Well, despite unpredictable weather and a few downpours, three 18-hour shifts & not a ladder in sight – Nelson Street in Bristol is once again transformed. It was quite overwhelming to see & paint alongside some of my friends again.
Click the image below to activate the panorama.
This method of making a painting has a posh, technical name; anamorphic projection OR an image distorted in such a way that it’s only visible when looked at from a specific point. I first trialled distorting the plane when I painted the smaller scale version at De Buurvrouw, in Amsterdam last year. The void I filled then was much smaller, but the finished effect is almost identical (although previously I hadn’t used the floor).
Painting a wider angle of view that surrounds you means that the piece is very difficult to photograph in its entirety by normal means (as in the first image above). The viewpoint is so close to the painting that the viewer must turn their head in order to see the extremities of the piece. It isn’t the easiest painting to photograph, especially with a mobile phone. Several photographs have to be joined together, similar to how we used to photograph long masterpieces, sticking prints to make ‘connectors’ or ‘joiners’.
This painting was created without any projector or line, the only item that assisted me was a tent pole I found under the staircase, very straight and good for marking up on the floor. The viewpoint mark (the sweet spot) was painted discreetly on the curb, safe enough distance from the road, although the absolute viewpoint had to be 5’6½” off the ground, the height of my eye level. This proves unsuitable for anybody shorter as they would have to rely on somebody else, or something else, to help them achieve the correct position.
I was advising people of the same height to ‘stand proud on the X’.
The piece’s style has now forged a new mission in my work, not only seeking to puzzle the viewer with illusion. This kind of work counts on the fact that you are really there seeing the piece in the flesh, out in the wild, its experiential. Graffiti masterpieces were never too easy to find, for good reason. The halls of fame were secreted some way off the beaten track to deter loose-lips and unwanted ‘support’ groups. Nowadays the halls of fame are found on the streets.
Stand in the right place for long enough and you too can become a hero.
The following sketches were made while I was at the wall. Even if all the walls have been sketched and plotted, the process is still very much done by hand and eye. This makes sketching the projected chequerboard beforehand futile. Some of the concepts I had prior to painting proved to be far too ambitious during wet weather – the upstairs drains were blocked and filthy rainwater soup flowed over the floor for some hours.
Design compromises had to be made for the existence of several bins, permanently positioned directly in the line of sight.
The Guardian referred to my piece as a ‘magic ghetto blaster…’ read article >
If you’re visiting, or just curious – download the artist map from here.
Inkie, Shab, Cheo, Lokey, Soker, KTF, Sickboy, Jago, Dicy, Feek, Acer, Eco Paris & Xenz, Lucy & Matt, Mark, Stik, SheOne, Chase, Atlas, Mear One, Lyken & Mouse – for painting/banter/smoking/dancing/drinking
SPQR & Matt the superbuilder – for unparalleled support
Emma, Steve, Josh, Ronald & Hannah – for volunteering
Ruth, Johnno, Sarah, Dave, Sofi & Emma – for working hard & being nice
John Nation – for knowing & being
Sharp & the GF 555 – for making a dope portable