London-based artist Dan Kitchener has completed a new mural in spray paint on the side of New Amsterdam bar and restaurant at 4421 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
The restaurant closed in January to add a rooftop deck seating area and has just reopened. This new, one-of-a-kind, multi-layered mural along 45th Street has an urban theme which Kitchener says is taken from the surroundings in his everyday experience.
This year alone, Kitchener has completed murals in Sweden, Italy, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Canada.
“I am passionate abut travelling to new countries and painting murals,” says Kitchener. “So I always make the effort to visit somewhere to paint that I haven’t been to before.”
When viewed from far away, the streetscape depicted in the mural looks quite modern, but upon closer inspection the cars have a boxy, retro 1980s look and the mural has a timeless quality.
Kitchener was invited to Pittsburgh by Ziggy Sawdust of Ziggy Sawdust Productions who had been following his work for years. Sawdust introduced Kitchener to John Pergal, the owner of New Amsterdam (and also the Thunderbird Café). Pergal had wanted to update the mural along 45th Street to coincide with New Amsterdam’s reopening and he really liked Kitchener’s work.
“I first was exposed [to Kitchener] when I saw it online five to six years ago and fell in love with it,” says Sawdust. “Since then I have been looking for a way to bring his murals to Pittsburgh. This mural is very important to me personally, and to have the honor of facilitating his first mural in the U.S. and having that in Pittsburgh is really special.”
“I loved the people in Pittsburgh, so welcoming, friendly and positive about my work,” says Kitchener. “Many people stopped to chat with me and it was overall a really amazing experience. And they seem to love my work.”
He also noted that Pittsburgh has the contrast of a skyline like that of Manhattan with forests and rivers. “It is such a unique place and quite beautiful!”
You can see a time-lapse video of Kitchener at work right here.