Pete McKee: Mystery surrounds iconic Sheffield artist with announcement expected
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Mr McKee, one of the most famous local artists in Sheffield, has promised the announcement will be made tomorrow by his gallery – but he has given no clues over what it will be.
The painter is famous for his distinctive painting style, and his work can be seen in murals across the city including The Snog – a work on the side of Fagan’s pub on Broad Lane, which has been in place for 10 years.
He is also a big voice in support of the NHS after having had a series of lifesaving operations, including a liver transplant in Leeds in 2017. He then underwent another serious operation in 2019, when he was in surgery for more than seven hours.
In 2021, the 56-year-old tweeted from his bed in the ICU to thank the ‘utterly amazing’ team at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield for saving his life for a third time, after discovering he had severe heart failure.
The former supermarket worker and postman is internationally recognised for his gritty cartoon style and some of his big name fans include Oasis and the Arctic Monkeys. Noel Gallagher named an album Council Skies after a McKee work.
Fans were up in arms after two of his iconic paintings on city centre streets were covered over – with some saying it was “like getting rid of Banksy”. His mural of a dog with its nose in a packet of biscuits, called ‘Frank’, was found to be almost completely covered up by an awning on Burton Street back in August.
And just a week later, eagle-eyed fans spotted his painting ‘Muriel’, on the site of The Art House on Carver Street, had been almost completely covered up by builders' temporary cabins.
Earlier this year he said he hoped to run events to mark the 10th anniversary of his mural The Snog appearing on the side of Fagan’s. It was painted by him on April 20, 2013. Fagan’s was recently taken over by a consortium of owners including Matt Helders, a member of the Arctic Monkeys.