Bright yellow polystyrene figures hanging off objects have appeared in Hornsey Road over the past few days. Islington Now tracked down the artist and asked him what it was all about.
‘Kit’ has been an artist for about 25 years, but prefers to remain anonymous. “I want people to look at my art, not at me,” he says.
We meet in Deti’s Deli Café, situated in the midst of his improvised street-art exhibition. Kit calls his figures ‘stickmen’ and makes them from pipe cladding, each one taking about an hour to fashion and glue together.
“I have a lot of fun from these,” he says. “I sit out here sometimes, drinking my coffee and I see people interacting with them. I love seeing the reactions of children. They love them.”
The idea came to him two years ago when he was working on a community festival. “Instead of putting up traditional bunting, I put up these things,” he says.
He has experimented with more edgy themes, involving “adult content”. In Hampstead, he put a reclining stickman on a bench with a dildo next it and a small sign saying, ‘Be gentle with me’. When he went back the next day he discovered his stickman sitting “proud as punch, wearing the dildo.”
— Crouch End Kindival (@CKindival) March 18, 2017
However, in Staples Corner a passer-by threatened to punch him, calling his bondage-themed figure “totally inappropriate”.
“Here I just have them as simple stick figures because I don’t want to offend anyone,” he says.
He likes playing with them and sometimes attaches them with magnets to the back of vans waiting at traffic lights. “I never see them again but I know other people see them and that makes me laugh!”
He tells me the police think he’s just a “crazy local artist.”
“They catch me every single time,” he says, “but no-one has ever made any complaints.”
“The biggest problem I have is that people usually want to steal them. I do suffer vandalism occasionally, but most of the time they’re just out of reach, and so they have a tendency to survive.”
“I won’t remove them unless someone asks me to,” he adds. “As long as I don’t get rude or obscene I don’t see why I should, because they do no damage.”
He would like to do it professionally, saying: “I did hope for a while that I could turn it into an advertising idea, but I’m not business-minded, I’m an artist.”
“I don’t know where it’s going to lead me,” he concludes, “but it’s all good fun.”