3183. Cheltenham 2020 (1)

The first of this year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival pieces is from the tireless John D’oh with this clever Alice in Wonderland reference. As is often the case with John D’oh’s work, this piece is having a bit of a swipe at McDonalds and other corporate fast food  outlets and the impact they have on obesity and poor health.

John D'oh, Paint Festival 2020, Cheltenham, September 2020
John D’oh, Paint Festival 2020, Cheltenham, September 2020

In this scene, a rather plump Alice is being tempted to ‘drink me, eat me, buy one get one free, go large for 30p, free soft drink with every large meal’. Seeing it like this in a Dinseyfication drills home the message rather well. Many more from John D’oh to come from the paint festival.

3115. Frogmore Street (11)

It would seem that JPS has been visiting Bristol and his home, Weston-super-Mare recently if his Instagram account is anything to go by. On a wall that has been home to a JPS piece for a long time now, this new, and rather fantastic stencil arrived about week or two ago.

JPS, Frogmore Street, Bristol, August 2020
JPS, Frogmore Street, Bristol, August 2020

The piece features two little boys, one of them pulling a knife out on the other, both encircled in a ‘don’t do it’ sign. The slightly taller boy is gently restraining the one with the knife. This is a poignant anti knife crime piece and conveys the message sensitively.

JPS, Frogmore Street, Bristol, August 2020
JPS, Frogmore Street, Bristol, August 2020

This is JPS at his absolute best. A strong message conveyed with tenderness and love but not avoiding the hard issue in hand. Using children to depict such foolishness is clever because it helps us to see how stupid violence is and how it looks utterly out of context in these youngsters – shouldn’t it be so for everyone?

JPS, Frogmore Street, Bristol, July 2015
JPS, Frogmore Street, Bristol, July 2015

3113. Purdown HAA Battery (8)

Yabadaba doo! John D’oh is having a little bit of fun up at Purdown Battery with these Fred Flintstone and Barbey Rubble stencils. Certainly these make a bit of a change from his more political stuff and a change is as good as a rest as they say.

John D'oh, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2020
John D’oh, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2020

Two of the stencils in full colour are of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, while the third is a little bit disturbing depicting a ‘caveman’ body with a Fred Flintstone head carrying a tray of fast food – it messes with my head a little.

John D'oh, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2020
John D’oh, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2020

I love it that Barney Rubble, the least rebellious person one can think of, is holding a spray can in a kind of victory salute – although I think he has too many fingers for the style of cartoon (a small matter). Great fun pieces, beautifully executed.

3107. Purdown HAA Battery (7)

John D’oh’s busy summer just keeps on delivering time and time again, and the theme of his work continues to be dominated by coronavirus. This piece is a warning to those who might appear hypocritical having clapped for the NHS and then failing to be careful as restrictions ease.

John D'oh, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2020
John D’oh, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2020

The warning has already proven to be a sensible one as we are seeing localised increases in infection rates across the UK and beyond. The simple single layer stencil shows Walt Disney’s Dopey enjoying a pint of beer. I am guessing that the Aberdeen football club players are wishing they had heeded such a warning.

3095. Purdown HAA Battery (5)

Playful as ever, John D’oh gives us this topical and relevant political piece featuring none other than our dismal ‘leader’ pushing the ‘back to work’ messaging with a little reference to Dick Turpin and his fellow outlaws. Such is the speed of current coronavirus events, and the ineptitude of our administration, that this recent piece is almost out of date as Boris seems to be preparing the nation for a second lock down.

John D'oh, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2020
John D’oh, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2020

I am always amazed at how quickly John D’oh manages to conceive, create and spray his pieces. He is a modern chronicler of political events and his vehicle is street art. I like this piece, and there is more to come from JD’s visit to Purdown Battery soon.

3001. St George skate park (11)

We live in strange and sometimes farcical times. This rather nice stencil from John D’oh at St George skate park satirises one of the more surreal moments of Trump’s utterly catastrophic presidency. How do Johnson and Trump keep their jobs in the light of such gross incompetence and stupidity? It is a mystery. If I behaved in the way they do, I would have been fired a long time ago.

John D'oh, St George, Bristol, June 2020

So Americans, injecting disinfectant might be worth a try, you know it makes sense huh? And now we see Jair Bolsenaro, another populist leader, equally driven by self-interest and fame entering the competition to see who can manage the coronavirus epidemic the worst. These leaders love being at the top of international league tables that it matters not what the rankings are about. How did it come to this? Thank you John D’oh for reminding us with your running narrative about the desperate state of world leadership.

2990. St George skate park (10)

Another artist who has been really busy lately is John D’oh whose running commentary on all aspects of the coronavirus epidemic has given us a record of events through the medium of street art. This way of capturing contemporary events has been a major aspect of art through the ages, and although much of the art is ephemeral some remains and helps to tell future generations what happened in the past and where they came from. John D’oh’s stories are important ones to tell.

John D'oh, St George, Bristol, June 2020
John D’oh, St George, Bristol, June 2020

This lovely stencil on the side of a ramp at St George skate park, celebrates the fabulous and unrelenting hard work of NHS workers through the pandemic with more than a little nod to Wolverine of X-Men fame. Slightly sinister, slightly edgy but with a great heart. A nice piece from John D’oh.

2988. Brunel Way bridge (34)

Unfortunately the photographs of this fine stencil by Madderdoit simply don’t do the piece justice, which is a pity because this is the first piece I have knowingly seen from this Bristol artist. How did that happen?

Madderdoit, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Madderdoit, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020

The column piece features a woman wearing a blue face mask, which is I’m sure to become an iconic symbol for the year 2020. I see some similarities in technique to Stephen Quick’s work, which is of course a good thing. I love surprise pieces like this one, they keep me interested (not that that is difficult). I’d love to see more from Madderdoit.

2972. Horfield skate park (6)

Political commentary is never far away when John D’oh is around, and this recent stencil at the Horfield skate park nicely sums up the disgusting hypocisy demonstrated by Boris and Cummings. Just jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, irresponsible, selfish and self-centered behaviour. Although the headlines may have receded, the anger hasn’t. Boris has shown himself to be a deceitful and manipulative Prime Minister, and I find it extraordinary that anyone would still line up to defend him (although the reliable toadies seem to fight over this space). His odious disregard for other people is beyond staggering and the sooner he gets ousted the better.

John D'oh, Horfield skate park, Bristol, May 2020
John D’oh, Horfield skate park, Bristol, May 2020

I suspect that Boris, being Boris would probably look at this stencil and feel rather flattered, I mean it is a picture of him as a Moses figure, how could he not be excited by that. Well done John D’oh once again for reminding us what a terrible person Boris Johnson really is. I will not move on.

2964. M32 Spot (71)

I love this for lots of reasons. Firstly because it is by John D’oh and secondly because it is a stencil, but mainly because it is overtly critical of the Wetherspoon owner Tim Martin, one of the most odious characters to have emerged from the Brexit debate. This man ranks as one of the supreme self-interested businessmen who puts making money for his business and for himself above the interests of the country. This attitude was exposed in the early days of lock down when Martin was calling for leniency for pubs and to allow them to remain open. Sod the virus eh?

John D'oh, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2020
John D’oh, M32 Spot, Bristol, May 2020

Neatly placed on one of the columns under the M32, this piece is a beacon of hope, in that in poking fun at Wetherspoon it reinforces the responsible approach to protecting ourselves from coronavirus. I applaud this political commentary piece.