London launches its first international ‘Street Art’ park, situated on the Royal Victoria Docks, which opens today. The London Pleasure Gardens is a series of art works which takes on big name artists like Shepard Fairey and Ron English alongside local talent.
The centrepiece is the UK’s largest mural by Shepard Fairey, famed for his Hope poster during Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. This work a 249ft high ‘freedom of speech’ mural resembles a vintage painted billboard with a very modern message. He explains: ‘It will be something that unsuspecting Olympic enthusiasts will stumble across. The mural represents freedom of speech and expression.’ Fairey mentioned to the Standard; “Bansky is an old friend, and the energy he has created around public art in London has affected the entire international scene.“This is a great city for street art because it’s densely populated and a lot of people walk, so they can stumble across something, stop and look at it.”
Other artists involved in the park include Ron English, a master of pop surrealism and part of the guerrilla art collective, TrustoCorp. English who featured in the Banksy film ‘Exit Through the Gift-shop’ has painted the nose cone of a jumbo jet with speech bubbles on hoardings on the site. Risk’s painted bus is another highlight. Internationally-known for his previous bus installation at MoCA’s 2011 graffiti and street art survey “Art in the Streets,” RISK returns to the driver’s seat to vandalise a bus and the nose of a military bomber aircraft.
“LETTERS FROM AMERICA” continues its UK invasion with an all-American Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, July 4 at Black Rat Gallery. Open to the public, the exhibition transforms the London tunnel into a bunker of America’s most wanted artists, showcasing new works from RISK, Ron English, SABER, and TrustoCorp. Gallerists Jan and Bruce Helford add, “Corey Helford Gallery is proud to be bringing U.S. artists to a UK project of this “Olympian” scale and finishing with a celebration of four of the top U.S. street and graffiti artists – RISK, Ron English, Saber and TrustoCorp – in a gallery that’s been home to some of the finest street artists in the world, Black Rat Gallery.”
The exhibition of paintings and sculptures will feature an original Bob’s Big Boy statue customized by RISK, as well as SABER’s famous flag series, which serves as a commentary about the National Healthcare System and his personal challenges with it. For the show, SABER will unveil first Union Flag piece, titled “The Flag Of The National Healthcare System.” “Quite literally, I paint for my life,” he says. “Every painting I touch, I try to envision my pieces on a travel into the future as a record of the great emotional value as well as artistic merit that can only be matched by someone living under such extreme conditions during these tumultuous times. I only hope that after I am gone, these pieces will be hung on the walls of a different era where we as nations care more about nurturing its citizens than perpetuating the system of profit over life.”
The opening reception for “LETTERS FROM AMERICA” at the London Pleasure Gardens is free and open to the public. Outdoor installations will be on view until December 2013. The opening reception at Black Rat Gallery is private and by invitation only. All of the artists will be in attendance on opening night, and the show runs through July 18, 2012. Many of the US artists will be showing work at Black Rat Projects in Rivington Street, Shoreditch, from July 4, marking Independence Day. Visit Exhibition Here