It is always a real pleasure to welcome Dan Kitchener back to Bristol, and his work is absolutely astonishing, but for Upfest to allocate this wall to him is unfortunate to say the least. At best, perhaps the narrow space where the wall is located reflects the backstreets of a ‘Tokyoesque’ scene, but the detail and interest in this wonderful mural just can’t be fully appreciated from the street, and it is near impossible to photograph. Rant over.
These busy scenes that Dan Kitchener creates have a strong feel of ‘Bladerunner’ about them, if you know what I mean. Dark, wet, oriental streets with neon advertising and car headlights providing an intoxicating atmosphere and people with opened umbrellas busily scurrying across the traffic. Dan Kitchener gives us a complete urban nighttime landscape.
When you look closer at the work, you can see how effective the spray paint is for creating the reflections in the wet tarmac, but also in offering great detail in the neon lighting. There is a simplicity about Dan Kitchener’s style that allows your brain to work hard and fully create the scene. It is like an illusion, yes, an illusion that tricks your brain into thinking this is a real scene, a photograph or a memory. Clever stuff. Really evocative.
It is possible to photograph the wall from the roof of the bank, but I have not yet been in the right place at the right time to achieve this, and for most passers by this is similarly an impossibility. Another outstandingly brilliant piece from Dan Kitchener for Upfest.