The urban artist behind a mysterious calling card has finally been solved.
Days after art bosses were left scratching their heads by two pieces of graffiti which appeared in Blackpool and bore a striking resemblance to world-renowned artist Banksy, The Gazette can reveal the picture came from a London-based artist.
Otto Schade, of Hoxton, east London, revealed he painted the picture as part of the Sand, Sea and Spray art festival in Blackpool.
The 41-year-old, who is an art lecturer at Southbank University, said: “Yes I can confirm that was me.
“I came to Blackpool about three weeks ago to do the picture. I thought it would be something that was a little bit cheeky and naughty – it’s certainly grabbed everyone’s attention by the sound of things.”
The image of a smiling baby sat on an upside down police helmet (left) were spotted on walls in Birley Street and Corporation Street in Blackpool, sparking much speculation and excitement after the same image appeared in London’s Kentish Town in February.
But the artist, who normally draws using a ribbon effect, as pictured above, said: “I don’t normally do these sorts of pictures as I like to put much more detail into my photos, but I am a huge fan of Banksy.
“He draws these types of pictures to entertain but also to be thought-provoking.
“Much of the time they are controversial and spark much interest. What’s great about them is that using a stencil, you can do them in a matter of minutes and no-one is any wiser to who has done it.
“That is what I hoped to do with mine. The baby sitting on a helmet is a little naughty.
“It is funny in a way because the baby is using it as a potty – with no other police helmet in the world could you do such an image.”
Chilean-born Otto said he has been to the Fylde coast festival several times as part of the Sand, Sea and Spray festival and hopes the picture continues to boost its popularity.
He added: “When I first came there was just a handful of us – four years later there were 40 of us in Blackpool. I hope the festival continues to grow and interest like this can only help.”