Sheffield street artist Trik is currently dealing with the Internet backlash that comes from the innocent act of painting a mural of David Bowie that looks, well, not so much like David Bowie during a particularly sensitive time for the Bowie-loving public.
After painting a mural that could either be a not-the-best Bowie or an excellent rendering of Daryl Hannah’s Blade Runner bot sporting a David Bowie Halloween costume, and after said mural was shared on Twitter by BBC Sheffield, he’s faced a series of critiques comparing it to the Ecce Homo fresco story and whatever else people might choose to project onto it.
As Artnet (who made their own complex speculation about exactly what this image actually resembles: “Jerry Seinfeld/Pat Sharp/Ben Stiller/Bowie”) notes, the portrait recalls the Aladdin Sane mural in Brixton, London by Jimmy C — which many chose as a site of mourning for the late icon in January. But despite recalling the iconic album cover (and the more famous mural) — this mural is, well, distinct.
The 25-year-old artist spoke to BBC about the backlash from the mural, saying, “I’m looking at the reaction right now. It’s not very nice to see people talking about me as an artist…Let them hate, I’m finding it fun.”
Meanwhile, Twitter continues:
These comparisons are amusing, but the young artist is also…just a young artist who wanted to paint a Bowie mural. He said, in another account to BBC, “As an artist, I’m still on a journey with myself, you know, like sometimes I’m gonna do something good, sometimes I’m gonna do something bad.”
And some on social media have been kinder to the artist, especially following the outpour of jokes: