As I mentioned in my last article, we’ve had some of the very best street artists from around the globe leaving their mark right here in Manchester. I have chosen 3 that I would love to see come back.
In doing my research for this article, what was great to see is how the 3 artists have all been able to make the leap from the street into the contemporary art world – don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this route is the only way to go, but if you ask 9 out of 10 artists if they would like to be shown in a gallery the unequivocal answer would be ‘Yes’.
Some folk may argue – Does Street Art belong in a Gallery? To those folk I would ask them would you go and see a Keith Haring or a Jean-Michel Basquiat show? I rest my case.
Inspired by the graphics of 8-bit video games from the 1970s and 80, the artist “invades” cities worldwide, placing his tiled pieces in certain locations and awarding himself “points” based on the intricacy of the mural and the difficulty in placing it.
According to his invasion map, as of January 2020, Invader has created mosaics in 79 cities,(including one in space in 2015!) with 3858 Space Invaders, comprising over 1.5 million ceramic tiles.
The French artist ‘invaded’ Manchester once back in 2004 and in that one hit, managed to give rise to 47 pieces. That number, according to my business partner (who is a massive invader fan) has dropped to 37 due to either theft or the demise of a building.
Invader, if you are reading this, I’d like you to consider Manchester for another ‘invasion wave’ as I know of a location that would net you considerable points – get in touch Bro!
It was back in 2002 and I remember it so vividly. I was walking down Oldham Street and BANG! Right there in front of me was a piece by my all-time favourite graffiti artist MODE2. Unfortunately, I’ve trawled through my archives and I’ve not be able to find an image of that piece so if anyone reading this has a photo, please share – I’d love to see it again!
Mode2’s ‘Characters’ were head and shoulders above anything I’d ever seen. His signature loose yet controlled strokes gives his work a real sense of energy and kineticism. Back in the 80s, he was a founding member of a crew called The Chrome Angelz (TCA) who are to this day regarded by many to be ‘Europe’s most influential graffiti crew’ with members hailing from France and London and I would site the Artist’s contribution playing a huge role in that accolade.
It’s been cool to observe his journey from the streets to the present days where he has been able to gate crash into the contemporary art world, one of my few regrets was not buying one of his paintings when an opportunity presented itself, his paintings today, often fetch tens of thousands of pounds in the secondary market. Please come back to Manchester!
What is there to write about Banksy that hasn’t already been written! But for the benefit of the unenlightened few, he is a UK street artist hailing from Bristol who rose to prominence and notoriety in the late 90s with his politically charged, & irreverent wit spray paint stencils, often containing a satirical angle Banksy has now become a household name.
This stencil of a Bulldog’s head fused onto a Poodle’s body & carries next to it Banksy’s stencil tag, was discovered by a couple of workmen a decade ago, who were due to carry out maintenance work on an electricity substation on Tib Street has since been confirmed as a Fake – therefore Banksy hasn’t painted in Manchester and therefore shouldn’t qualify for this list.
But he has, and that’s because I’m sneakily using this article to remind his royal Bank’ness that he’s not and offering an open invitation to do so!