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Blek le Rat

In 1981, the rats scurried out of the sewers, the metro tunnels and the labyrinthine catacombs of Paris. Rifling through bourgeois sensibilities, they brought with them a new urban virus - the universal pandemic of ideas, voices, images, emotions and pirate creativity that we now know as ‘street art’. Call him a legend, call him the ‘Godfather’ or just call him Xavier, Blek le Rat created an infectious new paradigm both in the understanding of art’s role in society and our everyday interactions with the once numb world around us. Harnessing fine art, an intangibly French hue of imagination, a hint of mime, a profound channel of shared humanity, a whisper of faded memory, mirrors onto the absurd and a transformational idea, he hijacked art from the sterility of clique, money and cultural arrogance and sent it coursing through the streets and the veins of modern life.

As the symbolism of the rats slowly took hold in the shadows of the Louvre, Blek pioneered myriad incarnations of the stencil as the tool of the artistic heist. With a wry wink to pop art, fascist propaganda, and the liberte, fraternite, egalite that rang so hollow, he created a searingly human language of visual poetry - as much a product and a part of its environment as those who viewed it. His art transcended barrier after barrier, always one step ahead of originality’s curve. Everymen melted into pathos, taboos were broken, the halos were rattled atop cultural paragons and sepia monochromes breathed life into the rat race. Piercing figures bursting out of cold concrete bathed in the light of life, and the blight of strife. He fundamentally changed the way we see art and ourselves and a few paragraphs could never do it justice. So over to the man himself with immense respect.

Profile for LSD Magazine

LSD Magazine - Issue 9 - Chasing Dragons  

Issue 9 of LSD Magazine is out now. Bursting at the digital seams with sizzling art, searching interviews, slamming music, a dash of politi...

LSD Magazine - Issue 9 - Chasing Dragons  

Issue 9 of LSD Magazine is out now. Bursting at the digital seams with sizzling art, searching interviews, slamming music, a dash of politi...

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