1989 while a student at the Rhode Island School of Design has since evolved into a worldwide street art campaign, as well as an acclaimed body of fine art. In 2003, Shepard founded Studio Number One, a creative design firm dedicated to applying his ethos at the intersection of art and enterprise. Shepard’s art reached a new height of prominence in 2008, when his “HOPE” portrait of Barack Obama became the iconic image of the presidential campaign and helped inspire an unprecedented political movement. For more information, visit
     The piece is Spider Lily, a stencil and mixed media collage, see it (or indeed bid) here, last time we looked bidding was over three thousand dollars with three days to go

NEWS: CRAZY FOOLS - The Bristol-based contemporary street art gallery Crazy Fools have a weekend exhibition on here in London at the Library Bar, Upper Street, Islington – a whole load of urban art, street art, whatever you want to call it art. The Crazy Fools gallery sells work by such graffiti luminaries as Paul Insect, Sick Boy, Blek Le Rat, Antony Micalef and more.... Show opens at 2pm this Saturday, runs until 10pm, and then again on Sunday. More details and lots of imagery over at -

NEWS: MuTATE has now been extended by one week, the show now runs, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until the first week of November, under the Westway in Ladbrook Grove, West London –

NANCY SPERO22nd OCT '09: NEWS: PORTOBELLO FILM FESTIVAL MUTATE BRITAIN MIX – More from MuTate and things draw towards the final weekend (see further dwon for more, see that MuToid beast phone right there..).  “Come check out Mutate this Friday as the Portobello Film Festival will be coming along for a special film screening. Kicking off at 5:30pm through ‘til 9:30pm under the Westway… The Portobello Film Festival presents a special mix of winners and near winners from this years Festival, sci fi, graffiti films, and animation plus historic footage of the Mutoid Waste Company from Festival Director, Jonathan Barnett, who’s work can be seen here on YouTube

21st OCT '09: NEWS: MORE AT MuTATE... The Mutate street art and Mutoid Waste Company scrap-sculpture show - giant beasts made out of old jet fighter planes, giant pieces of graffiti, the Organ review if the open is here on our art page – the massive show enters the last weekend under the Westway, over there in Portobello Road, West London this coming weekend. We’re told there’s a whole lot of new work gone up this week ready for the final weekend... More from us here on Friday morning when we’ve been to see what’s new. This really is something not to be missed, if you’re anywhere near then do go take it in while you still can... Real underground counter culture alive and well under the Westway 

20th OCT '09: NEWS: NANCY SPERO, 1926–2009 - Groundbreaking feminist artist Nancy Spero died in New York on Sunday, aged 83 so reports the New York Times. Nancy Spero was a politically charged painter, known for her engaging challenging work and it is a shame that we only write about these things when someone like Nancy Spero dies, really am sorry about that, something we should put right around here. Further exploration here

13th OCT '09:  ART: WHAT IS 100sqft? A rather intriguing art project/exhibition that will consist of 100 pieces of art each one foot square to be exhibited in a 10x10 grid at a gallery in North London is what it is. The organisers tell us that all work will be exactly 1ft square (or 30.48cm for you metricheads out there) and that the exhibition will be at the Boleyn's Boys Club, London N16 with a launch party on the opening night with DJ's 'our friends eclectic' and Bar. We’re guessing event dates will be announced once the 100 contributing artists and such have been gathered up, looks like they’re looking for people to get involved right now should you feel like getting involved, more from
MuTate poster (Sean - OCT '09:ART: MuTATE BRITAIN: ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE – Under The Westway, Ladbrook Grove, West London, 8th Oct – Now this looked promising on the website, Mutoid Waste Company, under the Westway, with loads of graffiti, some serious names in UK street art and yes, this all looked very promising on line.... So we set off with a feeling excitement and anticipation, only a walk down the road, this is our manor  Tonight is the opening night private party preview of an event that opens tomorrow and runs throughout October. The MuTate team back for more following on from their infamous Behind The Shutters Show, back in Ladbrook Grove and what some of them say is their spiritual home, back with a team that includes some of the most respected names in current UK street art, alongside, photographers, stencil artists, paste up pieces, sculptors... 

The Mutoid Waste Company go way back with us Organs, we’ve been encountering them and their creations pretty much since Organ first started back there in the underground days of the 80’s. Strange vehicles parked outside places like Club Dog, Acid Daze, racing through the dust Mad Max style at the legendary Treeorgey free festival, Skreech Rock, that strange squat hospital that got surrounded by shield-banging riot police in the black of night that time (we all had to crawl through tunnels to get out...). These days the Waste Company pop up at what you might call more mainstream respectable events - official parts of things like Glastonbury Trash City, California’s Burning Man, major corporate festivals in Hyde Park, still as creative as ever though, and good on ‘em, stick them in the real Tate or the middle of Trafalgar Square, they deserve it all, they’re the good people doing well... 

MuTATE@ Grove (Marina - Organart)What were we going to get tonight though? What do the Mutoid Waste Company stand for in 2009? Where’s street art going? Graffiti art these days is pretty mainstream isn’t it? Bansky and all that, all been done hasn’t it? Are we going to be drowning in celebs and champagne, the Hoxton art poseurs heading west? Madonna and her cheque book? Brian Sewell stroking his chin and waving his arms? No, none of that, nothing to worry about, from the moment we get in through the big wooden building site type gates that let us through the high wooden fence wall - graffiti-covered naturally - past the friendly security (and the hopeful paparatzi), from the moment we walk in this is jaw-dropping good...  This is still the Mutoids on full effect, all is well in West London...

The old vibe is here, the place is buzziing with energy, alive with the feel of all that 70’s Westway graffiti/punk rock history, the feel of those old Club Dog/free festival/strange squat gig events that happened so much in the 80’s and early 90’s before rave and dance culture changed the shape of free festivals for ever. The heavy thumping dub coming out of the sound system, even the crowds of people look like they’ve fallen out of some kind of mutant page of a 2000AD comic, this is our kind of place, us Organs feel at home. No art-pose here, this isn’t Hoxton, this isn’t the Frieze Fair, there’s a genuine buzz of excitement in the night air alongside the big arc lights and the strange sculptures looming out of the dark above our heads. 

MuTate @ Grove (Sean -’s friendly conversations struck up with strangers, old friends, giant rastas, mohawked punks, graff writers, travellers, Notting Hill locals, geeks talking technique, well dressed families, excited kids, they’re all here soaking it all up in...  Nearly said ‘in’ here, but we’re not quite inside are we; we’re walled in by the wooden fence but we’re under the stars, the moon and the giant Westway, corporate billboards are invade from the side of buildings outside the fence, but this is a whole other world in here. Those imposing thirty foot high Westway support pillars make this such an atmospheric venue - the Westway pillars where some say British street art started back somewhere around ’76, the giant flyover roadway that dominates West London (check your Clash records, and your Hawkwind album covers, there’s a lot of counter culture history under this roadway, The Hall Of The Mountain Grill is just over there...). 
MuTATE @ Grove, Snub23 (Sean - in but out in the open air, Westway motorway as roof above us, tube trains flashing by on one side (must look brilliant to the passengers whizzing by), giant support piers acting as gallery walls... There’s some seriously impressive pieces, big pieces, some expertly crafted graffiti art up on those support pillars (there some seriously wasted looking artists, Snug23 tells us he’s been up for four days solid). 

Straight away you’re hit by the giant Mutoid Waste Company sculptures/vehicles – cannibalised Royal Navy helicopters, military scrap, bits of old fighter plane cockpits that are now bodies of strange looking metal dinosaurs. There’s giant (and we do mean giant) robots, strange mutant motorbikes - the Mutoid Waste Company creations are looking bigger and better than ever, more technical now, still the spirit of those strange psychedelic gun turret trucks parked outside the George Robey back there... The futuristic kinetic robotic creatures made out of bits of scrap that really do grab the most attention, giant fire breathing mechanical bull lurching at the crowds and.... wow! There’s stunning creativity wherever you cast an eye, this is wonderful. Giles Walker’s pole dancing robots are captivating, how did he get them to move like that?! Carrie Reichardt (AKA The Baroness), she of the Treatment Rooms, is by the gate as we go in - she believes the revolution will be ceramicised, there’s that tiled orange pick-up truck by her tile stall that you may have seen in the Funkcutter film. 

MuTate @ GroveAll around there’s impressive graffiti art battling for attention behind the sculpture – Sickboy, Paul Insect, Inkie, Dotmasters, Zeus, Mode 2, Bleach and many more... There’s a slightly more formal gallery area (formal for on outdoor event underneath a motorway flyover), actually a take on the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, where smaller pieces of impressive sculpture stand on plinths in front of some classic pieces of stencil art, paste up pieces of subversion and such. Neneh Cherry is providing the food over there...

There’s colour and energy coming out of the darkness wherever you look, the graffiti is far from tired, plenty of fresh creativity here, a little more than giant names and I’ve got all the books to copy from if you know what I mean, serious evolution – the old Banksy on the wall outside looks a little tired  (and no disrespect meant there, we’ve still got lots of time for Banksy, easy to shoot at the popular, take art the masses we say). Tonight’s opening was a triumph, need to go back today and take it all in again in the cold light of day. Serious street art, proper counter culture, genuine creative, amazing skill... Brilliant... Thank you MuTate crew, we had a great time 

MuTATE BRITAIN: ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE runs on Friday, Saturday and Sundays throughout October. 2pm – 10pm, under the Westway Flyover, junction of Portobello Road and Acklam Road, London W10. Nearest Tube, Ladbrook Grove, come out of the station, cross the road and walk along underneath the Westway –


‘When I think of the punk years, I always think of one particular spot, just at the point where the elevated Westway diverges from Harrow Road and pursues the line of the Hammersmith and City tube tracks to Westbourne Park Station. From the end of 1976, one of the stanchions holding up the Westway was emblazoned with large graffiti which said simply, ‘The Clash’. When first sprayed the graffiti laid a psychic boundary marker for the group – This was their manor, this was how they saw London.’ Jon Savage ‘Punk London’ Evening Standard 1991

‘All across the town, all across the night, everybody’s driving with full head lights, black or white turn it on face the new religion, everybody’s sitting round watching television, London’s burning with boredom now, London’s burning dial 999, Up and down the Westway, in and out the lights, what a great traffic system, it’s so bright, I can’t think of a better way to spend the night than speeding around underneath the yellow lights.’ The Clash ‘London’s Burning’ 1976 

7th OCT '09: ART: MuTATE: ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE in an art event that opens on 9th October (and runs until the 25th) under the Westway in Ladbrook Grove, West London.  (3-6 Acklam Rd, London, W10). A 15000 square foot open air exhibition of Street Art, giant Sculpture and Installations, fully licensed for 1250 people, underneath the West Way Road Bridge next to Portobello Road. Here’s what they say on their website:
        Following the success of their debut show ‘Behind the Shutters’ at the infamous Cordy House, the Mutate Britain team are pleased to announce One Foot in the Grove, an exhibition of painting and sculpture located in the heart of West London
“For us this is a home coming, Ladbroke Grove means a lot to Joe and I, now we’re back home to put on a show that we hope will be remembered for its inspiring art, inclusive atmosphere and all round good times.” Garfield Hackett
                   Since artists such as Futura 2000 (then touring with The Clash) and Mode 2 first painted the huge walls supporting the iconic West Way in the early 80s, they have been cited as a birthplace of British graffiti/street art culture. Almost 30 years later Street Art is a global artistic movement, rich with talent, diverse aesthetic styles and momentum sustained by passion. Now over 50 of its old school pioneers, infamous names and future masters are back to build a show that celebrates the depth and heritage of the movement. Expect surprise announcements to add to the mix of works by Mode 2, Matt Small, Dr. D, Part2ism, Best Ever and too many more to mention.... Go read the rest of this here
ART:HIRST, SPREAD THE MONEY...  A rather novel idea has pinged into The Art Newspaper’s email tray from Matthew Edwards who plans to stand as an independent member of parliament for Vauxhall in South London at the next general election. "Damien Hirst's workshop 'Science' is in the constituency of Vauxhall," he says. "I have made a very poor piece of A4 artwork called For the Love of Dog which I would like to offer him for £1m with the proviso that every penny will go into a microcredit scheme in the local area to provide small loans to people with good ideas to set up sustainable enterprises that provide long-term employment for the people of Vauxhall." Over to you Damien. For more information, go here or here

ART:  Always wondered about that locked up tunnel, here's some words from The Londonist: 
              Beneath the streets of Holborn, London, something is growing in the Kingsway tram tunnel The usually padlocked doors at the tunnel's Southampton Row entrance, which last saw tram traffic when a young Queen Elizabeth II had been on the throne for just a few months, have been thrown open to welcome visitors for Chord, a month-long art installation by Conrad Shawcross.
          Led in by a flourescent bib-wearing guide, we descended the surprisingly steep ramp and into the tunnel itself, passing fake posters and non-existent Tube station roundels left from a recent film project. As we penetrated the murky gloom en route to.... more here

5th OCT '09: Egg men on stilts? Atomised aircraft engines turned to a pile of gallery floor dust? The process of really looking rather than just another YBA one liner? Stuckists stuck in the door, stuck stuck stuck... Did Another Turner prize get itself launched today?

Showcase, Brick Lane 30th Sept (Sean)1st OCT '09: ART: SHOWCASE @ CAFE 1001, Brick Lane, London, 30th Sept - Cafe 1001 is just opposite Rough Trade Records, over on Brick Lane, deepest East London. Showcase happens every second Wednesday. Been happening all through the summer now and the Showcase reputation is growing. The event - not that easy to find, enter the cafe through the crowds sitting at the tables on the pavement, up the stairs, head for the back and there it is, an almost secret big room at the rear - the event is something like a very relaxed gallery opening night, the atmosphere is vibrant, inviting, friendly and rather energetic... Things have been building over the last few months as word of the fortnightly event spreads and more people get involved. We reviewed one of the first nights back at the start of Summer and suggested a little bit of quality control might be needed, things have moved on and evolved in a rather positive manner since then. Early shows were peppered with interesting pieces amongst the, well, the not quite so good. Last night it was pretty much getting near to an everything being worthy of your time situation. 
MIGUEL IVORRA @ Showcase, 30th Sept '09          Showcase is a one night only affair, things kick off at five thirty and go on until just after eleven. A chance to view art, interact with the creators, share thoughts, network and indeed buy very reasonably priced pieces (or at least pick up details for future reference). The one night only nature makes going to Showcase almost like heading out to a gig, it is something a little different to the usual stuffiness of a more formal gallery, things are relaxed, you can make a noise, you don’t have to politely creep around... This is very much a gallery situation though, don’t get the wrong idea, plenty of time and space to view without interruption or intrusion. A gallery with a nice big bar, music (not too loud) and something like twenty-five or so artists with a selection of work to check out. The work is all up on big white boards in a nice big open room. The audience is a mix of artists (both those showing and those checking things out), friends, the usual Brick Lane fashion fiends, people just dropping in on their way to or from East End gigs (or maybe a Brick Lane curry  house). You get the occasional passing celebrity, (I guess the organisers would love us to mention the fact that Keira Knightley dropped in last night and was seen enthusiastically talking to several of the artists. Don’t ask me, I wouldn’t know a celeb if she bit me. What did she say asked several people, none of your business, that’s between me and Keira), you got bands dropping in, people who’ve been to Rough Trade to buy records, graffiti kids (“You ‘da bomb man, respect to your art” yelled the skinny white kid being thrown out by security for tagging the walls), drunk city workers still in suites, ties rebelliously loose - you got a whole lot on different types (makes for interesting people watching while they're busy viewing your art actually), a constant revolving stream of colourful people all evening.... 
Blair  Zaye          So the Showcase reputation is building and across the board the quality is way up now, last time it was interesting stimulating work here and there, last night pretty much everything was worthy of further investigation... Stand out pieces included the strange light fitting bulb holder paintings of BLAIR ZAYE, CHRIS TIMOTHY’s rather striking photographic montage pieces, Barcelona pop artist MIGUEL IVORRA, SALLY SWINGEWOOD’svibrant work, SIMON HAWES' slightly dark and twisted ‘Hi Kids’ childhood cartoon icons, ZARA LOCKWOOD’s imaginative portraiture... 
            Looking at art on websites is really no way to view art, most of websites do these artists no favours, vague hints is all you get, you really need to have it there coming alive in front of you, alive in the flesh. Tonight was great, Showcase is a great place to view art, meet people and introduce yourself to a few new names, a chance see the work there big and bold (or small and delicate) with the colours the way they really are. Showcase is great, get along to the next one... Showcase webpage
30th Sept '09: NEWS: Those STUCKISTS are planning a Turner Prize demo at 9am on Monday 5 Oct, at Tate Britain...

28th Sept '09:  NEWS: The next SHOWCASE at CAFE 1001, just opposite Rough Trade Records (Brick Lane, London), happens this coming Wednesday evening. The Showcase reputation is growing, Showcase is a rather buzzing art event that happens every second Wednesday. well worth checking out. Showcase is like a very inviting gallery opening night, the atmosphere is relaxed and rather energetic, a vibrant mix of alternative new artists. The reputation of Showcase has been building nicely over the last few months as the word spreads and more people get involved. We reviewed one of the first nights back in the Summer, things have built up and evolved since then and like we predicted in that early review, things are building  rather nicely. Showcase is a one night only affair, kicks off at 5.30, goes on until 11.30pm, a chance to view new emerging art, interact with the creators, share thoughts, network and indeed buy very reasonably priced pieces (how many times have we kicked ourselves over that early days Damien Hurst painting that was for sale in the Record And Tape Exchange for just fifty quid back there!). Anyway, next Showcase this Wednesday, well worth dropping in for half an hour on the way to a gig or after a gig or... Showcase webpage

23rd Sept '09: NEWS: FRANK AUERBACH - Twenty new works by Frank Auerbach, one of the finest of British painters,  go on display this September and October at Marlborough Fine Art, among them new portraits, landscapes and drawings. “Auerbach is one of the great names in British painting so this is an exciting opportunity to see his latest works up close and personal without having to pay a solitary penny”. . This is seriously exciting and a chance not to be missed say us. The exhibition runs until 24th October at. 6 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London, W1

NEWS:THE SELLABLE ART POP-UP MARKET IS TWO DAYS AWAY....  The Sellable Art Pop-up Market is a specialist art event, hosted by the Old Truman Brewery over in Brick Lane, East London. “The Sellable Art Pop-up is a unique opportunity to browse and buy artworks direct from the creators”. The next Art Pop-up event takes place from 25th - 27th September in the cavernous old Boiler House, 152 Brick Lane. Entry is free, paintings will be on sale, 30 or so painters, designers, creators and such so we’re promised, and that includes us Organ team with a stall and some artwork and paintings and... We're told there will be music, food, a relaxed space and well, we'll soon change that with some noise and splat  –

Friday and Saturday 11.30pm – 6.30pm
Sunday 10.00pm – 5pm
Admission FREE

"The ethos of the Old Truman Brewery’s markets is consistent with that of the Brewery as a whole; to provide a platform for new design, art and fashion, without prejudice or pretension, in order to restore the direct link between creator and customer"

17th Sept '09:  NEWS: ALL DAY AFTERNOON is an art exhibition "set in a domestic environment. The objects and images interact with the familiar everyday environment of the home..." The exhibition will feature new works from GAIL OLDING and can be viewed at 8 Portsea Mews, from September 26th to October 3rd, tea and scones will be served in the kitchen, while the upstairs living quarters will feature a “variety of integrated unnerving and ambiguous objects and images”. More when we've tasted the scones... –

15th Sept '09: NEWS: PUNK NIGHT AT THE PORTOBELLO FILM FESTIVAL with an original 101er....  Looks like a rather fine event happening as part of the ongoing Portobello Film Festival tomorrow night. The festival is in the middle of seventeen day run of free screenings in and around the Notting Hill area of West London right now. Tomorrow (Wednesday 16th September) at Inn on The Green, Joe Strummer’s co founder of The 101ers, Alvaro, will be performing live. There's also a film portrait called Full Dedication Alvaro being screened.. Other films being show on the evening include Notting Hill 1958 Riot Tour which previews 50 years of the London Caribbean Carnival. More from

13th Sept '09:  NEWS: THE SELLABLE ART POP-UP MARKET....  The Sellable Art Pop-up Market is a specialist market event, hosted by the Old Truman Brewery over in East London. Brick Lane is the place. “The Sellable Art Pop-up is a unique opportunity to browse and buy artworks direct from the creators”. The next Pop-up event takes place from 25th - 27th September in the cavernous old Boiler House, 152 Brick Lane. Entry is free, paintings will be on sale, 30 or so painters, creators and such so we’re promised, and that includes us Organ team with a stall and some artwork and paintings and things  –

          "The ethos of the Old Truman Brewery’s markets is consistent with that of the Brewery as a whole; to provide a platform for new design, art and fashion, without prejudice or pretension, in order to restore the direct link between creator and customer"

9th Sept '09: NEWS: Blowing our own trumpets time, a dirty job but someone's got to do it now and again, there’s five new Sean paintings hanging in that rather good Graffik Gallery in Portobello Road over in West London right now... 284 Portobello Road, which in turn, turns out to be the old Planet Alice shop that back in the day sold lots of early issues of Organ, funny how things turn out.. what a turn up....

 BANKSY'S BLUR SINGLE ARTWORK DESTROYED - A mural by Banksy, which was used as the cover of Blur's 2003 single 'Crazy Beat', has been partially painted over by mistake. Workmen from Hackney Council began covering the artwork, on the side of a building in Stoke Newington in London, with black paint and had removed much of the work before the building's owner, Sofie Attrill, could convince them to stop.
         Attrill told the BBC: "The workmen were smiling as they did it - they thought it was funny. I just burst into tears. But a crowd gathered and we managed to get them to stop before destroying it completely. I don't care about art or politics - I am just an ordinary girl who liked being cheered up by seeing this on my street".
       She continued: "People have always been telling us to sell it or cover it in Perspex, but we only wanted it to be here for the public's enjoyment. You can't take a photo if it's behind a thick plastic screen. We never wanted to make money out of it like many do - but it was a part of our lives. Now it's gone. People are always doing down Hackney but this was something we could all be proud of".
           Hackney Council's Alan Laing initially said in a statement: "The council's position is not to make a judgement call on whether graffiti is art", although he later added: "Due to a problem at the land registry, unfortunately our letters stating our intention to clean this building didn't reach the owner. As soon as we realised this, work stopped. We are now speaking with her about how to resolve the issue". (CMU)

ROBIN CLARENEWS: The next Cafe 1001 Showcase happens on Wednesday 16th September. Showcase happens, every second week, down London's Brick Lane, at Cafe 1001, just over from the Rough Trade shop. You can find an Organ review of a recent Showcase here. The next Showcase will feature another twenty or so emerging artists including Robin Clare who stood out in that Beautiful Losers show we covered a couple of weeks ago. 
Showcase webpage

5th Sept '09:   NEWS: DAMIEN HURST LOSES PLOT OVER PENCILS..... A seventeen-year-old graffiti artist who goes by the name of Cartrain has been arrested for stealing a box of pencils from Damien Hirst's ‘Pharmacy’ (1992) exhibited at Tate Britain as part of the recently closed Classified exhibition, according to the Independent, Cartrain took the pencils in July in response to a feud with Hirst, originally started when Cartrain used images of Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull, ‘For the Love of God’ (2007) in collages that he put up for sale on his website. Hirst reported him to the Design and Artists Copyright Society and a string of legal letters were sent to Cartrain's art dealer, Tom Cuthbert, at, about the teenager's pieces, also called For the Love of God. The online gallery surrendered them to Hirst with a verbal apology.
             He then created a "wanted" style poster that read: "For the safe return of Damien Hirst's pencils I would like my artworks back that DACS and Hirst took off me in November. It's not a large demand... Hirst has until the end of this month to resolve this or on 31 July the pencils will be sharpened. He has been warned." Cartrain told The Independent: "I went to the Tate Britain and by chance had a golden opportunity to borrow a packet of pencils from the Pharmacy exhibit. That same day I made up a fake police appeal poster advertising that the pencils had been removed from the Tate and that if anyone had any information they should contact the police on the phone number advertised." "A few weeks later I went out and I returned home to find out the art and antiques squad from New Scotland Yard had called round with a warrant for my arrest." He was told by custody officers that the pencils were valued at £500,000 and that he had damaged "the concept of a public artwork titled Pharmacy ... valued at £10,000,000". Cartrain is on bail and, if convicted, his actions will feature among the highest value modern art thefts in Britain. The box of pencils – a very rare "Faber Castell dated 1990 Mongol 482 Series" – will be put back by Hirst, although the installation is no longer on public display. -

3rd Sept '09: NEWS: THE NOISE OF ART is something that kicks off tonight and runs until 20th September. Curated by Infinity Bunce and Helen Edwards. Seems they’ve invited a whole load of artists, musicians and such to make some kind of unique customised work on a 12" slice of Vinyl. “All work is a kaleidoscopic mix of different materials placed on a 12” vinyl record, each piece bouncing from one to another. From urban artists, fine artists, to graphic designers and musicians, all journeying through pulsating imagery of an electric mix of surface materials, scrunched, scratched, painted, sprayed and printed on a record vinyl. The 12” vinyl that we once loved has been brought back to life and gives birth to itself in the name of art. You will never look at a vinyl like the way you did before. It’s a jamboree not to be missed!” The East End Arts Club can be found in Swanfield Yard (off Redchurch Street top of Brick Lane), 2b Swanfield St, London E2. East End Arts Club is a part of First Thursdays, more of that later, tonight being the first Thursday of the month and such... Here come those essential links: / /

2nd Sept '09:  NEWS: OBLONG celebrates one year.... The Oblong Gallery celebrates one year of showing new art and doing the things they do at small galleries with a new show that runs from 4th Sept through to 20th Sept. See the Organ art page for previous Oblong features, neat little gallery that’s almost a garage on the side of a house in front of a stone sculpture workshop in Islington.  Oblong Gallery, 69a Southgate Road. London N1 - - Oblong is part of the First Thursdays collaboration –

26th AUG '09:  LONDON STREET ARTIST D*FACE TO LAUNCH SOLO EXHIBITION IN NYC - Ludovico Aversion Therapy / All Your Dreams Are Owned By Us  @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery September 12th October 10, 2009
       Press release here says “New York's Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Ludovico Aversion Therapy / All Your Dreams Are Owned By Us, a solo exhibition of new original works and multiples by the London-based street artist known as D*Face returning to the gallery for his debut solo show in the United States; in conjunction with a site-specific, street-level installation. The show title Ludovico Aversion Therapy references a futuristic human behaviour reconditioning treatment from A Clockwork Orange (the 1972 cult-classic film by Stanley Kubrick), in which the patient’s eyelids are forced open to watch disturbing footage containing subliminal messages.
         Artist statement: “If you've ever wondered what goes on inside of my mind, this body
of work is it. A visual interpretation of lucid dreams - the replaying, disassembly and reconfiguring of images held in one’s mind... it's as much 'Exquisite Corpse’ as everyday Ludovico Aversion Therapy”
          Re-interpreting the exquisite corpse concept, each piece in Ludovico Aversion Therapy features a singular composite subject created using an amalgamation of various branded corporate identity mascots combined with classic superhero characters, interspersed with typography derived from comic book art and advertising. Having spliced these elements into thin segments of recognisable information, the artist scrambles the pieces then stacks them vertically, re-assigning features to form mismatched conglomerate faces and deliver a powerfully graphic impact. Paintings and etchings in this exhibition feature the artist’s signature tongue-in-cheek aesthetic, known for creating two and three-dimensional work using a variety of mediums and techniques. Incorporating pop iconography with satirical commentary and anti-establishment values, D*Face questions the increasing turnover and bombardment of imagery by the media as well as how much (if any and what parts) we recall, digest and retain. Extracting elements from the endless stream of visual stimuli absorbed daily by our conscious and subconscious, the artist re-works and subverts imagery appropriated from comics, currency, corporate advertising, and cultural figures - drawing from decades of materialistic consumption in our media-saturated society".

      ABOUT THE ARTIST - "D*Face is a London-based sculptor and street artist. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and on the streets of cities around the world. For over ten years, his wall stencils and three dimensional urban interventions have tested public awareness and resistance when faced with visual alternatives to corruptive, persuasive commercial advertising. Reoccurring themes include: celebrity, fame, and mortality. The artist uses the term aPOPcalyptic to describe his work, which often features images of cultural icons as a commentary on conspicuous consumption in popular culture. D*Face’s early artistic inspirations include pop artists such as Lichtenstein, Haring and Warhol. Additional influences include: punk music, graffiti, skateboarding and skate magazines featuring graphic artists like Jim Philips and Pushead.”  Find out more about D*Face at, the gallery is at

22nd AUG '09: PAUL NORMANSELL @ Wanted Gallery, Portobello, London –  Modern, fresh looking, fresh feeling pop art, you don’t really get the art of Paul Normansell in any kind of serious way until you’re stood there in front of it – well that goes for most art/artists really, stating the bleedin’ obvious or what! Particularly important that you see the current work of Paul Normansell in the flesh though, you’re really not going to get the power or the colour from his CD covers or from photos... You’ll maybe know him from his recent cover work for The Killers. The work on show here is striking, rather original, and just different - stylish pop art in the most real of senses. Big pieces, a fascinating combination of gloss and enamel on aluminium that makes perfect sense when you stand in front of it and drink in the brightness – you’re really not going to get it from looking atwebsites, photos or CD covers (as good as that recent Killers CD artwork is), you really need to stand in front of Paul Normansell’s rather expansive work and just really enjoy it. There’s two floors of work in a small shop-sized gallery, about half a dozen rather big bold colourful pieces.  The show ends on 23rd August, all work already sold so it seems – you’ll find it all, if you’re quick, at 15b Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, W11 –   - Go look today if you’re in the area, Mick Jones from the Clash is playing a free gig at his Rock ‘n Roll library, just down the road at 5.00pm. The Rock & Roll Public Library is open free of charge Wednesday to Sunday from 11am until 7pm; until August 23rd.  2 Acklam Road, above 272 Portobello Road, London, W10...Ladbroke Grove tube. 
NEWS: 22nd AUG '09: GRAFFIK is a rather good looking gallery/shop, just opened, and freshly spied yesterday, on Portobello Road - number 284, top end... Now this is more like it, this is buzzing street art taken to canvas, flying spray paint, colour, texture, the art of that do it yourself culture we were talking of yesterday in that DIY London Seen piece further down the page, taken in to a packed exciting gallery – it isn’t new of course, that doesn’t matter though, not when things are this good...  Fresh stencil, graffiti, street art, clothes, zines, books... The walls are alive with inspiring art, bursting with energetic colour... there’s a quality here, a standard, a refinement - pieces that excite and inspire. These are early days, they only just opened, their website isn’t up yet, but the small gallery is packed with energetic art, creativity, attitude, this is good... More soon...
21st AUG '09:NEWS: DEERHOOF TO STAR IN ART FILM - US geniuses/weirdos Deerhoof are to star in an art film called 'BAND'. The film,directed by artist Adam Pendleton, is based on Jean-Luc Godard's 1968 film about The Rolling Stones, 'Sympathy For The Devil', intercutting clips of The Stones in the studio from Godard's film with the footage of Deerhoof recording and rehearsing in their very much more lo-fi set up.  The filming will finish with a free show by Deerhoof at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, which is one of the Toronto International Film Festival's 'Future Projects' events, apparently. In a statement, Pendleton said: "I was really looking for a group that balanced experimentation with a slightly pop, slightly rock sensibility and had a dynamic performance presence and style... Deerhoof had it all".
20th AUG '09: DIY LONDON SEEN - Covent Garden, 20th Aug -  Tonight we’re heading for yet another closed down shop, another shop taken over, on a temporary basis, in the name of art... Tonight, right in the middle of Covent Garden, in the tourist trap of a plaza, and probably not the first place you’d go looking for DIY street art or the smell of underground alternative culture, we’re in search of the opening of an exhibition called DIY London Seen. Work inspired by the artists featured in Aaron Rose’s new film Beautiful Losers apparently... The film is out on DVD this week and currently enjoying a run at the ICA, so this is some kind of tie-in semi-launch - there’s a ‘marketing’ budget, entry by invite, food to eat and bottles of that pear cider to suck on, while the art is viewed... 
          The film itself (not being shown tonight) is inspiring, the film is important, the film is exciting, it should kick off the idea of just doing it yourself in the heads of many who never before really though they could... The film is essentially documenting something that’s been going on all over the world for years (and years) – something that really germinated back there with the second wave of punk rock. The wave that really was about doing it yourself and seven inch records in hand made covers, of making your own zines, putting on your own gigs, taking control and the possibilities, ideas that extended well beyond just the music... That real DIY street culture, birthed at the end of the 70’s with the coming together of street graffiti, skateboard culture and punk rock - that ever expanding thing that was alive with energy, excitement, cross-pollination and feeding off each others ideas - something that’s been evolving and regenerating for years now – and all there, documented in the film, and none of that is really to be found in this rather polite and starkly white downstairs shop-turned-into-gallery tonight... 
          There is some good art here, couple of really good pieces – this isn’t really the DIY culture we’ve been familiar with for the last twenty plus years though, this isn’t the hand-painted zines talked of in the film, this isn’t skateboard pits or graffiti, or doing it yourself because the gallery system is an alien concept you never even thought of approaching... This isn’t primitive art jumping off squat venue walls, warehouse gigs, this isn’t punk rock inspired do it yourself creativity. This isn’t expansive canvas alive with spray-painted energy, this is isn’t giant chess sets in the middle of Claremont Road or the acid junkyard sculpture of Skreech Rock. No giant pink windmills made of street-scrap, no Cheap Essential Scenery painted on sails here... None of the craft of those Bristol street artists like Milk or Dora who were over at Oblong with their Great Birds show the other week...  No hint of Montana Gold, no spray paint allowed by the looks of things... Nah. 
           There’s some good art in here, this isn’t really DIY culture though, this isn’t about ignoring the rules or doing it yourself - but there is good art in here... 

           What this is, is a semi-corporate launch for a film that’s kind of missed the point of the film, an artistically polite show in a far too polite gallery with polite food and free drink and yes, some rather decent small pieces of pop art flavoured graphic design, some decent bits of illustration, photography and some rather good pieces of individual artistic expression. Some of it kind of feels like the work of half way through term design students rather than the street artists, punk-driven creators, skate-culture painters and such that you’ll find in the film... Some of it is genuinely rather good. 

        Yes, there is some good art in here, it is important to repeat that, and the fact that the Watch This Space team have enthusiastically pulled it together and found an empty shop and gathered it all in one place is to be celebrated – twenty or so interesting (young, we assume) artists getting a chance to get some work out there is what this is - and that is enough, that should be celebrated. 

There is some good work here, well worth a visit, just don’t be expecting the energy or danger that Beautiful Losers should inspire, don’t be expecting real DIY culture. The fact that some of the artists have been found via a last minute competition, (insisted on by the film company so the Watch This Space curators say) and run on bloody My Space – the ultimate in none-DIY corporate marketing crapola – kind of tells you some of where we’re at here... The fact that the most interesting artist tonight, and the nearest thing to some kind of idea of street culture, Keiron Lee (AKA  XXXXXX) and his play on Frank Shepard Fairey’s Andre The Giant Has A Posse, has come through that My Space route suggests that no one really went out and connected with any of the real UK street artists or went out to find the real DIY art culture that is out there... 
           Street art? DIY attitudes? Alternatives? It really should be alive with energy and excitement in here tonight – it is in the film - the joy of the creativity, alternative communication, the attitudes, the sense of just getting out there and doing it - joining in, togetherness, defiance, rule-ignoring unity... Oh I really don’t like sounding like I’m down on this show, there is some good art – Robin Clare’s mix of 50’s futurist white goods and pop-art graphics, Harry Malt and his cartoonish Just Don’t Try To Talk To Jim Morrison piece (good to see GG Allin and John Cooper Clark there – a bit of punk rock after all then), the giant mirror bear sculpture of Arran Gregory brings a smile, Best One...  A collection of painters, illustrators, photographers and such, all worthy of the time and space, but this really isn’t the street culture or DIY or anything like the energy to be found in the film, this isn’t what we hoped to find, not what we expected...  Go enjoy the show for what it is, twenty relatively new British artists, photographers, illustrators and such showing some healthy new work in a closed down shop in the middle of town......

DIY LONDON SCENE runs until September 5th at 11, The Market Building, Covent Garden, WC2

20th AUG '09: NEWS: THE DECKED PROJECT is coming... Decked is "a collection of fine and dandy illustrators, designers, tattoo artists and street artists", all showcasing custom designed skate decks. Each deck is hand inked/printed/painted/carved and will be on display from 25th – 29th August at StolenSpace Gallery, The Old Truman Brewery 91, Brick Lane. E1. Head to for more information and the all important visuals!

19th AUG '09: NEWS: SHOWCASE TONIGHT: The latest in the on-going series of fortnightly one night Showcase art shows happens tonight at Cafe 1001, Brick Lane, East London. 5.30pm until 11pm  – opposite the Rough Trade shop. Go here for our words on the last one or explore via the Showcase webpage






KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)
KELLY JOHNSON (Girlschool)