Michael Johns, the man who manages the public toilets on Popes Road, was recognized for his many years of service to the community in the depiction of a giant mural by artist Dreph.
A London-based British Ghanaian artist, full name Neequaye Dreph Dsane, Dreph has being creating street-based work for three decades. He is best known for his large-scale portrait paintings. His murals and the accompanying backstories are tributes to living unsung heroes and heroines who receive larger than life recognition in public places.
The portrait of Michael Johns is the first in Dreph’s ‘Migration’ series, which pays homage to immigrants who have made London their home. He says “Michael arrived in the UK in August of 1986 to join his pregnant partner, and worked tirelessly to ensure economic security for his new family. This was a world away from the small island of Grenada in the south Caribbean, but like so many of the patrons and proprietors Michael has found a true place in the vibrant melting-pot that is Brixton market… I wanted to celebrate Michael for his commitment, generous spirit and the numerous other roles he fulfills for the many people he interacts with on a daily basis.”
The 20 foot mural was painted over the course of 2 days, working around the street market in full swing, as well as late night revellers visiting the Brixton Rooftop Bar next door, “Painting in the street you come to expect the unexpected, however painting in Brixton has been something else!”.