An Objective Abstract - a commission for Lubetkin's Highpoint, London


In 2015, James Straffon was commissioned by Architecture and Design practice Coppin Dockray to create a special interior mural for a client. The keystone, around which Straffon answered the proposal of a mural to be painted within a Modernist apartment in Highgate, London, was 'relevance'. There should also be some mechanic to forge a link between architecture and art.

Exploration of Highpoint's architect Berthold Lubetkin lead to his schooling around 1917 at the VKhUTEMAS - a Moscow-based school of art and architecture (the Soviet forerunner of the Bauhaus). Here Lubetkin was taught by leading innovators of 20th-century art, among them Kasimir Malevich - a pioneer in directly linking abstract art with architecture. Malevich introduced ‘Architectons’ or ‘tectonics’ - imaginary structures intended to transform our conception of our lived environment. This would latterly influence the naming of Lubetkin’s architecture practice ‘Tecton’.

In 1915, Malevich had developed an abstract art form called Suprematism - a painterly language of shapes and colours, which liberated the artist to depict greater spatial freedom. Free from the shackles of representation and the clich├ęd visual depiction of objects, this would become a series of 'non-objective' abtracts. Architect Zaha Hadid has been greatly influenced by this avant-garde system for describing space.

Adopting the core vernacular of Malevich’s Suprematism, Straffon devised a visual story - a journey through the spaces surrounding the proposed mural - from public to private areas - using colour and form to describe this journey and relationship. An initial non-objective abstract was formed from a series of carefully created forms - running from a large wall facing the Living Room, up a central staircase, and finally onto a landing which interfaced bedrooms and study rooms on the first floor. The result - a shared materiality, a relevance to its placement, and the sense of a form about which the surrounding architecture grew.

Following a second client consultation, Straffon subverted the original proposition of a 'non-objective abstract', adapting the concept to convey the ‘domestic’ and ‘private’, as well as a sense of belonging. This he translated into ‘personal’, with a requirement to harmonise; be relevant; apposite in its location.

Research in Anthony Gormley and humanist art, Leonardo da Vinci and the 'vitruvian man', Le Corbusier's 'Modular', the Nazca Lines, Anthropometry and sacred geometry would lead to series of measurements peculiar to the client - devised in two ways - via an abandoned Russian means to measure space, alongside the various widths and heights of books belonging to the client (using either spine or cover).


An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London


An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London


An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London

An interior installation street artwork by artist James Straffon set in Lubetkin Highpoint London



All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2020.

Studio 54




[spray paint and graffiti marker on vintage skateboards]

£750

FOUR DECKS REMAINING. VISIT CONTACT FOR BUYING INQUIRES.

This collection features a series of skate deck portraits, commemorating the famous New York nightclub - Studio 54, located at 254 West 54th Street, between Eighth Avenue and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan.

An interrelated quintet of iconic artists were frequent patrons - Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jean-michel Basquiat, Grace Jones and Debbie Harry.







"There were the beautiful people, the poseurs, the fantasists... It was about the mix of people, all in one place."
Grace Jones



"It's a dictatorship at the door and a democracy on the dance floor."
Andy Warhol





SOLD








All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2020.

Panthera pardus


Spray paint and graffiti marker on recycled wood panels.
64 x 160cm

Panthera pardus is available to view at The Westbury, 57 Westbury Ave, Wood Green, London N22 6SA
Available as a bespoke artwork.



All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2020.

Pride and the Peacock


Pride and the Peacock
(spray paint and graffiti marker)

Commissioned by North London residents Lena and Kashaff.
The national bird of India introduces a bold splash of colour to an urban side street in Tottenham.

Available to buy as a limited edition print.






All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2020.

Ulysses


Ulysses
Acrylic and spray paint on canvas.
60cm x 80cm

Ulysses butterfly (also commonly known as the Blue emperor).


All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2020.

HARK

THE PROJECT
THE MOVIE
THE GALLERY
THE ARTWORKS

All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2020.