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Mystery Mario Lanza artist strikes again in Stourbridge
12:00pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
AN artist who has kept Black Country folk baffled for years with his mysterious sketches of opera singer Mario Lanza has struck again.
The mystery artist, who draws cartoon pictures of the singer on beermats, was found to have left behind a familiar calling card at a phone box at Stourbridge Junction railway station.
Stourbridge News editorial assistant Daisy Bennett made the discovery on August 10 with her three-year-old nephew Gareth.
Daisy, aged 29, from Stourbridge, said: “I’ve read about the Mario Lanza cards for a number of years now, so it was exciting to find one in such a public place.”
The shadowy figure, whose work is signed AJW, often includes a fact or a quote with the trademark sketches - which have been popping up in pubs, shops and other locations across the Black Country for the last 50 years.
Most recent finds have mostly referenced similarly mysterious graffiti-like black cat images that popped up on buildings around the town some time ago.
The card found Daisy at Stourbridge Junction read: “My Stourbridge cats have gone (been removed) but Mario’s face lives on!
Another, found on August 16 in Stourbridge’s Co-Op shop, said: “Well folks they removed my cats, but they can’t remove me!”
Teacher Mike Steven has also found a number of beer mats in Wollaston by the artist which refer to the arty black graffiti cats.
The latest, discovered on July 31, read: “Well folks my black cat’s have been removed all around town. But Mario’s face lives on! Not only that it’s all on film. Aren’t I a clever boy!”
Finders of the calling cards are invited to post pictures on a Facebook page honouring the elusive artist, which has notched up 387 members and which can be found at www.facebook.com/mariolanzaAJW
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