A Blackpool hotel has been given a colourful makeover – thanks to a spectacular new paint job by an Argentinian artist.
Mural painter Mart Aire, 27, who grew up on the streets of Buenos Aires painting murals, flew in especially from Moscow – where he was involved in another painting project – to paint the Novello Hotel, on Hornby Road.
Rob Hopkins, who owns the hotel, has been trying to contact potential artists for two years on the possibility of creating something distinct in the town. And he says he was excited from the moment he first discovered Mr Aire’s paintings online.
And after being introduced to him, he has let the artist have complete control over the wall. He has painted a 15ft high mural depicting a boy and a girl in a meadow.
He said: “After seeing his past murals online, I had full confidence in Mart and let him decide what to paint.”
The owner first moved to Blackpool 11 years ago when he came to visit friends for an afternoon.
Mr Hopkins said: “I was meant to come for an afternoon but ended up staying for three days and fell in love with the town. Seaside resorts south of the country just cannot replicate the vibrancy of Blackpool.”
Robin Ross, organiser of the annual Sand, Sea and Spray art festival in Blackpool, was behind the project and introduced the owners to the Argentinian artist.
Mr Ross said: “I’ve been in discussions for a while about bringing artists overseas to the town and this opportunity was perfect.
“Mart has not painted in the UK before so this project is a first of a kind in the country.”
Mr Aire has been overwhelmed by the love and affection he has received since arriving.
He said: “I am really happy to stay here. The love, the attention and the hospitality of Blackpool is amazing.”
The 27-year-old artist has been painting since he was 11 years old and from 2007 started painting large scale murals with his unmistakable style.
Mr Ross took the artist out for a drink in Blackpool and said one particular example has typified how the town has welcomed the Argentinian.
“He went for an ice tea on his first morning here and paid £1.50 but by the following morning the price had halved especially for him after they saw him working on the mural,” he said.