One of the absolute highlights of Cheltenham Paint Festival 2019 was this extraordinarily complex and quite brilliant stencil by Johnman. I believe it is called ‘the viaduct’ and it brings in to play Johnman’s interest in trains, from the stencilled backdrop of tickets to the girl in the foregraound looking out over the viaduct below.
This is a hugely complex stencil so beautifully executed and full of high drama. How badly do you want to see the girl’s face? Is she happy? Is she sad? Who is she? the whole thing is deliciously mysterious and I found it hard to drag myself away from it on the day I saw it. Actually there is a clue on the tickets following the literary theme of the Paint Festival this is Hermione watching the Hogwarts Express from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. It is absolutely incredible how he has stencilled over his stencil, but maintained the background through the grey. I am still trying to work out how he did this.
It is in seeing pieces like this that reminds me why I care so much about street art. Johnman has gone to incredible lengths to produce this work and give Cheltenham a magnificent piece of free art for its citizens and visitors to enjoy, a landmark both for street art and Harry Potter enthusiasts alike. You can find out more about Johnman the artist on his very nice website. Top drawer stuff.