5D STOKE NEWINGTON ROAD
LONDON N16 8BH
Skeleton Cardboard doesn’t make art show aficionado’s lives easy. In fact he could be said to drive people to death as the skeleton count on the street and in the gallery piles up thanks to his art and at the same time his exhibitions are always almost impossible to find. Graffoto is here to help with the later.
In 2015, Skeleton Cardboard staged a 2 day pop up art show in someone else’s front room in Shoreditch to a non-existent barrage of publicity. Skeleton Cardboard converted the living room into a dead room, Graffoto chanced upon the artist luring unsuspecting unfortunates in and upon escaping with its life intact, wrote Skeleton Cardboard’s last rites, link here. Curiously the current BSMT show has the same title as the 2015 dance macabre.
That “rite up” looked at Skeleton Cardboard’s street art, his collaborations and his free art giveaways so this time by way of update here are some hand finished prints and a recent collaboration he did on the Shoreditch streets with another Graffoto favourite Donk:
There is a brilliant irony in the placement of that collaborative print on the wall pictured above, there are 3 skulls in the frame yet none of them are by Skeleton Cardboard, genius!
BSMT’s basement gallery has taken on the appearance of a subterranean charnel house with the accumulation of a hoard of freshly dead skeletons.
The frozen grins of the reanimated cadavers are a façade masking their disbelief at our modern ways. Their bony brains are bamboozled by the dire warnings that constrain and limit our risk averse, arse covering life.
Ironically, the newsphere has for the past week been following the consequences of a judge deciding that an international food purveyor was to blame for a young girl’s death because they sold sandwiches with inadequate labels, so perhaps Skeleton Cardboard’s characters are right to fear the morbid possibilities contained in these stark product and lifestyle notices.
Skeleton Cardboard’s humour extends to a lovely self-deprecating mockery, the skeletons are delivering advice and warnings back to the artist, it’s either a huge “no fucks given” self-confidence or someone’s self-doubt and paranoia is being hung up to the light.
BSMT’s basement has two alcoves which have in the past few years have provided artists with plenty of scope for installation fun but they seem almost purpose built for conversion by Skeleton Cardboard into some kind of occultish crypt. Other observers have identified “Day Of The Dead” inspirations but Skeleton Cardboard is, perhaps unintentionally, pastiching Haiti Vodou (voodoo) shrines.
Deletions, crossings out and corrections form the basis of colourful abstract compositions from which the skeleton and the skull are absent, so empty coffins perhaps though the title, 0111, may be a binary representation of something deadly or more likely something rude.
The host for this plague of rigor mortis is BSMT Space and this week they are embarking on their first foray into the Art Fair world. They are one of the galleries exhibiting at Moniker Art Fair which goes from strength to strength and is expected yet again provide a fresh take on the urban art scene. If finding the actual BSMT Space is too challenging or too remote, Skeleton Cardboard is going to be featured on BSMT’s stand at Moniker, along with other long established Graffoto faves Sweet Toof and Ace. A nice little sweetener is that thanks to BSMT, readers who make it this far into the post in time can get a 30% discount on the Moniker ticket price using the code LDNBSMT30 at the checkout, do shoot them a courtesy email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let them know.
The origins of the artist’s handle lie obviously in a fetish for drawing skeletons but let’s not forget the other part of the name came from the preferred material used to put these skeletons out on the street, so it’s good to see cardboard appearing on the walls and indeed in the shrines, they may be skeletal but there is life in them bones.
Skeleton Cardboard instagram
BSMT Space website
Moniker Art Fair website
All photos: Dave Stuart