Street Art has spread from its punk, skate, hip-hop and anti-establishment roots into high-class galleries and prestigious auction houses around the world. There is a huge spectrum of artists that work in many different ways throughout this genre, but here are 10 that you need to know now!
The creative powerhouse behind the ‘Obey’ imagery. From Charleston, South Carolina, he emerged from the punk and skate scene using a cropped black and white picture of the wrestler ‘Andre the Giant’ as his trademark sign. He is one of the most widely popularised street Artists in the World, and if you look hard enough, you can find his influence all across the globe.
You will also know him from his famous poster of Obama with the slogan ‘Hope’ emblazoned underneath.
This distinctive French street artist uses everyday tiles as pixels to create his unforgettable graphic collages and characters. Taken from the game, along with his title, these blocky and quirky creatures can be found moving around the buildings and streets of Paris, LA and the rest of the World. His geometric and minimal style really marks him out in a genre populated with pop art, hip-hop and punk influences.
The name means ‘the Twins’ is Portuguese, and is the name given to two identical twin brothers from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Their figures and style are influenced by a combination of hip-hop and Brazilian culture, and often stand as monolithic characters as high as buildings. They painted a gigantic person on the facade of the Tate Modern in London, one of the worlds leading contemporary art galleries, and their murals often contain political and didactic elements.
D*Face is an English street artist from London. AKA Dean Stockton, his style grew from a frustration with the 9 – 5 grind of daily work, so in retaliation he began to make stickers from the unique characters that were emerging from his creative mind. This process quickly escalated and his standalone images and posters can be recognized all around the world, both inside galleries and out on the streets.
Influenced by skate, hip-hop and punk culture, the DIY ethics of these movements permeate his stylish work. He has worked with Christina Aguilera and founded the first Gallery in London specially dedicated to street Art.
This artist is brutal and unapologetic. His stark and crude street art is dark and unforgettable, and he was working in this way at a time when everyone else was employing the clean lines of stencils or the polished, airbrushed style that had emerged from hip-hop influences. His devils, demons and dropouts are macabre yet funny, and his creepy hairy hands claw their way across cities and vehicles across the globe. He is influential within the Skate community, having been featured on the front page of Thrasher and designed graphics for clothing lines and decks.
Kripoe is a street artist from Berlin, who also works a great deal in Istanbul. He paints a yellow Simpsons like cartoon hand in hundreds of different poses. Sometimes they point and wave at you, fly in the air in defiant fists, or gesture to various people and the sky. Kripoe also uses an eyeball image that allows the streets to look back at the people walking past. These are often grouped together across larger walls, making it appear as if these cities are spying on their inhabitants.
Hahan is an Indonesian artist that uses his native Mythology, cartoons and themes of rejection and success in the art world to create layered and bold graphic images. Hahan’s canvases and works are funny and esoteric, borrowing iconography from a huge variety of high and low sources. The bright, flat colours and clear shading has pop art undertones.
A Hawaiian born artist working mainly in the US, his portraits are carefully created in places with water, so that each image is reflected in the rivers and canals below. He uses a paddleboard to carry himself and his materials, as well as finding new walls and surfaces to work on. Hula often spends days floating along the waterways of a city whilst secretly painting his haunting and beautiful artworks.
Cekis was an early influencer in the South American street art movement. Hailing from Chile, his style incorporates elements of social realism and takes influence from the large-scale murals that populate the country. His work packs a powerful political punch, as well as being bold and visually arresting.
Jaz combines tar and gasoline to his paint to create watercolour and painterly effects. His dynamic wrestlers and animals have a strong presence and are often twisted into huge wall sized compositions. This willingness to experiment and move away from traditional materials, without losing the DIY ethics that sit at the heart of great street art, is what has allowed Jaz to carve such a unique niche within street art. He comes from Buenos Aires in Argentina.