Hot Mess

Meat, boobs and rock ‘n’ roll. Not the most conventional images to adorn the walls of your local (depending on where you drink, of course.)


But that may well be what’s in store for east London bar the Queen of Hoxton, when it lets  brilliant French illustrator McBess and an all-star cast of other street artists and illustrators go all 60-minute-makeover on the place for a new venue-wide show, Hot Mess.

Next month, McBess will be joined by French illustrator Nicolas Tual, who has organised the team, which also comprises Matthew Bromley and artists LUCAS. The foursome is tasked with transforming the internal and external walls into, well, whatever they want.

Nicolas Tual
Nicolas Tual

It’s a great, if rather brave move for the venue if the artists’ previous work is anything to go by. Tual’s work is trippy and terrifying – a swirling conglomeration of skulls, dead eyes and ghoulish arms cheekily grabbing the buxom breast of what appears to be the gruesome lovechild of a buff sailor and a sex doll.

McBess’ work is similarly on the dark side of bawdy – a meticulous monochrome hotchpotch of crazed rock ‘n’ roll types, breasts and barbecues – so we’re very excited to see what the pair will bring to the plush Queen of Hoxton interiors.

Matthew Bromley
Matthew Bromley

Another illustrator with a penchant for skulls is London-based Matthew Bromley. Though his more colourful works are definitely cuter than those of his French peers, nonetheless they’re still just as weird and wonderful – focusing on goblins, skulls and, yes, tube socks.

As well as the 2D wall works, we’re promised the venue will also house some surreal cardboard sculptures. On the opening night, 21 June, the venue will team up with printing and publishing house Hato Press for a one-night-only print shop, selling risoprints to celebrate the immersive exhibition.

LUCAS at work

Hot Mess opens on 21 June at Queen of Hoxton, 1 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London EC2A

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