Pure Evil’s latest limited edition release is a real British beauty. ‘Pearly King in Battersea Park’ is a signed giclee print on 300gsm Hannemuhle paper from an edition of 100. The print depicts a traditional Pearly King, with splendid spray paint butterfly wings, looking at his reflection in a Battersea Park river.
Pearly Kings and Queens originated in the 19th century and are an organised charitable tradition of the working class culture in London. Their founder Henry Croft was born and raised in a Victorian workhouse orphanage. He left at 13 to become a road sweeper but became enamoured with the street fruit sellers (costermongers) and their flashy suits, decorated with pearls down the seam of their trousers. Croft went a step further and covered an entire suit with pearl buttons, drawing crowds and collecting pennies for the orphanage where he grew up.
This nostalgic print celebrates London’s rich history with its diverse sub cultures, including Pearly Kings and Street Artists – both with their own distinctive style, iconography and slang. Apparently, in Pearly King rhyming slang ‘Bunny’ (Pure Evil’s signature) means ‘talk’ (taken from ‘rabbit and pork’).
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