14.05.09 - 07.06.09
StolenSpace are proud to present Californian artist and icon of the current pop art scene, Jeff Soto, in his inaugural Uk solo exhibition The Inland Empire'
Words and photos: Jeff Soto
Day 1... I got into London in the morning, after a 14 hour travel day. That flight from California is pretty brutal. Luckily D*Face picked me up from Heathrow- just the beginning of all the London hospitality I received on my trip.
I asked him to take me on the scenic route into London. Saw the changing of the guard through D*Face's windshield. And saw a Magpie which I have to say, excited me. Kinda like a black and white crow..
My hotel was on Brick Lane a short walk from Stolenspace. My room had a great view west of the Gherkin. I think I took a three hour nap right after this photo was taken. I didn't get used to London time until the last two days.
Later when I got to the gallery Tab and Jamie were working on my screenprint. This is the first 5 color print I've worked on and the whole Stolenspace crew did a great job.
Met Word To Mother... super nice guy, great art, and he has a crazy studio... going to interview him for Fecal Face- stay tuned...
3 wheeled car? Are these available in the states?
Dinner at a local pizza place... everyone made me feel at home, and the food was good. "Rocket" a green leafy veggie (which I found later is arugula) was on everything and I loved it. The gallery crew plus Conor Harrington and Chloe Early showed up. Thanks guys, for making me feel at home.
Back at my hotel I noticed a blank plywood wall down below..... hanging out with all these artists got me thinking about graffiti and doing a little work in the streets..
But instead I decided to take a 1AM walk down to Tower Bridge to see some of the landmarks in the London night. This city is amazing, and I felt perfectly safe walking around solo until 3am.
They have different candy bars. Cadbury seems to be the dominant chocolate maker... good late night fuel for putting up stickers.
Day 2... Back at the gallery we arranged the work and Beth hung the show. I signed the prints, then bought some art supplies and started thinking about painting around Brick Lane.
I hung out with Sven from Arrested Motion (pictured on the left) most of the day. He had just interviewed Chloe and Conor who have studios in the Brewery complex. (Just today I finally went by their show in Los Angeles at Kinsey DesForges, their work really needs to be seen in person. Wow! It's so good!) Sven has an article or two about the day here: Jeff Soto at Stolenspace 2009
In the afternoon I decided to paint the plywood wall across the street. It was the first thing I've painted outside in a while, I was a bit rusty, and decided to do it all in brushes and rollers. No one asked me if I had permission, maybe painting in broad daylight, no one thought to ask. I took this shot as I had to run up to my room and get some more supplies... Sven's process pics.
In the evening I crashed, my body exhausted and still screwed up from jet lag. I woke at 2am and started working on the six hand colored prints. Candy bars kept me going for a couple hours. Mars Planets are so good, and Word To Mother bought me a proper English candy I'd never heard of, a Flake. Crunchie was pretty good too. I used the back of a bookshelf I found in my room as a flat surface to paint on.
Day 3... This was the day before my opening so I decided to paint some more murals. Took some photos on my walk down Brick Lane.
Conor's landmark mural off Brick Lane.
Chocolate croissant.. you can get these anywhere but the little shop next door had very good ones.
A shot of D*Face's art supplies. He is working on his next show and things are looking pretty amazing- I am sworn to secrecy...
Kit Kat Dark- they don't have these in America!
I started painting on a big metal door around the corner. This led to some adventures, more in part 2.
KitKat Chunky Peanut Butter... yum. Yeah I like candy as you can see...
I started another mural near the gallery but before I knew it it was getting dark and cold. I'd have to finish the next day.
Ended the night with some British cooking and spinach and cheese pie! Day 4.... My opening was later in the evening so my priority was to finish the to murals I had started and get interviewed as I painted.
Cute mousey faced cat on the way to get a bagel. Made me miss our cat Nacho.
A wall piece by someone. I like that it's painted by brush on bricks and seemingly illegally.
I think D*Face has the best taste in candy bars- after he found out I was trying all the English candy he got me these. Mmmm, Drifter was so good. And Topic too. Hazelnuts and chocolate. How come we don't have these in the states??!!
I had press interviews today, they took my photo, so I did the same back to them. I will try and find their interviews and post them in here when I get a chance.
This guy had some of the best tattoo work of my art that I've ever seen.
I didn't finish the two murals today, but got them almost done. Opening was awesome, I love my fans and everyone who came out to say hi. Here's some photos I took at the opening and after...
Slept good that night and woke the next morning to do a little touristing and complete the two murals I had started... London Part 2 coming... eventually....
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