ART HOUSE; Painting Your Property Is Not Just about Splashing on Emulsion. It Can Win Acclaim and Recognition, Says Helen Kirwan-Taylor

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen KirwanTaylor

FRIEZE hasn't even started and already tourists are gathering in front of artist Hugo Dalton's work painted on the outside of a [pounds sterling]4million Notting Hill terraced house. The giant, pale-blue morning glory flower covering four floors and even the drainpipes and joinery has become a neighbourhood talking piece. Art collector owners Robert and Sue Stirling are thrilled with the result. So are the neighbours. "Everyone was very supportive and several have already asked for Hugo's details," says Sue. Though the house is in a conservation area, the council's only stipulation was that the painting couldn't be used for commercial advertising.

Goldsmiths-educated Dalton, 31, whose clients include art collector and curator Kay Saatchi, David Roberts and gallery manager Sam Parker Bowles, as well as Sadler's Wells and Liberty, follows in a long tradition that began with murals and frescos -- it is still very popular to paint the outside of houses in Austria and Bavaria -- and culminated in works by Banksy and Ben Eine. Digital wide-formatting printers have recently allowed photography, now called frescography, to cover the outsides of buildings, often leading to disappointment when the scaffolding comes down.

When Dalton first started painting the morning glory (the idea came from a front garden a few doors down), which was projected onto the building and painted in stages, residents were concerned.

They were all familiar with the blue polka-dot building on nearby Talbot Road, currently being rented by Pepe Jeans. Owner of the freehold, investor Ian Patti, says there are no restrictions for what you can do on the outside of a house, providing it's not listed. …


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