The world’s first black professional footballer and first fastest man on the planet Arthur Wharton has been honoured with a huge mural by Spanish Street Artist Jay Kaes. The mural commissioned by BT Sports is located on the Arthur Wharton Foundation Centre in Darlington in tribute to the 155th anniversary of Arthur Wharton.
Using his unique technological style, Jay Kaes has brought the spirit of Arthur Wharton to life in the mural using a stunning blend of photo realism and his own contemporary art. To the keen eye, you can spot references to the colours of Darlington FC, the Ghanaian flag and two of Wharton’s prestigious Cup awards.
Over the three days it took to complete the mural, the artwork has captured the attention and imagination of local residents. With the recent Black Lives Matter protests during lockdown the Foundation feels there has never been a more significant time for black historical figures like Arthur Wharton to be highlighted.
Shaun Campbell, Founder of the Arthur Wharton Foundation says ‘What a wonderful experience working with someone who has such passion and who took on board the full responsibility of what this piece represents. As an artist, Jay Kaes recognises what an honour it is to paint this sporting icon, he has created an iconic and historical work of art that is already resonating with a wide audience and will continue to resonate for years to come’.
‘The mural is an extremely important part of Arthur Wharton’s legacy in Darlington and the North East of England. It’s already supporting our goal of ‘Connecting the past to the present, for the future’. Danny Howes, BT Marketing Manager and Arthur Wharton Foundation supporter
Jay Kaes is a Spanish Street Artist living in the UK, his murals can be seen around the world. His aim through his art is to brighten public or private environments through wall murals. He seeks to motivate the people looking, with pieces of art loaded with modern references and meaning, addressing current issues to contribute something positive to society.
In 2019 Kaes painted his biggest mural to date, a 600 square feet wall for Galeria Vertical to renew the walls in Reinosa, a small town in North Spain. In 2020 he painted his tallest wall, 22x9m for Art in Progress and their ARTWALK5 festival, where he created an AR animation to be seen on a mobile phone in front of the mural. Jay has painted murals for companies such as Netflix, Sony, Marvel and the BBC. Kaes is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on paintings for an upcoming group show in Milan and getting ready for the release of his new limited-edition print. Jay lives and paints in East London.
Artist official website