Saturday 24th May, 2014 marked a major milestone in GraffitiStreet’s history with the creation of two stunning artworks in the very heart of London’s world-renowned creative district.
The two large-scale pieces, by Hunto (Italy) and La Staa (Norway) respectively, make imposing and highly memorable additions to Shoreditch’s already impressive roster of street art.
The location in question is the Shoreditch Art Wall (on Great Eastern Street), a 60 square metre surface on one side of a Victorian building that has played host to big names in the art world as well as up-and-coming talent. It has also carried advertising for some achingly cool global brands from time to time. A series of panels to celebrate the launch of the latest instalment in the Soul Calibur series? The gamers in us would certainly consider approving of such a thing.
And so, after the base coat had been applied in the dead of night by GraffitiStreet’s founders (with much hilarity ensuing at the time), work began in earnest the following afternoon to transform the resulting vacant space …
Find out more about the Shoreditch Art Wall
Hunto Says “Let’s Flirt”
There’s always the possibility that the title of Hunto’s piece might be a knowing reference to the phraseology coined by those eighties stalwarts Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Katharine Hamnett. If you wanted to be absolutely sure though, you’d have to ask the man himself. The work brings a dash of glorious Molotow-branded colour to London EC2, and takes a long hard look at the intertwined themes of sexuality and human attraction, mixing things up with a strongly Cubist visual approach.
Watching this Italian master at work was nothing short of a revelation (and an immense privilege) as he threw down curve after curve in lines that exuded a serpentine sensuousness perfectly matched to the subject matter.
The fluidity and accuracy of his movements were simply incredible – if there was anybody out there who could make spray painting look like a seemingly effortless process, it would be Hunto. Of course, all the more awe-inspiring was the fact that he was simultaneously doing battle with the rather inclement conditions that only a less-than-perfect English summer’s day can serve up. Strong winds? Check. Intermittent rain showers? Yep. Thunder and lightning too? You better believe it.
Bravo Hunto! We salute those truly mad skills of yours; “Let’s flirt” is an assured masterpiece.
The King of Chess
We thought we’d bring a little slice of Scandinavian style to British shores, and flew in Norwegian stencil specialist La Staa for a short, but very definitely sweet visit.
His “King of Chess” piece is a homage to Norway’s demon grandmaster Magnus Carlsen – the game’s current World Champion no less, and fortunate enough to be blessed with both movie star good looks and genius-level intellect. La Staa, a massive chess fan in his own right, felt it was his patriotic duty to celebrate the achievements of this huge young talent, and the result has been jaw-dropping.
In this highly-detailed stencil piece, Carlsen has been anointed as king, the most important piece on the board, and he casts a regal gaze at the world beyond.
The strong monochrome spray work is the ultimate counterpoint to Hunto’s eye-popping colours, and is rounded off by the very clever use of a textured background. We’d like to think that Carlsen himself would approve of the piece’s bold aesthetic and are pleased to report that it has already been turning heads quicker than you could ever hope to say “Checkmate“.
La Staa, Hunto and Team GraffitiStreet in full effect
Finally, here’s a sample of the photographic documentation of the day’s events for your perusal. Hopefully, it’ll give you a flavour of how things went down.
The good news is that our good friend Pahnl is beavering away to edit the video footage he shot of proceedings, and we can’t wait to see how this turns out – more news as soon as we have it!