Graffiti marriage proposal, Shoreditch
One night I was painting a fairly dubious wall late in the night and a guy stopped me, quite excited and flustered. It often happens when you’re painting – people want to chat – and being right in the middle of something I wasn’t really up for the distraction. However his enthusiasm wasn’t taking my hints so I listened to him while I gassed the wall with chrome.
This guy had just arrived from Paris and his girlfriend was meeting him the following day. He had booked them a special romantic weekend, and had been walking around all day racking his brains for an amazing way to propose to her, “something different, something special, something unique”. As he saw me painting it hit him like lightning and asked me to paint a “Marry Me?” piece for her ready for her arrival the following day.
Still in my haste I took the story in but didn’t really think much of doing illegal favours for complete strangers until I got home and thought how lovely and sweet that would be. I was really touched by his energy and passion to make his proposal perfect for this girl he obviously adored. With that in mind I grabbed a copper burner and told him where I was going to leave his message.
For those who haven’t been there; outside Shoreditch Overground station is an old, brick railway tunnel. The place is a mess and its bombed to shit – I’ve been stopped by the Land Sheriffs before and had to leg it before the BTP turned up so its not legal, which means the walls are covered in tags and quick chrome dubs. Unless your eyes are accustomed to looking at graffiti, you would hardly take any individual pieces in as its just so visually noisy, but its well lit, unthreatening and very East London as a location.
There are two hoardings underneath, where they came from I have never figured out and weirdly over the years theres become an unwritten rule – one is for fly posters and the other for graffiti. There was something nice on the art board so I painted “Will you marry me Fedwa?” with a big question mark on the fly poster’s spot. I texted to tell him it was there and just hoped none of the pasteup guys would take it out before his grand plan. The following day I get this text message
Congratulations to these two lovestruck strangers, Abdou and Fedwa <3 x
What was funny was I put this photo on my facebook with a short explanation about the story, and the crazy thing was it went a bit viral. So many likes and shares then it was the top thing on reddit and while sitting at work I had newspapers calling me up asking for more detail so they could run the story, it was pretty jokes. Check out the press links below:
London Evening Standard
(although I never managed to grab a newspaper to see it in print)