Street Fans

A Unique Liaison Between Street Art & Fan Making

STREET FANS Exhibition (2017) by The Fan MuseumThe Fan Museum

Street Fans: Introduction

In 2017 The Fan Museum launched a pioneering project to put fan making on the map. Based on an original concept by street artist Codex Urbanus, Europe's foremost contemporary fan maker worked collaboratively with 29 street artists to create a series of innovative folding fans subsequently displayed at the Museum in a landmark exhibition.

Portrait of Sylvain Le Guen (2017) by Nathalie BaetensThe Fan Museum

Fan Maker Extraordinaire

Sylvain Le Guen, an accomplished fan maker renowned for his technical wizardry and visionary concepts worked with empathy and ingenuity to bring each design to life, the street artists’ unconventional ideas prompting the fan maker to work in similarly imaginative ways. 

Assorted Fans (2017) by Various ArtistsThe Fan Museum

The Roll Call

The invite to participate in the project was met with enthusiasm, enabling the Museum to enlist an extraordinarily diverse cast of creative mavericks and renegades. Unconventional ideas flowed freely, unhindered by the technical and commercial constraints which can influence the work of specialist fan painters.

Circus Pattern (2017) by Giacomo Bufarini RUN/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Fan Formats

Artworks were transformed into either of two formats: BRISÉ/PLIÉ or TRADITIONAL PLEATED.  Invented by Le Guen, the 'brisé/plié' (broken/folding) combines a pleated leaf with brisé 'blades'. The leaves of the traditional pleated fans were matched to sticks varying in number, length and form according to each design.

Geometric Pleats (2017) by Annatomix/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Annatomix

Birmingham-based Annatomix’s passion for science, history, religion and philosophy underpins her creative practice. Her work centres upon nature and its connection with spirituality. Using strong geometric shapes, she explores themes such as evolution and extinction.

Geometric Pleats (2017) by Annatomix/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"I really wanted to utilise the folds and the shape of the fan blades in my designs... Cubes and circles are the basis for almost all my work... I found inspiration somewhere between Art Deco and Japanese minimalism".

Annatomix

'Geometric Pleats'
Acrylic and ink on paper, sipo wood.

The artist decorated the arc-shaped fan leaf with a bold, Vasarely*-style composition in striking colours of red, orange and gold. Le Guen sliced each vertical row of cubes and reapplied to a corresponding set of wood blades.

Annatomix/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017;
The Fan Museum, LDFAN2018.78

* Vasarely, Victor (1906-1997): Hungarian-born ‘grand-father’ of 20th Century op art movement.

Chocolate Waves (2017) by Artista/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Artista

Born in South London, Artista’s cartoon-style, pastel-tinted murals enliven the streets of Shoreditch, South East London and Croydon. Her work ranges from floral to foods

– a flying toast motif is her trademark – and from portrait to pattern. 

Chocolate Waves (2017) by Artista/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"I designed a floral inspired wave with sea, food and chocolate waves- twists on preexisting shapes used in my everyday work which is bold, colourful and fun".

Artista

'Chocolate Waves'
Acrylic and ink on paper, sipo wood.

Inspired by Hokusai’s seminal print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa (1832), the artist’s brightly-coloured curvaceous design incorporates motifs typical to her street paintings but modulated to fit the arc-shaped leaf. Le Guen cut away the blank areas of the original artwork and mounted the decorated sections to the fan blades.

Artista/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Butch Attai (2017) by Rhian CoxThe Fan Museum

Butch Attai

Based in South-East London, the artist’s paintings replicate and interpret a house icon which, with the passing of time, has become the dominant visual component of his street-based work. His colourful, architectural impressions can be found on shutters and walls and abandoned objects around the city, injecting colour and form into the urban environment.

No Place Like Home (2017) by Butch Attai/ Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"My fan design is an extension of a series of paintings painted over a three-year period that flip, rotate, repeat and distort the simplistic form of the house icon. This concept came about at an unstable time – the start of Brexit. It’s about chaos and the feeling of being dragged down into the vortex".

Butch Attai

'No place like Home'
Acrylic, ink and graphite on paper, bocapi wood.

Referencing the tornado scene from the film, the Wizard of Oz, buildings spin violently around a vortex in a miniaturised version of a wall painting by the artist located in Brockley, South East London.
Light blue washes of watercolour were ‘built up slowly over several days’ and details added using fine brushes.

Butch Attai/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

London Skyline (2017) by Nathan Bowen/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Nathan Bowen

Take a stroll through London’s streets and you’re guaranteed to come face-to-face with one or more of Bowen’s attention grabbing artworks, for the artist has, in recent times, been working his ‘magic’ across the City’s urban landscape. Working mainly with marker pens and acrylics, he layers up line and form to create dense, sketch-based compositions combining trademark ‘Demon’ characters in incongruous settings.

London Skyline (2017) by Nathan Bowen/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"I wanted my fan design to resemble my classic street art characters, so I decided to leave the background white and draw iconic London buildings, with my playful demons in the foreground. When I paint on the streets I always paint the wall/hoarding white first, then draw on top. White stands out and I believe it’s important the work makes an impression".

Nathan Bowen

'London Skyline'
MOLOTOW acrylic marker pens on paper, bocapi wood.

Working with fluid maker pens, the artist decorated the paper leaf with an iconic view of London’s skyline, warped to fit the arc shape. Le Guen ramped up the patriotic vibe with sticks painted red, white and blue (representing the Union Jack flag). The top parts of the sticks extend beyond the outer edge of the leaf, evoking the spiked railings of London’s many parks and garden squares.

Nathan Bowen/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017;
The Fan Museum, LDFAN2018.77

Polka Pleats (2017) by C215/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

C215

Paris-based street artist Christian Guémy, more commonly known as C215 has worked on the street for over twenty years. Utilising stencils and graffiti markers, he weaves line, colour and form to create dynamic, impressionistic portraits, often of characters that ‘belong’ to the street and those which go largely unnoticed by society at large.

"My fan design is a bit different from what I usually do in the street for I was inspired by textiles, painting only with patterns."

C215

Polka Pleats (2017) by C215/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

'Polka Pleats'
Spray paint on paper, bocapi wood.

Created using stencils and spray paint, the artist has layered dots and matrix codes to create a striking, abstract design. Emphasising the artist’s hexagonal ‘seal’, Le Guen cut the top edge of the leaf in a diamond shape and matched it to a larger purple paper lining to create a similar 3D effect.

C215/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017;
The Fan Museum, LDFAN2018.82

Street Fans Event Greenwich Market (2017) by Rhian CoxThe Fan Museum

Skeleton Cardboard

Artist/illustrator Skeleton Cardboard decorates the streets of London with distinctive skeletons and icons enlivened with humorous inscriptions. Influenced by the streets of London, DIY culture, outsider art, zines, skate/music culture and the Day of the Dead, he casts his pictorial spells on walls, paper and discarded pieces of cardboard and other reclaimed objects. His playful ghouls, urban hieroglyphics and witticisms such as ‘long time dead’ comment upon the human condition and gently remind onlookers of their own mortality.

Fragile with Care (2017) by Skeleton Cardboard/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"My artwork is informed by the everyday ‘visual noise’ of living in a modern city. I attempt to translate the digital world around us back into analogue forms".

Skeleton Cardboard

'Fragile with Care'
Spray paint and acrylic maker pen on paper, bocapi wood.

The artist decorated the arc with a monochromatic sprinkling of trademark skulls and icons. Le Guen, inspired by the artist's ‘spiky and triangular shapes’ created a pyramid-shaped fan by folding the pleats from broad to narrow, visible when closed and in the irregular spacing of the sticks.

Skeleton Cardboard/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Bout de Souffle (2017) by Guy Denning/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Guy Denning

Child of the 1960s, Somerset-born Guy Denning is a self-taught artist. With expressive brushstrokes and bold, rhythmic lines, the artist combines methods and mediums to create textural, figurative artworks, often with a political message at their heart.

Denning’s fan designs are typical of his larger scale street work and feature male and female figures delicately rendered in conté (compressed charcoal) highlighted with pastel layered with other mark-making techniques. 

Bout de Souffle (2017) by Guy Denning/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"At its basest level artists take dirt, model it and give it significance. Art isn’t just about communication. It’s about the search for significance and control in a world of anonymity and chaos."

Guy Denning

'Bout de Souffle'
Conté, pastel, paint and collage on paper, bocapi wood.

Inspired by the 1960 Jean-Luc Godard film, 'Bout de Souffle' (Breathless) about a wandering criminal and his American girlfriend, the artist’s design shows the film’s two principle characters in a close embrace. Rendered in cut-&- paste text, the film’s title evokes punk aesthetics – a nod to the artist’s ‘background in 1980s street work.’ Le Guen chose not to polish away the burnt edges of the sticks (a result of laser cutting) which match the conté crayon drawing.

Guy Denning/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Le Don (2017) by Ender/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Ender

The artist is greatly inspired by time spent in the infamous Quartier de Belleville, Paris, where street art was ubiquitous in the 1980s. His street practice involves stencils and paste-ups, explaining that paste ups are necessary as the multilayer stencils he uses would be difficult to spray quickly (spray painting in Paris being an offence and punishable by Law). Reoccurring subjects include children, gargoyles, self- portraits and a winged figure (also incorporating a self-portrait). The artists fan designs continue themes explored on the street. 

Le Don (2017) by Ender/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"Being a street artist is like being an actor, my works portray people, scenes, theatre. I have to create a scenario to give a meaning to the stencils."

Ender

'Le Don'
Spray paint and acrylic on paper, bocapi wood.

The artist stencilled a hooded, shadowy figure directly onto the pre-folded fan.
The pleats are each coloured half yellow/half pink which, when viewed from an angle, gives the illusion of a continuous yellow or pink leaf.

Ender/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Audrey (Teardrop) (2017) by Pure Evil/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Pure Evil

Charles Uzzell-Edwards, aka Pure Evil, was born in South Wales in the late 1960s. He grew up surrounded by art thanks to his father, painter John Uzzell-Edwards. Following a ten-year stint in California where in San Francisco he found himself immersed in the countercultures of rave, skate and street art, he returned to London and set about decorating the city streets with vampire-like bunnies –

a symbol closely associated with his moniker.

Over time the artist has become a leading name among UK street artists and runs a successful gallery, located in the heart of London’s street art scene, East London. Inspired by the darker side of society and good versus evil, Pure Evil’s modern icons, shown with

his signature teardrop, can be seen in galleries across the world. 

Audrey (Teardrop) (2017) by Pure Evil/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Pure Evil is widely known for his stencilled portraits of pop-culture icons. The instantly recognizable face of actress Audrey Hepburn is stencilled onto the fan, a teardrop emblem referencing the artist’s frequent ‘excursions into the darker side of people and their social ills’.


Jacob Moss, Curator

'Audrey (Teardrop)'
Spray paint on paper, sipo wood.

The artist decorated the fan with a trademark stencil portrait of Audrey Hepburn, a tear drop falling from one eye, against a background of simplified pink floral motifs, inspired by Japanese blossoms.

Pure Evil/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017;
The Fan Museum, LDFAN2018.80

The Dance of the Vampires (2017) by Jean Faucher/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Jean Faucheur

It is a term freely applied to any artist active for a decade or more but, in this instance, it is apposite to say Faucheur is one of France’s true street art pioneers! Born in Paris

in the 1950s, he graduated from the National School of Decorative Arts in 1979 prior to becoming one of the first wave of artists in France to take his creative expression onto the street. During his career, Faucheur has worked in a variety of mediums including performance paste-ups, sculpture, collage and photography. 

The Dance of the Vampires (2017) by Jean Faucheur/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"These skeletons – so human, so pathetic – which dance, violently bicker and cavort, give life to death, bone to bone."

Jean Faucheur

'The Dance of the Vampires'
Watercolour and pencil on paper, bone.

Against a soft pink ground Faucheur’s intricately rendered ‘coterie’ of winged skeletons appear to rise from their perpetual slumber for a night of ghoulish terror. Staying on theme, Le Guen matched the artist’s design with cleverly refashioned antique bone sticks.

Jean Faucheur/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Kayapo Person (2017) by Dale Grimshaw/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Dale Grimshaw

Lancashire-born Grimshaw decorates the streets of London with instantly recognisable portraits of indigenous people. Mostly on a grand scale, his subjects are painted with meticulous attention to detail, arresting the passerby with the intensity of their gaze. The artist has participated in numerous festivals and only recently painted a wall at the Memorie Urbane Festival, Italy. 

Kayapo Person (2017) by Dale Grimshaw/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"I work out a lot of canvas and wall paintings with digital sketches/collages - moving elements around until I’m happy. I used this approach with the fans and it worked fine. My main concern was getting a flat even layer of paint. Usually when I work with oils or acrylic, I paint with an impasto approach, so I had to think of ways around this."

Dale Grimshaw

'Kayapo Person'
Acrylic and gold paint on sipo wood, paper.

Painting directly onto the wood blades, the artist transformed the fan with a startling portrait based on the Kayapo people who live alongside the Xingu River
in the eastern part of the Amazon Rainforest.

Dale Grimshaw/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

The Pull of Gravity (2017) by Philippe Hérard/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Philippe Hérard 

Beginning his artistic career some twenty-five years ago, Hérard took to the streets of Paris in 2009. Working with paste-ups, his characters are ‘dropped’ into surreal situations. Shadowy, sometimes featureless forms defy gravity, teetering upon ladders or chairs, suspended mid-air; pulling/pushing against one and other.

The Pull of Gravity (2017) by Philippe Herard/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"Be it on canvas, metal, wood, paper or walls, my characters walk around, between drama and (or) irony, and are both witnesses and actors of some kind of a human comedy."

Philippe Hérard

'The Pull of Gravity'
Acrylic and water-soluble crayon on paper, cotton thread, bocapi wood.

At either side of the leaf figures appear to teeter upon a precipice, a single thread binding them shoulder to shoulder. Le Guen said:
“I had to ensure the threads were attached precisely on a ‘mountain’ pleat and at the point where the design indicates a visible tension in the figures’ shirts. Opening and closing the fan causes the threads to tense and relax which animates the figures for the briefest of moments."

Philippe Hérard/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Cat Mask (2017) by Himbad/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Himbad

The artist’s visual leitmotif – a demon cat – grins wide eyed, salivating at passers-by who happen to catch its gaze as they make their way through the streets of London. The artist has been painting the streets with his mischievous beasts for a number of years, deftly blending styles and influences to create a masterful brand of character-based street art.

Cat Mask (2017) by Himbad/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"I am interested in the concept of masked identities and I like that fans can be used to convey expressions, signals or messages in a clandestine way."

Himbad

'Cat Mask'
Acrylic/interference paints on paper, bocapi wood.

Painted in bright shades of green and blue, the centre of the fan bears one of the artist’s demon cats with ears extending beyond the top line of the arc and cut-out peep holes to enable covert observation. The artist’s distinctive signature, a ‘blend of rune and Chinese’ is visible on the left edge.
Le Guen dyed the sticks blue to match.

Himbad/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Green Jokers (2017) by Jonesy/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Jonesy

Elusive and mysterious, Jonesy’s work breaks from the traditional expectations of street art. Take a stroll through East London, look upward, and you might be lucky enough to discover one of the artist’s beautiful recycled wood sculptures or bronze figurines which perch curiously upon street signs and other incongruous platforms. Aside from sculpture, the Welsh-born artist makes musical instruments and produces paste-ups and paintings imbued with strong and meaningful messages designed to raise awareness of mankind’s environmental impact. 

Green Jokers (2017) by Jonesy/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"The main focus of my work is about the environment and man’s destruction of it, I do my best of protest against it with my art."

Jonesy

Green Jokers (2017) by Jonesy/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

'Green Jokers'
Acrylic and maker pens on handmade paper, sipo wood.

Two fans, opening in opposite ways, forming a circular scene incorporating ‘green joker’ characters and references to the fossil fuel industry – a recurring theme in the artist’s work. The designs are painted freehand on handmade Indian paper, a thin but durable material the artist also uses for paste ups. Le Guen added an additional guard stick to the painted side of each fan to retain visual balance.

Jonesy/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Street Fans marketing campaign artwork (2017) by Rhian CoxThe Fan Museum

Captain Kris

Originally from New Zealand and now based in London, illustrator/street artist Captain Kris is heavily influenced by comic books, cartoons, video games, and pop culture. He is best known for his trademark characters and colourful wall collaborations with other artists. Kris also organises Secret Walls in London, the World’s premier live art battle format.

Type Fan (2017) by Captain Kris/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"The design [Type Fan] is an evolution of time working within the design industry and painting pieces on the street. It’s a new direction for my work... breaking away from my usual character based street work to create something grounded in the typographic world".

Captain Kris

'Type Fan'
Acrylic and POSCA marker pens on paper, bocapi wood.

A bold, typographic design incorporating onomatopoeic words and speech bubbles which interplay in a cacophony of colour and form. The outer edges of the leaf are cut according to the angularity of the motifs. Multi-coloured sticks, painted to match colours in the design, heighten the pop-art effect.

Captain Kris/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Mask Fan (2017) by Levalet/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Levalet

Born in Epinal, France, Levalet grew up in Guadeloupe, where his love of urban culture and art began, before returning to France to study painting and animation at Strasbourg. He has been living and working in Paris since 2012. An exponent of pasteups, he sites life-size characters at locations in which they ‘interact’ with the surrounding architecture. The ledge of a crumbling wall, for example, provides a backdrop for a series of headless pasteups; suited figures lean from false windows and ‘enter’ through bricked in archways. As the passer-by begins to unravel the artist’s sophisticated visual trickery, the overall effect is both magical and disquieting.

Mask Fan (2017) by Levalet/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"This fan is inspired by the masks of the Comedia dell’Arte, of carnival ambiances from Venice or Rio de Janeiro."

Levalet

'Mask fan'
Indian ink on paper, bocapi wood.

The artist reinvents as a fan perhaps the most curious of Venetian carnival masks: that of the Medico della peste (Plague Doctor). Cut-out peep holes reinforce the duality of the object and allude to a similar type of ‘mask-fan’ first popularised in the 18th Century. Cleverly adding pleated intersections of varying width and span,
Le Guen transformed the 2D design into a sculptural form.

Levalet/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Bee More Bee-Like (2017) by Louis Masai/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Louis Masai

Masai studied Art at Falmouth University before moving to London in 2010. His murals and other paintings juxtapose endangered species with human references to ‘encourage change’. In 2017 he embarked on a major

tour of America – The Art of Beeing – using art to raise awareness of endangered animals specific to the regions he visited. 

Bee More Bee-Like (2017) by Louis Masai/Sylvain le GuenThe Fan Museum

"The Louis Masai bees all carry a needle and thread, paying homage to their endless stitching of the planet together. My hope is that perhaps humans might try to be more ‘bee like’ in their ways, and stop unstitching the planet."

Louis Masai

'Bee More Bee-Like'
Acrylic and bitumen on paper, bocapi wood.

Bees proliferate in Masai’s paintings, and so it is fitting that the artist’s fan design should display one. The paint has been applied thickly to the surface of the mount and suggests the soft, fur-like body of the bee.

Louis Masai/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Dancers (2017) by Jérôme Mesnager/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Jérôme  Mesnager

Paris-based Mesnager is best known for his white silhouette paintings of figures which have leapt, stretched and danced their way across the globe since the 1980s, by which time he was already making a name for himself as part of the influential 'Zig-Zag dans la savane' group.

His rhythmic forms, painted on billboards, shop fronts and reclaimed objects, partake in a wide variety of activities: they play sport, embrace and gather en masse to perform dances reminiscent of compositions by Matisse.

Dancers (2017) by Jérôme Mesnager/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"Mesnager’s white figures skip lightly across the fragmented surface of the fan in a spontaneous manner. The overall effect is both uplifting and celebratory."

Jacob Moss, Curator

'Dancers'
Acrylic paint on paper, sipo wood.

Against a strident blue ground, the artist’s trademark white figures reach out to one and other. Le Guen sliced the expressive design into segments and applied to wood blades.

Jérôme Mesnager/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Lily Mixe (2017) by Rhian CoxThe Fan Museum

Lily Mixe

Born in Paris and now living and working in London, Lily’s artwork varies from paper and canvas to found objects and walls. Taking inspiration from nature, particularly the ocean, she fills hundreds of notebooks with studies of animals and plants which subsequently inform her intricate murals. 

Nature Unfurled (2017) by Lily Mixe/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"Nature is my religion. At a time when we live through the digital screen, the human kind seems to become less and less connected to the forces and elements that sustain them. With my artwork, I want to share my fascination for every detail of it. This is what inspires my life."

Lily Mixe

Nature Unfurled (2017) by Lily Mixe/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

'Nature Unfurled'
Ink and watercolour pencil on paper, sipo wood.

The artist decorated the fan paper with an intricate ‘organic landscape’ in which motifs become metaphors
for the City streets where ‘shells become skyscrapers
or temples, the pavement fish scales and life grows up through swarming tentacles.’ Le Guen applied individually cut segments of the design to the wood blades, matched on the reverse with a deep red pleated leaf.

Lily Mixe/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Feline Prowess (2017) by Mosko/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Mosko

In 1989 Gérard Laux (aka Mosko) began to paint savannah animals on the streets of Paris. Intent upon beautifying the living environment he went about transforming the concrete ‘jungle’ into a menagerie of tigers, panthers, giraffes and zebras, enlivened with colour and a splash of humour. Fast forward almost 30 years and you’ll find the artist continuing to explore animal subjects but with a more experimental approach. 

Feline Prowess (2017) by Mosko/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"A fan is an ideal object for one of Mosko’s animals - just imagine a wildcat hiding in a closed fan, waiting to pounce on its prey when the fan is opened! Fortunately, there is no danger here, and we can appreciate at close range the beauty and sensitivity of Mosko’s work."

David Guilchrist, street art collector

Feline Prowess (2017) by Mosko/Sylvain Le Guen and 2017The Fan Museum

'Feline Prowess'
Acrylic and spray paint on paper, bocapi wood.

A leopard slinks across the surface of the leaf, its body beautifully rendered in layers of stencilled paint and textural mark making, the sticks dyed black and polished.

Mosko/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Composition #1 (2017) by Nosbé/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Nosbé 

Nosbé made the move to painting in the street in 2003, all the while continuing to work in other formats. Time spent living in Tahiti left an indelible mark on his artistic style as have comic strips and graffiti.The artist has, over time, consistently reduced his colour palette, now working mainly in monochrome, enabling the viewer to decipher his meticulous and intricate compositions fusing figures, facial details, plant forms and organic matter.

"The goal is to take the spectator deep into a complex universe where one can locate himself thanks to formal hints such as eyes or flowers. It’s up to her/ him to look for and manage the different elements to create a personal story".

Nosbé

'Composition #1'
Ink and acrylic on paper, bocapi wood.

The artist’s fan designs intricately weave an assortment of motifs in monochrome, elements looming and receding according to where the eye settles. The overall effect can be somewhat unsettling as the viewer realises these lacelike filigree designs in fact hide all manner of beasts: eyes bulging, tongues lolling. Le Guen invented a ‘unique type of pleating’ for this model, so that when closed the overall shape is cone-like.

Nosbé/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017;
The Fan Museum, LDFAN2018.79

Skydive (2017) by Ben Oakley/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Ben Oakley Gallery

Oakley works across a broad spectrum of mediums and subjects. Using Spray paints, acrylic and mixed media, the artist layers and combines innovate techniques and vintage materials to deliver 21st Century creative statements. Founder of the eponymous Greenwich gallery which promotes emerging and established artists, he has curated numerous urban contemporary exhibitions, including in 2013 ‘Urban Barrier’ a show featuring over 90 artists. 

Skydive (2017) by Ben Oakley/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"The airplane represents the excitement of travelling and flying itself. The cargo being deployed are the London Graffiti Fairies, an image that literally has travelled around the world and is responsible for all street art work, though this is only a theory and doesn’t stand up in court!"

Ben Oakley

'Skydive'
Spray paint on paper, bocapi wood.

Creating his fan design with stencils and spray paint, Oakley’s leitmotif – a graffiti fairy – tumbles from an aeroplane mid-flight.

Ben Oakley Gallery/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Thinker 2 (2017) by Giacomo Bufarini RUNThe Fan Museum

Giacomo Bufarini RUN

Living between Italy and London, RUN’s work adorns buildings and outdoor spaces across the globe. His distinctive figures bring bold forms and striking colours to both city and village, creating playful interactions with passers-by. The artist has included fan motifs in his paintings for some time and, prior to the commencement of Street Fans, had already painted in excess of 40 folding fans, having purchased his first collection of plain paper fans in China. In 2016 he published a monograph entitled Time Traveller Artist Man which documents his creative journeys to destinations like Senegal and China.

Ipnotic Gospel (2017) by Giacomo Bufarini RUN/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"A fan is such an ambiguous object. It has many purposes.
It is as beautiful and essential as it is fugacious and transitory. When I ‘play’ with a fan I think about time – past-present-future – and rhythm. It is, in fact, the rhythm of the shape of it that attracts me the most. The zig zag movement, gentle and sharp, and the perfection that this object contains".

Giacomo Bufarini RUN

Ipnotic Gospel (2017) by Giacomo Bufarini RUN/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

'Ipnotic Gospel'
Watercolour and ink on paper, bocapi wood.

Giacomo Bufarini RUN/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017;
The Fan Museum, LDFAN2018.76

Arabesque (2017) by Jordane Saget/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Jordane Sagat

Born in Pithiviers, France, Saget received no formal art education but is inspired by history, architecture mathematics and the practice of Tai-Chi -Chuan. He performs captivating interventions in open spaces, inscribing curvilinear compositions comprising of three lines on pavements, walls, metro stations and more. The artist’s use of chalk means his work is particularly ephemeral: there one day, gone the next. The artist has collaborated with institutions such as the Hôtel Drouot, Opéra Bastille and the Théâtre National de Chaillot.

Arabesque (2017) by Jordane Saget/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"Saget’s distinctive serpent-like composition weaves sinuously across the surface of the fan, evoking historical arabesques reconfigured for the 21st century".

Jacob Moss, Curator

'Arabesque'
POSCA marker pens on paper, bocapi wood.

Saget decorated the leaf with his trademark three-line arabesques, the elegant simplicity of the design enhanced with sticks dyed black and polished.

Jordane Saget/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Ribbon Fan (2017) by Otto Schade/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Otto Schade

Born in Chile but relocated to London, Schade’s paintings range from abstract to surrealism with urban twists. Painting freehand and with sophisticated stencilling techniques, the artist continues to perfect his complex

‘ribbon’ style, conjuring subjects infused with satirical interpretations of modern-day social and cultural issues. The artist’s paintings ignite the streets of Shoreditch and surrounding areas, where he is very much part of a coterie of street artists attaining international acclaim. 

Ribbon Fan (2017) by Otto Schade/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"Schade’s ingeniously-weaved ribbon paintings compel the viewer to unravel their message of intent. The world he creates is both apocalyptic yet strangely beautiful."

Jacob Moss, Curator

'Ribbon Fan'
Ink and gouache on paper, sipo wood.

Decorated with his trademark ribbon compositions, the artist used the arc to create a labyrinth of twists and turns: an urban take on Celtic knot work? Le Guen enhanced the monochromatic scheme with sticks dyed black.

Otto Schade /
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Unmasking the Masked (2017) by Sr. X/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Sr. X

Born in the early 1980s, London-based Sr. X hails from the North of Spain. Inspired by pop culture, films, vintage print, urban legends and more, he brings the cityscape to life with stencils, paste-ups and installations. Deftly blending irony and humour the artist creates instantly recognisable graphics which comment on society, politics and culture. With a steadily rising international profile, the artist participated in the ‘Street Masters’ Show at the Fat Free Art Gallery, New York. Closer to home, his captivating paintings can be found in and around the streets of East London and at locations such as Village Underground. 

Unmasking the Masked (2017) by Sr. X/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"I like to play with pop culture, the surreal or even metaphysical world, with society and the relation between individuals or with themselves as a point of reference."

Sr. X

'Unmasking the Masked'
Transfer print and acrylic on paper, bocapi wood.

A character in striped costume dominates the arc-shaped leaf, ‘unmasking’ itself only to reveal an empty space punctuated by voltage bolts. The artist is one of several to explore the concept of fans as masking devices. Le Guen opted to make a second, smaller fan from the portion of the design exterior to the boundaries of the arc, otherwise lost in the cutting process. The sticks were dyed light brown and ‘polished to match the colour and satin effects of the leaf.’

Sr. X/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Street Fans event at Greenwich Market (2017) by Rhian CoxThe Fan Museum

Codex Urbanus

It was Codex Urbanus who first proposed the Street Fans project to The Fan Museum, having curated a similarly themed project at the Paris Fan Museum some years earlier. His trademark mutant creatures (always assigned Latin names) are ubiquitous, transforming the streets of Paris into a ‘Codexian’ Wunderkammer. Influenced by genetics, science and cartoonists, the artist has also collaborated with the Gustave Moreau Museum and Paris Aquarium.

Prédation II (2017) by Codex Urbanus/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"With its own codified language, a fan has been a tool of seduction and an object which can be used to conceal, just like a predator in the wild.”

Codex Urbanus

'Prédation II'
POSCA marker pens and watercolour on paper, sipo wood.

This brightly coloured design features one of the artist’s trademark ‘chimeras’ – on this occasion a curious squid/ shrimp hybrid. Hiding in greenery, the demonic eyes of an unidentified creature signify a predator ready to pounce.

Codex Urbanus/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Born to Paint (2019) by ZabouThe Fan Museum

Zabou

Originally from France, Zabou moved to London and began painting its streets in 2012. Deftly combining stencil

and freehand techniques, Zabou’s spray paint portraits are instantly recognisable, as are some of the subjects she’s recently depicted, which include Salvador Dali, Frieda Kahlo and Edith Piaf.

Self Portrait (2017) by Zabou/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"I didn’t know much about fans and fan making before starting the [Street Fans] project. I’ve discovered that it’s an amazing craft that should be promoted and talked about more widely within the cultural industry."

Zabou

Self Portrait (2017) by Zabou/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

'Self Portrait'
Spray paint and acrylic on paper, sipo wood.

The artist chose to depict herself wearing a mask designed not only to protect the wearer from the hazardous fumes associated with spray paints but their identity, too. The masked portrait is a recurring subject, on this occasion rendered in monochrome flecked with bright colours.

Zabou/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

Composition #1 (2017) by Zokatos/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

Zokatos

Inspired by the counterculture of the 1990s, Zokatos turned to the street as his original ground of expression. From the wall to the canvas, his work evolved, but he kept using Street Art techniques, mainly markers and the

spray paint. His abstract and colorful compositions are in contrast with the grey universe of the Parisian bloc buildings where he grew up. 

Composition #1 (2017) by Zokatos/Sylvain Le GuenThe Fan Museum

"I paint lyrical abstraction, like visual music. The lines are
like abstract calligraphy, music partitions. The street for me is the purest gallery and is free for everybody."

Zokatos

'Composition #1'
Spray paint and acrylic on paper, bocapi wood.

Energetic and colourful abstract design following the curves of the arc-shaped fan leaf and punctuated with black sticks, visible in parts on the decorated side of the fan.

Zokatos/
Sylvain Le Guen, 2017

STREET FANS Exhibition (2017) by The Fan MuseumThe Fan Museum

Image of the STREET FANS exhibition, The Fan Museum, 19th September - 31st December 2017.

Credits: Story

The Fan Museum is grateful to the following individuals and organisations for their support and encouragement throughout the planning and delivery of the Street Fans project:

Codex Urbanus, Sylvain Le Guen, participating artists*, The Art Fund, Imogen Clarke, Sonia Furley (Lewisham Southwark College), Paul Nicholson Lewis, David Waterworth (University of Greenwich), Jennifer Hall Thompson, Anna Rakitina (Greenwich Market) Rhian Cox (Photographer), Mike Cathro (Graphic Designer), Shed London photography studios, DPC printing studio, Darwin Press, Visit Greenwich, Greenwich Diary, Heritage Crafts Association, The Fan Museum trustees, staff and volunteers.

Special thanks to everyone who generously donated to The Fan Museum’s 'Art Happens' crowdfunding campaign, without whom, this project could not have become a reality.

Jacob Moss MA
Curator, The Fan Museum


Online exhibit curated by:
Jacob Moss MA, Curator & Scott Schiavone MA, Assistant Curator, The Fan Museum.

Credits: All media
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