The Adam and Ron Show, Elm Lesters Painting Rooms, London

2nd May 2008 at 01:00
Art - Let's face it, graffiti lost its oomph around the time councils started providing "graffiti walls" for youngsters to air their inner angst
Art

Let's face it, graffiti lost its oomph around the time councils started providing "graffiti walls" for youngsters to air their inner angst. If something is funded by the council, it's not cool - end of. In fact, they should provide tearaway teens with an annual "uzi grant". That'd finish off gun crime in the time it takes to duck a bullet in Peckham.

These days, graffiti is a more gentle middle-class pursuit, in the manner of grating cloves or visiting farmers' markets, and Adam Neate and Ron English (Elm Lesters Painting Rooms, May 2-31, free) are the Converse-clad representatives of this new breed.

Adam Neate gained notoriety by leaving slightly blurry self-portraits on street corners for the public to stumble across (imagine CD covers painted by Francis Bacon), while English sticks it to the metaphorical man by doctoring billboards in his native New York City.

His antics include decorating Marilyn Monroe's breasts with Mickey Mouse faces, a two-headed Elvis, (above), and painting an obese Ronald McDonald on a poster in the city. While some of his images come from the Michael Moore durr-you-don't-say school of satire, his hijacking of the Apple "think different" campaign (he replaced a picture of Einstein with one of Charles Manson) is worth a giggle. Bet he sometimes wishes he could just write: "DoNnA iz a mInGer."

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