Alternative London walking tours > Tour blog > Street art in a sweet shop

It’s an ongoing debate – and it won’t go away.  Should street artists put their work in galleries? Do (some) street artists that decide against such a pursuit get too het up about people wanting to earn a living from it? At what stage do you cease to be a street artist?

These types of musings are sort of on my mind as I have a day out west, trekking in the sunshine over to the Graffik Gallery on Portobello Road to have a look at South London artist [###### Alternative London walking tours > Tour blog > Street art in a sweet shop

It’s an ongoing debate – and it won’t go away.  Should street artists put their work in galleries? Do (some) street artists that decide against such a pursuit get too het up about people wanting to earn a living from it? At what stage do you cease to be a street artist?

These types of musings are sort of on my mind as I have a day out west, trekking in the sunshine over to the Graffik Gallery on Portobello Road to have a look at South London artist](http://www.deanzeuscolman.com/#/home/4567902849 "Zeus") conversion of the gallery into a sweet shop.

Zeus, London street art, Walking Tours, Inisder London

First impressions are largely comprised of walking into a giant packet of love hearts. It is certainly an all encompassing experience. As we peruse a man enters the shop.

“Have you had any sweets yet?” he yells.

“Er, no”, I reply.

“Come on, let’s get you some sweets!” he responds, and makes a bee-line for the counter.

As we tuck in to banana foams and pink shrimps it dawns on me that as luck or serendipity would have it, this is the man himself. This is Zeus. So we get chatting and discover Zeus is an affable man, happy conversing about his work.. or indeed anything!

We walk through to the backroom where the theme changes ever so slightly. This painting is my personal favourite.

Zeus, London street art, Insider London, walking tours

surveillance has never been so sweet

Acid

Dean Zeus Colman…his parents actually gave him that as a middle name. One of his sister’s middle names is Ceilidh. When I raise an eyebrow he tells me he once met a girl conceived at Glastonbury called Acid…. Anyway, Dean Zeus Colman began life as a graffiti artist in the 80s, dubbed a 3D graffiti pioneer by Face Magazine in 1992.Since that time he has ploughed a very singular furrow and we spend a very enjoyable twenty minutes or so in his company as he talks us through a host of work including the construction of a fish tank –“I think it’s in Japan now”. He also tells us for the opening night of this show there were slush puppy machines with Zeus Juice – red for adults, blue for the kids. “At least I think it was that way around” he says with a smile.

“Are you artists?” he asks.

We explain we are an actor and writer respectively.

“You getting work?”

“There’s good years and bad”, responds my companion. Zeus nods and we enter the potentially thorny subject of moolah. However you slice it, it has to be made.

Style

For Zeus, street artist is a reductive term. He’s an artist and as it stands he doesn’t feel the need to go back on the streets. I moot that the Eastend can feel saturated. He agrees, musing that sometimes ‘too much can be like advertising’. He also draws a distinction between what he does now and what he did when he started out. This isn’t street art inside but what he is adamant about is that the style, energy and sentiment of a street artist who chooses to ‘go inside’ should not be diminished. It seems sometimes Zeus feels artists become too reverential in a gallery setting and that’s where they lose credibility. He has no qualms trying to make a crust. It’s all in the how.

Want to see the latest street art? Why not pop along on our Eastend street art walking tour? It’s the best thing you’ll ever do.