A Mindful Vandal

I Recently got to work with Chris, on a pretty interesting piece. I was contacted by Kevin O’Kelly of Ouija Promotions about a new wall piece that was going onto the side of the Mercantile, on Georges street . I do alot of work for the lads over at the Merc regularly so I knew my surroundings and had an idea where I was gonna shoot my subject,(who I’m getting to,if you calm down and stop scrolling so fast Sheesh!!!)

Greenpeace ‘Artivist’ ,Will St.Leger was recently commissioned for what I think he said was roughly a 20 x 20 ft wall piece. A wall which, according to Will was crying out for a piece of artwork.

Those of you who have a spare few minutes in town this week should pop down to the Mercantile to check it out.

INTERVIEW

Words by Christopher Goodfellow

I’m at the IFI café and Will St Leger, the acclaimed street artist, is off buying a pot of tea and a coffee. There’s a black-framed photo lying face down on his table and the intrigue is killing me.

Will’s just finished painting a new mural at the North end of St. George Street, and he has green paint on his hands and face. The piece is an ode to the classic Guinness adverts and includes the requisite blue-collar worker, loosely based on his old mentor. Stretching across the western wall of the Mercantile it covers a prime piece of street art real estate, complete with a Thin Lizzy poster.

When he sits down and starts rolling a cigarette I ask him if I can look at the photo. It’s a black and white head shot of Grace Kelly, the stunning 50s actress, with a tattoo of a swallow superimposed on her neck. Part of a series of which show altered or touched-up versions of classic icons like James Dean and Elvis, it’s a wonderful subversion of an iconic image.

And, it’s that subversion, and a borderline seditious take on politics, which drives a lot of his work, including the recent small Dáil project, which saw him serving an eviction notice on the country’s finest. For Will street art acts as a kind of thermometer of the will or anger of the people, and right now the talent is red hot.

What do you think of Dublin’s street art scene?

Ireland’s street art scene is in its teenage years, it’s found its own identity; we have our own sense of self. For the last five or six years it’s really consolidated, there’s been more of a New York graffiti style, stickers, stencils, a real visual feast.

Things like Flickr and blogs have introduced people to a lot more art, people have been travelling a lot too, and all that has had a huge effect in pushing the scene forward. In the 80s they weren’t given the kind of kudos we are given now and they’re the people I admire. There were no bloggers to champion their work, they used crappy paint. People like Jor and Maser.

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