The artist needs no introduction, but for those of you not so familiar with some of the bigger names in street art, this is an incredible geisha piece by Dan Kitchener or Dank as he is sometimes known.
Everything about this piece is close to perfection. The location and wall, the proportions and of course the artwork. The parked car at the bottom left is the only blemish, and even that has little impact on the magnificence of the mural.
It seems that Dan Kitchener never stops. Every time I surf Instagram, he seems to have yet another new mural or canvass piece on the go, most of which are strongly themed with these Japanese street scenes, and for me have a touch of ‘Bladerunner’ about them.
To combine the geisha with the street scene is a clever shift, bringing together two elements that he loves to paint into one piece. The top half features a white-faced portrait of a geisha fully decked out with her amazing hair decorations and headdress.
Underneath the beautiful lady is a street scene, with neon signs and wet weather, of course, that Dan Kitchener captures so well and presents us with something full of bustle and atmosphere.
A brilliant piece and fabulous gift to the people of Weston-super-Mare.
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.
Some more archive material. There can only be one reason why this outstanding piece by Dan Kitchner never made it into Natural Adventures, and that is that I can’t remember exactly where in Easton this wall is. No matter, I have overcome this problem with giving it a general ‘Easton’ label.
The wall is split into a long landscape part with cars in a wet street scene, and a portrait section filling an old bricked-up window space featuring one of his trademark pedestrians with an open umbrella.
There is something so incredibly atmospheric about these pieces, and living in such a wet country they really resonate with me. They also remind me a little of the original Bladerunner film with its oriental element.
I first saw this a few years back, but never stopped to photograph it. I found it again last year and decided not to make the same mistake. If only I’d written down the road name too!
I knew about this beautiful Dan Kitchener piece, because I’d seen it a couple of times on Instagram, so it was ‘front of mind’ when I eventually made it to Brick Lane. The piece, on a perfect wall was towards the southern end of Brick Lane, and although it has been there since mid-March was in remarkably good nick.
It is impossible not to admire Dan Kitchener’s work and his geisha pictures really are sublime. The piece is awash with colour and the hair decorations are so beautifully crafted, the street lights behind creating movement. Probably a ‘quick one’ from Dan Kitchener, but a real gem nonetheless.
Probably not seen by many visitors to Upfest because of its location, this magnificent piece by Dan Kitchener was sited on yet another of this year’s new walls. It has to be said that the Upfest organisers, led by Steve and Emma have done an incredible job with finding new locations for artists to paint.
Although I had a map of where all the artists would be, I kind of stumbled upon Dan Kitchener at work. There were very few other visitors watching on, unlike some of the more central venues.
I went back to the site a week or two after Upfest to be sure that the scaffolding was down and only then could really appreciate the magnitude of this piece. I love Dan Kitchener’s work, and although the style is familiar, it is the little details in his pieces that I find so compelling.
The night sky alight with neon signs in a Tokyoesque city and rain falling on the road and pavements that reflect the signs so beautifully. The whole thing is heaving with atmosphere, bustle, dampness and nighttime.
For me though, my favourite bits are the individual characters under their umbrellas, and Dan Kitchener usually positions one of these closer to the foreground to provide a focal point for the scene. An absolute masterpiece.
It is impossible not to marvel at the work of Dan Kitchener, and the incredible atmospheric cityscapes he produces. One of the other things that he works on are his ‘speed paintings’ which are insanely brilliant photorealistic pictures – I strongly recommend that you take a look at his Instagram account to check these out.
I took these pictures last year when I was working two days a week in London and used my overnight stays as an opportunity to go to Shoreditch or Camden Town to check out the street/graffiti art.
This amazing piece by Dan Kitchener was actually hiding a little secret, which is pretty much invisible until you get close up to the piece. In amongst the cars and lights in this street scene there are three masks by Gregos.
Ther masks are different sizes and have three different expressions. Dan Kitchener has sprayed over these sensitively, but I am not sure if this was some kind of collaboration or if the masks had been there and Dan Kitchener simply sprayed over them at a later date. I’m not sure it matters too much, because on this wall you have such unbelievable creativity and two for the price of one.
Another wonderful piece from the summer when I took a trip to Camden Town. This work by Dan Kitchener ticks all the boxes as far as I am concerned. A colourful wet street scene with cars and umbrellas demonstrating the amazing talent of this street artist.
As discussed previously when posting about Dan Kitchener pieces, it is all in the detail. From a distance the piece looks a bit busy and confused. But take a closer look, and the picture takes over.
Crowds of pedestrians going about their business lit by the bright neon signs and street lighting, and the cars on the right hand side of the mural, blurred as they speed along. The perfect street mural so atmospheric.
I really did enjoy my recent tour of Camden Town, and one of the first pieces I saw was this lovely Dan Kitchener work in a tiny car park area off the Kentish Town Road. The three walls were festooned with street art, but this piece had pride of place along the entire length of one wall.
Whenever I see Dan Kitchener’s works I am reminded of the book by Judith Kerr, ‘the tiger who came to tea‘. I can’t really explain why, but there is a street picture in the book which I think of every time I see Dan’s work.
I can’t really get enough of his extraordinary murals, which is a good thing really, because they are everywhere…more to come soon.
My favourite piece of the 2015 Upfest was the incredible geisha by Dan Kitchener on the wall of the Salvation Army shop. It was fantastic then to have DanK return to Bristol this year. His spot was slightly off the beaten track, and I didn’t find him until the Sunday when it was all a bit drizzly.
Dan Kitchener had pretty much stopped spraying for a while and was leaning over the lift and chatting to a friend when I took a couple of the pictures. He really wasn’t too impressed with the weather.
The piece, once it was revealed, turned out to be something of a reflection of the weather in which it was produced. In fact much of Dan Kitchener’s work creates the effect of wet night time scenes viewed through a car windscreen…or that is how it feels to me.
Looking closely at the woman with the umbrella, allows you to see that part of the picture away from all the distraction around it, and it is just beautiful. Step back and add in all the bright lights and you have the most vibrant scene.
I am always so impressed with his work, and I could look at these scenes he creates for hours, studying all the details and effects. It is hard to believe that he paints these things with spray cans. Yet another artist at the very top of his game.
The last thing I was expecting to see on a day out in W-s-M was a large Dan Kitchener piece.I don’t know how this can have passed me by. It would appear that he was creating this piece a week or two before Upfest 2016 at the Hazy Days Music & Arts Festival.
The following quote from Kitchener’s Instagram feed gives some background to the fabulous mural:
“‘Metropolis’ – Here’s my finished mural from Hazy Days Music & Arts Festival in Weston Super Mare, an amazing event, amazing organisation and a lovely place by the sea! I love being able to paint my more fantasy style illustrations on walls, and this future geisha assassin, looking out over the future Tokyo metropolis was an image I have had for a while and was waiting for the right wall and time to paint it! The geisha is based on my shoots with Ayumi LaNoire. The wall was all freehand spray paint, as usual! No projections or tracing, or stencils, just pure freehand”
Yet another wonderful surprise for me, and a glimpse at the extraordinary talents of Dan Kitchener. The images he creates are so full of atmosphere and narrative. I am always reminded of ‘Blade Runner’ when I see his works.