Ben Eine

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Ben Eine at work in London EC2A, 2007

Eine (real name Ben Flynn;[1] born 23 August 1970) is a prolific street artist based in London, England.

Life and career[edit]

Eine is most notable for his alphabet lettering on shop shutters in London's Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Broadway Market areas.[2] Some of these letters have been mapped for ease of finding.[3] He has also taken his lettering to the streets of Paris, Stockholm, Hastings and Newcastle upon Tyne.[4]

Prior to becoming involved in commercial graffiti, Eine was a very famous and highly credible writer in the underground London graffiti scene. His unusual 'throw up' was created to stand out from the usual tags and dubs seen on the streets and can still be found in some dingy areas of East London.[citation needed]

Inspired by the work of fashion assassin Noki, Eine first started to explore more commercial avenues in a workshop above the Dragon Bar in Lenoard Street, London (now knocked down). Eine produced a number of custom clothing designs notably some custom "VANDALS" sweatshirts and started to explore screen prints eventually working as a screen printer for cult screen print company Pictures On Walls. Eine produced many of the hand pulled prints for artists represented by POW including Banksy, Jamie Hewlett, Mode2, Modern Toss and David Shrigley. His natural talent for colour combinations meant that he was able to enhance the work supplied by the artists. He left this position to pursue his own solo career in 2008.

At this time Eine contributed to sticker graffiti and was prolific in East London with his neon and black EINE stickers (multiple EINE names).

Eine first came to prominence in the "commercial" graffiti scene through his symbiotic partnership with London graffiti artist Banksy; through Eine, Banksy was able to access the underground scene and through Banksy Eine accessed the commercial world.

Eine's shutter lettering
on Hackney Road, London

In his commercial work he has produced numerous lettering styles including: shutter, circus, neon, elton, vandalism and wendy.

In 2007, the Tower Hamlets Partnership began to survey residents of Brick Lane to ask whether they considered his graffiti offensive and should be removed.[5]

In January 2008, Eine was featured in an article in London's Time Out magazine as one of the six best new street artists working in the capital.[6]

There is a chapter on Eine in Street Renegades: New Underground Art[7] by Francesca Gavin and he is also featured in The Art Of Rebellion 2: World Of Urban Art Activism[8] by Christian Hundertmark, and he was featured in Sebastian Peiter's documentary 'Guerilla Art'.[9]

In July 2010, President Barack Obama was presented with a painting by Eine, Twenty First Century City, as an official gift from the British Prime Minister. David Cameron.[10][11][12]

In May 2010 Ben Eine painted a complete alphabet on Middlesex Street in East London, which was re-christened Alphabet Street by the residents and described by The Times as “a street now internationally recognized as a living piece of art with direct links to The White House.”

EINE’s solo show (March 2011) at White Walls gallery in San Francisco sold out prior to opening. He was also included in the biggest exhibition of street art to date “Art in the Streets” at MOCA, Los Angeles (April 2011).

In 2011 EINE was invited by Amnesty International to design their 50th anniversary poster, joining other artists such as Picasso and Miro in supporting the charity through art. Eine continues to produce canvasses and screen prints from his studio in Hastings and aims to travel the world painting his colourful letters and statements on shutters and walls wherever he can.

Eine's work was featured at Art Below's The Peace Project.[13] His work at the show contained his graffiti typography. One of his pieces that simply spelled out the word love titled 'Circus Love' was displayed at Regent's Park this had previously being featured in Art Below's July 2012 show where it was placed on the wall of the Central Line at Oxford Circus.[14] Where Eine joined a growing list of Street Artists who have exhibited with Art Below such as Banksy, Inkie, Mike Ballard, and Goldie. Eine's work was featured at Art Below's The Peace Project.[13] Enie's know for Alphabet Street where the shutters and murals that he painted in his colours and typography in can be seen in London's Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Broadway Market areas. His work at the show contained his graffiti typography. One of his pieces that simply spelled out the word love titled 'Circus Love' was displayed at Regent's Park this had previously being featured in Art Below's July 2012 show where it was placed on the wall of the Central Line at Oxford Circus.[14] Where Eine joined a growing list of Street Artists who have exhibited with Art Below such as Banksy, Inkie, Mike Ballard, and Goldie.

Eine in popular culture[edit]

Eine's lettering is often featured in magazines and promotional material. His work was used prominently by pop group Alphabeat and features in Duffy's music video for "Stepping Stone" and also, briefly, in Snow Patrol's video for "Take Back the City".

Gallery shows[edit]

2014:

Judith Charles Gallery, HEARTFELT, New York, New York, January 2014

2013:

The Wooster Collective 10th Anniversary Show - Johnathan Levine Galley, August 2013

INNOCENCE - Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CA USA, June 2013

OUCH - Project One Gallery, San Francisco, US

2012:

COLOR OR COLOUR - Charles Bank Gallery, NYC USA, November 2012

2011:
GREATEST - White Walls, San Francisco, US[15]
2009:
EINE World Record Attempt Show - Nelly Duff, London, UK[16]
2008:
When The Lights Go Out - Andenken Gallery, Denver, CO.
2007:
Vandalism - Kemistry Gallery, London, UK
Portobello Film Festival - Westbourne Studios, London, UK

Group shows
2008:
4 Geezers - Ad Hoc Art, Brooklyn, New York (The London Police, Flying Fortress, Pez and Eine)
2007:
Santa's Ghetto - Bethlehem
Open Studio - 19 Kingland Road, London, UK
Urban Sprawl - Leonard Street Gallery, London, UK
Nuart - Stavanger, Norway
Eleven - Leonard Street Gallery, London, UK
2006:
Santa's Ghetto - London, UK
Collette, Paris, France
Electrik Sheep, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
2005:
Santa's Ghetto - London, UK
POW Group Show - Allmänna Galleriet, Stockholm, Sweden
2004:
Santa's Ghetto - London, UK
2003:
Banksy vs Eine - Gallery V1, Copenhagen, Denmark
2002:
Artomatic - London, UK

References[edit]

External links[edit]