At the end of May, Vandal will open its doors to those bar flies and disco dwellers looking for some eighties and nineties nostalgia and retro beats.
It’ll be upstairs at White’s Tavern, one of Belfast’s oldest pubs, and rather than go for something ultra modern they’re trying to create a casual venue in the Cathedral Quarter which attracts an alternative crowd.
They’ve enlisted the help of Dean Kane who goes by the street (artist) name of Visual Waste. We got a sneak peak inside the new venue and chatted to the man behind the stunning artwork.
Dean said: “The remit was that Vandal will be somewhere that’s very casual, there’s a lot of very clean cut places round here in the Cathedral Quarter. It’s going to be a retro alternative disco, aimed at people in their mid to late twenties and early thirties who want to kick back and listen to beats.”
The 32 year old from Portadown added: “I grew up in the eighties and nineties so I’ve tried to work as many icons and cult heroes from that era as I could into the artwork.”
Included on the walls of Vandal are Michael Douglas in Falling Down, John Candy in Uncle Buck and Bill Murray in Ghostbusters. There’s many more famous faces for you to spot but naming them all would take away the fun.
Dean explained: “They’re conversational pieces. The aim is that people will be in here talking about what’s on the walls and having their memories jogged to their childhood.”
Dean spent two days painting the venue while the majority of his time was consumed making the stencils.
“I spent three weeks on stencils,” he said. “The cut out of Biggie Smalls took 16 hours.”
He added: “I’ve been spray painting for about 14 years. I started off messing around with spray cans. When I studied art, street art was becoming very popular. It’s something I really honed in on and I just a loved it.
“I spent a bit of time working for a firm but it bored me to tears so I started working on commissions.
“I found myself constantly working on jobs, getting bigger commissions and without knowing it I’d built a brand.
“I’ve got work right through until 2018. I realise I’m very lucky because I’ve been through those time when you have to ‘beans and toast’ it between commissions.
“I’ve been doing it as my sole means of income for three years. You’re only as good as your last piece so you have to keep raising the bar, keeping it fresh.
“It’s something that started with me constantly doodling. I was always big into graphic novels and I tried to emulate what I saw in them.
“I remember I got the Watchmen from the public library and it had a big impact. I kept it actually.”
In the future Dean said he’d like to go into screen printing and possibly a clothing line.
His artwork is also on display in the Doc Marten’s Shop, Dinadina, the revamped Northern Whig and his Charlie Hunnan mural is on display in North Street. He’s also done commissions for Jameson Whiskey.
Check out the Visual Waste Facebook page for more amazing artwork – facebook.com/Visualwasteartist