Chris Fenn, a local contemporary urban artist, held his first solo exhibition at the Strand Lodge Hotel this week. Chris has been working with spray paint since he was a teenager, inspired by the murals under the train bridge near his home. His work is mainly created using the popular stencilling method used by many urban artists, with images drawn from music, movies and comic books. His large-scale free-hand work is striking and bold. As well as commission-based work, Chris also takes his art to the community, using art therapy to help local people overcome difficult life issues, and is a regular face at Sand, Sea & Spray, where he has worked alongside some national and internationally known street artists.
His first solo show is a collection of ten works, inspired by some of the iconic images to be found in Blackpool. What he has produced is an eclectic mix of images, linked by the theme and the use of orange and blue throughout all the pieces. It is effective in making the collection a complete body of work, but does not detract from the merits of each individual piece to stand on its own. Chris’ choice of image can be unusual too, of particular note is his image of the Tower as taken from beneath North Pier, the supports of the pier framing the Tower within the canvas, giving it a slightly removed, other-worldly feel. Also of note is the abstract take on Blackpool rock and his simple yet luminous view of the Pleasure Beach.
Chris Fenn’s work is effective, it initially comes across as straightforward, but a look at intricacies of working with stencils and his obvious passion for his subject and you can see many more layers underneath.
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