Posts tagged ‘Street Artist’

March 26, 2011

Lee Quinones

Born Of Many Apples by Lee Quinones

Lee Quiñones [kwi-nohn] (b. 1960) is one of several artists rising from the NYC subway graffiti movement. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Lower East Side Manhattan, Lee was constantly drawing since the age of five and started with graffiti in 1974. By 1976, Lee was a legend, working in the shadow, leaving huge pieces of art across the subway system. His style is rooted in popular culture, often with political messages. Along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lee Quiñones was one of the innovators of New York’s street-art movement and is considered the single most influential artist to emerge from the graffiti era.

As a subway graffiti artist, Lee almost exclusively painted whole cars (all together about 125), and he was a major contributor to the first-ever whole-train. In November 1976, ten subway cars were painted with a range of colorful murals and set a new benchmark for the scale of graffiti works. Quiñones often added poetic messages in his pieces such as: ‘Graffiti is art and if art is a crime, please God, forgive me.’ He was one of the first street artists to transition fine art. The 1979 exhibition of his canvases at Claudio Bruni’s Galleria Medusa in Rome introduced street art to the rest of the world.

January 5, 2011

Shepard Fairey


make art not war

Shepard Fairey (b. 1970) is a contemporary artist, graphic designer, and illustrator who emerged from the American skateboarding scene. He first became known for his ‘André the Giant Has a Posse’ (…OBEY…) sticker campaign, in which he appropriated images from the comedic supermarket tabloid ‘Weekly World News.’ His work became more widely known in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, specifically his Barack Obama ‘HOPE’ poster.

Fairey’s first art museum exhibition, titled ‘Supply & Demand’ like his earlier book, was in Boston at the Institute of Contemporary Art in the summer of 2009. The exhibition featured over 250 works in a wide variety of media: screen prints, stencils, stickers, rubylith illustrations, collages, and works on wood, metal and canvas. As a complement to the ICA exhibition, Fairey created public art works around Boston. The artist explains his driving motivation: ‘The real message behind most of my work is ‘question everything.”

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July 9, 2010

Blek le Rat

blek le rat

Blek le Rat was born Xavier Prou in Paris in 1952.

He is considered by many the godfather of stencil graffiti art. He began his artwork in 1981, painting stencils of rats on the street walls of Paris, describing the rat as ‘the only free animal in the city,’ and one which ‘spreads the plague everywhere, just like street art.’ His name originates from a childhood cartoon ‘Blek le Roc,’ using ‘rat’ as an anagram for ‘art.’

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July 9, 2010



Banksy is the pseudonym of a prolific British grafiti artist whose identity is still unknown. His artworks are often satirical pieces on topics such as politics, culture, and ethics. His street art, which combines graffiti writing and stenciling has been compared to Parisian graffiti artist Blek le Rat and members of the punk band Crass who maintained a graffiti stencil campaign on the London subway system in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Banksy’s art has appeared in cities around the world. Art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder. Banksy’s first film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.