Each week, HIYA Gallery looks back on the history of art and more precisely on the history of street art and its associated movements. We try to highlight the pioneers of this movement who have become legends, the mythical works that have left their mark in the history of street art, as well as important cultural events concerning the development of street art and graffiti, such as books rare or cult, exhibitions making reference in the history of the movement, films and other events.
We believe that in order to understand and feel the art of our time, we must constantly learn where it came from and what its roots are. That is why, alongside the representation and promotion of artists, we want to share with you knowledge about the history of street art.
The series of street art legends from HIYA Gallery presents Jef Aérosol, born Jean-François Perroy (1957), pioneer of French urban stenciling.
Jef Aérosol made his first stencil in 1982, when it was still something new and immediately he was hooked. Aerosol stencils cover walls all over the world, and a very important part of his work is devoted to anonymous street characters: buskers, passers-by, beggars, children, the elderly, ordinary people ...
It is the portrait that interests him - no matter if it is a beggar or a celebrity - his distinctive style with a black and white portrayal of life-size figures are like still images from a movie called life. These characters are living shadows, says Aerosol, acting as a mirror for those who see them. In addition, viewers tend to identify with the images.
Jef Aérosol's extensive work has made him a living legend of street art and an inspiration for the new generation of street artists. And yet we all have the joy of unexpectedly encountering his new stenciled works on the streets or at exhibitions.
Blek The Rat
HIYA Gallery's street art legends series presents Blek Le Rat, born Xavier Prou (1951). Blek le Rat is considered one of the very first graffiti artists in Paris, and the founder of the stencil movement, hence his nickname "Father of stencil graffiti".
Blek's first stenciled works were black rats on the walls of the streets of Paris. He described the rat as "the only free animal in town", and the one that "spreads plague everywhere, just like street art".
In 1983, the artist began to paint life-size stencils which had become iconic and made him recognized all over the world.
In a desire to bring the inhabitants of cities closer to art, he cites the great classics such as Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Reni or Leonardo da Vinci. “I would like to take the characters out of the museums to give them back to the people of the city,” he said.