Revealing the world around us that so often goes unnoticed, east London’s most notorious artist John Dolan (and dog George) make us stop and open our eyes. Focusing on buildings and street art, Dolan’s drawings and sketches document the ever-changing nature of our fast paced urban landscape. Having been in and out of prison, and often found himself homeless, for the past three years Dolan has become Shoreditch High Street’s artist-in-residence. In his forthcoming exhibition ‘George the Dog John the Artist’, Dolan’s cityscapes have brought together a unique group of street artists. His solo exhibition has in many ways blossomed into one of the biggest group street art shows including the likes of Thierry Noir, Dscreet and Pablo Delgado.
We chatted to John Dolan about his favourite locations and inspirations…
What London locations are your favourite to draw and why?
‘They’re all in and around Shoreditch…Rivington Street, the building with the ‘Stik’ street art on it is my favourite. I also enjoy drawing the decrepit buildings across from Shoreditch High Street – the ones with the ‘Dscreet’ street art on the roof. I’ve been there for the last three years and I’ve fallen very much in love with them buildings.’
What do you look for in a location?
‘Mainly the grimey-ness of a building. The older the building the better, and if there’s street art going on, that’s a bonus.’
What are your inspirations?
‘Because I’ve been living on the poverty line for the last three years, my inspiration is to help others less fortunate than myself but at the same time better my life financially.’
You’ve collaborated with an impressive group of street artists, are there any that have particularly stood out?
‘Well ROA, for me, is the best technical street artist in the world. I absolutely adore his stuff, and he was the first one to get involved with this project. Stik is also good, his personality really comes out in his artwork – it’s simple but very very effective. Oh and Thierry Noir.’
What is it about street art, or more specifically graffiti, that interests you?
‘Well for me, street art is like an urban gallery. It’s art for the masses. It’s there for all of us, and that’s what I like about it.’
And here’s George with his trusty copy of Time Out: