Published February 2009 Vol. 13 Issue 1
From humble beginnings as pure vandalism, street art has transformed into an internationally embraced art form. Artists Shepard Fairey, Banksy and others have crossed over into the mainstream—becoming household names and very, very rich.
In November, 2008 Megafon, a street magazine in Bergen, Norway ran an art auction with works of famous and up-coming street artists from around the world. They gathered artwork from about 40 artists and had a one night only exhibition in Bergen. All the artwork was sold, and they raised NOK 175,000 (about $26,000 USD).
In order to get the work together, Morten Heszlein, administrator of Megafon Magazine and auction curator said, “I sent out a description of the project to all the street artists I knew of, and some I didn’t know of, and asked them to donate an artwork for this project. It was as easy as that. And the response was overwhelming.”
The money raised will go toward arranging a big outdoor fundraising concert called Street Noise, which will be raising funds for the International Network of Street Papers during its conference in May, 2009. The INSP is a network that supports nearly 100 papers that create employment for homeless people in 40 countries. “We are aiming at making this into an international event, and are currently working on getting some big artists to play,” Heszlein said.
Dolk Lundgren, or simply Dolk (Norwegian for dagger/knife), is a Norwegian stencil artist whose work has rapidly gained popularity since first being introduced to the masses via Wooster Collective (street works) and Pictures on Walls (POW). His official biography, courtesy of POW, stated, “The premier stencil artist in Norway and wise beyond his years, Dolk has been voted 'most likely to succeed' by his classmates at vandal school."
Hometown: I come from Huddersfield, in northern England.
Education: I studied Art & Design at college, then did a degree in Graphics at University.
Work: I have always drawn/painted/created and now I continue to try to get my drawings onto as many surfaces as I can. I run a live art night, and an online arts/culture magazine called 'Dirt Cheap'
Originally from Baltimore MD, Stain says his work “explores the emotional and physical struggle of growing up in an urban environment.”
“My particular style came from a lack of funds for screen printing equipment,” he says. “I had learned the basics of screen printing in high school, and around 1998 when I got the urge to print again, I got to work cutting stencils out of cardboard and using spray paint to reproduce the image. Since then I have been fortunate enough to paint and show in galleries around the world. I've been featured in books such as “Stencil Pirates,” “Stencil Graffiti,” “Stencil Nation,” “i ny,” “Going Postal,” “Reproduce and Revolt,” “Realizing the Impossible,” and several magazines.”
Rene Gagnon grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts. “I tagged under the alias ‘SNO,’ he says. “My reign of vandalism took place between the years 1986 to 1993. After getting in my fair share of trouble I retired my markers and spray cans and went to art school.”
After attending The Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and becoming an illustrator, Gagnon went back to street art when he was fed up illustrating for clients. “I began painting for me again,” he said, “void of any notion to sell my work. This endeavor brought me back to my roots. I began using graffiti form and color to create large abstract works on canvas.”
One change as Gagnon has matured as an artist is that his interest is more on ideas than just presence. “Unlike when I was a teenager, I carefully choose the placements and the content of my work instead of wildly writing my name on every possible surface.”
Pøbel Hard Work
Pøbel is a humble artist from Norway who likes to paint deserted houses and stranded whales. His images are known to be big, beautiful, high on detail, and slightly disturbing.
Zef is a street artist from London.
Bandit Teenage Alien
Dave Kinsey was born in Pittsburgh in 1971 and attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Art Institute of Atlanta before moving to California in 1994 to pursue a career as a designer and fine artist. His work captures aspects of the human condition mainly through an energetic portrayal of urban figures. Working spontaneously, and utilizing a range of mediums, he constructs multi-layered, textured environments easily likened to the complexities of contemporary life.
Kinsey founded BLK/MRKT Gallery in 2001, allowing him to provide a crossroads for a new movement of emerging iconoclasts. In addition to these pursuits, his fine art has been shown in galleries and museums worldwide.
With a political activist background, Arofish has certainly earned his stripes in anti-war stencil art. It's not only the image that’s important to him, but also the location, very much liking his graffiti to interact with its surroundings. Now residing in London you'll find his works not only in the capital city, but as far a field as Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.