Tag Archives: global street art

Insider Gallery – Pop-Up Group Show

Global Street Art and Test Space have just announced the first in a series of popup shows as the Insider Gallery from 28th May to 13th June at 207 Whitecross Street, Islington.

The inaugural launch of the show will feature 15 artists, including Inkie, Dank, Hunto, Masai, Parlee, Benjamin Murphy, Pogger, Andy Corlett, Ferres, Captain Kris, SPzero76 and International Nobody. The names of more artists will be released in the coming days.

Launch party on Thursday the 30th May with support from Tiger Beer.


DXTR – The Weird

Based in Dusseldorf, DXTR is a member of the German-Austrian crew The Weird, a talented international street art / graffiti group known for their warped and imaginative characters. Members of The Weird don’t seem to distinguish between large walls and smaller illustrations; their imagination runs wild in any available space. Global Street Art caught up with him to talk about his art and the art of not getting arrested.

Inside Dxtr’s Laboratory

My flat always looked like a laboratory, paint kettles and cans everywhere. So some friends called it Dexter‘s Laboratory, thats where the name comes from.

I have been drawing since my childhood. In 1999, at the age of 16 I got into illegal graffiti, introduced by some friends of mine – classical stuff. I really liked painting at night, but I also always focused on sketches and character based things since the beginning. Hanging out at my friends house and sketching in blackbooks was my daily routine.


In the early years I had several problems with police and at that point I focused more and more on characters, sketches and canvases. In 2006 I moved to Dusseldorf to study Communication Design at the
University of Applied Science. I finished my diploma in 2010. I’m still living and working here as a freelance illustrator alongside The Weird’s mural projects.


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Artist Profile – Never

This interview was written by Global Street Art, creators of the Walls Project: paint the city you love!

The Owls of New York: an Interview with Never
If you walk around New York for long enough you’re bound to bump into large crying owls, the hallmark 
of Never’s work. Never is a talented and prolific artist with a flair for characters and text work. The more you see his work the more you get the sense that at some point, something somewhere went deeply wrong and painting became an outlet. We catch up with Never to find out more.

Never (1)

More after the drop.
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An Interview with: Louis Masai

Yesterday we mentioned our excitement about Louis Masai’s solo show AfroFabRicatiOn, opening tonight at the Nancy Victor Gallery. Well our friends over at Global Street Art caught up with the man himself to learn more – written by James Buxton.

You might not have heard of him but chances are you’ve seen his work; Masai is a street artist with a talent for painting animals. His vivid portraits combine patterns found in man-made fabrics produced in the countries the animals originate from. His paintings often feature animals engaged in human activities, fusing a playful style with conscious messages about animals and the environment.

The Man Behind the Animals

My name Masai is due to my long lasting admiration for African tribes, since I was about 10 I guess. Initially it was reflected through wearing beads…a lot of beads…I always loved the Masai tribe because of the red they wear in their hair and the way the warriors jump so high. I never really meant to become Masai it just happened one day. Now people call me Masai; it seems fitting.

I have been painting and drawing forever; it was the only thing I was any good at at school. When I was not at school I would be painting with my dad in his studio. I started painting walls the way I’m painting today about two years ago. I’m still new to this whole thing really.

For me there are a few, very important factors in my life: Rastafari, animals, art, cooking and love, all of which have strong influences in my decision-making.  I grew up in a family run restaurant that was very successful; I painted with my dad till silly o’clock and ended up in art school. I discovered nature and Rastafari on a gap year when I was eighteen running away from a broken heart. Here I am now living in London, broken hearted again but fulfilling my creative energy, living as a humble rastaman painting animals and cooking home-cooked food. My life finds circles and right now I’m experiencing a full cycle of the best one yet, life is really good when four out of five of your passions are fulfilled.

All my work is about animals. It’s only recently that I have started working on whole compositions around the animals. That transition has come about for a couple of reasons, one being the walls are getting bigger and secondly because I want to continually evolve. I enjoy painting portraits because the general public assume a portrait is a human thing, and that interrelates back into my concepts, adorning animals with human attributes.

I work for a couple of agencies where we educate the youth in creative ways to further themselves as young people. We live in an age where the youth are fighting against a system but they aren’t really sure why or what for. They have grown up in a negative world that has little interest in addressing why a whole nation of, if not World, of young people feel emotionally distraught. It’s in my understanding that the work we do gives these youth a chance to see ways around the nonsense; the way I see it is that if we don’t help the future world there is no point living the life we are living now.

Right now my work is purely about interrelating patterns found in man-made fabrics with animals. The fabric and animals originate in the same countries. Currently my work is about African fabrics and African animals, which is to be showcased at Nancy Victor, the show is called AfroFabRicatiOn.

Regarding my influences, I’m not sure that I am actually influenced by what other artists are doing, I pick up random thoughts upon looking at books and shows but I can’t pinpoint who directly influences me. My influence is so broad, it’s within, fashion, photography, nature, tribal culture, the real substance of life. But as for artists I love Josh Keyes, Roa, Sigma Polke, Word to Mother, Conor Harrington, Herakut, Craola, Sam Flores, Os Gemeos, all the beautiful loser artists, Jaybo Monk, Leger, etc.

You know what, it’s impossible to escape being typecast but I think I’m doing my best to sit on a fence and avoid the labelling game, I don’t like labels anyway so I don’t really feel located in any scene. I just paint and listen to music, that’s my scene…

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An interview with: Zina

Our friends at Global Street Art recently caught up with street artist Zina… this is what she had to say!

Linda Aslaksen, often known as Zina, is a young London-based street artist who has become well known for her blue-scale portraits of women and children. She has been getting a lot of attention this past year and has been invited to an increasing number of street art festivals.

Chasing the Blues Away

My name ‘Zina’ basically comes from cutting out of magazines: my style was more collage based when I finished university two years ago. It was quicker to produce a final piece and I had lots of fun making crazy and quirky characters. Zina also means ‘stranger’ in Greek; I find it funny how most people think of Xena the Warrior Princess when they hear it. Being a woman in a male-dominated culture I’m definitely OK with having a warrior name!

I’ve always drawn – it was basically a way my Mum kept three energetic kids occupied. I come from a creative family and I’d draw on the school desk, on my arms, etc. I’d draw on everything! That’s why I’m addicted to collecting sketchbooks now instead.

I got into using acrylic and gouache six years ago when doing my Art and Design foundation degree near Oslo, Norway (I’m from Norway originally). My teacher at university always encouraged me to paint bigger! I only started using spray paint two years ago, when I first moved to London. It took me a couple of pieces to getting the hang of it. Mostly, I’ve sprayed at live events. My older brother was a big influence: he was a [graffiti] writer and into throw-ups and bombing. 

When I’m finding portraits for my street pieces, I look for the expression of emotion and the right shading / light. The shading has to be interesting or challenging enough, with a certain depth to it. I also find inspiration from different ethnic cultures (I’m an ethnic minority myself – the Sami people in north of Scandinavia).

My themes keep changing; I stated copying cartoons, then drawing landscapes, characters, etc. Now I’m testing out realistic elements, with a more positive attitude and emotion behind it. I’m looking to somehow merge my illustrative paintings with these ‘blue’ faces. As for the illustrations, I do a lot of research before starting. I have a main idea, but all the details and meanings have to work together, like pieces in a machine. I read about mythology, symbolism and ancient cultures, and mix it up with a little bit of steam punk elements.

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An interview with: Tom ‘Inkfetish’ Blackford

Tonight sees the long-awaited opening of Tom ‘Inkfetish’ Blackford’s debut solo show ‘Imaginary Friends’ at Blackall Studios – we thought we would have a quick chat with him beforehand..

When did you start painting?

I haven’t been painting graffiti for that long in the grand scheme of things. I got into it when I was about 13 but really just as a spectator that was caught up in the excitement of it all. I was into tagging but didn’t really take it seriously throughout my teens, as I was more interested in trying to become a comic book illustrator. I really began to use graffiti as a method to push my illustration work after dropping out of university in my early 20’s.

So did you move from typical letter style pieces into more character based work?

I’ve kind of done things backwards in that respect. I grew up obsessed with tagging and sketching letters but really made a name for myself painting characters in an attempt to stand out but also because I think I felt more confident putting myself out there as an artist as opposed to a ‘writer’. It’s only really been over the last couple of years that I’ve started painting letter pieces again under the ‘OTAKU’ moniker. However letters are still something I consider to be something I do for fun with my crew and not something I take too seriously.

Your solo show ‘Imaginary Friends’ features new works on canvas, what brought on the decision to move away from your work on the streets?

I’ve always painted canvases as I find them to be a place where I can suitably combine my strengths in painting and illustration. I used to do a bit of commercial illustration but can’t stand working digitally so decided to completely quit doing anything art related using a computer. This decision naturally increased my desire to develop my painting skills and concentrate of canvas work in-between painting walls. I definitely don’t feel like this is me moving away from street work but rather extending it into an environment where it can be appreciated for different reasons.

Do you think your work translates from the street onto canvas and will be received well in a gallery environment?

In all honesty, it’s not something I’ve thought about too much. I’ve exhibited artwork for years so besides the fact that this is my first solo show, it doesn’t feel like a huge jump for me. I do however feel like it’s my strongest body of work to date.

The show is entitled ‘Imaginary Friends’, where did this stem from?

A lot of my paintings have featured boys/girls in the presence of some kind of fantastical creature. I guess you could say there’s a creepy undertone to my work as I think there is with the concept of an imaginary friend. The title also shares the initials of Ink Fetish so seemed to fit nicely.

What can we expect to see in the way of canvases and prints tonight?

15 new pieces of work will be on display. A few pretty large in scale which I felt was a good challenge but also something that felt natural given the fact that I’m used to working pretty big on the street. I also have a limited run of prints based on the central piece ‘Daydream’.

How have you found the process of getting this body of work together?

Really interesting actually. Definitely challenging and exhausting. My daily routine over the course of the last two months has pretty much involved getting up at about 3pm and going to the gym in order to justify sitting hunched over a canvas, painting, smoking, drinking stupid amounts of coke and snacking before returning to bed at 5am. Big ups, big downs and little epiphanies…hopefully some of these things will have filtered through into my work.

What’s next for you once this show is over, any plans to exhibit internationally?

I’ve exhibited in The States a few times in group shows and would love the opportunity to at some point do a solo show out there. One step at a time..

Check out the show tonight at Blackall Studios – supported by Global Street Art & Tiger Beer. RSVP@globalstreetart.com
More from Tom can be found on his website.

Imaginary Friends – Tom 'Inkfetish' Blackford

Legendary graffiti and street artist Inkfetish aka Tom Blackford’s new exhibition opens in two weeks and we can’t wait. This long-awaited début solo show ‘Imaginary Friends’ will open at Blackall Studios in East London on 18th October and marks Tom’s further progression into the fine art arena, although will be accompanied by a series of street pieces as well!

Inspired by his passion for Japanese animation and pop culture, “Imaginary Friends explores the mythologies of childhood, transporting celebrated archetypes of youth into a surreal adult world. Placing a veil of dark humour over icons of innocence makes this an unmissable journey into a twisted world of strangely familiar characters.”

To ensure your presence at what promises to be a packed event, RSVP to rsvp@globalstreetart.com. The event is supported by Global Street Art & Tiger Beer.

Check out the promo video for it below!


Inkfetish – ‘Imaginary Friends’ from four-eyes-good on Vimeo.