The area of focus here is Brick Lane and Shoreditch in Hackney on London’s East End; this stretch is a cultural hub which doubles as a vibrant fashion district as well as a constantly evolving street art exhibition space. This is an exciting area to see ever-changing work, and a point worth mentioning is how accomplished artists are producing in areas constantly in flux. From hard edge abstraction to large-format hyperrealism, it’s all happening here. An appropriate word that comes to mind while walking through these streets is dense. Another word that comes to mind is gentrification; this area is home to England’s largest Bangladeshi population living side-by-side with the artists moving into the neighborhood. Case in point: we saw in the same instant a Muslim woman in her niqab (a garment which covers the entire body and face except the eyes) walk past a fabulous man changing into a pair of hot pants in the middle of the sidewalk. While the woman was modest enough not do a double-take, I had to get another look at those flamboyant butt cheeks hanging out of those booty shorts!
^^^The two images above are photos of the same wall, taken three weeks apart. Note the small black & white cartoon figure on the far right with the caption “graffiti pays!”. This is the only section of the wall to remain unaltered during the period between photos.
^^^There was a swimsuit photo shoot going down on the other end of this alley, and if the photographer turned his camera this way there could easily be the start of a new Cooper Mini ad campaign.