murals, pop art, portraits by Maria Beadell
I'm your Venus....
Whenever I venture out into my local area, South London, I often see a tall, unusual looking woman in skimpy clothing. I have come to realise after talking to friends and other locals that this woman is something of a famous face in the area, known professionally as 'Jessie' and rather less flatteringly on the web as 'The Chicken Shop Transvestite' thanks to an infamous youtube upload.
I became quite fascinated by this individual and her unwavering self-confidence and 'couldn't give a flying fuck' attitude, so I decided to immortalise her in my favourite medium...paint!
First, I decided to pay homage to her (and practise my spray painting skills) by creating a life-size street art portrait of her in her local area - Stockwell Skate Park (see Gallery). This area is a mecca for amateur street artists as it is one giant canvas. So one Saturday afternoon, myself and an artist accomplice Morganico spent a few hours bringing Jessie to life in glorious technicolor, and clearly visible to anyone travelling on the top deck of a passing bus. Sadly not a week passed before Jessie's face was crudely tattoed with an obligatory 'cock'n' balls' by some other aspiring street artist. Nevertheless, she still stands proud, balanced on her conch skateboard; and can still be checked out if you're in the area..
However, clearly the harsh outdoor environs of Sarrrf Lahndon are probably not the best of places to hope for a permanent 'homage' to its best-loved cross-dresser, so I decided to create an oil on canvas version (see Gallery). Like in her life-size street incarnation, Jessie is perched seductively atop a Venus shell a la Botticelli's legendary beauty, but is at the same time rising in the flames like a Phoenix; pointing to her courage and pure brazenness. Good on you Jessie, the world needs more like you!
For more on Jessie, check out her website: www.percyvere.co.uk