Guerilla Artist’s Three-Year Art Exploration Of Toilet Door Graffiti – The ‘original Social Media’

Celebrated artist adopts pseudonym for ambitious new work, which reflects the ‘purest form of free speech’ – the toilet door.

Karma Khazi has announced a new, multimedia show – taking place in early 2024 – that celebrates the capital’s toilet graffiti, having visited 250 pub toilets in five days armed with a camera, to capture what he calls “the final frontier of free speech.”

Sh!t Show is an exploration of ‘social commentary’ the artist discovered after visiting 250 pub toilets in five days and photographing the graffiti scrawled on the walls, doors and ceilings.

The centrepiece of the show will be a single, black door with 63 pieces of graffiti, all pulled from different toilet cubicles and each with their own unique view on the world.

Other pieces in the show include 63 individual canvases reflecting the graffiti’s messages, fibreglass pub signs and other sculptures and art to bring the collection close to 100 pieces in total.

The show will extend beyond physical art – music created at Courtyard Studios (Radiohead, Gaz Coombes, The Stranglers) and mixed at the legendary Abbey Road will soundtrack the exhibition, and a short film by double-BAFTA winning filmmaker Lee Phillips sheds light on the work and its origins.

KARMA KHAZI from Lee Phillips on Vimeo.

It is an idea borne of the modern age, when debates over free speech and cancel culture pervade, and we have an unprecedented audience for our opinions.

And yet, as Karma Khazi explains, the toilet might be the only place where we truly express ourselves.

“You’re in this private realm and it’s the one place where anything goes,” he says. “You can say what you want without being conscious of a backlash. Those marks that people leave behind are typically somebody’s most impulsive expression.”

“It’s kind of the final frontier of free speech. Even with social media, it’s not that easy to just say what’s on your mind any more. Something you said 10 years ago can be brought back up and you’ll get into trouble for it, and suddenly you have to apologise and go back and delete everything.”

“When you go into these cubicles, you sit down on the toilet; you look at the back of the toilet door and you see all the social commentary people have written.

“I’ve always wanted to make a conceptual exhibition based on the back of toilets doors. It’s like the original social media.”