“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
Describing the rat as “The only free animal in the city” street artist Bleck le Rat (Xavier Prou) has been painting vermin all over the streets of Paris since 1981. Originally influenced by the subway and train art culture in New York city Blek decided to take his approach in another direction. Instead of the colorful graff he saw in the states Blek felt stencils better suited european architecture giving them a cleaner more uniform aesthetic. Another of Blek’s process influence came from British artist Richard Hambelton, the originator of the life-size stencil. Blek’s subjects are usually the homeless, his rats and solitary individuals in opposition to larger, oppressive groups pointing out truths in our society. Blek Le Rat will forever be known as a legend in the minds of street artists all over the world.