Graffiti is one of the earliest expressions of street art. But what used to be a subversive culture has gradually turned into true artistic expression that has gained the attention and respect of the public. Technically an illegal activity, many street artists are trying to reform it as a contemporary form of art. And over the years, street art has earned its place in the modern art world.
The evolution of graffiti became evident through artists such as Banksy, Vile, Sergio Odeith and others who transformed it into a marvellous art form. From revolving around socio-political activism, street art has evolved into creative and interactive art, resulting in stunning murals, sideway chalk art, poster art and more. Today, street art is slowly swaying away from its rebellious disposition and leaning towards visual expressions to spread positivity and happiness to the public. One particular street artist from Weston-Super-Mare, a seaside town in England, is bringing smiles to everyone’s faces through his clever creations.
Funny Graffiti That Features Figures Interacting With Their Surroundings
Jamie Paul Scanlon, also known as JPS, is bringing abandoned buildings and lifeless places back to life by creating art that hilariously interacts with the surroundings. Public stairs, cracks in walls, random rocks on the sidewalks, trash bins, wall lamps, he can use almost anything to interact with his paintings. He also brilliantly makes use of some weeds sprouting out of concrete or a puddle to make his creation even more stunning.
Aside from his funny images, JPS can also make any passersby giggle with his witty use of puns. Most of his works take inspiration from pop culture characters. And he sometimes paints creepy horror-themed art in desolate locations to give unsuspecting passersby a scare. But behind his amusing graffiti is the artist’s unhappy past and the struggles he overcome to be where he is now.
As a child, Jamie shown talent in drawing. His father, an alcoholic, passed away when Jamie was 18. Determined to pursue a career in art, he took up graphic design in college. Unfortunately, financial problems forced him to leave college and got a job as a shoe repairer and key cutter. Everything went downhill for him at that point. He began using light drugs which eventually turned into an addiction after two of his friends were murdered. Depressed and homeless, he turned to drugs and alcohol to drown his misery.
JPS Also Uses Clever Puns To Make Passersby Laugh
Just when he was about to give up on life, one of his friends invited him to a Banksy Exhibition in Bristol in 2009. His friend George was a huge fan of the famous street artist so he just tagged along. Little did he know, that decision would later change his life for the better. Seeing Banksy’s creations, it awakened the sleeping artist inside him. And that’s when he discovered a new path that had opened just for him.
“It was a life-changing moment that day, I was blown away at how full-size works could be applied so fast and the buzz the place gave off.”, he said. “It was definitely Banksy’s best work—it made me realize how I’d thrown away my own life and what a disgrace I’d become over the years.”
The Artist Uses Clever Placement Of The Figures To Make Them Interact With The Surroundings
At 32 years old in 2009, Jamie tried to embrace street art and made his first attempt by cutting his first stencil. But as many artists would say, success doesn’t happen overnight. In other words, he struggled at first. Moreover, his addiction to drugs and alcohol kept on haunting him every now and then. The artist revealed that he had even considered suicide at that point in his life. But he chose to be strong and prove that he’s not a loser.
“I went to my mum’s and begged her to let me home and said I’d go to recovery the next day. I didn’t do residential treatment, I basically locked myself away and focused on teaching myself my own technique. As much as Banksy inspired me, I did not want to be a clone. I think I’ve developed my own style. I attended counseling and group meetings.”
For JPS, this is more than just a form of art. It gave him new aspiration in life and offered him an opportunity for a brighter future. With that said let’s take a look at some more of his amazing artwork.
So, which piece of art is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section.