How was your Christmas? Ours was fine, thanks, although the skies were steely, the rain incessant.
We thought you might be turkeyed out by this stage so today’s feature is resolutely non-festive. A light summer trifle rather than a Christmas pud, if you will.
In the craziness of the last couple of weeks it would have been easy to miss the unveiling of Kentish Town Road institution Flaxon Ptootch’s new mural. Once again by local artist Mr P (otherwise known as Jack Murray, of the legendary Kentish Town graffiti fame visible from the canopy), it debuted at the gallery’s packed Christmas bash earlier this month.
It’s a striking work, especially against a wintry blue sky. But did you know it’s the latest in a tradition which dates back 20 years? ‘The first mural was a genie with big hair and a palette, and it was me, Nikki and Andy from the Ink crowd that did it,’ remembers Michael Ptootch, who founded the salon and gallery in 1990. ‘The second was by a guy called Wack, around 1998, and was a load of big orange heads.’
Michael is unsure of exactly when Jack did his first piece for him, but pinpoints it around 2005. Part of the ATG Collective, an acronym for ‘Ahead’a The Game’, Jack formed his crew of graffiti writers, visual artists, and musicians in 2000 with the self-confessed intention of ‘saturating the city with colour, originality and style.’
They sure did that with the previous Flaxon Ptootch mural:
The latest work is, of course, more understated, so our simple Boxing Day question to you is: which do you prefer, old or new?