Whiteout! How fake news wiped away some of Hackney’s finest street art

Carleen©DA21: © david.altheer@gmail.com, overpainted art work of N Lon artist Carleen De Sözer commissioned by Ali Hussain for wall of Dalston Minicabs, Winchester Place, Hackney E8 2PG, 240421
Carleen©DA18Winch: Carleen De Sözer's hip-hop graffito in Winchester Place Dalston London E8 © david.altheer@gmail.com 240818
Wall gone: this magnificent collage was painted over, top, after fake news was posted on social media
Carleen©DA17painting: graffitist Carleen De Sözer at work on her hip-hop graffito in Winchester Place Dalston London E8 © david,altheer@gmail,com 25091
Where did my art go? Carleen De Sözer

SOME OF THE FINEST ART SEEN on the streets of London has been wiped out by fake news.

Hip-hop Raised Me, a striking collage of rap-star portraits on a wall in the heart of Dalston, has been painted over entirely in white by the taxi firm that operates from the building.

Assad Shah, 47, of Dalston Minicabs, told Loving Dalston: “Some silly girls made a horrible accusation against us.” 

The young women summoned Hackney police to the E8 2PG premises with an allegation that one of the firm’s taxi drivers was a paedophile, “but,” said Shah, “the man works in the market (the nearby Ridley Road). He has never worked for us.” The man had been charged in Croydon, South London, several years ago with a sexual offence — but had been acquitted. 

Crude graffiti was painted over the artwork, and photographs of the distinctively painted taxi premises were posted on social media. To distance itself from the accusations, the taxi firm felt it had no option but to over-paint the work.

Carleen©DA18Ali: graffitist Carleen De Sözer's hip-hop graffito in Winchester Place Dalston London E8 showing minicab firm chief Ali Hussain © david.altheer@gmail.com 240818
De Sözer’s portrait (section) of Hussain when he worked at the cab firm

Hip-hop Raised Me was painted in September 2017 by North London artist Carleen De Sözer. It has not fared well. The painter fell out with Ali Hussain, at the time the owner of the taxi firm, who had given her permission to create the work on the walls.

A firm to which Hussain sub-let a section of his premises removed bricks for a window and a door, ruining one of the murals. 

De Sözer said at the time: “I expect my work to be respected. In this case it has not been.”

Shah said: “The unfounded, untrue and slanderous accusations adversely affected our business.” Dalston Minicabs “has the utmost regard for the safety of pasengers” and with that in mind “we felt forced to remove the “iconic artwork”.

David Altheer 050521Carleen©DA21: © david,altheer@gmail,com, overpainted art work of N Lon artist Carleen De Sözer commissioned by Ali Hussain for wall of Dalston Minicabs, Winchester Place, Hackney E8 2PG, 240421

* Backstory: Sledgehammered!Great faces of rap in DalstonA Banksy? Yours in Stokey, £80kHackney street art goes on canvasStreet – or streetwise – art?

* Dalston Minicabs is in Winchester Place (off Kingsland High Street), Hackney E8 2PG (020 7275 8900)

* Hip Hop Raised Me by DJ Semtex (Thames Hudson), paperback £19.45, hardback £26

All pictures © David. Altheer@gmail.com, and all for sale for reproduction.

Carleen©DA18bothWalls: © david.altheer@gmail.com, street art work of N Lon artist Carleen De Sözer commissioned by Ali Hussain for walls of Dalston Minicabs, Winchester Place, Hackney E8 2PG, 280818
How the street art looked in 2018. The work has suffered much abuse since its creation in 2017

* 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. Links to articles in The Guardian do not imply any approval of the newspaper’s historic slavery links.

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

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