Juxtapoz // Wednesday, March 05, 2008
A pioneer of graffiti writers in Europe, Blek 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.
He was first exposed to graffiti in 1971 in New York, but didn’t start making his own until ten years later in Paris. 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. Thus, Blek le Rat was born.
Subliminal Projects Gallery is proud to announce, Art Is Not Peace But War, a solo exhibition by Blek le Rat. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States, a historic event! The inaugural exhibition also marks the celebration of the new locale, an expanded Subliminal Projects Gallery in Los Angeles' Echo Park.
Art Is Not Peace But War offers an unprecedented collection of new works, including original screen prints, paintings, and a site-specific, three-dimensional installation. Blek le Rat will also exhibit several original large-scale paintings featuring his iconic character, an archetypal traveler who walks through walls, discovering the world. Sybille Prou, a photojournalist and the artist’s wife, will exhibit her stunning, digital photos of le Rat’s street work for the first time in a gallery setting. This will be a rare opportunity to view both artists’ works together, and we’re as giddy as a pack of schoolgirls about it all!