Grafitti artist behind Footfot Flats tribute revealed
Grafitti artist behind Footfot Flats tribute revealed

The graffiti artist who painted a tribute to the late Footrot Flats creator Murray Ball has broken his silence and revealed his identity.

The artist, who earlier this month painted Dog from Footrot Flats on a Watercare reservoir at Big King Reserve in Auckland's Three Kings, has come forward to thank the public for their overwhelming support.

Artist Paul Walsh said he originally kept quiet as the painting was done without permission, however, he had a lot of people to thank after a decision to keep the artwork on the reservoir was made.

Dog Ball looks up at the star representing Murray Ball. Photo: Paul Walsh

"For petitioning Watercare to let it stay; thanks to Watercare for being good fellas and letting it stay (and not pressing charges!); and of course a huge thanks to the tens of thousands of people who left positive comments, likes and messages in response," Walsh said on his Facebook page.

"Murray Ball was an amazing cartoonist, I read every dog-eared copy of Footrot Flats multiple times, and it was an honour to create my own small tribute to his genius and the indelible imprint he left on life in these islands I call home. May he never be forgotten. Chur."

Murray Ball. Photo: Supplied

Walsh said he would often walk through the park and was astounded at the amount of people that were lining up to see his tribute to Ball.

"It's also amazing to see the feedback it has been getting in person - there was a stream of people up there all weekend getting their own photos. I sat there for an hour eavesdropping," he wrote.

Walsh revealed that Murray Ball was one of his childhood heroes, and inspired him to start drawing comics.

He said he was devastated when Ball died, and that the tribute was his way of paying respect to not only Ball's work, but how he inspired Walsh to become an artist.

The artist and DJ told Yahoo New Zealand that the star in the sky represents the passing of Murray.

Walsh was also the artist who previously painted a "grumpy cat" mural on the tower in 2012.

Watercare painted over the artwork six months later, but say there is no plan to do the same with Walsh's latest masterpiece.

Ball died a week ago, aged 78, after a battle with Alzheimer's.

Spaceman Sloth. Photo: Paul Walsh

Walsh is also responsible for the artwork on Chorus utility boxes around Auckland, including spaceman sloths, cool cats, Ponsonby Pigeon, mountains and other funky animal designs.

Photo: Paul Walsh

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