Dan Murfin is the latest artist to be featured in the Dubrek Studio Café on Becket Street. The man behind Burning Flag Designs has a strong career in custom art work, specialising in vehicle decals and spray work amongst other things, a skill set which translates across to his private collection of art work which for the most part is based around precise stencil work and spray paints.
There’s a broad array of subjects here; it’s many miles away from the cheesy aspects of pop art, but it does contain a lot of evidence of what is important to him, and is presented in a range of contexts.
First to grab your attention is the detailed black and white Herman Munster altered suitably to include a pair of canned headphones. A small story in itself, Herman is clearly well pleased with whatever he is listening to. The darker, humorous comedy of the old TV show makes suggestions in your head as to what it could be. This piece, he explained, was the result of a design for Joe McMahon of Smoke or Fire that was never actioned by the band in time for a gig in Münster. Work like this is too good to keep hidden on file, so a run of t-shirts have also been created for Burning Flag Designs.
A pair of David Bowie book ends (similar size, style and detail) show Bowie at two important moments of his career and his life. To the right is Ziggy Stardust in warm blood clot reds and deep blues, to the left is a morbid grey and black affair depicting Lazarus complete with blindfold. Book end is accurate as both are looking down as if they know what is to come, and saw it all play out. The base of each is spray painted completely evenly, no pools, and the remainder is entirely stencilled. Bleed is non-existent showing marksman precision to their execution.
Murfin has also begun to explore 2.5D and 3D pieces as well, which will be interesting to watch develop over time. A graffiti style ‘ignite’ of two sections of layered wood gives the piece a subtle depth, two-tone fading in orange in the letters, but with a deeply subtle portraiture of three members of The Damned, linking in to the song of the same name.
A more vivid 3D installation based on a slanted anarchy ‘A’ in reds and blues with solid black outline stands proud and shows the development journey of the move towards larger, more spacious art.
Finally, a personal highlight for me at least was a Spider-Man composition with subtle elements of punk and alternative culture added. His head has stud spikes, he has unlaced bother-boots and a denim jacket. The stylistic practicalities of the character’s movement is retained to the point that this could sit safely in an alternate set up to Earth-616. Again, precision is the watchword and the red and blue stencilling, the fine marker on the webbing, is all accentuated by a mixed blend of gold and brown spray paint as a background base, drawing the eye inwards in a smooth vignette.
Burning Flag Designs will be at Dubrek Studio Café until 10 May 2018.
Burning Flag Designs can be found;