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In Shoreditch, Art at Its Demented Best

August 22, 2009

In Shoreditch, Art at Its Demented Best

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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