An artist known only by his Instagram handle alshepmcr has taken to stenciling lyrics from classic songs by legendary Manchester bands Joy Division, The Smiths and The Stone Roses onto the double-yellow lines that split the city’s streets — a creative endeavor, he says, that’s designed to make people stop and think.
The current lyrical excerpts appear to have started about two weeks ago, at least judging by the artist’s Instagram feed. They include an 18-piece sequence quoting from Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (see below), and a 15-piece sampling of the lyrics from The Stone Roses’ “Fools Gold.”
There are also shorter lyrical quotations of The Smiths’ “Shoplifters of the World Unite” and “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” plus words by non-Mancunian acts, including The Clash (“Bankrobber”), Coldplay (“Yellow”) and Grandmaster Flash (“White Lines” — stenciled, of course onto white lines).
In an interview with the UK’s Press Association posted today by the Bury Times newspaper, the artist says he doesn’t consider his work to be vandalism, and notes that it generally washes away in a couple weeks. He says he’s been active for years (“I’m a bit of a one-trick donkey, really”), and that with his current efforts, he tries to “pick out the lyrics that mean something.”
“Sometimes I make them fit around mental illness. People see what they want in them. … My inspiration is autism and schizophrenia and Tourette’s, that’s what often goes into it. It’s not about me, I just want people to think and they can take the meaning they want.”
The artist told the Press Association that he’s had the same stencil kit for 20 years, and that, in the past, he’s also stenciled words onto crosswalks in Manchester and put stenciled posters over traffic signs — something that also can be seen on his Instgram feed.
He added: “I’m not bloody Banksy, am I? He’s making a mint, I’m making nothing.”
Below, check out a sampling of alshepmcr’s lyrical street art — and see much more on Instsgram.
THE STONE ROSES
See more at instagram.com/alshepmcr