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"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Friday, 15 April 2016

Someone's obliterated Clapham's only decent bits of street art

I never got to take a decent photo of this clever bit of street art by Loretto, so this is two bad mobile phone pics stuck together….but you get the gist, right? Well, now someone's gone and painted over it. 
Every time I go to Clapham Library, which is often, I pass Carpenter's Place, a little road just off the High Street. And every time I pass it I smile, because right on that corner there's a witty, well-executed satirical mural…

Well, there was. Until - it seems - this week. I had to do a double take. I am at Carpenter's Place. There's a blank white wall. There's no mural.
Carpenter's Place today: no sign of the mural, just a poster
for some more physical jerky stuff.

This can't be right. I must've got the wrong road.

I go home and check out the mural online. Sure enough it's in Carpenter's Place.

No, they can't just have destroyed it, just like that. Maybe they've just put a temporary cover over it.

So I cycle back, hoping against hope that the mural that I'd come to love will somehow magically re-appear.

It does not.

The wall is blank, apart from a new poster on the corner. I look closely to see if there's even a shadow of the old painting - but nothing. It's obviously had a couple of good thick coats, you'd need to x-ray it to find what's beneath.

So, it was a quite clever and nicely painted (stencilled?) piece using that famous image of Darwinian evolution from ape via neanderthal to homo erectus and then homo sapiens, with the latter emerging out of millions of years of development and straight into a Job Centre Plus.

I feel a bit sick.

Sometimes there's a final straw moment, where one more thing is taken away from you and you snap.

I felt like shouting in the street, or breaking into the building and doing something gross in there.

Well, I don't have to break in, it's a print shop fronting the High Street. I stride in full of anger. A nice young bloke is working at  a PC. Can he help me? Yes, he did remember there had been something on the wall outside, but no he hadn't a clue what had happened to it or when or why. He use worked here, poor guy.

I leave quietly.

I mean, it wasn't a Banksy was it? No, but it was by a good street artist known as Loretto, only a couple of years ago. It certainly had some of the wit and political edge that makes the best Banksy's so good.

Seeing it, you might chuckle to yourself and think, well at least not everyone is Clapham is a wealth-obsessed, sports-mad SUV-driving rugger-bugger with a pair of designer sunglasses perched on their expensively gelled coiffure.

No wonder the bastards painted over it.

I never took a good photo of it, just a couple of mobile phone snaps first time I saw it. Always meant to take a good camera along. Now, too late. Bad lesson!

Now I am going back again just to make treble sure I am not going mad. I will also try to find the other Loretto work in this area, on a cafe wall in Landor Road. If it's not been painted over already.

I cycle up and down Landor Road. I so clearly remember this painting, a young couple sitting at a café, but instead of a head one of them has a flat TV screen, and the other is holding a remote control.

I never even took a snap of this one, but luckily someone else did - scroll down a bit to see both of the lost Loretto murals on this site.

Loretto also painted lots of stuff in the Southwark area around the same time - there's a good selection of them here. Defintely a sub-Banksy look about these as well, but I do like the London Olympics one.

Now, it's nowhere to be seen, but ominously, a couple more of the old buildings along Landor Road, on the approach to where Andy's used to be, are shrouded in those developers' sheets that  nearly always presage the arrival of yet another horribly blandified, tarted up and luxurified residential apartment property.

All I can say is: fucking hell!

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