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Thames, Tits and Teeth Blondey McCoy
A preview of Thames, Tits and TeethCourtesy of Blondey McCoy

Blondey McCoy celebrates Soho’s seediness in new show

Opening tomorrow, Thames, Tits and Teeth explores the West End and ‘good tits’ – here, the artist tells us more about it

“I’m very fidgety,” says Blondey McCoy who, at just 18, is doing more than more than most high-achieving people double his age. He (somehow) straddles jobs as a pro skater and a member of the Palace Wayward Boys Choir skate gang, a model for Palace and a designer for his own brand Thames London, and as an artist. “I need to have about 20 projects on at one time or I go totally mad. It’s a blessing and a curse.”

McCoy may be fidgety but, as is evident from his creative output, that’s no bad thing. Tomorrow sees the opening of the polymath’s third solo show at the Riflemaker contemporary art gallery in Soho, his favourite place in the world. Titled Thames, Tits and Teeth the show, in his own words, “explores the idea of negative space and good tits” and brings together ten windows – or light boxes wired with UVB lights – that act as windows into the “obsessive and fantastic” area.

The show reflects two recurring themes in McCoy’s work – “old nudie magazines” and the place he’s grown to love so much. “I pretty much grew up in the West End,” he explains, “I associate it with my childhood and what I’m doing now, which is growing up and turning into an old man.” His last show, HOME IS THE HERO, similarly explored these themes with collages incorporating 70s porn, vinyl skateboard stickers, daubs of paint and odes to London. 

It’s clear how deep McCoy’s love for the city (the West End, specifically) runs – from the way he talks about the place and how, sat outside The Cross Keys in Covent Garden, he speaks so fondly of its inhabitants, several of whom we encounter during the interview. From the bodyguard of a rich, peg-legged old man who lives around the corner to “cellphone chick”, a girl who skates (at breakneck speed) up and down Endell Street while talking on the phone.

“It’s celebrating that,” he says, gesticulating at cellphone chick as she hurtles past us. “It’s got more weird shit than any other square mile of the world…”

In a world of social media kids with thousands of followers but nothing to say, it would be easy to question the legitimacy of McCoy’s art. But when you speak to him, it’s obvious that he’s not creating for ‘likes’, but for a much more authentic reason. “I do this because I have to,” he says. “Everyone has one that thing they do to stop them getting stressed out. So I fucking have to do it.”

Thames, Tits and Teeth is open for one day only at Riflemaker, Beak Street, Soho on May 27th

Vote for Blondey McCoy in the Dazed 100 here