Following the recent arrival of a major new piece of street art in Dublin – a giant squirrel by Portuguese environmental artist Artur Bordalo – we take a look at Ireland’s best native street artists.
Dubliner Maser is without doubt Ireland’s most famous street artist. Having started out in the mid-90s with an emphasis on typography, he now mainly produces large-scale abstract murals in bold colour schemes – the most recent of which is covering the entire exterior of Dublin’s new Tara Building co-working and creative space. In 2016, he hosted his first solo show at the Graphic Studio Dublin, exhibiting a collection of fine art prints in his signature style. He lives in the US and has created work all across the world.
Dean Kane, aka Visual Waste
Still known for its political murals dating back to the period known as ‘the Troubles’, Belfast is fast becoming a hotbed for modern Irish street art, and Dean Kane, aka Visual Waste, is one of several leading the charge. Having earned fame for popular public works like a now-painted over depiction of Breaking Bad’s Walter White, he has gone on to earn commissions from businesses throughout the city – even completing Ireland’s biggest rooftop mural at the trendy Bullitt Hotel. You can watch him at work on his YouTube channel.
Marian Noone, aka Friz
Another Belfast-based artist, Friz trained in classical animation and illustration before turning her hand to street art, creating graffiti largely focused on the female form. As well as routinely revitalising the walls of her hometown, she has been commissioned to do street paintings across the country and is a member of the Ireland-based female street art collective, Minaw. Originally from Sligo, she took her moniker ‘Frizelle’ from a headstone in the graveyard where W.B. Yeats is buried.
Born in Cork but currently based in London, Conor Harrington is known for his boundary-blurring murals that have popped up on walls in countries from Brazil to Denmark. Not limiting himself to the outdoors, Harrington also does classical paintings – one of which sold at auction for £77,500 (approximately €103,644 at the time) in 2015.
Having inherited an appreciation for art from his family – who ran a stained-glass artwork studio in Dublin for more than a century – James Earley’s extensive catalogue of outdoor work includes scenes created as part of the Waterford Walls Project, a mural on a gate at the Old Truman Brewery in London, and work at The Gibson Hotel in the Dublin Docklands, where he has been an artist in residence. He also runs the online gallery Iverna and curated the art for the Dean Hotel on Dublin’s Harcourt Street.
Illustrator and street artist Joe Caslin has completed projects from Limerick to Edinburgh and was responsible for the 50-foot (15-metre) drawings that were pasted onto Dublin’s South Great George’s Street and on the side of a castle in the west of Ireland in support of marriage equality during the run-up to the 2015 referendum. He has also spotlighted male mental health in his work.
Dubliners will be intimately familiar with Vanessa Power’s hand-painted signage maybe without even realising it – she has recently used her skill to create designs for businesses such as Scoop gelato shop in Ranelagh, April and the Bear interiors and gifts store and trendy new bar Nolita, among many, many others. Joining Friz and others in the all-female street art collective Minaw, she has also collaborated on street art in Dublin and Barcelona.
David Uda, aka Duda
Irish-Italian artist David Uda has a background in fashion, having studied at Dublin’s prestigious Grafton Academy, where he was named Young Fashion Designer of the Year 2001. Now an acclaimed painter, he has exhibited across the world, producing vibrant mixed-media work. He was recently commissioned to participate in a street art project at 4 World Trade Center in New York, where he painted a memorial floor piece on its 69th floor.
Dermot McConaghy, aka DMC
Another high-flying Belfast artist, Dermot McConaghy is better known professionally by his initials, DMC. His work can be found across the city through projects like Missed Calls, in which, according to Forecast Public Art, he ‘evokes human loneliness in the age of cell phones’. Several works by DMC are also in Dublin.
A native of Dublin, multitalented Anna Doran wears many hats: equal parts street and mural artist, painter, designer and printer. Throughout her career up to this point, she has painted walls for The Bernard Shaw pub, given new life to a ward in Temple Street Children’s Hospital, created ‘Love Lane’ as part of Dublin’s Love the Lanes project and acted as an artist in residence for Facebook at their Dublin HQ.