A graffiti tribute to Caroline Flack has appeared on Leake Street

By Jonathan Rose
March 6 2020, 17.00

A graffiti tribute to Caroline Flack appeared last week on the spray-painted bricks of Waterloo’s Leake Street Tunnel.

The artwork portrays a larger-than-life image grinning at passers-by and the words: ‘A tribute to those lost too young – RIP Caroline Flack’.

Hugh Whitaker, 24, aka Humor Street Art, a full-time artist from Kent, created the portrait.

Humor’s inspiration for the graffiti portrait came when he lost his best mate, Emmett Gillah, aka Nice, to suicide five years ago.

Humor said: “I potentially would not be painting today if I had not lost my best mate. Every piece I paint is in honour of him.

“From such a tragic loss, I have found something I am truly addicted to.”

One year on from his death, Humor painted a tribute to Mr Gillah to raise awareness for the issue of mental health and suicide.

Humor decided to paint Caroline Flack as it has become tradition for him to paint a portrait of lost friends and family and he has witnessed how much joy the artwork has brought to people close by.

When discussing why he chose to paint Caroline Flack in particular, Humor said: “She was such a positive figure in the eyes of the public.

“The loss of her, and under the circumstances, was so very shocking.”

It took Humor around 7 hours in total to finish the street art using grey-scale spray-paints, about half the time it takes to create portraits with colour.

The bottom right corner of the artwork lists first his best friend, Nice, then several other artists known well throughout the street art scene who have passed at young ages including Pow, Phed, Edwin, Lover, Trip and Kbag.

Leake Street became infamous in 2008 when street artist Banksy organised the Cans Festival, turning the street into an art exhibition.

Photo credit: Jonathan Rose

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