In times of national economic crisis, charities often find themselves woefully and suddenly underfunded, while still attempting to provide consistent levels of care and support. Animal Helpline is just such an organisation: the volunteer run charity has worked in Wansford, Peterborough for 30 years, saving dogs from UK pounds to prevent them from being put down.
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As a response, SNIK has announced an online charity auction for Animal Helpline, giving those pledging their help a chance to win artwork from some of the urban contemporary art world’s most coveted names.
Their last effort in 2016 secured enough money to build brand new kennels, and this time they are hoping to bring in even more funds to make an even bigger difference to the charity and the dogs they look after.
All items will be live on Sunday the 29th of November until Sunday the 6th of December, and will be available via this link.
Innumerable cynics have suggested that ‘art has gone to the dogs’. Despite having a terrible flyer, this auction should help to raise a decent amount of funding for a charity that has never put down an animal.
Artwork and artists donating to the cause include:
Donated Artwork – ‘Dog Number 9’
Chaz Barrisson and Bob Gibson make up the art collaboration known as The London Police. Birthed from a trip to Amsterdam after being unimpressed by the lack of visual aesthetic found in the streets of ‘the drug capital of the world’. Their illustrious and elaborative street art can be found in streets across the world. Famous for their lovable & iconic ‘Lads’ characters which have been seen on streets all over the world. While one artist’s skill at drawing a circle freehand is staggering, no compasses, guides or masks are used.
The two were involved among a small group of artists and at the end of the last century, that eventually became the drive behind a new street art movement. Since then, the group have been travelling and spreading their art while at the same time, mixing with other enthusiasts, the works of the The London Police’s gained attraction among others in the street art community.
Donated Artwork – ‘Sailing Boat’ and Snik colab ‘Going Going Gone’
Martin Whatson (b.1984) is a Norwegian street artist best known for his calligraphic scribbles in grayscale voids. Over the past decade, Martin has developed an unmistakable aesthetic combining abstract movement with figurative stencilled compositions. His works can be seen to mirror the rise and fall of the streets, as he symbolically recreates the urban environment, then vandalises it to reveal his vibrant transformations.
Growing up in Oslo Norway, Martin was an active part of the emerging graffiti scene of the early 90’s which at the time maintained zero tolerance. The physical architecture of the city was a constant inspiration, the elaboration and destruction of each generation contributing to the urban infrastructure. The same deconstructive processes can be seen in his creative influences of Jose Parla and Cy Twombly. In the early 2000s, this interest in layers became more literal with the introduction of stencils into his work. The evolution moved him closer to a simple yet effective aesthetic he believed could bridge the gap between the passion and spontaneity Graffiti held for him, with the fragility and transience of nature. This balance would come to define his creative approach.
Donated Artwork – ‘Cold Tenderness’ & ‘Transcend’
For over a decade Snik have been working across the globe, perfecting their skills to become one of the most progressive artists of their kind.
As stencil artists, SNIK are traditionalists. Where others have moved on to the digital techniques, using laser cutting and computers to support their work, SNIK have remained true to the origins of their craft. They still painstakingly hand cut their complex multi-layered stencils. This commitment to the heritage of their discipline and the sophistication of their work sets them apart from their peers.
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SNIK’s bold aesthetic is characterized by frozen scenes of dynamic action. Their work focuses on the ordinary, such as tangled strands of hair or the folds and textures of fabrics. These subtle aspects are elevated to hint to a deeper meaning. A meaning that remains elusive, for the viewer to draw their own meaning from.
Donated Artwork – ‘Sonyeo’
Fin DAC is a self-taught, non-conformist urban artist who has defined and perfected an atypical spray paint style he has dubbed Urban Aesthetics.
Hailing from Cork city (Ireland), he has paved a singular path through the global urban art scene whilst keeping his gallery output deliberately minimal: preferring instead to let the streets be his exhibition space as he crisscrosses the globe on his self-funded, self-organised paint excursions.
His artistic influences stem from dark graphic novels all the way through to rebel artists such as Salvador Dali & Francis Bacon and classic illustrators such as Aubrey Beardsley. His vibrant renditions of Asian, ethnic or otherworldly females, with a mask/splash of colour around the eyes, now decorate walls, rooftops and forgotten urban landscapes on all 4 continents of the world.
Donated Artwork – ‘La Cage, je t’exiges et t’attends et t’espère’
Canadian Artist Sandra Chevrier, works from her Montreal based studio, is an illustrator, painter and street artist. By mixing watercolour paintings and comic book collage she creates hyper-realistic mixed-media portraits. Sandra produces work ranging over vastly fluctuating emotional enigmas and concepts that have set the standard of our modern communication, exposing the limitations of our world; our self-imposed expectations and the cages we have allowed to bar us from the fullness of life’s experience. With work demanding to be dissected beyond its surface value, Chevrier’s portraits are quite literally torn between the fantastical heroics and iconography of comic books and the harsher underlying tragedy of oppressed female identity and the exposed superficial illusion it conveys.
Donated Artwork – ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’
Add Fuel is Portuguese visual artist Diogo Machado (b. 1980). Starting out under the full name Add Fuel to the Fire, he first created a dark yet exuberant visual universe populated by a cast of slimy, eccentric and joyful creatures, influenced by a variety of interests ranging from video games to comics, animation, sci-fi, designer toys, and urban visual culture. In 2008, fascinated with the aesthetic possibilities of symmetrical patterning and tessellations, he shortened his moniker to Add Fuel and began redirecting his focus towards working with and reinterpreting the language of traditional tile design, and that of the Portuguese tin-glazed ceramic azulejo in particular. Effortlessly blending these two seemingly irreconcilable visual idioms, his current practice seeks to combine traditional decorative elements with contemporary visual referents into new forms that reveal an impressive complexity and a masterful attention to detail.
Donated Artwork – ‘Dance like somebody is watching’
Fanakapan’s 3D creations of helium balloon-based subjects will stop you in your tracks, they allow him maximum opportunity to demonstrate his superb free hand skills, use of shadow & reflective highlights to make his works just pop off the surface!
What stands out most about Fanakapan’s work on the street is that beyond the immediate and overwhelmingly impressive aesthetic dynamic, the pieces also allude to larger messages & hint at more acute aspects of Fanakapan’s personality.
Fanakapan has been very busy painting in different locations around the world with his highly technical free hand style. He mastered this unique technique over the past years and is now a rising star of street art, leaving his hyper realistic foil balloon pieces for people to enjoy worldwide.
Donated Artwork – ‘Orbit’
James Bullough is an American born artist living and working in Berlin, Germany. His studio paintings, and huge monumentally scaled site-specific murals combine delicately handled realistic portraiture with harsh graphic distortion and abstraction. Inspired by the gritty urban graffiti he saw as a youth growing up in Washington, DC, Bullough harnessed it’s energy and edge while teaching himself more traditional realistic oil painting techniques by studying the Old Masters. Combining the momentum of the one and the technical precision of the other, his work is about staging compelling contrasts and juxtapositions. Wether working with spray paint on massive facades or oils in his studio, Bullough’s work strikes a delicate balance between realistic portraiture and stylized distortions, straddling the space between traditional and contemporary.
Donated Artwork – ‘Glove x Golden Paper Crown’
Nuno Viegas, also known as Metis, is a Portuguese artist born in Faro and raised in Quarteira, where he now resides. Founder of the art collective Policromia Crew, started his artistic journey with graffiti in 1999.
Nuno presents us a contrast between the visually aggressive and sometimes dirty reality of traditional graffiti and its peaceful and clean representation in his works. The approach to this theme is a continuous tribute to all those who dedicate part of their lives to this scene. Graffiti Writers who keep it real and alive in a time where the definition of graffiti tends to get blurred and mixed with street art.
In 2016 Nuno worked with Street Art Today in Amsterdam which launched the artist in to the street art scene rapidly getting the attention of Urban Nation Berlin – Museum for Contemporary Urban Art. Along the following years the artist has been working with Yasha Young Projects, Graffiti Prints, Thinkspace Gallery and Nextstreet Gallery and we can now see his work expanding through walls and art venues all over the globe always aiming to improve and move towards his dream – to tag the moon.
Donated Artwork – ‘Eternal Paradise’
Michael Reeder was born in Dallas, Texas in 1982, where he grew up influenced by the local skate and street culture. Drawing and painting in traditional mediums from a young age, Reeder found himself drawn to the underground, unseen, yet very public form of painting graffiti. He later moved to New York City where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the School of Visual Arts. Post-college, Michael took a job with Eyecon Studios in Dallas, Texas and learned to paint large-scale, traditional murals. These experiences fused with his early graffiti influence formed and grew into his portraiture work today.
For more info, check out SNIK’s blog here: www.snikarts.com/2020/11/24/art-4-dogs-the-animal-helpline-charity-auction