Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Random Thursday: Art That Inspires Me...

This week I am SO on the ball. It's Wednesday, I'm blogging like crazy, and I'm totally going to have this post up tonight. I think. Maybe. Lin, Meg, and I want you to get with the creative and show us:

I am a huge graffiti and street art fan. And I mean HUGE. I've spent years peering and venturing down alleyways that most people avoid, just to check out a new piece, stencil or paste-up. I've scrambled over fences, wandered down railway lines and even crawled into abandoned buildings to take photos. I've got hundreds - if not thousands - of photos of my favourite street artists, and a couple of shelves of graffiti books. Yeah, you could say it's one of my things. So even though there are lots of different kinds of art I like, I'm gonna walk you through a few of my top fave street artists.

1. Banksy

Of course. I've loved this guy for years - I remember when no one had any idea who I was raving about. I love his style, his sense of humour and how he manages to boil down complex issues to one image with or without a few choice words to make an amazingly succinct point. He never gets boring and constantly outdoes himself. If you haven't heard of him before, do yourself a favour and get to googling. And don't tell me, because I like y'all and then I would have to disown you. (Get more Banksy here.)

2. Shephard Fairey (AKA Obey)

I love this guy's style. Edgy, clean, spunky -  and he also likes to take on social commentary and statement graphics. I have the first image as a print over my desk as I'm typing, and it's one of my all-time fave images. (Visit his website here.)

3. Daim

Daim, a German artist, is known for his 3D, intricate, clean-edged murals. As the daughter of a designer, his murals really appeal to me. (Find him here.)

4. Os Gemeos

Os Gemeos (Portuguese for "The Twins") are two artists from Brazil. I love that their style is so unique and recognizable - and they paint on a huge scale with amazing colours. (Visit their website here for more of their art - though the text is in Portuguese.)

5.  Swoon

Representin' for the ladies, Swoon is an awesome artist who mostly specializes in paper cut-outs of amazing intricacy.

6. Blek le Rat

Blek, known as "the Father of Stencil Graffiti," pioneered the aesthetic style that many others, including Banksy, have adopted and made their own. Blek first started hitting up walls on the Paris streets in 1981 (the year I was born!) and has been one of the big names in street art ever since. (Check out his website here.)

7. Miss Tic

Another French street artist, Miss Tic creates sexy, attention-grabbing images usually accompanied by thought-provoking wordplay (for example the top one is a play on "Amazon" and "a ma zone," which means "in my zone" roughly translated). I like how sassy and... well, FRENCH she is! (You can find more Miss Tic here, although it is in French!)

8. Lady Pink

Have you ever seen that really old classic movie Wild Style?  About the genesis of hip hop/graffiti in New York in the early '80s? Well Lady Pink is the girl graffiti artist in that movie. I have so much respect for her, not only because of her artistic style. She first started tagging at age 15, in the late 1970s. Girls weren't a big part of the early graffiti scene, so I see her as a great pioneer and role model for female artists. If you want to check out more girls in graffiti, there's an excellent book called Graffiti Women that showcases the work of female street artists around the world. (Find more Lady Pink here.)

9. The Dark

The Dark is a local street artist in my hometown (Vancouver, BC) and I absolutely love his work.  It's kind of like a cross between Banksy, Swoon and Miss Tic, and for years it was the backdrop to my nights out on the town.

Want more street art? Check out these awesome sites:


  1. Em, you have such amazing taste! I totally drew a blank on paintings and visual art when I was writing up my post. I connect more to music I think, so it was the first thing that popped into my head. Can't wait to see the rest of your picks!

  2. I love street art too! Thanks for showing my some artists I did not know before. :) You rock!


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