Verz is a street artist and illustrator who has been dropping art into the public domain since the late 1980s. He started off doing subvertising and paste-ups on the streets before becoming the cover illustrator for ‘Fortnight Magazine‘ but has in more recent years turned to aerosols to create his ‘Dogs on The Street’ series of murals in a variety of styles. Verz often uses dogs as a metaphor for not judging people on how they look and paints breeds that people are traditionally afraid of, Staffies, Rottweilers and Dobermans.
“People make instant judgement calls on those types of dogs because of some misplaced reputation for being dangerous. Dogs aren’t born dangerous. It’s usually the owners or environmental circumstances that cause them to have behavioural problems but people just see them as devil dogs. Similarly people like to form an opinion about other humans almost instantly on how they dress, ethnicity, hairstyle or tattoos for example. We are all guilty of it to varying degrees. I paint family pets from photographs that people send me online. Animals that have given so much to their owners. Animals that certainly shouldn’t be judged negatively because of their breed’’.
Verz likes to experiment with different approaches to painting and doesn’t plan how he will work with the paint or what the art work will look like. He already has an idea what he will create at Waterford this year and it’s going to be a little bit different for him but its still a dog however.
When not painting he is talking about painting as a guide on the weekly street art walking tour in Belfast.