Art, Events

George The Dog, John The Artist

For one week starting yesterday (19th September), Howard Griffin Gallery presents a unique exhibition of works by artist John Dolan. You may not think you know John Dolan, but he is East London’s most notorious artist. For the past three years Dolan has sat every day with his dog George on Shoreditch High Street documenting the surrounding architecture, elevating the old, decrepit buildings that are so often ignored and under-appreciated.

John Dolan has lived in London his whole life and has been drawing on Shoreditch High Street for the past three years. In the past, he has been in and out of prison and often found himself homeless. These days, Dolan is greeted by the likes of Gilbert and George as they walk past.

Dolan’s raw portrayals of the street lead a viewer to reconsider something that to them is merely a backdrop to their day. At the same time, he highlights how too often people living on the street are invisible to those walking past them. Dolan’s work asks us to open our eyes and see this city for what it really is. Dolan’s emphasis on repetition allows a unique insight into the changing face of what is now a highly fashionable, gentrified area. He represents the old Shoreditch, the unseen side that lies just below the surface.

An interesting facet of Dolan’s work is the way in which he documents the street art and graffiti that came to make Shoreditch the cultural capital it is today. For this exhibition, he has worked with some of the world’s best street artists including ROA, Stik, Thierry Noir, RUN, Zomby, Christiaan Nagel, Liqen, Dscreet, Pablo Delgado, CEPT, C215, BRK and many others. A street artist in the traditional sense of the word, Dolan identifies with this new generation of street artists and them with him. These artists have collaborated with Dolan by working directly onto the walls of his drawn cityscapes, creating unique pieces. Ostensibly a solo show for Dolan, George the Dog, John the Artist will also in effect be the biggest street art group show of recent memory, bringing a unique group of artists together to document both the constant and the ephemeral in a city that is ever changing.

19-26 September 2013

189-190 Shoreditch High Street, E16HU