Articles

Vital Information (10-27-10)

In Banksy, Rich, Street Art, Vital Information on October 27, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , ,

Blek Le Rat - Migration Vote (NYC, 2008)

Blek Le Rat

 

If Banksy is the door through which one generally enters the world of stenciled graffiti, Blek Le Rat is the foundation on which it is built.  Blek Le Rat was born in the Boulogne-Billancourt region of Paris in 1952 as Xavier Prou.  Originally a student of the more traditional art forms of painting and architecture,  Blek didn’t really find himself as an artist until he began experimenting with spray paint and stencils.  It was from these experiments that he would eventually be regarded as the “godfather of stenciled graffiti”.

Banksy has been quoted as calling Blek Le Rat his biggest influence, even going as far as to say “every time I think I’ve painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek Le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier”.  The feeling is apparently mutual as Blek Le Rat has openly expressed an interest in collaborating with Banksy, and has mentioned in interviews that they send each other their work.

Blek Le Rat might appear to be an unsung hero in terms of mainstream attention, but he is among the most celebrated artists of our time.  Most artists strive to create something original, few succeed, and even fewer can claim to have invented a whole new form of artistic expression as Le Rat has. As a result Blek Le Rat is guaranteed a special place in the annals of art history, especially as the medium he created continued to gain acceptance in mainstream art culture.

If you are a fan of Banksy or stencil art in general, and you have not yet checked out Blek Le Rat’s work, you can and should do so on his website.

-Rich

 

 

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