Year Review 2023
Here is a year review of Paul Curtis' work in 2023. This year's tally was:
· 18 outdoor murals
· 17 interior murals
· 2 statues
· 2 marathons (1 PB (Manchester 3:04:20 🥳))
2023 was a good year with quite a few big'uns, some interesting projects and opportunities to paint beyond Merseyside in different places around the UK.
The year kicked off with some indoor murals that allowed for some shelter from the January weather! A 2-part mural for Scruffy Murphy's bar (in association with Jack Daniel's) capturing the deep south and paying tribute to BB King and Johnny Cash. This was followed by a huge 18m long mural at Anfield Road Primary School depicteding the famous Rainhill Trials (famously won by Stephenson's Rocket). The mural was painted in the style of Lowry, with nods to some of his most famous work and containing 1072 stick men!
Indoor work continued into February with a large exaggerated depiction of an Audi A3 rally car at Magnet Autos in Bootle. It was then back to Anfield Road Primary to paint another 18m epic. This time it was a New York theme, celebrating its importance as a dock but in 1930s imagery - including an impressive King Kong.
Springtime saw Paul Curtis Artwork become Paul Curtis Artwork LTD, perhaps not the most interesting news for some, but a big milestone for Paul. He also created a floral mural for the cocktail terrace at Mercure Atlantic Tower Hotel, overlooking The Liver Building. He also ended up down in Ipswich to paint a mural of Bobby Robson leading Ipswich Town to FA Cup victory in 1978. He also did a great historical mural for Pleasant Street School: a roman stood before the Colosseum (this added to the previous murals: The Great Fire of London, Egypt and Mersey Ferry which were all painted in 2022).
As summer approached, Liverpool was gearing up for the Eurovision Song Contest. The University of Liverpool commissioned Paul to paint a street art piece to give hope for world peace. The mural, consisting of the globe, doves and a heart in hands, takes pride of place on the campus. This was followed by a major LFC mural, celebrating the captain of the women's team, Missy Bo Kearns, holding aloft the FA Women’s Super League Trophy in 2022.
June saw Paul returning to Scruffy Murphy's to paint another pair of murals. This time it was Elvis Presley and woman boxer, Katie Taylor who were being given the tribute treatment. There was also a first for Paul as he was invited to do a live painting by Mallorcan arts collective, Literatua Expandida, at the Innside Melia Hotel. A large-scale masterpiece was created in less than 4-hours!
July saw Paul head to Bradford City FC for a collaboration to paint a huge cock (the mascot for Bradford is a male chicken 😁). This massive bantam stands proud outside the stadium and is a real impact piece! He went straight to another football club, this time Ashville F.C in Wallasey. The founder, John Dennett, MBE, was celebrated in a large-scale piece on the side of the club house.
August was quite emotional. Paul lost his good friend, Ben Harrison. Ben was a really good man who really helped Paul in his goal to be become an Artist. Ben organised 19 different Tranmere Rovers murals for Paul to paint. He will be sadly missed by many. There was also a mural for Olivia Pratt-Korbel (the 9 year old girl tragically shot dead by a masked gunman) at her School, St Margaret Mary's. There was an unusual large mural on a bridge at the Tawd Valley in Skelmersdale. The underwater fish theme meant that Paul literally had to paint whilst standing in a river!
September was a good month seeing Paul return to Jamaica Street in the Baltic Triangle. Paul painted a striking mural to Liverpool poet, Levi Tefari. He also took a trip to Basildon to paint some number statues with 4 other artists from all over the UK, in a project that sought to raise awareness about MPN10 (a blood cancer disease).
The good projects continued into October, with Paul painting 2 street art murals that gained alot of media interest. The first was a a dual portrait of Katerina Johnson-Thompson (KJT) & Jack Hunter-Spivey, both Olympians and world champions in their respective sports, painted at St Marks in Halewood. The second was a portrait of Liverpool FC's legendary manager, Bill Shankly, painted in collaboration with Bill's granddaughter and Hotel Tia. Paul was also awarded an Alumni Award by the University of Liverpool for the positive impact he has made to the city.
Two more important murals would follow before the year was out. One was a massive street art piece, called, Skills for Life, in Wallasey in association with the UK Scouts Association. The second was a street art portrait of Paul McCartney near Abbey Road bar in Liverpool.