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Chrome & Black

18 December 2015

Christmas opening times!


10 December 2015

The London Vagabond: Masked Up Portrait Series

If you haven't yet seen the works of 'The London Vagabond', aka Kieron Cummings, self taught documentary photographer, then you are missing a good insight into some of life's subcultures and dark places, places you might not get the chance to experience and people you wouldn't normally meet.



He documents life as he see's it, always learning along the way, forever seeking beauty in the darkest of corners and craving the next spontaneous decision. His work is heavily focused on street portraiture and tends to focus on characters that are of some interest to him, whether it be the persons, scars, tattoos or the way they carry themselves.

In his latest series, titled 'Masked Up', he creates a photo set that hides the identities of graffiti writers and photographs them on a plain backdrop, giving the images a clean and sharp aesthetic. We had a chat with Kieron, a graffiti writer himself, to get a better look at the series and the reasons behind it.



"The photo series started out with me wanting to photograph all of my friends that are writers with their faces covered. I guess the idea came from realising the I have spent a lot of time with these people without seeing their faces but still knowing who is behind each mask. Being anonymous is a big part of graffiti and thats what this whole series is about.



Behind each balaclava, t-shirt or even a pair of boxers fashioned into a face cover, there is a prolific name. This series is slightly different in the sense that in each portrait, the person keeps their anonymity; they get to hide their face and unless you know who's who you won't necessarily know the name.

I wanted to break away from typical photos of writers being in the hardest spots to get to and the most dangerous. Each portrait is shot with a plain background so the focus is purely on who's identity is hidden behind the face cover they have chosen.




At the moment the series is still in its infant stages but it will be further developed into a wider series and the plan is to document a lot more writers from up and down the country, including old heads that have been significant in the game and writers that are still keeping old school traditions alive today. As the series grows, I hope to eventually produce some sort of publication of the work."

To check out the full photo-set go here and make sure you check out the rest of Kieron's portfolio here 

All images are the copyright of Kieron Cummings.  

9 December 2015

Chrome And Black Winter Battle 2015- The Results!

We kicked off the Winter Battle, the first of it's kind in London, with our writers not knowing too much about what was going to happen in round one. They were picked from a huge pool of submissions that were sent in from people that wanted to take part and potentially win a cash prize.

Round 1 saw Neboe, Oust, Inkfetish, Chik, Crept, Robes, Kaes and Goro1 battle it out in West London, on a cold, wet and windy day at 9am. It was raining so much we had to try and dry the walls with kitchen roll! We drew a random word of a hat, 'EXPO' and they then had 20 minutes to create the best dub they could.



The public voted and Neboe, Oust, Chik and Crept went through to the semi finals. Again, another cold and windy day a week later in South London saw the 4 writers go again, this time with a different word, 'TRACK', 40 minutes and 6 cans of paint. Once again the public went to vote and Chik and Crept went through to the finals.



Crept and Chik set upon West London's finest spot on Sunday 6th December in anticipation, as this last round was slightly different. This time we had 2 NYC legends, Terrible T- Kid 170 and Kel1st judging the final pieces and fellow Londoner Zaki Dee of The Chrome Angelz so you could imagine the pressure! They had 1 hour to paint and 12 cans of paint. The word picked was 'FLAMES'.



The judges cast their votes and we can now announce that the winner of the Chrome & Black Winter Battle 2015 is CREPT!

Carry on reading below to see which judges picked who and the reasons behind their decisions.


All three judges were sent photos and footage of the two finalists painting. None of the judges were told which piece belonged to who so were voting purely on what they could see. Here are the results broken down by judge:

Terrible T-Kid 170 chose Crept. Here is his feedback:

"So I saw the two pieces 'FLAMES'. They were both good and both exhibited good use of color, style and technique, but I decided to choose the 'FLAMES' with the Cheech wizard character 'cause it has a lot more going on. There were little nuances added to the letters and the artist expoit it but use of characters to bring the piece out and give it more."

KEL1st chose Chik. Here is his feedback:

Chik:

"Letter style: Classic old school transit letter forms, clean style, bolder. Some of the arrow shapes need more balance.
Color combination: Color palette is uncoordinated, over kill on he yellow, 3-D works well to offset the letter forms. Not enough interior design work within the letters.
Character: Could use losing the yellow to make it stand out more, the yellow shines hurt.
Execution: Nice can control and if the yellow shines were left out the letters would be stronger.

Crept:

Letter style: Style is a bit cramped and trying too hard to flow with arrows and connections to that lack transition.
Color combination: Nice use of coordinating color scheme, the choice of purple compliments the rest of the color palette used. The red on the end doesn't fit in with the rest of the fill in.
Character: While not an original character, looks like he did a good job of knowing where this type of style comes from. The legs need work, probably better left out. The Bode character is well done but would have benefited from having the legs.
Execution: Can control needs some work, if the control was there and the letter forms eased back a bit to be cleaner lines and bolder shapes it could be stronger.

The winner in my opinion is piece 2 (Chik)"

ZakiDee163 chose Crept. Here is his feedback:

"Big shout out to both writers as free-styling, painting under pressure with limited cans and with such a time restraint is a tuff task. Both were worthy opponents. For me though, 'piece 1' (Crept) just edges it. 'Piece 2' has a real nice 80's colour scheme fill and the 'A' & 'M' are solid, but 'piece 1'  has a flow to it that works for me, the 'M' 'E' 'S' letter forms are real nice, plus both characters drop."

So there you have it, the judges have spoken! Stay tuned to our socials for up coming events and battles in 2016!

28 November 2015

Wall Writers [Documentary]

Wall writers is a documentary film that traces some of the early roots of graffiti as we know it, featuring interviews with over 20 pioneers. Here's a link to the website where the director is looking for some crowdfunding to finish the project: click here 


Click here to see the vimeo trailer (1min 53s running time)


Homeless Not Hopeless Fesitval [Saturday 28th November]

Donations based festival to support a London homeless charity happening today - catch it if you can

Music, Food, Spoken Word, Talks

260 - 264 Kingsland Road, Haggerston, London E2 - all day from midday.

20 November 2015

Fresh Dressed Review- Screening At House Of Vans London

Fresh Dressed by Sacha Jenkins charts the role of fashion and looking fresh in the Hip Hop game – from the eighties through to the present day. Featuring interviews and excerpts from a good range of American Hip Hop artists and other interviewees the documentary is itself fresh, edutaining and fun. 

The documentary goes from the eighties, through RUN DMC and others, into the nineties, from the West Coast’s Cross-Colours (the original streetwear label) to Karl Kani, NYC’s Low Lifes and many others. It pushes on hard through Sean John early forays into haute couture and ends up in the contemporary Yeezy era. Whilst there is a swerve to the European fashion houses of France and Italy (this is a solidly American production) there is no mention of Britain and the international aspect of fashion or potential futures is not captured effectively as it could have been as the second half of the documentary progresses.

Nonetheless, this documentary comes thoroughly recommended and if you’re into streetwear, fashion, American culture and it’s influence on the world, Hip Hop as a movement that isn’t perceived as a fad or even just looking fly, then look out for this screen gem shiznit ‘cause it’s mad nice.

12 November 2015

Chrome & Black Winter Battle- London, UK. ROUND ONE

Check out some footage from the first round of our winter graffiti battle here:

King Of Spray Caps

A few weeks ago we had a visitor from Germany with a slightly different request that our usual customers. He wanted to know if we had any particularly interesting or different type of nozzle. I pulled out all the usual odd ones, but none of these seemed to be of any use to him. "What do you need them for?" I asked. "I collect them!" he replied.



The 'King Of Spray Caps' began in the mid 90's in a small town in the east part of Germany. A friend of his brought a hip hop magazine to school. It was a Dresden based magazine called Boomy. It was the first time he saw graffiti and was instantly hooked.

"We started drawing our first sketches and went to a local drug store to spend pocket money for Sprayfix spray cans. The cans had only standard spray caps so we manipulated them to fat caps or glued needles to it to get skinny caps. There was no opportunity to buy different caps. So every time I found caps at "halls of fame" or from other aerosol cans, I cleaned, reused and kept them in a small wooden box. A few years ago I rediscovered the box and I was excited about the old spray caps. So I decided start a collection."




It turns out the 'King Of Spray Caps' had over 1000 different caps that he had collected from travelling across Europe and Canada. After pulling out over 25 different types of caps I managed to find for him three or four caps he didn't have, which he said was amazing as he only usually gets one at the most from any graff shop he's been in.



His journey continues, find out more on his Facebook page here
All photographs copyright to King Of Spray Caps

7 November 2015

Keep The Faith magazine beats BTP!!!!

Recently British Transport police attempted to silence the press and take the author of the cult magazine Keep The faith to court on trumped up charges along the lines of encouraging vandalism just by publishing photos!!! The case and outcome will be covered in the Observer newspaper tomorrow (Sunday 9th) so to get a full insight into the case its worth a look.

3 November 2015

FOUND: HORROR SERIES- Born & Bred Halloween- Review

The line up was what sold the night to me the most, but closely followed by the venue description which got me curious when reading the line 'body kinetic dance floor'. Was this just some kind of gimmick? I went to find out.

Upon arrival to Building Six, at the 02 Peninsula Greenwich, I was pleasantly surprised by its size. The place was huge, which at the start of the night was rather noticeable with it not being filled to capacity, however after a couple of hours, once the placed packed out and the vibes had set in, we were good to go.



Klashnekoff played a good set, with the crowd singing along to some of his classic tracks and a lot of energy from the stage. Things really got live, in my opinion, when Faze Miyake took to the decks. It was only then that I felt the wrath of the venue description mentioned above, with the bass from Faze's grimey beats literally going through my feet and up throughout my whole body. It was an odd feeling, but also a pretty cool experience.


Cooling off in the outside terrace was an experience in itself and not only for the size aspect. Sweaty zombies and skeletons took over and filled the seats that lined the outskirts of the area and revellers that needed the fresh air took to the centre bar for refreshment. It was quite nice to see how many people had made the effort to dress up for Halloween, even if it was just a few drips of fake blood.


Back inside, both room 1 and 2 had filled out a little more. The only shame was the suspended sky bridge above the dance floor was closed but I soon forgot my disappointment when Slimzee took to the stage.

Overall the night was a hit. The security weren't d***s, the line up was on point and the venue was immense. Roll on the next Born & Bred event!


29 October 2015

Brixton Mural of those killed in Police Custody

An unknown graffiti writer has just finished a mural on Atlantic road, Brixton, depicting local people who have tragically died at the 'hands' of the police...
The mural was apparently painted both in remembrance of these brothers and sister, and as a reminder of ongoing campaigns for justice, relating to deaths in all forms of institutional custody.
Who is in the mural?

Cherry Groce (1948 – 2011) shot and paralysed by the police in Brixton 1985, who consequently died as a result of her injuries. Cherry is portrayed side by side with Ricky Bishop (1976 - 2001) and Sean Rigg (1968 – 2008), two young men who died on separate occasions whilst in police custody in Brixton Police Station.

In relation to ongoing struggles for justice, the United Families & Friends Campaign’s annual vigil is at Downing Street this Saturday 31st October, supporters are welcome. Please show your support!
Meeting in Trafalgar square at 11.30am.


19 October 2015

Kurupt FM- Champagne Steam Rooms @ Fabric London's 16th Birthday

Friday night saw Fabric turn 16 years old and also saw Kurupt FM tear down Room 1 with an explosive set that also brought legendary Craig David back, performing a remix of his hit single 'Fill me in' 16 years after he shot the video at Fabric. Nice touch eh? Another Craig also made an appearance... if you have been watching the amazing TV series you will know who we mean...


The place was the most packed we have ever seen it and the crowd were hyped from start to finish. You could tell people were anxiously waiting for the crews most notable number 'Get Out The Way' and they sang along word for word. It was definitely a night to remember and will go down in history! Until the next Champagne Steam Rooms.... Check out the full photo set here







16 October 2015

FOUND: HORROR SERIES- Born & Bred Halloween

On Friday 30th October, The Horror Series descends on this colossal, concrete-clad beast of a club as Found presents Born & Bred Halloween 2015! With names such as Joker, Hatcha, Klashnekoff and Oxide & Neutrino footing the bill, this is one night not to be missed. 



Building Six occupies 3,000 square metres of raw, industrial space within The 02, split over three floors of advanced sound technology and the main room’s hallowed Body Kinetic dancefloor that reacts to bass frequencies, physically pumping music through the body for one of London’s most unique and sensory clubbing experiences. High above, a suspended Sky Bridge crosses the dancefloor offering unparalleled views of the main stage, whilst the outdoor terrace is equipped with a bar, smoking area and stunning views of the London skyline.


WHEN? FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER / 10PM-6AM
WHERE? BUILDING SIX 02 PENINSULA GREENWHICH
TICKETS? HERE 

make sure you grab a ticket whist you can as they won't be around for long. For more info check out www.horrorseries.com

13 October 2015

9 October 2015

SUPRA Presents PWBC: A Retrospective Exhibition

 
To celebrate the launch of Lucien Clarke’s new Quattro Signature Colourway, SUPRA presents “PWBC: A Retrospective”; an exhibition of photos of the London skate crew that Lucien’s been running with for the last ten years. 
 
We went down to check it out last night and is definitely worth a look. This will run over the 9th and 10th of October at the 71A Gallery, Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4QS.
 
 
 

8 October 2015

Mark Bode show in Paris!


Nobulo and Taxie Gallery present a new project called ADDA, a pop up gallery with different artist from around the world.  24 October, the first show will be an exhibition with Mark Bode presented at:

103 rue Saint-Maur
Paris
Opening 24 October 2015

It is with great excitement to present the first Bode Gallery show of its kind in Paris France. Vaughn Bode visited Paris in the mid 70s before his death in July of 1975 and loved the city and its people and met and became friends with many of the great cartoonists of the time such as Tardi, Moebius, and Drulliet.

Vaughns’ style of bubble lettering and characters became New York City's very first inspiration to the earliest graffiti writers on the subway cars that ran in the 70s and 80s in NYC. The Bode style has since influenced countless artists in Hip Hop and Graffiti culture around the globe and is touted as the very foundation of the spray can art movement.  Mark Bode is the heir to this legacy his father trained him as a young boy to think of the Bode characters as real and the worlds as a place to share and visit. Mark has faithfully carried on the family style and finished many of the projects Vaughn never got to finish in his short time with us. Mark continues to build on the Bode legacy and art in his own right as well as continue to build onto the families legacy in comics and art.

 "Le Monde Erotique de Mark Bode et Vaughn Comics pour Graffitis" the focus is on the voluptuous and sexual Bode Broads and the characters made famous by the Bodes and the street artists they inspire. Many of Vaughns’ classic original drawings will be on display as well as his personal sculptures and memorabilia. Mark has done 30 new paintings on canvas and NYC subway maps adorned with his and his fathers beloved characters to be seen for the first time at the show. Also a very special night it will be as the premiere of “THE BOOK OF ME BY CHEECH WIZARD” will be released to the public for the first time express mailed straight from the printer—a 150 page full color hard cover book featuring the complete Cheech Wizard stories by Vaughn, photographs and new comics and stories by Mark. This is the first Vaughn Bode hardcover book to come out since the Erotica #1 in the early 1980s!!  There will be only 50 copies signed and numbered by Mark for the first collectors through the doors.

5 October 2015

Graffiti- Why Do We It? BBC World Service Radio Show

On Friday The Why Factor radio Show went out on the BBC World Service. The show focused on graffiti and asked the question 'why do we do it?', speaking to various people including Rana Jarbou, who revealed the role it played in the war in Syria. Mike Williams from the world service also joined us at The Battle Of Waterloo last month to get an insight into why we do what we do and to practice his hand at some graffiti!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p033l4gg 

2 October 2015

Blurred Faces 01


New Video-Zine from Spray Daily released yesterday (running time: 21.46mins)

DISCLAIMER:
--------------------
Spray Daily is a publisher committed to documenting the graffiti culture world wide. We do not condone, promote or encourage vandalism, the destruction of property or any kind of illegal activity whether it be public or private. All photos and/or videos published without a name and credited photographer were sent to us anonymously.

By reposting, Chrome & Black echo this disclaimer.

1 October 2015

More Proof that Spraypaint Can Be a Versatile Tool for All


Aged between 65 and 90 these women from Lisbon have made it to media fame simply by picking up a few cans of paint. Not saying that the media sometimes clutches at straws for their stories but here the Guardian tries their best to deliver the message that spraypaint is not just for angry young males that need prosecuting (the conventional media stereotype)

Click here to read the full article

24 September 2015

LOTM7- Lord Of The Mics- 10 Year Anniversary at 02 Academy Islington

Last night we went down to the 02 Academy Islington to witness how 10 years of pioneering the Grime scene from Jammer and those involved deeply in the genre has had an astounding impact on the scene. The turn out was proof of this, with people who had travelled from far and wide to witness the battle. There were some heated rounds, particularly between Kozzie and Jae Kae and Lady Lykez and Sox!

Check out some images below or go here for the full album. Make sure you grab a copy of of LOTM7 here.





21 September 2015

Vatican Virtually Validates Vandalism





Freedom is a funny old thing - as the media representation of "graffiti"partly illustrates. Generally either denigrated, maligned, ignored or shunned, there are instances when "graffiti" enters the mainstream media as an example of reinforcing, supporting or embedding certain agendas – a communication paradox in some ways – in this instance a way of running a story on the current Pope from the press outlet that also bring us the Daily Mail, the Metro and the Evening Standard (click here for a link to The Independent article). Having now contributed to some of the hype in which the stock value of this poster has presumably increased, the Papacy should probably next order some perspex.

4 September 2015

Battle of Waterloo 2015 - Official Video


Official Battle of Waterloo Video from Chrome & Black - thanks to everyone who helped make the day what it was!! Respect

And Another Slightly Older Documentary.....

Still on the documentary theme, this BBC2 production got aired just after the millennium:


A Brief History of Graffiti (BBC Documentary)

 Although the presenter's style in this recent BBC4 production drew some criticism, this hour long documentary is still arguably worth watching. Click on the link below to take you to the iPlayer site:


 Click here to watch the documentary

25 August 2015

Chrome & Black present The Battle of Waterloo 2015



Where: Leake Street, London
When: Saturday 22nd August 2015
What: Graffiti Jam
Why: Why Not?
Who: Near on 40 artists and thousands of visitors
How: Hard Work



Thanks to all that travelled, participated, helped out, judged, dropped sounds, snapped, videoed, taught, learnt, passed through and rocked out to the sights, sounds and smells that made up the 2015 Battle of Waterloo last Saturday. Artists, visitors, dancers, parents, children and organisers. Good vibes, wicked sounds and sick styles made the event a mad success. The kids workshop devoured more paint than we could supply!! Crazy pieces got painted and the block party vibe got lifted high with people shackin’ out, making a proper party. Big up DJ Philly and DJ Thor for their sets. Mad props. Had it poppin’ off!!



Total scores from the four judges were tight but clear. Congratulations to SLAM – smashed it with a wicked concept, bad character, tight fill, sick letterstyle and mad background. Diet and Debug, respectively second and third, by a very few points – a close run thing. Care, Core, Jay Kaes & Robes also came very near. Props to everyone that painted and put up hard styles. The standard was incredibly strong. BIG UP! You all helped make it the event that it was. 

If you made it down we hope you had a good time and enjoyed yourselves. If you missed it (or even if you didn’t) then there is some footage and photos now surfacing on the internet. A couple of videos that we’ve already been sent are linked below:
 





Thanks also to Itch FM, Molotow & Flame, Sprayground, Mamas Jerk, Yelp and Crooks & Castles, for your assistance with this project. The support is much appreciated.

Chrome & Black



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