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Friday, 5 September 2014

Art In Shoreditch

We did something oh so typically 'London' last night and attended an exhibition of Lucas Levitan’s ‘Photo Invasion’ work. My friend Meryem was curating and we couldn’t wait to go see what the clever lady had done. She chose the urban funk and grime of Shoreditch as the backdrop for the evening, and a railway bridge plastered in graffiti as the canvas for his work under the stars.

Levitan uses other peoples photographs and sort of photo bombs them but with cartoons and illustrations. Instead of there just being an annoying seal or stranger in the background, his work interacts with the setting, creating a story which takes the context of the photo into new realms. A little boy in a batman t-shirt toddling around his home becomes a genuine superhero being thanked by his peers after a successful mission, a vacant woman staring into space becomes the heroine at the end of a tragic story between two lovers, a doddering old women staring at the pavement becomes suddenly endangered by an impending dinosaur attack. Off the wall, quirky and entirely captivating. 

Levitan's work ads drama to the calm, and background and depth to an existing medium. His cartoons become the play and the photo becomes the stage. By adding humour and poignancy he changes the meaning of the photograph entirely. Not bad for a little cartoon whale. 


The response to the evening was amazing; the producers had arranged a fabulous band we’re familiar with – Boom La Tete. They often play in Dalston, and their mixture of Gypsy Swing, rock ‘n’ roll and live instruments is guaranteed to have people jumping and tapping away like loons. It also drew lots of crowds in to see what was going on, who then grabbed a drink and stayed to look at the work.
Our friends were doing the sound and lighting for the event and lots of people pitched in to help get the word out about Lucas.


The evening was a complete success. Levitan had decided to give his work away instead of selling it. I didn't know this, but apparently it is common for street art to be taken like this after an exhibition. When the call came to help yourself, there was a sudden rush at the wall to grab the work. People clearly knew the drill. I was too slow and didn't get one unfortunately. I may live to regret that even more one day...

You can visit his website here.

Hosted by Art No Cube
Curation: Meryem Dipdere
Production: Voni Inthachanh & Gary Meynell

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