Artista: Soho Takeover, 17 January 2017
A couple of weeks ago, on a Tuesday in January, the artist Artista put on a solo show for one day only. And I was free to pop along!
She had recently painted the outside wall of her studio with her signature image of a flying toast. On 31st December, she announced on Instagram, “My last collaboration marked 100 public pieces this year, 62 of them a flying toast. 2016 has been one of my best years years without a doubt.”
Artista: The Seven Deadly Sins series
It was via another exhibition in 2014 at Monty’s Bar on Brick Lane, that I first came across Artista’s work. I wasn’t aware of her presence on the streets yet. And I fell in love with a series of paintings called the Seven Deadly Sins. And two from this series were on display at the Soho Takeover show.
So what is this work about? Artista explained to me that the one eyed pyramid is a 3D letter A for Artista. And this was her first signature tag on the streets. In 2014, she came up with the flying toast concept because it was typically British. Everybody loves toast and the demand for flying toast murals rapidly grew. She painted 62 public works in 2016 alone.
The Seven Deadly Sins series show how the A creature feels threatened by the success of the flying toast. I love all the details. In the painting Lust, toast love is everywhere and the Pyramid is so enthral to toast. I think they would make a great picture book.
Artista’s one day show, A Soho Takeover on 17th January 2017
Fast forward two years later and the current show is all about toast.
There were four different coloured versions of the toast lying in a bed of leaves for each of the four seasons. Blue (below) is winter, pale greens (spring) greens (summer), and reds (autumn). You can glimpse the others in the larger photograph above.
On a table in the recreated studio area by the window were more toast prints, cork mats and miniature prints.
Here is the Flying Toast and the Pyramid on holiday together. An uneasy truce. The Toast is still flying high.
Flying Toast murals spotted around London
But the Pyramid A creature is not forgotten. This was painted last summer in Penge.