Street artist Mau Mau recently hooked up with long time collaborator, award winning organic clothing company THTC (The Hemp Trading Company) to create a provoking piece of art highlighting their concerns over the sponsors of the games.
Mau Mau traveled to London on 27th June for a weekend of painting in West London. Armed with a bag of spray cans and permission to use a private wall, Mau Mau created his most recent work – the Clown Town.
The Clown’s chest was covered with the logos of the highly inappropriate Games’ sponsors. Unethical and harmful corporations such as Dow Chemicals, McDonalds, Coca Cola and other fast food corporations have been allowed to associate with this great sporting event and taint it.
Although the Clown Town piece was painted on a privately owned wall in the borough of Ealing, it was whitewashed over by the council within 8 days. When contacted, the council claimed the piece was ‘offensive’ and that they were within their rights to remove it. In a similar instance in 2009 Hackney Council was accused of vandalism after panting over a Banksy work, infuriating many local residents.
Mau Mau has been a highly respected figure in the world of street art for over two decades, his most recent show in April at The Westbank Gallery ‘Pigs Might Fly’, was a huge success, with most of the art selling out before the doors had even opened and individual canvases selling for up to £4000. He has produced over 30 designs for THTC in a period spanning a decade, which have been stocked into Virgin Megastores and TKMaxx and worn by artists, actors and activists from Ed Sheeran to Mark Thomas, Beardyman, Benjamin Zephaniah, Mark Thomas and Danny Dyer.
Gav Lawson, founder of THTC and recent winner of the People and Environment Achievement Award (www.peaawards.com) for ‘Music, Arts and Fashion’ has claimed that the Clown Town piece had been created to highlight pertinent issues surrounding the certain sponsors of the up and coming games. “This event could be used, at least in part, to help promote sustainability, human rights and charitable causes, but instead it seems that our once great City has been sold off to the highest bidders. Freedom of speech has once again been put on hold as it was during the Jubilee last month, with an army of brand police telling us what we can and can’t do.”
Although the Clown Town is dead, the live painting of the piece has recently been turned into a 2 minute video by THTC, set to ‘Turn To The East’, the new release by THTC sponsored reggae band Trojan Sound System. The video, which is available on Youtube, was edited and produced by Theo Martindale and Sam Vines. http://youtu.be/8G1-f-lJmlc The design has also been turned into a t-shirt design by THTC, printed on a choice of hemp or carbon neutral organic cotton t-shirts, available exclusively through www.thtc.co.uk.