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World renowned ‘Hip Hop’ artist paints Omagh mural

The artist Mode 2 works on completing his mural on the back of Jack McGinn & Co furniture store.

The artist Mode 2 works on completing his mural on the back of Jack McGinn & Co furniture store.

One of the world’s top Spraycan artists has painted an inspiring mural depicting the journey through the Troubles’ into the peace process, on a building on the Dublin Road in Omagh.

Known as ‘Mode 2,’ the renowned artist was born in Mauritius in 1967 and moved to London in 1976, where he did most of his schooling. He currently resides in Berlin and has returned home after completing the commissioned work on the wall of McGinn’s Furniture shop.

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When ‘Mode 2’ finished his ‘O’-level exams in the summer of 1984, he started hanging out at Covent Garden, in central London, which was then the main hub of the London Hip Hop scene. Because of his ability at drawing, he decided to pick up the spraycan, and from that moment onwards, set about making a name for himself within the global hip hop community.

World acclaimed in his field, he went on to be on the cover of ‘Spraycan Art’ in 1987; the first book to document the world-wide graffiti-writing scene. His work has been displayed across Europe, USA and Australia and includes a 50 metre-long mural on the underpass for the city of Waneroo in Western Australia.

Colm McGinn, owner of the furniture shop explained, “Mode 2 gets commissioned for his work. His paintings include letters such as those seen on the subway in New York. The letter would be concealed in the mural but clear enough to be seen. His work is very close to that type of art.”

Mr McGinn said ‘Mode 2’ enjoys his visits to Omagh having previously been commissioned to do a mural on the building in 2000.

He added, “Mode 2 was commissioned by a community foundation and was asked to choose Omagh or Belfast. With his previous connection to the town, he chose Omagh because he likes the town. He was recruited for a project here 14 years ago and I was very pleased when they asked to put it on our wall.

“The new mural is open to personal interpretation and comes across to me as going from left to right out of the Troubles.

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“But people really need to look and decide for themselves how they see it.”

Whatever one’s personal interpretation of the mural, it is a striking top class work, much appreciated by the owner of the building.

“I think it is great,” added Mr McGinn. “I am all in favour of any class of street art that is good, rather than something plastered over it. As long as it is a fun and interesting piece of art I am delighted to have it here.”

International artist ‘Mode 2’ working on his mural on the side of Jack McGinn & Co’s business.

International artist ‘Mode 2’ working on his mural on the side of Jack McGinn & Co’s business.

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