With one month to go before the referendum to decide on whether Great Britain should stay in the European Union, things are hotting up. This is an extraordinary commission from a group who are encouraging voters to remain in the EU. The wall is where the Bruno Smoky ‘burning house‘ piece was.
I was lucky enough to see the artist working on this piece on my way to work yesterday morning. I stopped and chatted with him, while he painted. He is Felix (FLX) Braun, one of the original Bristol street artists and author of ‘children of the can‘ a seminal book cataloging the birth and growth of Bristol street art. Felix is one half of the Paintsmiths who created this tribute to Mibsy.
We had a great discussion about the tagging that seems to be everywhere in Bristol at the moment, and he views it very much as part of the development of the whole graffiti art scene. He does a lot of work with youth groups, often from difficult backgrounds, and teaches them to spray and develop their skills. I believe he also works with art students at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
The piece itself is a deliberately provocative and grotesque image of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson kissing…so much crazy hair! The intention is for the image, and others like it, to go viral, thus reaching and encouraging young voters to register and vote on the day of the referendum. It is known that younger people are much more pro EU than people over 60, but are less likely to vote.
I will be playing my part by using the limited means I have on digital media to reach as many people as possible with this message.
Technically this is a great piece by a great artist, and although a commission, has all the hallmarks of the ‘Bristol thing’ about it. I love it.