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Malarky in Spitalfields

August 18, 2011
by the gentle author

We have had a lot of Malarky in Spitalfields recently. It started up in Hackney, where I first saw Malarky, but then I spotted Malarky in Whitechapel. Next, Malarky was in Brick Lane and a moment later in Redchurch St and, the other morning, Malarky in Hanbury St too. These days, I am surrounded by Malarky. At every corner that I turn, I see all kinds of Malarky. Malarky is everywhere in Spitalfields now!

Walking the streets of Spitalfields daily – a veritable Sistine Chapel of Street Art – I am constantly aware of the ever-changing gallery, as rival artists put up their latest works in the hope of drawing popular attention. Among the members of this random academy, many painters strain for significance with elaborately contrived works that might equally be seen inside an art gallery. But then along comes Malarky, a Street Artist from Barcelona, with joyful paintings that have brought the surreal revelry of a Catalan carnival to these East End streets as an exuberant compensation for this feeble Summer.

In common with the work of Ben Eine, these are happy paintings that lift the atmosphere of the street, and in common with fellow Catalan Joan Miro, Malarky has his own vocabulary of brightly coloured creatures. There is a fox and a cat, a chick with no legs, a pear that drives a car and a robot with light bulbs for eyes. These characters are shape-shifting all over Spitalfields now, with or without limbs, with variable numbers of eyes and decorated with different patterns and textures.

Most impressive is the vibrant mural in Redchurch St – a frieze of fifty foot in length – that portrays a parade of Malarky’s freaks with big carnival heads, and their little stripy legs visible, running along underneath. With uncanny prescience, this painting completed in July is entitled the Malarkistani Riots - “reports of wild beasts everywhere and looting of vintage furniture shops and high end boutiques.” Yet just in case anyone should find these sprites and bogles threatening, Malarky emphasises, “they’re not angry, they’re just too friendly.”

In Brick Lane

In Whitechapel

In Sclater St

In Brick Lane

In Hanbury St

In Brick Lane

In Redchurch St

In Whitechapel

In Brick Lane

In Whitechapel

In Brick Lane

In Redchurch St

In Redchurch St

Click to enlarge the Redchurch St frieze

In Redchurch St

In Hanbury St

In Hanbury St

In Hanbury St

You may like to follow Malarky’s blog and see his flickr pictures,

and you may also like to read about

Ben Eine, Street Artist

and

Roa, Street Artist

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    August 18, 2011

    The characters with the upturned nose are by artist Mr Penfold.

  2. August 18, 2011

    I love these cheerful faces…great street art really is good to see. The bird in the last picture is by Roa…amazing stuff. Another new favourite is Pedro Delgado…tiny pictures low down in the street

  3. Stacey permalink
    August 19, 2011

    There are some amazing works by Malarky and Billy on the shutters of 50 Roman Rd (Canary Dwarf) down in Bethnal Green. They really add to the neighbourhood and help brighten the place up! I walked past them a few weeks ago when they were painting the roller door at Speedie’s on Redchruch St and tried to say hi and that their work was doing wonders for the area but they were too busy painting to respond other than a kind of sideways look and a grunt… Still love ‘em though and planning to buy some of their work from the High Roller Society. S x x

  4. Ash permalink
    August 21, 2011

    Yeah GA, I’ve noticed this guy’s stuff popping up alot lately (yes, ‘alot’ is a legitimate word) and can’t wait to see more, but was just putting a word in too see if you’d checked out the Roa at the back of The Bell? Maybe it’s been there for a while but I only noticed it this week, it’s my favourite so far! I shew my mate last night and he loved it too (shew is a proper word too :D ).

  5. August 27, 2011

    I was just going to ask about that beautiful bird in the last image but a previous comment has answered it for me. Great collection, really enjoyed it.

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