Hip-hop raised me… some great faces of rap are in your face in a Hackney back street

Carleen©DA17: graffitist Carleen De Sözer at work on her hip-hop graffito in Winchester Place Dalston London E8 © david,altheer@gmail,com 051017
Dalston delight: hip-hop drawings in Winchester Place, Dalston
Carleen©DA17: graffitist Carleen De Sözer at work on her hip-hop graffito in Winchester Place Dalston London E8 © david,altheer@gmail,com 051017
Not quite sure about who’s who? See note at end of article

THIS TRIBUTE TO HIP-HOP is exciting Dalston. A spray of colourful street art, it complements the bustle and grime of this gritty part of Hackney.

In an alley on the walls of a building used by a private-car-hire firm and once featured in a rather good movie, Carleen De Sözer’s portraits of musical greats are catching the eye of those Dalstoners who venture off the high street on their way to work, school or shopping, as well as rap-lovers from around London, who are coming to selfie themselves with the images.

The drawings are representational, well-removed, for example, from the haphazard style of, say, Jean-Michael Basquiat (in death, setting London’s art world alight).

De Sözer grew up in Tottenham, Shoreditch and Holloway and the Dalston wall was searched and found for her: she’d “wanted to paint a piece in Hackney for a while.

Carleen©DA17: graffitist Carleen De Sözer at work on her hip-hop graffito in Winchester Place Dalston London E8 © david,altheer@gmail,com 051017
Sunny splash: Carleen De Sözer at work on her hip-hop graffito

“I named the wall ‘Hip-hop raised me’ because during the period I was in school, 1989 to 1993, all of the legends on the wall influenced me in different ways.”

Some years laters she found herself working at design in a small  company. In summer 2000 she decided to make a career in art, having realised from an early age that she could draw. She believes she is “blessed enough to teach myself”.

Her website gives the impression that her move into “supplying art in many formats” was easy, effortless in a way other artists might envy.

De Sözer comments: “I’m not scared to teach myself new artistic skills for new projects I want to try. Right now I’m working on becoming the best street artist I can be.”

Carleen©DA17: graffitist Carleen De Sözer at work on her hip-hop graffito in Winchester Place Dalston London E8 © david,altheer@gmail,com 25091
A star shines out of the urban grit

David Altheer 051017

* In the graffs: Fab 5 Freddy; Rakim; KRS1; Salt n Pepa; Slick Rick; Queen Latifah; Big Daddy Kane; MC Lyte; Chuck Dd; LL Cool J and Flavor Flav

* The movie mentioned in the second paragraph is Dirty Pretty Things

* Backstory: Hackney street art goes on canvasStreet – or streetwise – art?

All pictures © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com, and all for sale for reproduction. Bigger format versions usually available

* Emboldened underscored words indicate a hyperlink. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.

This site welcomes fair comments, including the critical. They may be edited for grammatical, legal or taste reasons, or for shortening. In the unlikely event that anything defamatory is posted, the sender’s details may have to be divulged. (Under UK law, this applies to any comment/discussion forum, eg, Twitter.) RSS feed link is at top right. Twitter: @lovingdalston Publicists, amateur and professional, should read http://bit.ly/ZnClKc Also relevant may be the note at the end of http://bit.ly/117GXmi Photographs © David Altheer unless otherwise stated and apart from supplied pictures

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *