Mystery solved. Regular readers will know that I am really quite uncomfortable with posting pieces if I don’t know who created them. Occasionally I post them anyway because I don’t think I’ll ever find out who did them. In this case, I have held on in with the firm conviction that I would find the artist. And I have.
I recently bought John D’oh’s excellent book ‘Street Art and Graffiti‘ and there on pages 40 and 41 is this wonderful stencil piece. These photographs were taken this October, but I have some much older ones somewhere in my archive. The original installation had a little red word ‘why’ to the left of the piece and it was placed on 16 November 2015 as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Paris terror attacks of 13 November that same month.
There is a little shelf beneath the piece which had little battery operated flickering candle lights to give the piece a shrine appearance. Beautifully conceived and executed. This is a poignant and touching piece from a great Bristol artist who puts a lot of thought, time, energy, passion and effort in to his work.
I was thrilled to find out it was by John D’oh. Good things come to those who wait (and buy books).
Often humorous and always tinged with a bit of edge, John D’oh’s stencils can be found on walls all around Bristol (and Cheltenham) and of course at Upfest. This year’s ‘official’ piece was a double-header, the first part of which was a witty corruption of the Infinite Monkey Theory.
The second board is another pithy pop at Brexit, featuring Noel Edmond’s Deal or no Deal as its headline. I absolutely love these topical political stencils, and look forward to his injects about the place.
Coincidentally, his new book arrived yesterday and I can’t recommend highly it enough, it is one of the best graffiti/street art books that I have read in a while, intelligently written and full of photographs and commentary on his own work. Brilliant.
I was looking for the Andrew Burns Colwill piece (to follow soon) which I knew was a little off the beaten track for Upfest 2018 and spotted this brilliant little stencil by John D’oh on the wall of The Black Cat pub on the corner of West Street and Westbourne Grove.
When I see small ‘hidden’ gems like this, I wonder how many Upfest visitors might have missed it in their quest for the ‘marquee’ artists – I don’t suppose it matters really, but as a street art hunter, I like to work hard for my trophies, it is what I do. This is a really accomplished little stencil and one that really chimes for me – a great little find – Thank you John D’oh.
I have a feeling that this piece was stencilled by John D’oh during last year’s Upfest, but because it is on a shutter, I just haven’t seen it as I’m not usually in Bedminster outside normal working hours. For those not familiar with David Attenborough (is there anyone on this blue planet?) the phrase used by John D’oh is an affectionate ribbing of one of Attenborough’s much used phrases, spoken in whispered tones.
The stencil is very typical of John D’oh’s work, although in this instance devoid of politics. There is something a little unfortunate about the monkey in the top right glancing down at Attenborough – his face appears to be a graffiti cock and bals, which is what I hought it was the first time I saw it. I’m not sure if this is deliberate or not, but once pointed ut it is difficult not to see it (sorry). Nice work again from John D’oh.
I recently found out, from reading an interview with John D’oh, that he tends to create these single layer political stencils for places like The Bearpit, where their lifespan may at times be only a day or two. His more complex multi-layered work is reserved for walls where longevity is more likely…an utterly understandable position.
This piece is highly critical of Theresa May and the growing problem of homelessness and rough sleeping that is plaguing towns and cities across the UK. I really like the work he does and the way he uses his art to express political ideas. Much of his artwork tends to encourage ‘embellishment’ from passers by, and this one is no exception. The ‘cock and balls’ motif being put to good use.
Who doesn’t love Salvador Dali and especially a greyscale multi-layer stencil tucked away in a dark alleyway by John D’oh? OK, so a kind of rhetorical question designed to answer itself. This is a brilliant piece of work. A stencil artist, a surrealist and a cat…it doesn’t get much better.
In my view, John D’oh is a highly talented, prolific and perhaps slightly overlooked artist on the local scene. His pieces, small and large, simple and complex are almost taken for granted, but each is a little gem. It is so utterly worth stopping to look at and admire his work if you get a chance. I doff my cap in his general direction…wherever he is.