A RENOWNED graffiti artist has been called to repair his own work — after it was targeted by vandals.
Tony kELzO, a.k.a Tony Brady, a 43-year-old professional street artist, sprayed a side wall of The Cutting Room in Chorley Old Road with a stunning image of a woman clutching a tattoo needle.
Owner Alex Derbyshire, aged 31, had seen his work in the Northern Quarter in Manchester and was excited when the Hulme-born artist agreed to paint the wall in December.
But she was left heartbroken earlier this month when vandals defaced the artwork — which she said had considerably boosted business — by throwing streaks of white paint across it.
Disappointed at his craft being butchered, Mr Brady restored the work within days.
He also went the extra mile and used Graffiti Magic, a special paint which varnishes artwork, to ensure any future attempt to damage the piece should be easy to clean.
Ms Derbyshire said: “I’ve seen a lot of Tony’s stuff in Manchester and came across him online.
“I have been here for two years but business has picked up since it has been here as people stop and pop in to ask about it.
“Tony is so passionate about it and wanted to do this to brighten up the streets.
“I can’t understand why anybody would be stupid enough to ruin it like this.”
Mr Brady shot to fame in the 1990s, with his artwork seen as contributing to boosting the Hulme area and neighbouring Moss Side, which were blighted by gang violence.
Many examples of his work can be found in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and he has also appeared on national TV and designed sets for the BBC.
Most recently, Mr Brady has worked with students, including those at the University of Bolton, on research and dissertation projects.
He said: “I’ve been painting for nearly 30 years but never ventured into Bolton before.
“She and I thought it would be a nice thing for people to look at.
“There’s clearly an appetite for things like this in Bolton — people were stopping in cars and the response was really good.
“The last thing I want to see is a piece of my art defaced and the girl was so upset so I didn’t think twice about repairing it.”
Police are investigating a complaint of criminal damage from Ms Derbyshire but have so far made no arrests.