Blek le Rat (Xavier Prou) has been described in many ways… some call him “the man who gave birth to Banksy.“, others — “the grandfather of street art“. Most within the global street art community fondly address Blek as the “original stencil pioneer“, “The old man of street art“, or the “modern street art messiah“. In fact, it often seems that street artists rising in popularity look to Blek for a nod of approval… like a son or daughter who desires his/her father to be proud.
Those in the know are quick to note the influence Blek has had on a younger generation of street artists — such as Shepard Fairey — who arguably would have never gained momentum within mainstream culture had it not been for Blek trailblazing a path a decade or more before. In many ways Blek changed the course of street art history — and art history for that matter….