Meet Liverpool's most Instagrammed artist
There is more than a good chance you have one of Paul Curtis’ public artworks on your Instagram feed. His most famous creation so far hit the Mersey consciousness in August last year when his Liver Bird wings appeared on Jamaica Street in the Baltic Triangle. Within days, it seemed half of the city has placed themselves in the handy gap between the outstretched feathers and a social media phenomenon was born.
As 2018 arrives, Paul tells the ECHO there is now a demand for his work throughout the city. The former geologist said: “I’m busy all the way through until March this year with different projects, before I did the wings I was struggling and then after the wings it totally changed and people were emailing me for work!”
However, those now-famous wings almost didn’t happen. Paul explained: “I was going to paint a face on a different wall but when I asked the council for permission they said, you can do it but the wall is coming down and it’s not worth it. The face was going to take too long and it might not last.
“I was at a point where I was like is this a career I could really do?
“I knew I needed to do something public to show that I could do it and have something I could refer to as mine, so I went for the wings because I thought it would be fun and interactive.”
The 29-year-old added that he was truly shocked at the reception he got almost instantly after he finished the painting. He said: “I thought people would start to see it gradually and it would get a few photos when people were on nights out; but two days afterwards my phone was just full of messages and tags. “It’s been great for me because it’s allowed me to become professional.”
Following the success of the Liver Bird Wings, the artist’s next project was the Victorian-style Circo Monkey on Seel Street. Paul added: “I really enjoyed working on that one because it was such a big change to the wings.”
His next challenge was creating a mural for Edge Lane’s retail park. Titled The Colourful City, the extraordinary, 40 metre long mural is made up of Liverpool’s most iconic landmarks and took just one month to create. The artist wasn’t fazed though, saying: “For me it was the most satisfying being able to prove I could take on a huge painting like that.”
However Paul said that his favourite project so far was the stunning coffee plant mural, on the exterior of Coffee & Fandisha in the Baltic Triangle. It was a project where he was basically given a blank canvas as the owners simply wanted ‘something pretty’ for their coffee shop.
And as for the rest of this year?
“I have ideas,” Paul said. “I’m just looking for the right wall.”