Flomper is an exhibition by Malarko at the BSMT Gallery in London. A street artist who is well known on the streets of London. Malarko’s playful and bright characters have often been found on shutters of Brick Lane in particular. At one point you’d be hard pushed to wander down the street and not come across one of pieces staring out at you. His show Flomper is a real homage to this time at the center of the London street art scene.
Flomper also showcases Malarko’s range of work within ceramics. Trained in Stoke of Trent his exploration of the medium has really started to diversify his work. The exhibition presents a range of these new pieces. Cheeky and in your face they add a whole lot of fun to this show. Using images from his past, the artist has given a real insight into his active imagination with his introduction of other works.
Barcelona to East London
Now based in Barcelona it’s been a while since we really saw the extent of street art that the streets of Brick Lane. Rooted in the low brow art of early skate magazines it was the bumpy shutters of the street which led him to start simplifying his designs. From our own experience moving to the East London in 2012, Malarko’s work was prominent. Often taking the opportunity to paint with other artists it was a time of “painting missions, finding spots and drinking beers”.
Painting with Whoever, Wherever
Malarko describes those early years painting in London as a “magical time”. Forced to relocate back to the city getting into some strife in his adopted home of Barcelona. Telling me that he had “got pinched for painting too many times”. It resulted in him having to leave Spain for two years leading him instead to the streets of London around 2010-11.
Starting to paint on shutters mainly in the Brixton area he would meet other artists and started to do his thing with them. “I never fancied the idea of being in a crew. More just liked floating about painting with whoever, wherever”. Eventually he would become known for his work around the East End in Roman Road and Bethnal Green. Moving later to finding spots more centrally in places such as Brick Lane and Redchurch Street. All helped along the way by people putting him up and letting him hang out in flats and studios whilst he painted.
World of Ceramics
Ceramics too are now a major focus of Malarko’s art. Indeed Flomper is notable in its inclusion of them. A time spent in Stoke on Trent around 2013 proved to be the catalyst. An area with a huge ceramics history. He would visit the ceramics museum and explore the many abandoned factories from the towns heyday. “I would go to paint the factories and find all sorts of ceramic tools and bits. Kilns, clay, glazes, everything really. It sparked my interest as it was everywhere and free to take”. Taking inspiration from his surroundings during this time he started to experiment. “I like how clay kind of does what it wants and you have to work with it not against it if you want to have any success”. It’s a comparison he says that felt opposite to graffiti. “I just brought my vibe to this world of ceramic”.
Flomper at BSMT Space
Malarko talks more his work as a vibe or energy when discussing his Flomper exhibition. “It’s more the heart and intention of the works that is important” he tells me. “I always found that street stuff didn’t translate so well into gallery work. So I like to find another direction if its canvasses for example that I’m painting”. Mixing styles in the exhibition, he has managed to generate the right energy. “I was really happy with how the show formed itself once it set up in the space. It can be hard to get a good vibe into a gallery space but I think we managed it with this one”.
Flomper the exhibition by Malarko is showing at the BSMT Space Gallery in London from 29 July 2021 to 15 August 2021. The gallery address is BSMT Space, 529 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AR. Contact them via their website www.bsmt.co.uk or instagram