Sometimes two heads are better than one and this means that 2 cans are better too.
Here are 3 examples of different collaboration projects that I have worked on.
Royal Blood are a rock duo who formed in Worthing in 2011 and have gone on to be international rock and roll stars.
To commemorate the launch of their second album – How Did We Get So Dark? -Myself and the artist – Ten of Swords aka Ollie Redding were approached by BUILD HOLLYWOOD and asked to recreate the album artwork prior to the release of the record in June 2017.
We set to the challenge on a mild spring day and created the large artwork armed with rollers, mulsh, spray cans and reference images for the album artwork.
Director – Steve Turvey came and created a timelapse film of the project. Obviously, we were sworn to secrecy on the project and the artwork, so the first time that I saw the footage was when I came across the article in the NME that stated Royal Blood were seen painting a mural to promote their new album.
The original teaser film did seem to portray Royal Blood as painting the mural, however the film on the Build Hollywood folio site shows us painting the mural. A fantastic project with Ollie Redding and Build Hollywood, Steve Turvey and Royal Blood.
Req and Sinna One – The Prince Albert Icons Mural
In 2012 I was approached by the landlord of thePrince Albert pub in Brighton and asked to paint over the mural of John Peel that Req had originally painted after Peel’s death in 2004. Little did I know that there was a lot more to this project and a history with the original spray paint realism artist, REQ 1.
The Prince Albert Mural – ‘Icons’ is an ambitious mural commemorating 30+ dead rock heroes as selected by the landlord of the Prince Albert pub, Brighton – Chris Steward. It is in its second incarnation at present but it is the first rendering in 2013 that I was involved with and is the collaboration with Req that gave me confidence in painting portraits and more realistic subject matter.
Req taught me his signature technique which involves holding a photograph or picture up to your face, closing one eye and then moving the picture side to side so as to take out of view for a second. The effect is that your mind starts to project where the image should sit in the space on the wall. This is a technique that I still use to this day.
Although it is an effective technique,the mural wasn’t without it’s difficulties.
“Close scaffolding, wobbly planks and crosswind all conspired against the artists as they attempt to make accurate likenesses of the Prince Albert’s chosen heroes.”
‘I developed a technique for enlarging images for mural work years ago that I’m applying to this project but it’s not easy…! Scaffold bars across a face make it very confusing. We regularly go over the road to the stairwell of some offices to check proportions and that.’ – Req.
The full list of icons are from top left to right – Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Donna Summer, Syd Barrett, Jim Morrison, Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix,Dusty Springfield, Captain Beefheart, Frank Sidebottom, Sandy Denny, Joe Strummer (Strummerville), Bob Marley, John Peel, Mark Bolan, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Brian Jones, Marvin Gaye, Phil Lynott, George Harrison, Elvis Presley, James Brown and Freddie Mercury. Ian Drury. Oliver Reed and Keith Moon were added just after with Ian Curtis and Lou Reed following soon after.
The existing George Best has had a spruce up and the space to right of the mural is now set to have a few other icons that came to mind during the project. You will also notice a ‘Banksy’ tag over the word Jesus, in the loose quote from John Lennon about the Beatles being ‘bigger than Jesus’. This was added in reference to the much favoured Banksy piece.
‘While we were painting the wall there were so many tourist groups coming around to see the ( Kissing Coppers by ) Banksy and the guides would say “This is a Banksy.”, and ignore the fact that we were up there painting, even though all of the tourists would be pointing their cameras up at us painting. We had always planned to put the Beatles quote, but decided to paint a fake Banksy tag over the top as a tongue in cheek homage.’ – Sinna One.
Req is an exhibiting artist and spray paint muralist whose career started in the mid eighties when he painted on stage for Norman Cook‘s band Beats International after Cook saw his street graffiti paintings around Brighton.
Amongst Req’s repertoire is a spray paint portraiture style that he developed whilst painting album covers on the back of the now defunct Rounder records shop in Brighton.
Some of the text and quotes are taken from Prince Albert Icons mural press release. Author unknown.
Images by Pete Challacombe.
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Earlier this year I was asked to paint the exterior and interior of the Popstacular Store in Brighton ahead of their launch in the spring.
I obliged and also brought Anders Coolnice to the table to put their signature colour abstract touch alongside some Sinna characters.
Popstacular represent different artists and designers and print designs on to organic clothing with vegan inks. They’ve kindly printed 2 of my designs on to tee shirts and there is a range coming up soon.
Watch this space….