Graffiti is usually created in secret, often in the dead of night and in a bid to avoid detection.
However the man behind Chichester’s latest street art has revealed he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the community’s reaction to his work – with people asking for photos, restauranteurs offering free food and neighbours supplying hot tea.
Belgian artist Joachim said locals also congratulated him for bringing more street art to the city.
Created last Tuesday, his latest mural ‘King of Cats’ is located next to the JPS work ‘Big Deal’ and stands proud behind East Street’s Superdrug store.
Measuring around 18ft it has proved a real show stopper and demonstrates Joachim’s distinctive pop style.
The artist is said to be famous for his ‘childlike spontaneity’ and passion for ‘experimenting with different styles’ to create ‘complicated compositions and playful use of colours capturing the viewer’s attention’.
With shows across Europe and sell out limited edition screen prints he is a heavy player on the urban art scene, and there is no doubt Joachim puts his all into his work.
“When I’m filthy, tired, and have nearly died a couple of times, that’s when I know it’s been a good day,” he said.
He was invited to add his lucky black cat work to Chichester’s already impressive collection – which includes pieces by Stik, Thierry Noir, JPS, Phlegm, Run, Nunca and fellow Belgian artist Roa, just to name a few – by online based urban art store graffitistreet.com.
Reader James Aslett first brought it to the Observer’s attention and his photo, shared on this newspaper’s Facebook page, attracted a lot of discussion and praise for the work.
This was with the exception of just a couple of readers, among them was Dave Hockridge who said the work ‘makes Chichester look like a ghetto’ and Kelly Millington-Drake who expressed her preference for smaller work.
She wrote: “Personally don’t like the big art. Small art, like the children, is quirky but I feel the large art looks a bit London ghetto. Just my opinion.”
However the comments were dominated by a desire to see more street art in the city.
Cynthia Ridgway wrote: “Love it, much better than a scruffy old wall, done properly as they are would be nice to see them a little more prominent where every one can see them.”
She added: “Well done to the artists.”
Julia Parfoot wrote: “Great. Better than a plain drab wall.”
Janet Jones added: “We want more of this in Chichester and I know that visitors to Chichester enjoy it too.”
While Claire Cage stated her love for the pieces, highlighting another JPS piece off South Street in particular, she wrote: “The rainbow cat always makes me smile.”
Joachim also commented and showed that the appreciation was mutual.
“Thanks for the nice comments everyone,” he wrote.
“Really enjoyed painting this one :) thanks to GraffitiStreet.”
What do you think of the work? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Chichester Observer, Suite 3 First Floor, City Gates, 2-4 Southgate, Chichester, PO19 8DJ.
To keep up with Joachims latest works visit www.facebook.com/joachim