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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
What I love about John D’os work is that it lays down a historical (usually political) narrative of our time. This is the second version of this stencil in the area, I posted the other one a while back, and it records with an element of humour the madness of the run on loo paper at the start of lock down. As an additional note, you can’t move in supermarkets for bog roll at the moment, so what was the panic all about?
I like the retro look of the piece and of course the setting in amongst an array of contemporary tagging. More to come from John D’oh who was a little busier than some other artists during full lock down, taking his allotted hour of exercise on the streets and walls we know so well.
Combining my love of doors with street art this post is of a really old The Krah piece somewhere in Montpelier, I forget exactly where. I think that he visited Bristol a few years ago, and on his trip dropped a few of these small pieces about the place. In truth I can’t be sure about this, but I have found three of them (two during lock down).
The stencil is sinister… a young woman toting a maching gun and grenade, not what one might expect and from a distance the weapons can’t really be seen. Something different from the old archive.
It was a version of this stunning stencil in Frogmore Street in Bristol, together with Kid Crayon’s wheatpastes that drew me into the extraordinary world of street art about five years ago. It is called ‘The Big Deal’ and represents the drug dealing that JPS witnessed in his home town of Weston-super-Mare.
Knowing what the piece represents adds a layer of sophistication to the two young and ‘innocent’ characters that appear to have appeared from the 1960s (we all dressed like this in those days) although the box over the shoulder of one of the children might be a wartime gas mask. I cannot explain just how much I love this piece, which is on Carlton Street in Weston-super-Mare, not only because of its quality of a piece, but also of how it engaged directly with me and drew me in. My favourite.
This wonderful stencil piece in Leonard lane is by John D’oh and was one of several that were painted during a bit of a spree I think. The caption ‘People think I’m Banksy’ is a reference to Massive Attack star Robert del Naja (on the right), who has been suspected of being Banksy and who some still think might be him.
It is a classic piece of John D’oh single-layer stencil work, and is emblematic of the whole Bristol street art scene and sub-culture. I have more to publish from this John D’oh session in 2017 and will get round to more of them if the lock down persists.
The Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent UK lock down has unsurprisingly seen a dramatic decrease in new street work. This, while disappointing especially given the spell of gorgeous weather we have been having, is not all bad news, as it is giving me the opportunity to unearth some not-seen-before on Natural Adventures pieces from the archives. Starting with this spray can bin stencil from John D’oh at Upfest 2016.
The organisers of Upfest had provided these drums for artists to dispose of their spray cans in an orderly fashion, and in true Upfest style, selected a few artists to decorate the bins, This one by John D’oh. I have to say I am not entirely sure who the people on the bin are, but I love the stencils in any case. In Bristolian he has written ‘John D’oh’s bin yer’, which tickled me. More Upfest 2016 work to come.