Style and technique of the artist: Stencil Graffiti,
Born Xavier Prou
Blek Le Rat
1981 to 1983 the beginning of the stencil graffiti art. I had the idea to use stencils to make graffiti for one reason. I did not want to imitate the American graffiti that I had seen in NYC in 1971 during a journey I had done over there.I wanted to have my own style in the street… I began to spray some small rats in the streets of Paris because rats are the only wild living animals in cities and only rats will survive when the human race will have disappeared and died out.
Blek Le Rat interview
Blek Le Rat is me, I am completely inside myself. (laughs) But seriously, as an artist I have always wanted to reach someone. When I was young I would dream of being a pop star. I came to New York in 1971 and it was during the hippy times. The times of Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. After being exposed to that I really wanted to be a pop star but as you can see that did not happen. Instead I became an artist. What can I say, I have a normal life, I do not go out very often. I have a wife and a child. I am focusing on my work a lot. I don’t take drugs, no wine, no alcohol. Just a completely regular guy who happens to do art in the streets…
Blek Le Rat
Studying architecture, he explains, taught him how to understand an urban landscape and how to see the space around him. This, combined with the “illumination” that came with discovering a new world of politics and sociological awareness, and his earlier studies in lithography and painting, made street art an obvious outlet for his talents: and so, in 1981, he began to combine his skills, to express his thoughts and create art for the masses…
Blek Le Rat
To say we’re fans of Blek Le Rat would be an understatement. The artist inspired Banksy, the most famous name in the world of urban art, to cut and paint his first stencil.
He was the first urban artist to use stencils to carve out unmistakable and provocative street images, so we’re thrilled that he’s collaborating with us in our Berlin Stencil Art challenge. And don’t forget, five winners of the challenge will be flown to Berlin to paint their work onto the city, and Blek Le Rat himself will paint his own stencil beside you.