Graffiti artist behind Dog revealed

The graffiti artist who painted a tribute to cartoonist Murray Ball has come forward, saying he needs to thank people for the public response.

Earlier this month a painting of Dog from Footrot Flats appeared on the side of a water reservoir at Big King Reserve, in Auckland's Three Kings.

Ball died a week ago, aged 78, after a battle with Alzheimer's.

Artist Paul Walsh has now come forward to claim responsibility for the tribute, saying he couldn't stay quiet after the public response.

In a message posted on his official Facebook page, he said he didn't say anything initially because the painting was done without permission.

But now he wanted to say thanks.

"For petitioning Watercare to let it stay; thanks to Watercare for being good fellas and letting it stay (and not pressing charges!); and of course a huge thanks to the tens of thousands of people who left positive comments, likes and messages in response.

"It's also amazing to see the feedback it has been getting in person. There was a stream of people up there all weekend getting their own photos.

"I sat there for an hour eavesdropping."

Walsh said Ball was one of New Zealand's greatest cartoonists.

He painted the tribute on the night he heard Ball had died.

"Murray Ball was an amazing cartoonist, I read every dog-eared copy of Footrot Flats multiple times, and it was an honour to create my own small tribute to his genius and the indelible imprint he left on life in these islands I call home.

"May he never be forgotten. Chur."

Many have commented that the tribute is particularly fitting, as it is in a dog-friendly park with an off-leash exercise area.

Walsh has previously painted other murals on the tower, including "grumpy cat" in 2012.

But that one was painted over by Watercare six months after it went up.

Walsh said at the time that he liked to make his neighbourhood look more interesting.

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