MOBSTR is one of the many street artists in London who prompts art buyers to wonder: Will he/she be the next Banksy with his six-figure sale prices?
Judge for yourself because Mobstr is showing some pictures at a Brick Lane gallery next month. Make sure your credit card runs on the day to three figures, higher end.
Part of the Banksy mystique is to give little personal information. Mobstr ticks that box – “I am a man of little words” – is how he – let’s use “he” for convenience – put it to Loving Dalston. Not that such reticence was going to suffice.
After a bit of pushing, he revealed: “Mobstr [he is fond of the third person] was born in Newcastle.
“I remember I first started putting up stuff in the streets when I was 11 years old. It was in the form of stickers containing philosophies and quotations.
“However, it did not become a serious dedication of mine until about 12 years ago when I discovered the efficiency of spray paint.
“I traversed styles and techniques until about five years ago when I started working under the alias Mobstr. With this identity came a concise realisation of direction.”
As for the Brick Lane exhibition, his “first collection of thoughts to be amassed indoors”, he says: “I’ve called it ‘sex, drugs and painting walls’ not because it contains any of those three things but simply because it has a nice ring to it.”
It’s also a rejig of an Ian Dury pop song, itself an appropriation of a saying of the era, but never mind, Mobstr may be too young to know the record.
He continues: “It [the exhibition] is what I’ve been up to for the last 12 years. There will also be some installations and a few other pieces not included in that catalogue, but as you can see it’s a direct translation of my work outside into an indoor environment.
“It is a critique of art, attitude and life.”
Which is about as much as he would say about materials or media.
Asked his ambition or what graffitists he admired, he said: “My ambition is to keep on going for as long as possible.”
Hamish Scott 080414
* “Sex, drugs and painting walls/canvases”, Old Truman Brewery Gallery, 91 Brick Lane E1 6QL, Fri 16 May 2014- Tues 20 May 2014, free. Press gallery link for times. Picture at top is a Mobstr piece you may have seen near Bethnal Green Tube station. On a misty day.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.