So, after a slight delay, here’s what went on yesterday. In a nutshell, Nick Walker, long time Bristol graf artist, had a show in trendy Shoreditch, which, given the huge buzz about him at the moment, promised to be absolutely bonkers, and didn’t disappoint.
Swung by there just after midday to check out what was going on. At the end of the Cargo section of Rivington Street, you were greeted by a whole load of red balloons on every lamp post and railing…
Nick Walker red ‘Vandal’ balloons as it turned out, a very cool touch, but you try getting a good close up photo of a balloon in a strong breeze!
And here’s the infamous queue that formed over 24 hours before this photo. Damn, i admire the dedication, there were genuine fans there, and i’m sure bits of it were a giggle, but by this stage, everyone just looked cold, pale and bedraggled, some of them really not happy.
That said, the word is that Black Rat Press did a sterling job for these people, making sure no-one could queue jump, letting them into shelter when it rained earlier that morning, and even Mr Walker himself came along and brought them all coffees that afternoon. What a thoroughly bloody nice bloke.
So, after a cool afternoon of Shoreditch based fun and exploration, came back to the venue about 7pm, to see the remains of the queue, now deserted of people.
Joined the queue to get in, not dreadful, 10 minutes or so. Some of the people from the overnight queue came out as we were going in though, haven’t seen people look that dreadful for a good long time. Remember kids, homelessness ain’t fun, ok?
Saw this piled up in the corner by the entrance. Comedy.
Anyway, to the show! Here’s the sight that greeted us on getting in there, rammed full of people and buzzing like Bez’s beehive…
First up was the print that everyone had queued so long for. My favourite Nick Walker image, but, you know what, i honestly didn’t like this version of it. It’s a bit cramped, the water is quite clipped rather than fading at the edges, the text is missing and there was a whole load of sparkling powder over it, diamond dust perhaps.
Still love the image, and it’s just personal taste at the end of the day, but damn glad i didn’t queue.
The first of the many canvasses, a vandal who’s just chucked paint at the wall, in four different colourways (4th out of shot below)
Two small little vandals with brollies, one/two colour pieces, over £1k each. Ouch!
This was bloody beautiful, vandal in New York. Stenciling is one skill, composition another, but this picture hits both perfectly.
These were fun, the one on the right was drilling a hole into the bottom of a can of paint. Both made me smile lots.
So much good stuff at the show, but this was one of the best for me ‘Rapunzel’, £35k or so and one of, if not the only, unsold pieces by 8pm or so. Again, awesome stencil work with amazing attention to detail, think there was even a tiny bit of red paint put on the guy’s shoe.
Top one was called ‘Procrastination’, and those small blobs are pigeons each covered in a different colour paint, wandering along and drawing lines behind them.
‘Ratatouille’. Think too much, and you could read a Banksy reference into it couldn’t you.
This was comedy, a vandal ballon floating away from a pigeon that’s been hit with paint from above.
This was kinda like the Ghetto Ghost piece from a while back, in fact lots of images here and there were similar or made reference to other pieces. The foreground of this one is from ‘The Morning After: Bristol’ for a start…
Two more vandal/parliament references, the lower one was gorgeous in the flesh, the photo doesn’t do it justice.
Four Vandalism canvasses, wasn’t too fussed by these. Like the image? Just buy the sticker of it on ebay, scan it and blow it up. For me this was the area where people were buying for the sake of buying. Apparently when the show opened, people were going up to the counter with cheque books and asking what was left before buying it indiscriminately, without even going to look at it.
They used to do that with new releases of one bedroom flats a couple of years ago didn’t they…
An original ‘The Morning After: Hollywood’. Like many, if not in fact most of the pieces here, an edition of 3 with only one for sale.
A peek inside the vandal’s briefcase, rockin’ the Beltons, love it.
One of the four cheaper studies for the show, just over a grand and quite nice, interesting to see the stencils mixed up.
In the middle of the room, on top of a bunch of Asahi beer boxes (tonight’s exceedingly generous beer sponsor), was this painted jesus. Looked pretty cool in the right light.
I didn’t spot it at first, but a mate pointed out this Vandal Airways plane tail sticking out of the wall above the bar, a really cool touch.
This piece was another of my favourites, a crazy collage of loads of his different stencils and images from over the years, check the (non) headless astro, and even an old skool dub or two in the mix.
This was above the door to the ‘backstage’ room, where regular deliveries of champagne were being made. The paint ran down all the way to the floor, but quite liked the lighting on this shot.
Have to mention this dood too, he was doing the door security for the ‘backstage’ bit, but must have just stepped straight out of some crazy 70’s film, looked wicked.
Another collage piece, love it.
Even behind the bar there was this little butterfly…
But across the room was another better set of them. Awesome colours.
Three more vandals, including the main show image that was projected the other night.
So, at the end of the night, managed to grab a quick shot of the man himself by his work. Feel a bit bad now, as he looks knackered. Yet again, with the amount and quality of the work on display tonight, i guess it’s hardly surprising.
It’s genuinely one of the best shows i’ve ever been to, you really have to go and check it out in the next week or two.