"Hipster! Fuck off!" reads the graffiti on a paint-splashed wall in Shoreditch, captured by renowned photographer Dougie Wallace who has been described by some as "Britain's modern-day Hogarth".
The statement kind of sets the scene for his new series, East Ended, which explores gentrification in and around London's East End. On show at Gallery 46 in Whitechapel this month, the bright and brash images of colourful characters set against the backdrop of local street art and its political commentary reveal just how much the area has transformed in recent years.
Of course, graffiti used to be bad news for the area, indicating decay and lowered property values. Today, it's celebrated as spray-painted walls signify edginess and culture. Artists who used to hone their craft hooded, hidden and nocturnal, are now commissioned by big-name brands to decorate entire buildings for ad campaigns. Think Ben Eine as a prime example.
Celebrated for his use of colour and hectic composition, Wallace's series follows his earlier work where he depicts everyday scenes through an honest and sometimes unforgiving lens.
Alongside the exhibition, which launches on 6 March, there's a new book of the same name with an accompanying essay by author Dr Paul Lowe, discussing the history of the area and why Wallace is poised to capture it in its current state of disarray. As Lowe states in The Age of Shoreditchification, Wallace's "dazzling vision, powered by a multiplicity of instantaneous flashes of light, subverts all sense of close and distant, transforming the field of vision into a purely photographic space where the sense of picture plane dissolves: any concept of near or far becomes irrelevant".