COUNCIL WHITEWASHES OVER LEGITIMATE OLYMPIC GRAFFITI
Street artist Mau Mau recently hooked up with long time collaborator, award winning organic clothing company THTC (The Hemp Trading Company) to create a provoking piece of art highlighting their concerns over the sponsors of the games in London this year.
Mau Mau traveled to London on 27th June for a weekend of painting in West London. Armed with a bag of spray cans and permission to use a private wall, Mau Mau created his most recent work - the Clown Town.
The Clown’s chest was covered with the logos of a few of the highly inappropriate Games’ sponsors, drawing attention to a mismatch so wrong that it’s hard to believe that such an array of unethical corporations, (Dow chemicals, McDonalds, Coca Cola or any of the other fast food and damaging corporations), could be allowed to align themselves (collaborate) with the greatest sporting event this country has ever hosted.
Photo by Light Factory Studio
The design has also been turned into a t-shirt design by THTC, printed on a choice of hemp or carbon neutral organic cotton t-shirts, available exclusively through www.thtc.co.uk.
Although the Clown Town piece was painted on a privately owned wall in the borough of Ealing, it was whitewashed over by the council within 8 days. When contacted, the council claimed the piece was ‘offensive’ and that they were within their rights to remove it.
In a similar instance in 2009 Hackney Council was accused of vandalism after panting over a Banksy work, infuriating many local residents.
Mau Mau has been a highly respected figure in the world of street art for over two decades, his most recent show in April at The Westbank Gallery ‘Pigs Might Fly’, was a huge success, with most of the art selling out before the doors had even opened and individual canvases selling for up to £4000.
He has produced over 30 designs for THTC in a period spanning a decade, which have been stocked into Virgin Megastores and TKMaxx and worn by artists, actors and activists from Ed Sheeran to Mark Thomas, Beardyman, Benjamin Zephaniah, Mark Thomas and Danny Dyer.
Last Week Sue Perkins also wore one on ITV’s ‘The worlds most dangerous roads.’
Mau Mau and THTC have also collaborated to produce t-shirts for several charities, including The Burma Campaign UK, The Journey (Emma Thompson’s charity against human trafficking) and The Campaign for Justice for Smiley Culture.
Gav Lawson, founder of THTC and recent winner of the People and Environment Achievement Award (www.peaawards.com) for ‘Music, Arts and Fashion’ has claimed that the Clown Town piece had been created to highlight some very pertinent issues surrounding the certain sponsors of the up and coming games.
“This event could be used, at least in part, to help promote sustainability, human rights and charitable causes, but instead it seems that our once great City has been sold off to the highest bidders. Freedom of speech has once again been put on hold as it was during the Jubilee last month, with an army of brand police telling us what we can and can’t do.”
Although the Clown Town is dead, the live painting of the piece has recently been turned into a 2 minute video by THTC, set to ‘Turn To The East’, the new release by THTC sponsored reggae band Trojan Sound System. The video, which is available on Youtube, was edited and produced by Theo Martindale and Sam Vines.
The video can be seen here:
Photo by Light Factory Studio
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