It was a name used by my mother when I was growing up,” says the British Street Artist as he talks about his new mural for Urban Nation in Berlin. “She used to call my sister Fanny Fanakapan – it was just sort of a term of endearment,” he says.
It’s a cold/rainy/sunny/windy/calm Monday and we’re in the thick of Aprilwetter here at the end of March, and Fannakapan is stirring old memories to recall his entirely unusual name for Nika Kramer, the photographer who has captured these shots.
“I know there was this song made in wartime by a lady named Gracie Fields about a useless man named Fred Fanakapan, he says. “So it’s been stuck in my head from a very early age. I always had tag names that were sort of something to do with my family – like the name I had before this was TRIPE because my granddad used to say “that’s a load of tripe!” – which refers to a cow’s stomach.”
The new mural, part of the ongoing “One Wall” program by UN, features his signature chrome texture – this time as a heart shaped balloon. He tells Nika why he’s positioned the cartoon character Snoopy, based on the Charles Schultz comic strip, looking quizzically at his own reflection in the balloon.
He says that with this mural he is actually giving a tribute to his own dog, which he credits with giving him love and support during a tough time in his life.
“It is kind of dedicated to her. At the time I was quite unhappy and she cheered me right up so basically I say that I believe in dog. I called the piece “Believe in Dog”.
Fannakapan talks more about the two dimensional dog quizzically gazing up at the balloon and points out that the background is taken directly form the location. “I took the photographs next to the wall so it’s reflecting the trees and the buildings around it. When I do that I think it always makes the local people appreciate it more to see their street reflected in something.”
Our special thanks to Nika Kramer for sharing her talents with BSA readers here.
And now lets sit down to the Victrola to listen to the original song about Fred Fannakapan by that inimitable Lancaster lassie, Ms. Gracie Fields.