Conor Harrington

11 Aug Roberto Saviano – on food, boxing, snow and life in exile.


He’s the same age as me, sold 2 million copies of his book and he’s been on the run ever since. There’s an excellent diary piece by Saviano in todays Times where he talks about the torture of living life in exile on the run from the Camorra who have vowed to kill him. Gomorrah, the film adaptation of his book is an excellent but dish-water grim view of Mafia life. Dispels all glamourous myths.

Read More

05 Aug Buffed by Advertising

streetartad2Received these images this morning, alas my Meatpacking piece didn’t last so long. Well actually I guess 10 months is a lifetime in graffiti, especially in New York. I expected this piece to be bombed long ago and as far as i know if remained relatively intact in its twilight weeks. But to be covered by a billboard… Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!  Thanks to Steve for the heads-up.

Read More

29 Jul Organized Konfusion


I needed a lil aural boost in the studio this week. Cue Organized Konfusion‘s seminal masterpiece ‘Prisoners of War’ from their 1991 debut. Highly cerebral yet absolutely rocking. Check Pharoah’s 2nd verse (3rd verse in total running order). The lyrics below are swiped from Triplesiccness. Fair play.

Pharoahe Monch] 
I stand here before the forces of evil with a style 
The poetically God gifted child 
Bringin forth the story of a lyrical soldier 
Blessed to manifest in the eyes of the beholder 
Words of wisdom never abuse the lines 
they increase as I release a phrase like a uzi 9 
from the larynx 
Shot in repitition words never heard before 
but still the rendition of rap will enable me to attack 
from dawn to dusk, for liberation 
Driven I will never give in to interrogation 
The rank, given to me, the Pharoahe 
Cause every bro flows like a crossbow 
Equipped to pierce your soul with a poison-tip arrow 
Any man wearing a blindfold can be misled 
but wise are the ones with the eyes in the backs of the head 
Here’s the key to unlock the door: 
Imagine a poet without poetical form 
Rhymes are for sure as an attack 
cause they adapt to combat for the prisoners of war 

[Prince Poetry] 
I drop smash and causin damage equivalent 
to a hy-drogen bomb, raidin villages like 
a poetical soldier in Vietnam, Poetry 
releasin deadly gasses, bodies deteriorating 
as they stalk past the fatal acid 
As a rebel of rap, I stop, load the Luger 
as I manuever with the caution as I verbally counterattack 
Striking like a mad sniper cause I’m the type of 
hyperactive viper to wipe away the enemy with no remedy 
cause I’m the epitome so don’t try to get rid of me 
You little itty-bitty twenty-five automatic, you’re killin me 
cause I’m a glock 9 that will rock your mind 
Distortin it, shorten your brainwaves 
as the rhyme intertwine with the sign of the times 
Don’t sleep cause I creep attackin from the side 
that is blind, therefore I gotta be hard to the core 
And I walk, as a prisoner of war 

[Pharoahe Monch] 
Wake up to the mathematics of an erratic rap 
Rejuvenator of rhyme, that sort of come automatic 
Poetical medical medicine for the cerebellum 
I divert em and flirt em insert em then I repel em 
a breakdown, poetical shakedown 
Fifty-two pick-up a stick-up so get on the floor facedown 
The ammo to keep the people steppin 
breakin open the vault because I’m like a verbal assault weapon 
I’m mathematical, acrobatical 
Attack the wack take rap to the maximum 
You’re strung out you’re hung out when you heard the style 
that I brung out of faint air must come out my mouth 
where I stick my tongue out in the at-mos-phere 
Take a good look at what’s happening here 
On the microphone, I’m RAPPIN 
Pickin-em-stickin-em up, breakin-em-shakin-em up, and bashin 
the lyric dictator, the aviator of antonym 
All beware to prepare for the guillotine 
Rhymes go express, expert, extreme 
Be up to par with wisdom and intellect 
Detatching one’s head directly from one’s neck 
Still I’ve been illing and drilling your brain 
like a villain I came in the darkness to spark the literature for sure 
when I rhyme for the prisoners of war 

[Prince Poetry] 
There is strength in my men-tal-bolism, brains to spare 
upon info, knowledge, data, greater aspects 
affects my future environment 
So in the event I drop science to suit ya, uproot ya 
Hunt ya down 
Verbally attackin from the ground up to intellectually shoot ya 
Lurkin through the shadows of darkness, shots fired 
the spark hits the trees, releasin lyrical ammo 
while I camoflouge in the flash of my stature 
Mentally cease MC’s, that be surrounded I capture 
And enemy lines are crushed, bumrushed 
And plus your government officials are corrupted 
cause they’re down with us; poetical rebels on a rampage 
of wrecked dialects, blown lyric projects 
Heat is scopin you through my infrared twenty-twenty
scope lens, steppin upon base that’s when the 
Organized Konfusion massacre begins with a blast 
Never will an intruder approach cause they will never ever last 
cause the task is total termination 
Poetry and the Pharoahe starts as the revelation

Read More

17 Jul From Koons to Ghenie


Koons_HookMyself and Chloe take the occasional day off to go and see some new shows… So we started at the new Jeff Koons show over at the Serpentine. He’s never been an artist that I’ve been particularly enamoured with but I have to say I was fairly impressed by these paintings. I guess sometimes you have to put aside the fact that he has a factory producing these pieces and just appreciate them for what they are.

I quite like the use of Popeye as a metaphor, at first seeming like another throw-away pop icon but on the 80th anniversary of the comic strip’s creation the appropriation of this figure is all the more timely as a reminder of the Great Depression of 1929. Not that we need a reminder really.   



And then on to White Cube to see London’s favourite artists Gilbert and George’s new show. I see these guys around alot, their studio is around the corner from mine on Brick Lane and they have dinner every evening in Mangal in Dalston right round the corner from my flat. They’re perfect gentlemen, always immaculately dressed and their current show displays their unique twisted sense of humour. Cute and dark. I want to be like them when I grow up. But maybe without the male lover.


wilhelm sasnal 002

We headed to Sadie Coles to catch the Wilhelm Sasnal show. It finished a week earlier. Dammit.


3721299832_dddfdd736aStrolled past Anthony Gormley’s 4th plinth installation ‘One and Other‘. Just another platform for the Big Brother generation so the less said the better (although some participants have raised money for various charities so kudos for that).


I was gutted that Yinka Shonibare’s proposal was dismissed in favour of this. He hoped to build a scale replica of Nelson’s HMS Victory in a bottle complete with sails bearing African textiles from England’s colonies. But the UK still doesn’t like to address its shady past so instead we have muppets on a pedestal.  


And finally, on to Haunch of Venison to see a few shows in their new home at the Royal Academy. We were completely blown away by Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie who’s dark and dangerous paintings recall the ominous days of the old European history. His figures appear like foggy shapes in mysterious interiors and I hate to repeat this ol cliche but they really do have to be seen in the flesh. He has such a magical command of oil paint, the figures scraped back and struggling in a damp muddy palette. So we ended our gallery trip on the other end of the spectrum, from Koon’s shiney happy people to Ghenie’s down and dirty. I like dirty.   



Read More