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In Shoreditch, Art at Its Demented Best

August 22, 2009

In Shoreditch, Art at Its Demented Best

By ALICE PFEIFFER
Martin WollerstamMartin WollerstamMartin Wollerstam’s work, on the walls of the Old Shoreditch Station.
LONDON | Life in Shoreditch, an area known for its high concentration of bars and victims of alternative fashion trends, can feel like a grown-up, slightly demented Disneyland. So it seems appropriate that the exhibit “Neurodisney,” by the young Swedish artist Martin Wollerstam, is being held at the Old Shoreditch Station, a local train station that has been converted into a coffee shop, through the end of the month.
This isn’t your average art exhibit: Wollerstam’s thick, black felt-tip illustrations are drawn directly onto the walls (or on boards that have been attached to them). Both a cartoon of sorts for adults and a gentle satire of the neighborhood, they depict a nightmarish yet humorous universe of bizarre creatures, mutants, chimeras of all sorts, that sprawl onto every corner of the cafe.
“My drawings are a way of playing with the notion of strange,” the artist said. “I want to create a universe that blurs the line between reality and fantasy, that loses its grip on the outside world — and I guess there’s a lot of that in Shoreditch.”
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