Do Look Down is street artist Pahnl’s debut solo show at London West Bank Gallery and is open from Thursday 6th June to 12th June. Immerse yourself in the tiny, detailed world of Pahnl. Comic narrative and street signage aesthetics brought together through stencil art, encapsulating the world we live in with endearing pessimism and cheeky wit.
Living at a lower level of existence, Pahnl's miniature people, dogs, cats, birds and graffiti buffers can often be found outside, playfully interacting with spaces in the city. However, at never more than 10cm tall, you’d be forgiven for missing them! Pahnl has been stenciling on and off the street for over a decade, and also makes use of stickers, posters, film, and photography to bring his cheeky world to life. He has even learned to manufacture his own vinyl toy from scratch.
Taking the term ‘street art’ literally, Pahnl always strives to make his work interact with its environment rather than simply sticking a pretty picture up in the middle of a wall without reason. Pahnl states that “street art should show I was here, not I was here”. Pahnl might say he sees surfaces and spots in the street as ‘comic panels’ (hence his alias) to drop his characters into but feels that might be romanticizing the process a little too much. At the end of day, all he wants to do is bring an unexpected smile to your lovely face.
The ground floor will play host to a sprawling 40-metre stenciled city across the gallery walls along with an authentic twelve page newspaper featuring stories and articles about the painted city‘s happenings. On the first floor, a new body of work on road signs will be on display, along with an exclusive new screen print and some of Pahnl‘s classic work laid bare. This is the full experience.
Before the show opens, Pahnl will spend four days locked inside London West Bank Gallery with a suitcase full of stencils and plenty of spray paint to bring a sprawling stenciled city to life across 40 metres of wall on the ground floor. The painted city, known as ‘Lowdown’, will be packed with detailed life that will keep you discovering new scenes even on your third lap of the show
Although Pahnl believes there’s no such thing as ‘street art’ inside a gallery, he has set out to capture the essence of unexpectedly discovering something out in the street by painting a vast and detailed city across the very walls of inside the gallery. Not contained by the boundaries of a canvas or print, visitors will have to explore the gallery for themselves.
Every visitor will also be given a free copy of ‘The Lowdown Times’, a twelve-page newspaper created by Pahnl. Full of stories and articles about the city, it will help the visitor discover and understand the hidden lives of the inhabitants living in ‘Lowdown‘. The first 50 visitors to the private view will receive a limited edition stenciled and signed copy of the newspaper.
Visitors will be given a unique way to buy their favourite scene from the city. They are invited to hunt out and buy their favourite part of the city by using one of the frames provided by the gallery to mark off an area of the wall. Pahnl will paint the chosen scene on canvas after the show has finished. However, once a scene has been bought, it's gone, so be quick! And after seven days, the entire city of Lowdown will be painted over and disappear forever.
Eager to show the time and craft that goes into his work, Pahnl will also have all the stencils used to create the painted city, and many of the works upstairs, on display. An art in themselves, the plastic stencils will give visitors a rare glimpse into the way an expert stencil artist goes about painting what you see.
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