Red chameleon in Stoke Newington

One of the things explained in the article linked to in the previous posting is that product placement often happens in a quite subtle way, without the brand being spelt out clearly, for everyone to see. Street art adverts can be part of a campaign, and the street art bit only makes sense if you also notice the rest of that campaign.

So, for instance, is this, also spied in Bermondsey by me the day before yesterday, also some kind of advert?:

Maybe.

I googled “red chameleon” and found two books both called that, but no other products. No beer. No deodorant. No dating site for psycho-communists.

So, maybe it’s just a painting, of a red chameleon.

LATER: And it would appear that these are just flamingos:

I also saw them on my Stoke Newingtonian travels.

Both the flamingos and the red chameleon are, it would seem, the work of Frankie Strand. That she signed the chameleon was a clue. And a little googling got me to her particular fondness also for flamingos.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Street Art sells beer instead of political ruination – pro-political-ruination writer not happy

Christine Macdonald complains, in an article recently linked to by Arts and Letters Daily that:

Street Art Used To Be the Voice of the People. Now It’s the Voice of Advertisers.

Given what Ms MacDonald means by “the People” (the people who ruin all the places they get control of), this development is to be welcomed. Compared to ruination by a diverse array of people, all with the same ruinous opinions, advertisers trying only to sell you stuff are a breath of fresh air.

Here is an example of this process at work, spotted by me in Stoke Newington, the day before yesterday:

And here is another van from the same stable, which I spotted and photoed on the same day that I spotted and photoed these other exercises in profit seeking and actual people helping, nearer to the middle of London, while out and about a while back:

Vans like this are different, and thus attract attention. They certainly got mine. Many beer drinkers will surely have been persuaded to wonder what this particular beer tastes like. If it tastes like crap, advertising won’t save your product. But if the product is good but is being ignored, advertising is just what you want.

But, all you graffitists who have sold out or who would like to, be warned. Soon, this style will look rather ordinary, once lots of others have started doing it. At which point people like me won’t photo it any more, and commerce that is trying to attract attention will be on to the next aesthetic fad.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Modern Art

I don’t hate paintings that look like this, as so many paintings of a certain vintage do. Hatred is for things you can’t avoid and mere paintings can usually be avoided with ease. But I don’t respect paintings that look like this:

But that isn’t a painting. It looks like a painting. But, it’s a photo. And I really like it.

It was photoed by Real Photographer Charlie Waite. Read his tweet about it here.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Hell or Habito

I continue to photo taxi adverts, whenever I get the chance. Last Sunday, I photoed this one:

There wasn’t space for to get the whole taxi, and there wasn’t time for me to go the other side of the road and get the whole taxi, because I was in a hurry to be somewhere else. But I hope you agree that that photo suffices.

This being the century of the internet, I have since found this, and this, and this.

I bet Jimbo Phillips never thought he’d be selling mortgages.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Dr Salter’s imaginary cat statue

Indeed:

I took all these statue photos yesterday, in a walk with GodDaughter 2 that I have already referred to, which started at the Shard (see below), Tower Bridge, and nearby places, and ended … well, quite a way downstream.

As often happens, my favourite photo of this subject was the first one I took. But I also liked this next one, which neglects what seems to be the usual Big Things of The City background and adds only wall and water:

The explanation of the rather odd title of this posting is that what we have here is not so much a group of statues as a drama acted out by a group of statues. Dr Salter (see below) is looking on at his small daughter, and at her cat. But it is all taking place in his imagination, because the small daughter died tragically young. It is all very well explained, with more pictures, here. Follow that link, and you’ll even find a map of exactly where this all is.

The drama gets an extra layer of drama, because the original statue of Dr Salter was stolen, for its value as scrap metal. I think I preferred the stolen one, but here is the replacement, with the addition of a young man with tattoos:

The tattoos on the front of that guy were remarkable, and I regret now not asking him to let me photo them. I know, I know, creepy. But if he had said yes, I would have been delighted, and if he had said no that’s creepy, I’d have got over it.

Mrs (Ada) Salter also looks on, and these two headshots of her came out quite well too:

While taking these photos, or maybe it was a bit later, I found myself musing aloud to GD2 (with her agreeing) that people seem greatly to prefer statues that are very clearly statues, made out of some sort of monochrome material such as stone or metal, rather than something more realistically coloured, a fact which has, from time to time, puzzled me. Were the latter procedure to be followed, people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between statues and actual people, and this would freak them out.

A “realistic” painting or photo of a person is actually not realistic at all. People are complicated in shape. Paintings and photos are flat. So, if you encounter a photo or a painting of a person, even if it’s life size, there is no possibility that you will be duped into introducing yourself to it or asking it for directions. But if you encounter a genuinely realistic 3D statue of a person, only its deeply unnatural stillness would eventually tell you that this is not a real person. And this would be awkward to be dealing with on a regular basis.

A giant statue of someone, realistically coloured, might be okay. After all, miniature statues (go into any toy shop or gift shop to see what I mean) already are okay. Just as with a tiny but realistically coloured person statue, you could tell at once that a giant realistically coloured person statue was only a statue rather than a real person.

A giant cat statue, on the other hand, probably wouldn’t be a good idea. People might think: Woooaaarrrrgggghhh!!! A giant cat!!! Get me out of here now!

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog