Decapitator Hits East London

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Culture-Jamming Decapitator Hacks London Ads
by Jenna Wortham
January 3, 2008

Renegade artist and head-hunter the Decapitator has been bombarding the streets of London with a signature style of graffiti tag – eerily removing the heads from major adverts around town, replacing them with ghastly, gory stumps. (Before and after images of a gruesomely guillotined model in a print ad, below).

Decapitator Hits East London

Based on the images uploaded to his/her Flickr stream, “The East London Decapitator” as he/she has been dubbed, is largely striking mainstream advertisements, like this (my personal fav) High School Musical 2 poster.

The Decapitator’s culture jamming pieces are reminiscent of the style of popaganda artist Ron English, whose seminal work in billboard subvertising involved covering mainstream advertisements with his own art.

The mutation of art into other forms of art is always fascinating — even if the recipients aren’t always willing, as was in the case with New York-based graffiti defacer, known as the Splasher. Splasher became infamous this summer for tossing paint onto the work of well-known street artists like Shepard Fairy and Momo, citing controversial claims that their work was gentrified, banal and irreparably appropriated and commodified.