In 2009, graffiti artist JPS was homeless. He had serious drug and alcohol issues, and his life was spiraling out of control. He had no idea that his life was about to change, however, and it all started with a trip to the Bristol Museum.
The museum was featuring an installation of artwork by famed, anonymous graffiti artist Banksy, and it was exactly what JPS needed.
“I do credit Banksy with probably saving my life,” he says. “[The exhibition] made me realize how I’d thrown my life away so I sought help with addiction and began teaching myself art. Even though I was inspired by him, though, I never wanted to be him…I hate politics.”
JPS was soon stretching his artistic muscles, but it wasn’t until he visited Barrow Gurney, an abandoned mental hospital in Bristol that, if you’ll pardon the pun, horror entered the picture.
“The place was creepy as hell,” JPS remarks, “and perfect place to do some horror street art. I knew that adding this type of image to this type of location would scare the crap out of people.”
As word got around, people began to flock to Barrow Gurney to see the artists work up close and it was at this point that he began to really make a name for himself. Unfortunately, Barrow Gurney has since been demolished, but photos of the artist’s work there still exist..
The artist points out here that he takes great care with placement of his images. Painting on a major thoroughfare might earn yourself more recognition, but if it doesn’t serve the art, then something is lost. In fact, he says that he rarely photographs his work up close because he considers everything in the setting to be part of the art.
So, how does he create these images?
Well, a great magician doesn’t reveal all his secrets, but JPS did say that he creates stencils to use when he can as it seriously cuts down on the time it takes to create a piece. This is crucial because he doesn’t often ask for permission to do what he’s about to do.
These handmade stencils allow a showcase piece like the Xenomorph below to be painted quickly and efficiently. In fact, JPS says the Xenomorph was completed in just one hour!
Now that’s impressive…
It’s not all large scale projects, however. One of my favorites JPS shared with me was of a trash bin with everyone’s favorite sophisticated cannibal perfectly placed on the back!
JPS left many works on the walls of his native Weston-super-Mare, UK before moving to Germany. He’s spent his time since then adding his horror flare to the landscapes of Norway and Germany, and he is currently scouting locations for a large horror project, and, he says, his fans are going to be very impressed!
To stay up to date on the artist’s work, you can follow him on Facebook and on his Instagram account @Jps_artist to keep up with his latest images!