Pioneering French graffiti artist Blek Le Rat was born in 1952 in Boulogne-Billancourt within the western suburbs of Paris. Blek is taken into account amongst one of many first graffiti artists in Paris, and infrequently described because the “Father of stencil graffiti”.
Blek started his graffiti artwork in 1981, utilizing stencils as an alternative of stylized lettering for graffiti. His gigantic graphic pictures of rats which he stenciled throughout Paris took the town unexpectedly. To him picture of rat symbolized each freedom and the dissemination of artwork by way of the town as if it have been the plague. He himself described the rat as “the one free animal within the metropolis”, and one which “spreads the plague in all places, similar to road artwork”.
Blek was impressed by early graffiti-art of New York Metropolis throughout his go to in 1971. After his return he started to look out for prospects that he can use to deliver graffiti to Paris. Not like graffiti artwork of New York he developed a special type which he felt higher suited Paris, as a result of differing structure of the 2 cities. Blek additionally acknowledges the affect of Canadian artist Richard Hambleton, who painted large-scale human figures within the 1980s. Blek’s oldest preserved road artwork graffiti, a 1991 duplicate of Caravaggio’s Madonna di Loreta, which he devoted to his future spouse Sybille, was rediscovered behind posters on a home wall in Leipzig, Germany, in 2012.
Blek was caught in 1991 by French authorities whereas stenciling a reproduction of Caravaggio’s Madonna and Youngster, and from that time on, he most well-liked to work solely with pre-stenciled posters, citing the faster software of the medium to partitions, in addition to lessened punishment ought to he be caught within the act.
Blek who has had an incredible affect on right now’s graffiti-art and “guerilla-art” actions, counts the notorious Banksy amongst his many admirers. The primary motive of his graffiti is to develop social consciousness and the will to deliver artwork to the folks. Lots of his items are pictorials of solitary people in opposition to bigger, oppressive teams. Lately Blek’s work has change into extra political, specializing in the homeless, the setting, and different social causes. His posters of kidnapped French journalist Florence Aubenas helped to boost public consciousness of her state of affairs, pressuring politicians and journalists to work tougher for her launch. In 2006 he started his sequence of pictures representing the homeless, which depict them standing, sitting, or mendacity on sidewalks, in makes an attempt to deliver consideration to what he views as a world drawback.
Though Blek expressed desire for the streets over galleries, stating the integrity of an artist is to be seen by as many individuals as potential, not being offered or acknowledged in a museum, his work has been proven in varied exhibitions. In October 2003, he had his first solo exhibition in London on the Leonard Road Gallery. He participated within the Cans Pageant in 2008, which featured out of doors road stencil portray in Waterloo, London. His American gallery debut happened at Subliminal Initiatives Gallery in Los Angeles in 2008. It included work, silkscreen, and three-dimensional art work, in addition to pictures from his spouse, Sybille Prou. Blek additionally had an exhibition in December 2009 on the Metro Gallery in Melbourne, a centre of road artwork in Australia. The exhibition entitled “Le Ciel Est Bleu, La Vie Est Belle” (The sky is blue, life is gorgeous), featured wood panels, canvas, screen-print, and images.
— to thekashmirimages.com