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Joe Hill Uses Stunning Street Art to Tell Story of Sir Guy, St. George’s ‘Son’

Steve Palace
Sir guy street art by Joe Hill (Photo Credit: 3D Joe and Max)
Sir guy street art by Joe Hill (Photo Credit: 3D Joe and Max)

Famed artist Joe Hill has brought Saint George’s son to the English city of Coventry…albeit in a series of patriotic paintings.

Medieval times meet 21st-century street art in a stunning and action-packed 3D quest that seems to burst out from beneath the city’s pavement.

Joe Hill’s art has delighted the world

Joe Hill works under the artist’s name 3D Joe & Max. This name is a tribute to his creative partner Max Lowry, who sadly passed away in 2010. Hill describes their style as “anamorphism.”

The duo produced staggering mind-benders on canvases which were then laid out at street level. Quoted by BBC News, Hill explains that “from a certain point of view — the French call it trompe-l’oeil, trick of the eye — you get these 3D illusions.”

The results are recognized across the globe. Hill and Lowry earned two Guinness World Records for the longest and largest 3D street art ever produced.

Now the approach is fleshing out an English story in vivid and distinctive fashion. Five images show Sir Guy battling against the odds as he strives to become a knight.

Hill unveiled his canvases in Coventry city center last Friday, namely St George’s Day. They spent the weekend there and will return between the 1st–3rd of May.

According to the Coventry Observer, the work is on show at locations such as Ironmonger Row, Fargo Village, and Broadgate. Aimed at families, the spectacle is designed to be socially distanced.

Local officials are enthusiastic about the project’s ambitions. As reported by BBC News, Coventry City Council’s senior events officer Zoe Walmsley praises the energy behind the display, which she hopes will inspire the local population.

The Coventry Observer quotes Coun Ann Lucas — Lord Mayor of the city — who says: “I am so pleased that we are able to present such an imaginative and creative event here in Coventry.”

Saint George had a son?

Sir Guy of Warwick is thought to be the offspring of the enduring legend. Saint George was a real person, despite fanciful tales of dragon slaying. Guy of Warwick, on the other hand, has more ambiguous origins.

The website Our Warwickshire gives an overview of Sir Guy. Describing his saga as “more legend than history”, it notes the story “has been told and re-told over the centuries in early English ‘Histories’, Medieval Romances, chapbooks and ballads.”

Should he have existed at all, it’s believed Sir Guy was likely Anglo Saxon. He is often compared to another historical hero, Robin Hood.

Apparently, Sir Guy started life from modest beginnings. As a courtly page for the Earl of Warwick, he got in over his head after declaring his love for the master’s daughter, Felice.

Naturally, a quest ensued where he proved his mettle. Along the way, he met the fearsome Dun Cow, a creature with more than mooing on its mind. Our Warwickshire mentions the presence of a rib bone displayed at Warwick Castle.

Was it extracted from the mighty Dun Cow itself by Sir Guy? That’s a bit of a whopper — quite literally, with the attention-grabbing bone actually coming from a whale. As if the Dun Cow wasn’t enough, he also engaged with a ferocious bear. This scene and others are painted by Joe Hill.

More from us: Outrage as Spanish teacher botches restoration of 500-year-old effigy of St. George

Like his father, Sir Guy brought down a dragon before departing for the Holy Land as part of his epic journey. By this stage, he’d won the girl but seems to have wanted to atone for his bloody ways. He ended his days as a hermit, with Felice finally joining him at his deathbed.

Hill is no stranger to fantastic narratives. Previous eye-popping work has featured in both DC and Marvel movies — The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Doctor Strange (2016).

Optical illusion and monster-battling legend combine in what is sure to give the city a boost following a year of pandemic-fueled reality…