Ryan Frank: Hackney Shelf


South African-born artist Ryan Frank unveiled a line of "free-range" art recently that is truly novel. Take the Hackney Shelf: a blank shelf is put out on the streets of Hackney (East London) and is invariably tagged and graffitied. Once it has "matured" Ryan cuts out the shelves making this utilitarian piece of furniture a true piece of street art. For those who would prefer not to display graffiti in their sitting rooms, Ryan's "Hackney Lite" boasts the same designs without the tags. Ryan also has a piece called "Traffic"—a sort-of coffee table on wheels. The white surface has been "decorated" after being placed on a busy London pedestrian and cycle paths. After being trod upon and indelibly stamped by London's frantic traffic, this mobile coffee table is ready for use. The inkuku (Zulu for chicken), a colourful chair made from plastic carry bags from London supermarkets, was shown as part of Hidden Art's exhibit at the recent Salone Satellite 2006 in Milan.