Howard Griffin Gallery London
George the Dog, John the Artist was John Dolan's breakout debut exhibition. For a period of three years leading up this exhibition Dolan sat every day with his dog George across the road from the gallery on Shoreditch High Street.
Dolan documented the architecture of Shoreditch, elevating the old, decrepit buildings that were so often ignored and under-appreciated. In the past, Dolan was in and out of prison and often found himself homeless. These days, Dolan is greeted by the likes of Gilbert and George as they walk past. Dolan’s raw portrayals of the street lead a viewer to reconsider something that to them is merely a backdrop to their day. At the same time, he highlights how too often people living on the street are invisible to those walking past them. Dolan’s work asks us to open our eyes and see this city for what it really is. Dolan’s emphasis on repetition allows a unique insight into the changing face of what is now a highly fashionable, gentrified area. He represents the old Shoreditch, the unseen side that lies just below the surface.
An interesting facet of Dolan’s work is the way in which he documents the street art and graffiti that came to make Shoreditch the cultural capital it is today. For the George the Dog John the Artist exhibition, he worked with some of the world’s most recognisable street artists including ROA, Broken Fingaz Crew, Palo Delgado, Giacomo Bufarini aka RUN, Thierry Noir, Steve ESPO Powers, Sever, Liqen, Gaia, Stik, Maser, Ian Stevenson, Cityzen Kane, Ronzo, Martin Ron, Dscreet, MadC, CEPT, C215, BRK, Michael De Feo, Rowdy and many others. A street artist in the traditional sense of the word, Dolan identifies with this new generation of street artists and them with him. These artists collaborated with Dolan by working directly onto the walls of his drawn cityscapes, creating unique pieces.
Ostensibly a solo show for Dolan, George the Dog, John the Artist was also in effect the biggest street art group show of recent memory, bringing a unique group of artists together to document both the constant and the ephemeral in a city that is ever changing.
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