Artist Otto Schade – a focus on his work
Otto Schade is from Chile and trained as an architect before moving into painting. From his website Otto Schade.com he says that he’s been fascinated by the Surrealists and they have influenced his work. He’s been painting and exhibiting in galleries around world since as early as 1998! He’s won awards and has been featured in magazines. And yet I only discovered him because of the work he paints on the street.
This week an exhibition called Around the Block opened at Well Hung Gallery on Hoxton Street which features the work of Osch and fellow street artist Inkie. So I thought it was the perfect time for me to share my love of Osch’s work with you all.
Otto Schade and Me
Last year (2013) when I was working around Brick Lane I took photographs of the street art in the area, in March and August. I was excited by what I saw but I hadn’t grasped the point that specific artists from around the world were gravitating to London to share their work.
In March this year I spotted this painting on my way to work in Covent Garden. Its title is “I’m Luvin’ It“. And as you’ll notice from the old shop sign above it, this was an independent shop which had gone out of business.
I didn’t photograph it straight away. ” Was it a joke?” I wondered. It looked too deliberate to be ignored. And it spoke to me, this dig at corporate domination which won’t end on earth alone. And I knew I had to record it and I did. But I did not connect it with any of the work being painted in East London where I live.
A month later in mid April I decided it was time to update my 2013 look at the Brick Lane street art. I spotted this pair of paintings at the Osborn Road end. The one on the left is called David And Goliath and is currently on display outside Tate Modern. I haven’t found the name for the Mickey Mouse design.
Incidentally – I wish I’d gone back to snap it later without the car in the way. Some photographers on flickr have photoshopped out the post box and street signs but I like them because they remind us where we are. But the car bugs me. Anyway, they have now gone and look how naked the wall looks at the moment! This was taken three weeks ago. btw – I saw a new shop sign there this week and its going to be another fancy cake shop!
On that same wander back in mid April, I saw this picture which gleamed in the late afternoon sun light. Its called DeEvolution and is on the Hackney Road. The distinctive circular shape in two of these three pictures made me wonder if they were connected to the earlier one of Macdonald’s conquering the moon.
So I googled the name olch because the s of his signature looks like the letter l and I eventually discovered the name Otto Schade and more of his work.
And then I realised that I had actually first photographed his work in 2013. This was freshly painted then. The ribbon pattern design is his other distinctive trade mark.
Here it is again on Brick Lane in 2014, looking a little tired and with a copy in the picture framing shopwindow next door.
Why am I explaining all this to you? Because it was through trying to find out who painted these images that I realised that so many individual street artists could be named and their work sought out online.
Otto Schade is all over London
Thanks mainly to flickr, I discovered that Osh’s work can also been seen in Camden and around South London, as well as here in the East. I did feel the urge to track each picture down but I’ve resisted that. I’m a street photographer who enjoys life on the streets as much as the art works. I take photographs which celebrate how these paintings are a glorious backdrop to our lives. I dread the day when there are no longer empty walls or street hoardings for these highly trained artists to decorate. If you go to the city you can immediately see what I mean. Nothing but hard steel, concrete and glass meet our eyes.
Osch in East London
The next three paintings were ones which I stumbled across on another exploratory walk, looking further afield than only Brick Lane. I ventured over to Eastern Avenue and the streets around there.
The painting below is a tribute to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But until I looked at the wall beneath the painting, I had no idea that this is what the two lovers signified and why this was significant. I was intrigued by what interested the man with the camera though.
And when I got closer, I saw a second drawing by Osch. He had created a tribute to the Curtain Theatre which had been build on this spot where the pub now stood. This was the theatre where Shakespeare’s plays, Henry V and Romeo and Juliet were first performed! And I was doubly excited because my first love of the arts was theatre and performance. So to link this spot back to the 16th Century and an important period in British cultural history was thrilling.
By this point, I was well and truly bitten by the bug to track down all the Osch paintings I could find in my area. I sadly missed one on Rivington Street by only a few weeks. And another sweet one of a girl and flowers on restaurant shutters on Brick Lane . But the next five paintings are great; they are full of pathos, humanity and irony.
As well as the distinctive Osch painting in the next photograph, if you look at the reflection of the window on the right, you can see one of Discreet’s Owls painted on the wall opposite.
This one is more unusual. The shutters are over a night club/bar called Lounge Lovers. The woman’s face, further along is painted by Mr Cenz.
Something Fishy Going On by Otto Schade
This next picture I discovered all by myself, without the aid of the net! (groan, sorry). I was working in the area and spotted his distinctive style from the corner of my eye as I passed this chicken and fish shop. It is one of his latest works in this area at time of posting.
And this is my tribute entitled “Yum Yum I know which I’d rather eat”
Marlon Brando- new painting and Around the Block exhibition
Osch often paints cultural icons – mainly actors and musicians. You can see online paintings of Amy Winehouse, The Beatles, Bob Marley and Marlon Brando.
To celebrate the opening of his exhibition at Well Hung Gallery, Osch painted this clever surrealist portrait of Brando. Its close to the gallery on Hoxton Street. When I first approached it I could see only white shapes. But as soon as I put my camera to my eye, Brando’s face leapt out at me.
And finally, here are a couple of the paintings on show at the gallery on Hoxton Street.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my introduction to the work of artist Otto Schade aka Osch. And for those of you who are new to his work, I’m sure from now on you will be able to spot his distinctive images when you see them.