A good few years back a Twitter account grabbed my attention and the attention of many who were worried about where the world was headed, what with 2016 being the year of Brexit and Trump. Christopher Spencer, who goes by the name Cold War Steve online, is an award-winning Birmingham artist who uses his iPhone and iPad to create collages depicting politicians, celebrities and royalty in satirical pieces that helped lighten the mood for many across the country in what they felt were dark times. (Many of his pieces featured EastEnders actor Steve McFadden in character as Phil Mitchell looking on in disgust.)
To mark our extra Bank Holiday for the Coronation, Steve has created a huge piece of art for display in London and made it available for purchase as a large foldable postcard. The outer parts highlight the kind of work he is known for, with a savagely funny portrayal of those in power in the UK. However, in the middle is a positive look at the best this part of the world has produced. Right at the front of this celebratory section, arms raised and leading the pack, is none other than Frank Sidebottom!
Taken from his own website, Steve describes his latest artwork as follows.
“The exclusive triptych artwork was put together over the last few weeks as Chris took himself off Twitter and back off booze. It marks the Coronation of King Charles III and our national obsession with being ruled over by dubious individuals and their weird families and the total crisis in leadership of our absolutely pathetic and self serving establishment political class. But it is mainly a celebration of what we should really be reminding ourselves about our country, the true collective creativity, beauty in diversity and fundamental goodness that makes Great Britain really actually pretty great.”
That last sentence in particular sounds very OiNK-like.
This huge display is free to view day and night in East London and you can check out Steve’s website for directions if you’re in that part of the country and wish to pop by. If not, you can always purchase the large postcard version. I say postcard, the main image in the middle is about the size of an A4 piece of paper so it’s rather larger than your average Blackpool ‘card.
“The must-have free-standing affordable art-piece for this year’s celebration of the King and Queen finally getting their proper crowns and all the inherited land they stole from the people centuries ago. We’re fantastically excited to see them in their gold carriage, I think it’s going to cheer everyone right up.”
It’s available for £15 including postage and £5 of this will go to CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), a charity that’s taking a stand against suicide. As their website explains, “This means standing against feeling hopeless, standing up to stereotypes and standing together to show life is always worth living.” Especially in these difficult times it’s a great cause and you can help.
I believe this is something Frank would’ve been completely behind.
You can visit Cold War Steve‘s website to check out this piece, the man behind it, see his full archives and visit his shop. He’s also on Twitter and Instagram and is prolific. So, follow him and you’ll know when the news is getting you down you won’t have long to wait before Steve shares something to cheer you up and, most importantly, show you that you’re not alone.