Friday, 16 January 2009

Crime Does Pay! RocknRolla

"You can have it as youringtone!"

Shucks One (ID) & Dane (VOP) painted these in Clapham South London last year, they were to support the new Guy "The Tweed-Geez" Richie Wideboysplation movie "Rocknrolla".

The project consisted of live street painting, and are based the artists interpretations of what a painting features that in the film looked like. 6 artists did them all over London. Others included Insa, Solo One VOP, Panik ATG and others.

We bashed them out and it was fun, in the middle of the day a tiny Fiesta van honked at us and out popped my good friend Char DTB, which was hilarious cause anyone who knows him, knows he's massive, and Fiesta Vans look like dinky clown cars.

Incidental product placement

Danger Danger! Caution tape, high-vis jackets, "HelfnSafety ruined this game"

My peace was called Revelation 1:14, after the chapter in the bible, about the end of the world. In Rocknrolla, the Russian Oligarch character has a painting which is part of the sub-plot. In the movie you only see the back of the painting, but as the character is an ex-Soviet Billionaire, I assumed he probably identifies with the Russian Orthodox Church, so I painted a Byzantine style Icon.

Revelation 1:14

Daniel 7:9 "I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire."

Daniel 10:6 "His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult."

I'm really interested in Orthodox Icons, but people talk alot about how, in Islam it is blasphomous to make artistic interpretations of living things, as it is raising yourself to the status of God, thus the arrogance of man.

Illuminated Turkish (Ottoman?) Ko'ran

Mohammed (face covered) praying at the Kaaba in Mecca. From the Siyer-i Nebi, a Turkish epic about Mohammed written by Mustafa, son of Yusef of Erzurum; original manuscript completed in 1388 A.D.; illustrated during reign of Murad III and completed in 1595 A.D. Currently housed in the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul. For more images click here

But in the Jewish Talmudic tradition it is the same, and as Christianity is from that tradition and number 2 of the 10 Commandments deals with what, "Graven Images", surely it is the same? There is discussion of the early Christians destroying Icons, surrogates and intermediates to God, and of course the Reformation dealt with much of the same issues.

The artist is unknown.
Date: 16th c.
Location: Dionysiou Monastery, Mt. Athos, Greece

Exodus 20:3-6 "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments."

During the day an old Greek guy came by and he got a bit heated and was asking why I had painted the character like that, "why is he black?" I explained the concept, and how in Revelations it mentions skin of polished bronze, hair of pure wool etc, and that I had painted it in the style of Orthodox Christian Iconography, and he kind of got it. But along with him, 5 Crack heads, a slew of builders yelling out of Transits and anyone else with an opinion we got the obligatory, "Oi Mate missed a bit", "You call that art bruv" and so on. Anyone who has ever painted in public knows the deal, every ones an aspiring art critic.

Danes broad ballin'

2 Days later someon stole Dane's painting, and a day later mine went too. So, if you know any Clapham yuppies with one of these paintings, shake their hand, then tump 'em in the Drummand!!! Ebay mutha"$^%"s!

Vopstars website
Rocknrolla Website

Interesting Blog about Icons

1 comment:

Katya said...

Hi! You have an interesting blog. I'm actually Orthodox and just wanted to comment on the iconography. They are in a similar way as if you carry a photograph of your loved one, you do not worship the picture but your thoughts are with that person. Same here, when I go to my church and we pray to a saint, the image helps us to concentrate and remind of the prayer and heaven. what is more interesting is the inverse perspective. A common thing in academia, they say people did not know perspective until in the west they started drawing it. But the thing is, people did not need to draw in a way that the physical reality is vanishing in the picture. In iconography the vanishing point is the person, that is why the buildings are kind of crooked. That means, the icon is like a window into heaven, and heaven is above man. With the roman catholic church man's will is above (power etc) that is why we are irreconcilable. It is easy to see in art, sort of speaks for itself.
There are many wonderful icons, but i'd also warn you to be careful and not just look at the aesthetics. there are a lot of nuances and meanings inside one icon. It is good to study it, but aslo treat with respect considering how rich the tradition is. Modern thinking is such that a person could just decide to paint an icon without considering what it really means. We cannot mold God to our liking that is the whole point of iconography and the graffiti artists sort of did the opposite, at the end it is blasphemous and the icon does not remind that we need to pray to God.. Ive seen too many beautiful icons that this is a bad try. Non-christians take the revelation physically and screw up a lot of things. p.s. some icons portray God but that is non-canonical ...
anyways all the best, its a very interesting subject.