Hackney street art finds its place on canvas

East End painting © Marc Gooderham
An alternative view of the city, the streets: “it deserved to be painted”

WHEN ARTIST Marc Gooderham moved to Hackney he found, he says, “a striking image or composition at every corner”. During his time in Hackney, about seven years, he was “never lost for inspiration”.

“I felt that this colourful part of London had to be seen and deserved to be painted.”

Working from preparatory sketches and photographs, he has produced a series of large acrylic-on-canvas paintings, and they are now on show, and sale at £650 each, at Artisan, a London gallery with five branches, one of them at Canary Wharf, another in the City (The gallery ambitiously describes him as “fast becoming the City’s most popular painter”. Publicists, eh?)

Gooderham, 35, loves the street art in London, especially in Hackney. He told Loving Dalston: “The area has wonderful grand, deteriorating architecture, a fascinating subject matter.

“There is a beautiful contrast in the colourful street art that decorates the brickwork, which I also like to incorporate in the scenes I choose to paint. What I find interesting is the combination of old and new. An artwork would appear overnight — within a week it’s gone and a new piece of work is in its place.

“The explosion of colour on the brickwork keeps the face of the city alive.”

Gooderham wants us to look up, as we rush about, often looking down to avoid something unpleasant. “Above our heads,” he says, “are these fantastic shopfronts of crumbling and faded grandeur that most of us pass without a second glance. The empty windows and desolate buildings with their peeling paint and numberless front doors evoke a loneliness that is inherent in any large city.

“The buildings themselves are slowly fading away, so it’s important to capture these before we lose them altogether.

Painter of East End scenes Marc Gooderham 2012
Gooderham and top, a Mare Street, Hackney painting

“As a cityscape painter I wanted to paint an alternative view of the city, the streets and areas that people may not always see but are a vital part and a true representation of our city. This colourful part of London deserved to be painted.

“I wanted to paint an alternative view of London. I feel it is this environment that keeps the city a creative and vibrant place.

The project is continuing or, in the gallery’s words, “the beautiful truth of England’s capital continues to evolve, as Marc brings to the palette the overlooked vistas of London” because, he adds, “there are many many new places to discover”.

David Altheer 120712

* For a list of galleries and opening hours showing the latest paintings of Marc Gooderham, press this link.

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