Street artist John Dolan makes homeless mural with fingerprints

Artist John Dolan helps 4-year-old Max Emmanuel from London add his fingerprints to the artwork

Artist John Dolan helps 4-year-old Max Emmanuel from London add his fingerprints to the artwork - Credit: Archant

Youngsters, commuters and passersby helped street artist artist John Dolan finish a giant mural with 2,700 fingerprints in aid of a homeless charity,

John, who lived on the streets for over 20 years before being discovered by gallery owner Richard Howard-Griffin, is now one of East London’s most notorious artists with sell-out exhibitions and pieces going for six figure sums.

The finished portrait revealed the face of Victor - a one-time classically trained pianist who now sleeps rough on Shoreditch High Street - and the fingerprints symbolise the number of people who sleep on the streets of England each year.

The aim of the stunt in Box Park Square, Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch was to raise money for homeless charity Streetlink and to mark World Homeless Day.

John Dolan, who has written an autobiography about how meeting his dog George turned his life around, said: “I used fingerprints – the most iconic markers of individual identity – to fill in the shadows, details and features of the portrait.

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“Homeless people are often ignored, nameless and invisible to the majority of the public, as I know only too well.

“Addressing the facelessness of the problem by creating a giant portrait of Victor, and telling the human side of his story, will hopefully make people sit up and think differently about the people they pass by every day.”

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StreetLink is a service which allows members of the public to alert local outreach services about someone sleeping rough at the touch of a button by downloading and using the StreetLink app.

Since it launched in 2012 it has helped over 11,000 people take a positive step away from the streets.

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