The urban art of My Dog Sighs.
You may remember I used this image found on a wall in Cardiff in Wales for one of our recent meetings at which our Ukrainian member Anna Denysenko was interviewed.
I have since found out more about the artist and you'll find some more images below.
My Dog Sighs has been a contemporary urban artist for 15 years.
His style is characterised by the combination of melancholic and often naive portraiture with the use of found materials including abandoned food cans. He is known for painting eyes with an image within the pupil that reflects the narratives of the human condition.
My Dog Sighs is recognised as one of the world’s leading street artists. His commissions include Wynwood Walls, Miami; Amsterdam Street Art Museum; Digital Vision, Shenzhen, China; Coventry Transport Museum; Discerning Eye, London; he has extensive work in private collections including Matt Damon.
He has painted at all the world’s leading street art festivals and has headlined most of them. He is on the syllabus for some Mexican schools and is an exam paper subject for a Swedish exam board. He has been a guest on Radio 4’s Saturday Live, BBC’s One Show and Culture Show; had work in The Times, The Guardian; had features in Huffpost and Widewalls; and is regularly featured in global street art media ‘best murals’ articles.
Inside: We Shelter Here Sometimes
As a street artist My Dog Sighs is used to breaking the accepted norms and sharing his message directly in the public space. His recent project Inside was his most ambitious project to date, it pushed the boundaries of street art and demonstrated it can go way beyond a painting on a wall.
Inside transformed a 3000 sq metre derelict building into an immersive world inhabited by the artist’s own creatures, dubbed his ‘Quiet Little Voices’.
Like us, these creatures are not perfect nor are their lives perfect. They struggle, they make mistakes, they fail. But like us too, they don’t give up. Even among the decay they use their creativity to find hope – a powerful message in these turbulent times.
Street artists are often perceived as ghosts, with only the results of their endeavours visible to the world. My Dog Sighs took these creatures, that started life as scribbled doodles in the margins of his sketchbooks and used them to represent different facets of his life. Replacing himself with these beings as a representation of his inner ‘Quiet Little Voices’, they embody a range of emotions from playful to melancholic.
For the first time, My Dog Sighs moved into sculpture, fusing his visual language with light and sound installations, alongside the photorealistic paintings and naive characters that define his practice. No longer was the artist the creator, but his creations took on the mantle of ‘My Dog Sighs’ and as viewers people were welcomed ‘Inside’ the world of these ghosts.
The anthropomorphic creatures were given free rein to take over the multi-storey space, finding shelter and creating their own language amongst the dimly lit corners. Inside responded to the building itself and found beauty amongst its dilapidated floors and crumbling walls. The project extended My Dog Sighs’ street art practice where he uncovers the beauty of these forgotten spaces and demonstrates the power of creativity to inspire and uplift communities.
The artist worked closely with both sound experts from Portsmouth University and a renowned creative lighting company, VEL, to create a unique and immersive street art experience.
My Dog Sighs released via his website a free series of educational packs designed to be used by teachers and students around the world. Taking inspiration from ‘Inside’, the packs provide young people with the creative tools needed to find hope in difficult situations and shows how they can use art to empower their local communities.
Inside: We Shelter Here Sometimes attracted 10,000 visitors over a two week period. Tickets were £10 (concessions £5, under 18s free). 1,000 tickets were given away for free to people facing barriers to inclusion.
My Dog Sighs is releasing a book and feature length documentary about ‘Inside’. He hopes to tour the ‘Quiet Little Voices’ alongside the launch of the book and film.
Mark Walmsley FRSA AGSM
Chief Culture Vulture
Arts & Culture Network