Blek le Rat a genuine pioneer of graffiti writers and street art, le Rat was one of the first people to use stencils to make public art on the street using icons instead of writing his name. First exposed to graffiti in 1971 in New York he was inspired by a stenciled portrait he saw of Mussolini amongst some WWII ruins during a trip to Italy, he created a stencil of a life-sized silhouette of a rat running along the streets and the rest you could say is history.
One notable and very recent move included Blek pasting hundreds of posters around Paris of Florence Aubenas, a French journalist who was kidnapped in Iraq, hoping to provoke a reaction from politicians and journalists and aid in her release. This project gained Blek incredible public support, and has encouraged him to continue to use his Street Art as a voice for the less fortunate and has shown how his work has evolved over the years.
Bringing us to his latest project which is a a solo exhibition entitled ‘Art Is Not Peace But War’ set to launch on April 5th at Subliminal Projects Gallery is certain to amass a lot of talk. The concept for Art Is Not Peace But War is inspired by an article about graffiti written by Norman Maile for The New York Times in 1972 read by le Rat during his first visit to New York. Le Rat views graffiti as the most democratic form of art and parlays this perspective into each of his works. “Urban art is a powerful way to serve social causes and evoke reaction from the people, and if you have a message to give to the public, it is the best way to give it.” The exhibition will also see a series of limited edition prints series be publishes to commemorate the show in addition signed copies of the French edition of Blek le Rat – En Traversant Les Murs, spanning two decades and documenting the life and work of Blek le Rat, will be available for sale in the gallery store.
Subliminal Projects Gallery
1331 W. Sunset Blvd • Los Angeles, CA 90016 • Tel: 213.383.9299 • Fax: 213.383.9994