Street Art – my latest passion
So for my regular readers – “my name is Tanya and I’m an addict! Of collecting street art and specific artists.” I’ve always been interested in street art in all its forms. But since going to Miss Van’s exhibition on 1st June, I’ve been out hunting 4 more times in 2 weeks. Not exactly obsessive but for me it is. I’ll post those treasures on here over the next few months.
To feed my habit, I’ve also been reading blogs and twitter to follow what is currently happening. So I knew that artist ROA would be at Stolen Spaces gallery (Osborn Street, E1) on Thursday 12th and I decided to pop along.
ROA and me
This is the first painting of ROA’s that I noticed. Its been on the Hackney Road for years. At one point it was featured in the Evening Standard to make sure it was preserved. I pass it regularly and the image has became a much loved local landmark in my mind.
There was also a stoat/weasel creature further along which is slowly falling off the dilapidated wall it adorns.
The next image I became familiar with is The Crane on Hanbury Street off Brick Lane. I took this photograph last summer and The Crane is still there.
And in April 2014 I stumbled upon this giant hedgehog off Shoreditch High Street which is also a very well known local landmark. You can always find somebody stopping to take a photograph of it.
ROA – background
He is an artist from Ghent, Belgium and his creatures can be found on buildings around the world – New York, Berlin, Warsaw and Paris and many more looking at his roaweb tumblr page.
‘PROJECTUM ‘O6’ by ROA, Stolen Spaces Gallery
Miss Van’s show in the same gallery was a simple affair. A selection of paintings hung against a plain brick wall. I assumed something similar for ROA. Or would the walls themselves be painted?
When you enter the gallery the first space is full of work by another artist entirely, Max Rippon and all I could see was one large ROA creature in a room beyond. Was this it? One large painting?
A small group of us trooped into the space at the same time. We admired the giant badger and peered into assorted cabinets and containers around us.
Its exquisitely put together with great attention to detail. There is a sense of going back in time or being in an antique laboratory. And then I turned back to look at the giant badger and saw this.
It was an Alice through the looking glass moment, being a small child again as I eagerly stepped into the next gallery space. Here is a selection of images from that room.
Utterly enchanted by the exhibition, I spoke the one of the gallery staff on the way out. And I discovered that ROA likes to take his inspiration from the energy of each building he works on. Also all the materials, including the cabinets, old doors and artefacts on display had been salvaged and foraged from around London. ROA had taken only 10 days to paint and assemble the show.
You can read more about his process on the Stolen Spaces website. And the exhibition runs until 4th July 2014
The final photograph is a tantalising glimpse of ROA talking with a very animated fan of his work. You can glimpse the blurred image of the fan’s hands and sense his excitement with ROA’s work. I was also rather taken with the design on the artist’s T-shirt.