Xavier Prou also known as Blek le Rat was one of the first graffiti artists in Paris, and has been described as the “Father of Stencil Graffiti”.
Prou began his artwork in 1981, painting stencils of rats on the walls of Paris streets. His name originates from the comic book Blek le Roc, using “rat” as an anagram for “art”.
He has had a great influence on today’s graffiti-art and “guerilla-art” movements, the main motivation of his work being social consciousness and the desire to bring art to the people. Many of his pieces are pictorials of solitary individuals in opposition to larger, oppressive groups. He has also been noted for his series of images representing the homeless, begun in 2006, which depict them standing, sitting, or lying on sidewalks, in attempts to bring attention to what he views as a global problem
‘Blek Le Rat: Getting Through the Walls’ charts the life and work of Blet Le Rat. The book features photographs of hundreds of Blek’s works and an in-depth exploration of the method and meaning behind his stencils and posters, as well as a look at the evolution of urban art from New York, Paris, Barcelona, and Buenos Aires to London, Taipei, Naples, and Berlin. More than 300 illustrations, 290 in full colour.
This book is a unique view inside the life and work of one of the most private, but also one of the most loved, most applauded and most influential figures in street art. From small and simple stencils to complex multimedia events, the distinctive and groundbreaking art of Blek le Rat is showcased here for the first time, demonstrating the fascinating development of his technique and creativity over two decades. It will inspire and inform enthusiasts of street and urban culture and students alike. It will inspire anyone interested in design or contemporary urban culture.