Friday 8 June 2012: Provenance Man
This is Provenance Man. A sculpture made from a bike spanner and shower curtain rings, all held together with cable ties. Intrinsically, nothing special, but this guy has more to him than that. He's one of a pair, but he's different because of where he's been and who he's met. The other one has been nowhere and met no one.
He's an experiment to see whether the provenance of a piece can add value to it over and above what it might otherwise be worth. I think this is an interesting concept. But what originally brought Prov to my attention is the subtle teasing that his creator, Kate, has been doing around town. I first spotted a Prov stencil in January and a bit of googling turned up a website that explained the concept and tracked Prov's travels. He's been around for a little more than a year now and the list of people he's met is pretty impressive, including Tinchy Strider and some of the cast of Hollyoaks.
I'm interested in the street art side of Prov and Kate's use of it to promote him in a subtle way. After a couple of false starts, I managed to meet Kate this afternoon for a beer and we talked about all things Prov. I was amazed when she told me that she does most of the stencils in broad daylight, figuring that, as long as she chooses her sites wisely, then there's unlikely to be an objection. The promotion of Prov will continue and Kate says she hopes to keep the stencils evolving. There's an event coming in the near future that has a logo with obvious possibilities for Prov promotion. No doubt I'll be posting shots of that when it happens.
So, I finally got to meet Prov. I'm chuffed about that because it all started from that shot back in January and I just love how these things can develop and connect people. I chose this shot to post because you can see that Tomo has signed it. He was the winner of the people's choice at the Liverpool Art Prize recently. He's on the list as well.