Street art was my way of giving back to the people who helped me,’ Stik says.The artist is keen to stress that, for him, this community relationship is central to the whole enterprise of making street art — whether in London or farther-flung environs such as New York City; Berlin; Osaka; UtsiraIn 2008, Stik’s work was exhibited at The Foundry, a legendary East London music and art space, which closed just a couple of years later. ‘That was a very important venue to me because I used to clean the toilets there,’ says the artist whose work now hangs in the homes of Bono, Elton John and the Duke of Kent — among other high-profile names — and has achieved as much as £35,000 at auction (for ‘I was still figuring out who I was as an artist, still working out my mediums,’ Stik explains.
Invaders were soon … He is known for painting large stick figures.
You can tell a lot about someone just by the way they’re moving their back or their eyes.
It was squatting and eventually social housing which enabled me to gain a foothold and get back to a decent standard of life. Stik is a British graffiti artist based in London. Stik is Londons most treasured street artist. Stik has been creating Stik people around London for over ten years and anyone who has wandered around Shoreditch recently will have been greated by Stik’s supersize, bright street art adorning shop shutters and walls. Working from his East London studio, these projects are largely self-funded and he now creates monumental artworks with communities across the world.Born in 1979, Stik is famously guarded with even the most basic details of his biography. ‘We were all aware of each other’s work, even if we never met. Three figures representing the past, present and future of Shoreditch rise high over the former artists’ district, home now to only a handful of artists. You can see it from across the road. And our styles developed alongside each other,’ he says.Although it would take time for Stik to perfect the six-line, two-dot figures for which he is now known, they are loosely based on the Japanese calligraphic characters known as ‘I was unfortunate enough to be homeless for a period,’ explains the artist, who lived for a time at St Mungo’s Hostel, a Hackney shelter. ‘I’ve always drawn in a very simplistic style. But it took a toll on my body.
You can tell by someone’s walk if they’re angry, whether they’re happy or if they’ve just eaten. I learned from my contemporaries.’In the early 2000s, the London street-art scene was mostly centered in the East London borough of Hackney. View Stik’s 299 artworks on artnet. ‘I did everything by hand; there was no painting assistance whatsoever. Stik people initally began to appear in Hackney Wick and in recent years marched westward to Shoreditch and the rest of London.Stik people, although androgenous and constructed from simple shapes, are nevertheless capable of conveying complex body language and emotion. That’s what I’m trying to capture in my work – that direct recognitionAliCè, real name Alice Pasquini is a street artist from Rome.Why do you think street art is important and what message are you hoping to …In 1998 an invasion began on the streets of Paris as waves of Invaders began appearing on the street. Stik is an anonymous British street artist known for his iconic depictions of unassuming stick figures scrawled upon water towers, brick walls, and gated doors around the globe. Stik people initally began to appear in Hackney Wick and in recent years marched westward to Shoreditch and the rest of London. These themes of human emotion and expression are infused in Stik’s brightly coloured street art. You can see someone silhouetted against a white wall in the night and check whether they’re walking in an aggressive way or if they’re someone you know. Stik, the street artist, himself was homeless for a period and ideas surrounding human vulnerability are also detectable in his art.Beauty is in movement.
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