Urban artists must also be feeling the cold set in, with more activity inside than on the streets this December. If you would also rather browse for the newest piece of striking art inside a gallery, shop, or even cinema and while listening to the latest Stormy album, this guide will help you stay warm with the hottest and most unlikely urban art spots in London this winter.
1.Watch this Space | Lazinc Gallery| 24 September – 21 December 2019
The prestigious Urban Art gallery Lazinc – known for being a pioneering specialist in Banksy– presents an ambitiously immersive installation in its project space on Sackville Street, guest -curated by Magda Danysz of Danysz Gallery. Over 25 renowned international artists, including both prominent figures from Lazinc gallery such as Alexandre Farto/ Vhils, Mark Jenkins and the Miaz Brothers and others like Charles Petillon and Ludo, have been sharing the project space over the past months to showcase their site-specific works, treating the gallery walls as if they were part of the artists’ urban canvases.
More info at Lazinc
2. KAWS xx Studio Voltaire
KAWS, who recently had a solo exhibition ‘BLACKOUT’ at Skarskedt gallery in London, collaborated with Studio Voltaire to create a limited edition cashmere blanket available at http://houseofvoltaire.org/ . Produced by Scottish craftsmen, the blanket features KAWS’s artwork of two gloved hands submerging into liquid in his iconic style of mixing cartoonish humour with a slightly sinister touch and in this case, with a perfect way to stay warm of course.
3. Stik in Phoenix Garden and in ‘Last Christmas’
The permanent Stik mural in Phoenix Garden, a community garden in central London is especially breath-taking to visit in the snow. However, this winter it will also make an appearance on the big cinema screen in the much- anticipated British blockbuster “Last Christmas” starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. Director Paul Feig talks about how the mural’s message of togetherness and the artist’s committed engagement with the London community inspired him to choose the artwork for his film.
Read Feig’s interview here.
Stik, who used to himself be homeless, is highly engaged with activism in London including various charities and hospitals, which is always reflected in the locations and contents of his murals. His most recent collaborative artwork with Thierry Noir was on show until the 1st of December at the Imperial War Museum commemorating the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
4. Stormzy’s ‘Heavy is the Head’ album featuring Banksy
Stormzy by Mark Hattock
Famous British rapper Stomzy is releasing his newest album, ‘Heavy is the Head’, on the 13th of December, with a powerful album cover designed by Hales Studios. The cover, envisioned to resemble a timeless Renaissance work of art, also features the stab vest designed for the rapper by Banksy that he wore for his headlining performance at this year’s Glastonbury festival, where he spoke out openly on police brutality and several current political issues. According to Richard Hales, co-founder of Hales studios:
“Stormzy felt it was important to include the Banksy vest on the cover as it represents a pivotal point in his life, as well as a reality of the times we live in. (…) The vest has cultural significance and he wore it for the biggest gig of his life.”
Read more here.
The stab-proof vest by Banksy Credit: Gross Domestic Product/PA
Stormzy’s vest, among other much- sought-after pieces were on sale on a first-come-first-serve basis in Banksy’s online shop ‘Gross Domestic Product’ for his recent pop-up shop in Croydon – needless to say, the sale didn’t last very long. Though ‘applications’ for the time being are closed, one can never know when and in what mischievous way they might reopen, and so the website is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
For those who are lucky enough to be in sunny Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria is an absolute must-visit, having devoted an entire year of its program to the celebration of Urban Art. The spectacular duo – retrospective ‘Crossing Lines’ with Haring and Basquiat opened on December 1st for the first time ever in any institution. It features over 300 works by two of the most influential artists of the 20th century with both practices primarily informed by the aesthetic and political language of street art.
The museum also has two exhibitions by KAWS on display until March 2020 with more than 100 paintings, drawings and iconic toy-sculptures, entitled ‘Companionship in the Age of Loneliness’, accompanied by the smaller ‘Playtime’ installation. This is free to visit for children and encourages them to interact with the artworks.