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12 February 2015

ron english comes to box park

last thurday night ben and i were lucky enough to be invited along to a q+a with infamous street art and political activist, ron english. with his new print "camo deer" now on sale in art republic's box park popup store, the art and framing specialists were honoured to be hosting the prolific artist for a few days - even arranging for him to paint a version of his new print onto the shipping container that usually sits undecorated outside the overground station at shoreditch high street. it took him a few days, no thanks to the sleet and snow our city's seen this last week, but now that it's there, let's hope it sticks around for a while. i can't think of a more fitting place for his soon-to-be iconic print that in london's home of street art.

the legend - who once claimed he'd know if his artwork was successful if he didn't go to jail for it, spoke for over an hour about his experiences, (previous) run ins with the law, "the good old days" of art and music festivals, how if banksy calls you and asks for help, you help, and how he instantly knew he'd marry his now wife the night she bailed him out of jail (for the first time). he spoke with humour, great insight, and a certain level of cool that you seem to only find in those original hippies; his name dropping was nothing more than story telling about his friends, and was never in a "so what if gene simmons has my phone number" kind of way.

these days it's hard to hear political activists speak out about their dislike for government, without pushing their own agendas on you. it's reasonable to agree that sure, he certainly does this through his artwork - he makes no qualms about his disdain for global government, commercialism, capitalism and general state of affairs, but to hear him speak - there was no agenda. he came across as a warm, funny and highly intellectual arty type. and he said "man" a lot, which just added to the cool.

i was lucky enough to be given a copy of ron's book "death and the eternal forever", which is essentially a compilation of his works over the years, but sadly i missed out on getting it signed after the q+a - it was so bloody cold out that night, that we just couldn't bear to stick around after he'd finished answering everyone's (really intellectual) questions. instead, we went and did what we do best: get drunk and eat noodles. i love my life.

a massive thank you to greta and the team over at art republic for the invite, and the book, and i urge you to head down to box park if you can and check out the masterpiece that is (what i've named) 'camo deer v2' while it's still there.

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