There were many factors propelling me towards Nelly Duff – Richard is a customer, with pieces both at home and in his coffee shops; then I read an article about how street artists were leaning towards galleries more these days; finally, wandering down East London’s Victorian cottage-lined Columbia Road, the marquee lights of the intriguing-looking shop caught my eye, even through the chaos of the flower market.
And once I’d set foot inside and laid eyes on some of the affordable artworks, I knew Nelly Duff was going to relieve me of a chunky wad of cash!
Nelly Duff is a small space on Columbia Road, exhibiting and selling editions and original pieces from artists at the cutting edge of the Street, Tattoo and Graphic art worlds. With some of the biggest names in Street art to rising stars, from Barcelona to Baltimore, there’s an eclectic mix, and something for everyone.
The price range is wide – there are some investment pieces with hefty price tags (such as genuine Banksy pieces), but actually the majority of artworks are very affordable – on my last visit I picked up three prints for just £120:
‘I Like It, What Is It?’ by Anthony Burrill – £40
‘Uprisings’ by Kozyndan – £25 (look really closely at this one – all is not as it seems…)
‘Weather Print’ by Mark Pawson – £55 (this one is beautiful, with iridescent paper and bright hues)
Street Art prints gained real interest when David Cameron gifted President Obama a canvas by street artist Ben Eine a few years back. You can buy your very own Ben Eine masterpiece at Nelly Duff, if you are so inclined (from £395) – or keep an eye out for his giant typographic letters on garage doors around East London.
So who is Nelly Duff? If we refer to the notoriously cryptic Cockney Rhyming Slag, Nelly Duff translates as ‘Life’ – ‘Duff’ rhymes with ‘Puff’ or breath of ‘Life’, which reflects the passionately life-loving ethos of the Nelly Duff gallery!
You can shop online or in store. All limited editions come with a unique certificate of authenticity, and Nelly Duff can help with framing if you need too (though I actually used IKEA frames for some of my pieces, and Acrylidex for a perspex box frame for The Toaster, a gift for Richard).
I’ve got my eye on Pure Evil for a future purchase – Richard already has Prince Philip’s Nightmare – and in fact all Pure Evil’s prints are super striking to behold.
Chris Bourke produces some awesome tattoo-inspired stuff that I quite fancy too…
‘Heart Waves’ by Chris Bourke – £45
‘This One’s For You’ by Chris Bourke – £75