Collection: Blek Le Rat

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.
Banksy, 2005

The “Godfather” of Graffiti Art, Blek Le Rat (or Xavier Prou to his mother) was born in Paris in 1951. Considered by many to be the originator of stencil graffiti, Blek has been adorning the streets of Paris with his hugely original and intelligent artwork since the early eighties. A massive influence on today’s graffiti and guerrilla art movements, Blek’s arresting images have a timeless, universal appeal that go beyond underground street art. 

During 1981 to 1983 at the beginning of the stencil graffiti art I had the idea to use stencil 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.”