The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick has opened a new community centre called Hub67. I was invited to paint in their courtyard to celebrate their launch. The mural depicts a young girl sat and reading, on a background with vibrant colours.
“Hub67” – Zabou – 4x2m – London, UK – 2016
Photo credit: Zabou
This wall in Angel (London, UK) was the first wall I got permission to paint – more than three years ago. Back then I did a collaboration with stencil artist Pegasus, which remained fairly untouched over time. However it desperately needed to be refreshed!
I painted this artwork based on a photo by Colin Anderson of this young Asian woman in an astronaut outfit, holding her helmet and looking towards the sky. I found the image very powerful and inspiring. I hope locals will too!
“The Conquest” – Zabou – 3x4m – London, UK – 2016
Photo credit: Zabou (above)
Photo credit: d13go (above)
I’ve travelled across America for the last two weeks and completed 3 murals in New York and L.A.
In the Bronx
The TAG Public Art Project, curated by local painter Sinxero, has welcomed many artists to brighten up walls and shutters in the Bronx in New York. I painted a 7m large mural of local hip hop legend: Grandmaster Flash. The image shows the famous DJ looking over his shoulder while holding a ghettoblaster.
Title: “Flash” – Zabou – 7x3m – New York, USA – 2016
Run is a young female artist living in Iran where she paints, skates and embrace the urban lifestyle. I decided to paint her portrait for my first mural in Los Angeles, right opposite Gabba Gallery (who are helping artists to paint around the area). I love the determination in her eyes!
Title: “Run” – Zabou – 4x3m – Los Angeles, USA – 2016
I stopped at the Container Yard in Downtown Los Angeles to paint this not-so-innocent boy holding a slingshot. The image is inspired by a photograph by H. Sorensen of O. Lacour.
Title: “The Slingshot” – Zabou – 3x3m – Los Angeles, USA – 2016
The ‘MUR‘ is a space located in Oberkampf district (Paris XI) which was created ten years ago. Every two weeks, a local or international artist is invited to paint it. It allows artists to showcase their work in a prime location as well as the Parisian audience to discover new names and works from the worldwide urban art scene.
I was the 216th artist to perform on the space. The mural took 3 days to paint, right when the heatwave struck!
My design features three characters: an elderly man surrounded by a middle-aged man and woman, all of them looking down at the smartphone they’re holding. It raises the social issue surrounding smartphones and other devices, which have completely taken over our lives for the last few years. We interact less with each other in person while isolating ourselves in the digital world.
“All Addicted” – Zabou – 9x4m – Paris, France – 2016
Credit photos (above): Zabou
Credit photos (above): Christophe Legros
I’ve just completed a large mural at the London Fields Brewery in East London. It features the famous star-crossed lovers: Romeo and Juliet. Set on two large arches, Romeo (on the left) is seen blowing a kiss to Juliet (on the right). The image is inspired by a photo by David Ryle.
Title: “Romeo & Juliet” – Zabou – 12x4m – London, UK – 2016
EN: “Alleluia” is a beautiful limited edition five colour screen print depicting a saint with a mask and a spray can. It is available in hand finished gold & silver version, as well as in various colourful backgrounds. A.P.s available also.
FR: “Alleluia” est une superbe sérigraphie cinq couleurs (édition limitée) qui montre une sainte avec un masque et une bombe de peinture. Elle est disponible en version or et argent finie à la main, ainsi qu’en diverses couleurs. Epreuves d’artistes également disponibles.
I painted this portrait of Canadian DJ Kaytranada for Upfest 2016, the UK’s largest street art festival. The glasses are made with mirror vinyl – allowing light, shapes and colours to reflect and making the piece interactive.
“Reflections” – Zabou – 2x2m – Bristol, UK – 2016
My previous mural on the side of the Bell Pub in Whitechapel featured Jack The Ripper, whose murders (according to legend) took place very near the venue.
I’ve refreshed the wall by creating this cabinet of curiosity themed artwork – which echoes the decoration inside the pub. This was a way of using the multiple frames as shelvings showcasing weird objects.
The main character, holding a magnifying glass, raises his hand to pick up a pedestrian walking past – what a great add-on to his collection!
“Cabinet of Curiosity” – Zabou – 6x4m – London, UK – 2016
Photo credit: Zabou
The municipality of Loures, in the suburbs of Lisbon, just organised a large street art festival reuniting around 80 local and international artists.
For this occasion and given recent events, I decided to spread a message of love and unity! My mural, entitled “Together”, pictures a person with both light and dark skin, buttoning a shirt with both African and European patterns. Bracelets from different religions are hanging from his wrists.
Let’s be united against terror, discrimination and violence. Across all cultures, nations, religions, genders and politics.
“Together” – Zabou – 11x7m – Lisbon, Portugal – 2016
City of Colours is back this year again as one of the UK’s biggest street art festivals. Taking place in Birmingham for a weekend, the event featured live art, music, workshops, shows, street food and much more.
I painted a portrait inspired by Willow Smith – with headphones plugged into her heart.
“Plugged In” – Zabou – 3x3m – Birmingham, UK – 2016
Photo credit: D7606
Mexican artist Villana and myself did our second collaboration to date, this time for international charity Child Labor Free. The charity aims to tackle child labor around the world by putting pressure on brands and companies to adopt better business systems and work ethic.
The mural was painted on the Shoreditch Art Wall in London and will be visible for two weeks. It is a mix of yarn/paste-up (Villana) and stencil/free-hand spray painting (myself).
Credit photo (picture 1,2,3, above): Alan Stockdale
Credit photo: MFrenchi
The charity is selling some beautiful T-shirts to support a project in India. All profits raised from the sales go to establishing a childcare centre in the Freeset complex, to provide high risk children, access to care and education services.
Back in Hackney with this Regent’s Canal inspired piece called “Pirates”, which features a couple underwater surrounded by goldfishes. The image is based on two portraits taken by photographer Bartek Szmigulski. The wall has been arranged by Dan from LondonGraffiti, and is adjacent to a mural recently painted by Berlin-based duo Paul Punk and Nick Flatt.
Read it below:
Photos by Bella Howard
I spotted this door in Hackney Wick, East London, a while back and it inspired me to create this jail-themed artwork. The piece depicts a convict locked up behind bars. It’s a paste-up, my first one!
Title: “Jail Time! (En Prison!)” – Zabou – London, UK – 2016
Back again in Cyprus! This time for the 9th edition of Street Life Festival: a mix of live painting, street food, music and market stalls taking place each year in the city centre of Limassol.
Climbed on a lift, I painted for two consecutive days this magical mural showing two hands lifting up the surface of the wall, revealing a very colourful dimensions behind. This piece is in line with the interactive artworks I’ve been developing for the past year. There will be more to come!
Title: “Deep Inside” – Zabou – 10x6m – Limassol, Cyprus – 2016
Guess who visited? My favourite grandpa Kiwie!
Photo credit: Zabou (all)
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