Secret Art Gallery
28 Cheshire St, London E2 6EH
21 Nov – 19 Dec 2021
Inadequate ventilation is not normally an issue when viewing Orrible’s art as we are mainly familiar spotting it out on the streets. Indoors you better wear a mask for Covid 19 is definitely the theme for his London solo show at the Secret Art Gallery.
The past year has seen Orrible pasting up apt to be mis-interpreted Covid-19 art work spoofing and parodying the classic Chanel No19 spray bottle.
The two floor gallery just off Brick Lane is packed with Orrible’s spraypainted stencil artwork, the paper art and canvasses in essence are made the same way as the art that appears on the street.
A Chanel bottle denotes luxury. The luxury in question could refer to the inequality in the availability of vaccines and the cruel irony of vaccines being produced in low cost developing nations being contractually destined for wealthy first world domains and almost completely unavailable in the country of origin.
If one city may be held to characterise style and luxury that city would be Paris, hence its place of pride on the Chanel bottle. Paris is replaced with Wuhan in the Eau de Virus bottle which on the streets at least has triggered China ex-pat sensitivities against insults to the motherland.
A used stencil hanging in the gallery draws attention firstly to the fact that at least two different stencils were used in creating versions of the Covid-19 Spray bottle then, if you really dive into the detail, you discover one of the natural charms of a stencil in that no two uses of the same stencil will produce the exact same result.
The Orrible show has a refreshingly honesty, a throwback to simpler times and earlier days. Urban art passed peak hype a long time ago. Street art media coverage now is dominated by hero artists doing massive murals who indoors morph into fine art painters; illustrators and graphic designers spewing day job by-product rule the paste up space on the streets but in this show, the artist takes the same art seen on the street, made using the exact same stencil technique, adds resin and diamond dust bling but still the art is essentially the street come inside.
All photos: Dave Stuart