Southend Dan Kitchener: Artist Brings Japanese Culture to Town

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A ROCHFORD artist who worked with Kylie and Paul McCartney brought some color to Southend with an impressive street display.

Dan Kitchener, 46, drew inspiration from his visits and photographs in Japan for the work, named Akihabara after the country’s district.

He was approached by the bosses of the Southend Arts Festival and jumped at the chance to create the painting on the side of The Mews pub in Southend.

During his vast career, he has worked on animation and videos for stars such as Miley Cyrus, Kylie and Paul McCartney as well as companies such as Sony and Sega.

He said, “A lot of my work is inspired by Japan and the rainy scenes of New York or London and other places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit, but Japan is a big part and the theme of my work.

“It’s a place that I’m passionate about and I think it would fit in well with Southend and I wanted to bring the beauty, color and vibrancy of that culture to the city.

“It took me about three days and I usually work this fast, have dance music and drink a lot of espresso. I don’t want it to be too static and I want to add energy to it.

“I do everything by a show of hands and start from a point with a main person or focus and the rest flow from there. The response has been phenomenal and so positive with so many posts from people on this subject.

“It’s a huge canvas and a great challenge so it’s a real privilege to be on board such an exciting project”

He said people were excited to see greater street art in the city and many locals told him they were going to visit him to see it.

Dan, also known as Dank, painted the mural between September 15 and 19 on the side wall of The Mews in the Clarence Road parking lot in Southend.

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He said he can change the design by painting if the wall or area needs it or if there is a window or door.

He added: “I have had a very diverse career and have worked with Miley Cyrus, Kylie and Paul McCartney on music videos and animation for tours and performances. I did this for about 12 years working on visuals for big screens as well as TV production.

“I have also worked in Dubai and many other places and with companies such as Sony and Sega on new game projects. I have also worked with the Tate Modern and the Versace Gallery.

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