Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 2009: "A Força da Rua" in London

Well, that was a nightmare. Thanks to train construction, missed connections and tight time crunches, I didn't make it back to my house last night. (Thanks, Adam! Your van saved my life.) This is an improvisation on the post I planned since none of my photos can be accessed. Still, here's a taste of what I did on my break.

London is home to some amazing street art, but there is a lot going on indoors as well. Last Thursday, street artist Remi invited me to the opening of "A Força da Rua" at Shoreditch's theprintspace. Remi was one of twelve UK and Brazilian artists who contributed customized Gibson guitars and limited edition prints to the charity event. All proceeded benefited the Brazilian child welfare organization Action for Brazil's Children.
Each guitar exhuded its own powerful personality. Pure Evil created a fresh take on The Beatles' iconic Sergeant Pepper's album cover. D*Face painted a collage of police tape, skulls, and robots on his guitar. Remi's trademark smudgey swathes of color translated perfectly on this unusual medium. Kid Acne's pink and black critters parade across his Flying V.
In addition to the guitars, each artist contributed a batch of standout prints. Remi explained, "Originally, the proceeds were to be split equally between the artist, theprintspace, and ABC. Then Pure Evil spoke up and said, '100% of the charity or it's not a go.'" Thanks to the artist's generosity, the gallery was packed with prints by Inkie, Will Barras, Speto, Titi Freak and more.

Small details transformed the event from a simple opening to a full scale party. Two beverage stations downstairs served up free beer and Vitamin Water to a thirsty crowd. Downstairs, visitors sneaked a peek at the trailer for Lorna Lavelle's documentary, A Forca da Rua. The film explores the evolution ofthe project and the impact of ABC on Brazilian youth. London DJ Stopmakingme provided the soundtrack to the evening. Spinning tracks from Talking Heads and Sebastian Tellier, he got the crowd to move their feet.

While the opening made for an enjoyable evening, the project's contribution to ABC is undoubtedly the best part. Tonight, the guitars are up for grabs at London's Cuckoo Club; rumor has it that Eric Clapton has his eye on one. Can't afford a custom axe? The prints are on display at theprintspace until May 12. Take a look at this and other ABC events at its website and be sure to pay attention to its new community initiatives. Great stuff, guys! Tomorrow, I will be back home and ready to go. (I hope?)

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