The majority of street artists adopt a signature style that is instantly recognisable and arguably Sheffield-based artist Phlegm has one of the most remarkable.
Known for his intricate black and white leviathans that litter his hometown, his art work is filled with impossible machines and ludicrous characters and creatures. Though Phlegm started off on a small scale, producing his own comics and underground zines, he soon broadened his horizons and his tell-tale, large scale figures can be seen all over the world.
Phlegm has made a real name for himself in the street art scene and was invited to paint on the now infamous Wall in Shoreditch, which has played host to many talented street artists over the years. More recently however, also in Shoreditch, Phlegm put on his first exhibition in the Howard Griffin Gallery. The Bestiary, which opened on February 1st and will run until March 4th, is a typical showcase of the artist’s talent and imagination.
Describing the exhibition, the Howard Griffen Gallery says, “For the Bestiary, Phlegm creates a modern bestiary within his own universe through an immersive and large scale installation in wood, clay and plaster. Here Phlegm presents a taxonomic categorisation of his creatures and collects them in one place for the first time. Within the expansive sections of the installation, and working in bas and high relief, Phlegm displays a series of works akin to the Lascaux cave paintings. Inspired by the bestiaries of old, these works contain untold fables and narratives.”
Phlegm has a few pieces scattered around the streets of London and has built up a substantial repertoire over the years. Like many street artists, he prefers a degree of anonymity and tends to shy away from interviews and exhibitions. Arguably though, his art work speaks for itself and though he is used to working on a much grander scale, the limitations placed on him by the indoor setting have not hindered its impact. The exhibition is akin to a small maze and around every corner, lurks more of the artist’s trademark monochromatic style.
As Phlegm’s career demonstrates, the culture of street art is a global phenomenon. Though these artists all have a city and a nation they call home, they tend to spread out and gravitate to the major urban centres around the world. Madrid, Berlin, New York and of course our very own London amongst others play host to the fruits of these artists’ labour. What’s more these artists, who despite the impressive nature of their work, revel in the mystery that surrounds them and continue to create masterpieces in the most unassuming of locations.
For those who have a passion for street art and others who are just a bit a bit curious and world weary, join us on one of our street art London tours. Throughout the tour you will get to appreciate some of the finest, most eccentric, street art ever to grace the streets of London. Full details of all of our tours and booking information are available on our website!