Where Louis XIV Meets Crash and Blade

Our favorite stencil bearing Frenchman, Blek le Rat, caught the attention of The New York Times this last week. As part NYC’s group exhibition, “Whole in the Wall,” hosted by Helenbeck Gallery, Blek’s works hung alongside those of Banksy, Martha Cooper, Crash, Blade, and more. The New York Times covered the opening reception, writing up this tidbit of graff history:

Blek le Rat photo source: Flickr

“The French call it le graf or le tag: the style of urban artwork that was born nearly four decades ago on New York City subways and brick walls, influencing a generation of artists, self-taught and otherwise, across the world . . .

With works by pioneering Bronx graffiti writers like Crash and Blade and their descendants, including Blek le Rat, a Parisian known for his stencil work, and the anonymous British artist Banksy, the show offers a diaspora that many Americans may not know existed. It’s evolved far beyond early tagging (abstractly writing a name or word in spray paint or marker, usually illegally) to more painterly and figurative forms.” -Melena Ryzik, The New York Times

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