In the world of street art, the names of some graffiti artists have reached legendary status. With messages spanning from social causes to cultural critiques, their works have transcended the walls to become the beacon of a new art revolution.
The Evocative World of Banksy
Starting our list is the mysterious and evocative Banksy. No discussion about street art or graffiti can be complete without mentioning this anonymous Bristol-born artist. Banksy transformed refuse-ridden alleys into canvases for political commentary, inspiring social movements and stimulating intense debate.
The Colorful Rebellion of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Basquiat’s rise from homeless teen to art-world superstar in the span of a few short years is a testament to his raw talent. In his short life, Basquiat has created over 1000 drawings and around 1500 canvases carrying his iconoclastic graffiti poetry.
The Energetic Tags of Kase2
An iconic figure in the world of New York Graffiti, Kase2 was considered "The King" of the moving canvas – otherwise known as subway graffiti. Despite losing an arm in an accident, his enthusiasm for graffiti was unscathed and he continued to drape the urban jungle in his specific style.
Os Gemeos – The Twin Revolution
Identical twins, Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, also known as Os Gemeos (The Twins), form a dynamic duo in the street art scene. Fusing their Brazilian cultural roots with 80s hip-hop influences, their works are a dreamlike blend of yellow-skinned figures, folkloric scenes and social-political commentaries.
The Eclectic Exposures of Dondi White
Pioneer of the New York City Subway Graffiti Movement, Dondi White emerged in the 1980s, and his work has influence, inspiration, and reference for countless artists after him. His name is spoken of in hallowed terms among those inspired by the limitless medium of graffiti.
The Prolific Works of Shepard Fairey
Shepard Fairey rose to worldwide fame with his ‘Obey Giant’ sticker campaign and iconic ‘Hope’ artwork for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. His provocative and distinctive works have made a lasting impact on the design and graffiti industry.
Blek le Rat – The Man Who Gave Birth to Banksy
Tagged as the Godfather of stencil graffiti, Blek Le Rat is one of the earliest graffiti artists who’ve popularized stencil graffiti. He also pioneered the vision of graffiti as a means of voicing social and political messages.
Keith Haring’s Graphic Grit
Keith Haring’s art is a testament to the belief that art should be for everyone. His infinitely familiar bold, outlined figures and pulsing patterns transformed subway graffiti into pop art, becoming integral in the 1980s aesthetic.
Miss Van’s Graffiti Glamour
Miss Van, born as Vanessa Alice, is one of the best known female graffiti artists worldwide. Her sultry, feather-clad feminine figures- ‘Poupe’es’-have decorated urban landscapes in Europe and Americas and given women a voice in the male-centric graffiti world.
The Vibrant World of Lady Pink
Born in Ecuador and raised in New York, Lady Pink, dubbed as “the first lady of graffiti”, is a trailblazer who’s smashed stereotypes to emerge as one of the most influential figures in feminist graffiti art.
The Pop Culture Remixes of Ron English
Infamous for his subvertising, Ron English uses his work to remix and subvert well-known advertising and pop culture icons towards his own ends. His distinctive style has earned him the nickname of "The Godfather of Street Art."
The language graffiti art uses – from colors to form to space – often speaks louder than words, making it a strong medium for those who want to express strong emotions, draw attention to important issues, or simply turn a drab wall into a gargantuan masterpiece.
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