Commissioned by the company that owns Karpo restaurant and the Megaro Hotel, four street artists have completed a huge 450 square metre mural immediately opposite St Pancras International station in London...
The mural, which encompasses two sides of the five storey Georgian building in which both Karpo and the Megaro Hotel are situated, was designed and painted by four members of street art collective, Agents of Change: Remi/Rough from London, Edinburgh-based Steve More, LX.One from Paris, and LA-based Augustine Kofie.
It took two weeks to complete and over 150 litres of emulsion and 160 litres of spray paint were used.
"In the building, which is immediately opposite King's Cross station, the one-month old Karpo restaurant is on one side and the Megaro hotel is on the other, but they're both owned by the same company," explains artist Remi/Rough.
"When they were looking to rebrand their hotel and restaurant business last year, they saw that we had painted a hotel in Vancouver and their art direction agency, The Narrative, approached us and asked if we'd paint the building," he continues. "We said yes, but made it clear that we wouldn't paint any logos - because that's completely against what we're all about.
"Fortunately, The Narrative were on the same page as us and get what we're about and were really great to work with," Remi/Rough continues. "IIn terms of the creative process, they got us a studio in London so all the other artists were able to come to London to start a dialogue. Then we bounced our designs around via email for about two months before we had what we thought was the nailed version," adds Remi/Rough. "We're really proud of the design."
As well as the exterior mural, the hotel and restaurant bought a total of 14 artworks from the four artists to be permanently displayed in the restaurant, and the foursome also designed and painted the reception area of the hotel (shown above).
All photography in this post is by Ian Cox.
CR in Print
Thanks for visiting the CR website, but if you are not also reading CR in print you're missing out. Our April issue has a cover by Neville Brody and a fantastic ten-page feature on Fuse, Brody's publication that did so much to foster typographic experimentation in the 90s and beyond. We also have features on charity advertising and new Pentagram partner Marina Willer. Rick Poynor reviews the Electric Information Age and Adrian Shaughnessy meets the CEO of controversial crowdsourcing site 99designs. All this plus the most beautiful train tickets you ever saw and a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at Thunderbirds in our Monograph supplement
The best way to make sure you receive CR in print every month is to subscribe – you will also save money and receive our award-winning Monograph booklet every month. You can do so here.
Gorgeous! Very glad it's going to brighten up a rather dismal area of the city.
That looks awesome! It's also good to see street art in it's more legitimate form. I was wondering how exactly you hire street artists... Graffiti your own building and write, "Graffiti me! Apply within" or do you just paint it white, publish a news article about how bad security is and hope for the best?
Wow! That's really huge. And I'm not so sure if it's indicated, but how long did it take for the artists to complete this mural? Thinking alone that they used 150 litres of emulsion and 160 litres of spray is just really incredible. I hope I can see this mural in person.
GAWWWWWWWWDEEEEEEEEE !!! Can one imagine every building in town, especially that wonderful original architecture being deco'd that way?! Plus, it's hardly enduring. It'll look even sillier in a few years when people are tired of it.
No respect for the surroundings or the architectural qualities, cheap imagery, totally superficial.
Have to agree with Ken. Not sure about this. I like the style of the interior artwork, just can’t help feel that its actually made the outside of the building worse... It doesn't feel like the exterior has a purpose, other than to blatantly stand out... will people passing by really think, "that looks nice, I must go there!"
Wow..this is amazing! I hope to see something like this in my own town someday!
London's largest mistake. The exterior looks like a graphic vomit. I have to admit however that the interior does appear to be more interesting / less offensive from what little is shown here.
I think it's fantastically fun! Sure, it would be obnoxious if every building were decorated the same way, but that's not going to happen. I would be inclined to stop in and see the art and see what the institutions are about. Good work!
I think we need more of this work across the capitail, it personalises communities and makes art public.
The fact that artists have created the work as apposed to a group of hidden designers in partership with property developers is refreshing and inspireing.
Fantastic! I muralled the outside of the art gallery in Milton Keynes. These things are always a talking point, whether you love them or hate them...and that is the point! http://Www.charlottedesigns.co.uk/commercial-interior-designs.html
It's definitely different and unexpected for an outside of a building. I love the inside, though.
Bloody awful... I appreciate a lot of street art, but this isn't art; it's a mess – an explosion in a paint factory. Is it permanent?
That's terrible. I think it looks like 80's graffiti. I love abstract, but that looks aimless.
I dont think these photos do any justice, this will look great on a nice sunny day or late in the evening with street lighting on. Chris. http://www.capital-inventions.com/
As Britt says it is fun but surely not a permanent adornment. How did it get planning permission, for surely it would have been rejected? All buildings have a history and a context with the surrounding neighbourhood. This is controlled graffiti that is insensitive to the architectural character of the building. The artists are no doubt talented but their efforts could have been better directed.
Love it, it is very rich and different from what we can find here in NYC.
The emperor has new clothes.
Looks great and amazing! I so love this art.
Sometimes an injection of art or architecture into a community has a domino effect on the entire neighbourhood, and others begin to do their bit. I agree that in some ways it's incongruous, but it might just start things off, and as it's emulsion they have used, a quick blast with a jet wash will remove it, but not yet please.
The mural seems very broken up by the windows and architectural detail..it desecrates a handsome old georgian building...I have to give it thumbs down. I agre the interior artwork looks very succesful. Eric T.
Terrible. It's representing the chaotic, confused minds of an over-crowded city.
this is amazing i like it .colours,style,everything,it has new colours,
i like this art,and this mural is full of art
Art is often controversial, but isn't that art and truly the beauty of it? It doesn't appear to represent anything harmful, I like it!
I hope they keep it up permanently. London need's much more legal sites for street art, not commercial Banksy nonsense, proper graffiti by real artists not out to make a buck.
Very poor, I think that there is no philology with the architecture. Who created the mural is not a designer, it's just a street artist ... how sad.
Bought a new apartment nearby without knowing this. Gonna be completed next year, the apartment. Am thrilled to have such enrgisingly beautiful display around.
of course there were 4 artists working on the project, and it looks like each one of them hated the other. No, no, no, no, this is awful.
I was working in London at the weekend and saw this and wondered about it. Quick search, leads me here. I really like it - as others say, it brightens up a rather dull building and corner of town.
I can't quite decide if I love it or hate it. it's sticks out like a sore thumb in King's Cross but it would look great in a place such as Camden Town. I quite like the idea of a mural. Just not this design. Looks a bit random.
What a messy waste of money!
|Made in Italy: the best in post-war Italian graphic design comes to London (3)|
|The design of Spare Rib (1)|
|Exposure: Photographer Andy Lo Po (1)|
|Ads of the Week (1)|
|PG Tips' refreshing rebrand (13)|