The Sartorial gallery moved this week, from its Georgian digs on Kensington Church Street to a cavernous building on a residential square below Kings Cross. It's an unexpected location, but with 6000 square feet of exhibition space and a great lineup, they stand a chance of drawing quite a few visitors to their currently unmarked door. Always friends of street art, the gallery are breaking in the new space with a full volume collaboration by three familiar vandals: Sweet Toof, Tek33, and Cyclops.
While Cyclops hails from the graffito paradise of Bristol, Sweet Toof's colourful rictus grins and Tek33's tridents are endemic to northeast London. Street inclinations aside, it would seem that all three share a painterly streak that puts them more at ease in the gallery than your average taggers. Tek33, who Londonist interviewed in full street mode last year, is more present here in his alternate persona of mild mannered, Royal College of Art trained James Jessop. Cyclops contributes arty collage that aspires to channel-surfing Dada, while Sweet Toof, whose candy teeth are visible everywhere, comments as much on the gallery environment and cult of fame as on urban society at large.
It's always interesting to see street artists attempting to break down the gallery walls, and here the strategy has been to bring the street in with them. The detritus of urbanity — old signs, discarded luggage, the side panel of a white van — make up the raw materials and canvasses, coalescing into corners of anti-gallery space and odd Hackney-primitivist sculptures. For graffiti fans, what will come across strongest is the fun the artists had in putting it all together, with the results looking like the aftermath of a good all-nighter. The larger number of people who consider these artists obnoxious vandals can take some validation, perhaps, in knowing that despite their art world aspirations the trio would still probably agree.
Burning Candy runs alongside a group exhibition on celebrities, Remember My Name, until 11 November. The new Sartorial is at 26 Argyle Square, Kings Cross.