The urban art is a form of artistic expression that involves a whole series of demonstrations visual and cultural whose main objective challenge the legal frameworks and for this reason is a kind of art that is linked to the counterculture in the world. One of the representatives of this art is Blek le Rat , one of the main pioneers of the movement in Paris.
- When was born: 1951
- Nationality: French
Who is Blek le Rat?
Blek le Rat is considered one of the main exponents of urban art in Europe , who worked hard to demonstrate through his satire the social and political load while highlighting the beauty.
Blek le Rat biography
His real name is Xavier Prou and he was born in 1952 in Paris, France . He lived and grew up his childhood in one of the most privileged neighborhoods in the area, his family was quite cultured and wealthy and for this reason he managed to study in schools with educational prestige. As a young man, he took several courses in lithography , engraving and painting at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and also spent time studying architecture which helped him understand the different types of urban landscapes . His teachers were also Trotskyists , who taught him aspects related to politics and social conscience.
In 1971 , Blek le Rat paid a visit to New York where he took a closer look at the art of graffiti , along with when the phenomenon was gaining momentum. Years later, he tried to emulate that work of art on the streets of his city. However, he decided to increase his knowledge and techniques and started using the images and templates . He began to make his paintings on the street in 1891, pieces that were loaded with political and social satire . By 1983, Blek began to create human figures that stood out for their natural size.
Little by little he began to paint the streets of Paris freely and his type of urban art gained strength, becoming more popular every day in the place, which is why he was also arrested by the police on several occasions.
Blek le Rat Characteristics
Blek le Rat was an artist who decided in 1981 to fill the streets of Paris with drawings of rats.For him, this animal was the only one that had freedom in the city and there were also millions of them, an animal capable of instilling fear just like the made the plague during the Middle Ages . A strange way of telling people that the graffiti technique would reach every corner of the planet. The main characteristics that we can mention of this artist are the following:
- He has done his work in different countries such as New York, Argentina, England, and in cities such as Barcelona, Taipei and Berlin.
- Its name comes from a comic of Italian origin known as ” Blek the Rock “, a story that told how an American defended himself from the invasion caused by the British army .
- All the characters in his works are a projection of himself .
- For the artist, graffiti had the ability to tell the world about the type of society inhabited in the place.
- He was looking for a way to express beauty through images that at the same time had some kind of impact on people to help them with his art to leave behind the worries of daily life.
- He used objects mainly related to war tanks , human figures and rats in his works of art .
The technique Blek le Rat uses for his artistic creations is graffiti as a means of depicting and exposing things in life that happen in unexpected ways. It is also based on urban or street art as it is very often known but has its own style and artistic technique.
His main recognition has been worldwide in the field of art, being recognized as one of the main precursors of the current of graffiti and stencil in street art.
Blek le Rat works
Among the most important works of Blek le Rat are the following:
- Crowning rat, this work of art is a screenprint in a single color that shows one of its collections and one of its main items to highlight, a rat.
- Michelangelo’s David who is protected with a Kalashnikov as a measure of protest against the war that existed between Palestine and Israel.
- Getting through the walls , an illustrated book that reflected his life and work.
Blek le Rat was an artist who during the decade of the 80s managed to get young people to follow him so that together they could raise their voices against social slavery . It was also an inspiration for many artists who later followed in his footsteps.