Ben Eine the popular street artist has taken over as editor of the Big Issue. Although admittedly this is just a one off. His stint in the hot seat was to create an exclusive Arts Special Edition. Complete with three different covers to collect. The intention is that each of them can be bought from Big Issue vendors across the UK.
In keeping with the Big Issue’s mantra the idea is to give a hand up, not a hand out. As such the theme of the show is ‘UP’. Taking part are some of the worlds best street artists. All have created art for the edition. Works which will also be on sale at the Jealous Gallery in Shoreditch.
Ben Eine and the Big Issue
Ben Eine has worked with the Big Issue before. In 2006 he designed a cover to mark the 200 millionth copy of the magazine. It said ‘CELEBRATE’ and he’s been a supporter ever since. His latest outing will prove popular. With a number of different editions to collect it ensures that more people will buy from the vendors.
“Guest editing ‘The Big Issue‘ has given me the chance to represent street art from my perspective. Covering topics as diverse as graffiti and prison to the London Mural Festival,” said Ben Eine. “Getting Up’ as a graffiti writer is driven by selfish motivations. But it led me to street art, a platform where I can now speak up on important matters alongside all those involved in writing and selling The Big Issue.”
There are a number of highlights included in the edition. Interviews with the likes of Shepard Fairey and Berlin’s 1UP crew compete for space alongside the artwork. In total 60 original pieces have been created. The likes of Fanakapan, Mr Cenz, Dotmaster, Eelus and Lucy Sparrow have all contributed.
Big Issue Editor, Paul McNamee, said: “It’s a magazine to knock your socks off. Ben and his team at Ourtypes have put together a visual feast. They’ve spread their net around the world and come through with an incredible collection of artists. Each time we work with guest editors, it’s a huge thrill, but it’s also a leap into the unknown.
The Art Special Edition of the Big Issue is available with three iconic covers. All have been designed and curated by Ben Eine. They are on sale from Big Issue vendors across the UK for £2.50 from Monday 9th March. The exhibition at the jealous gallery runs from 12th March 2020.