Blek le Rat: Through the Walls

A pparently, when Blek le Rat was pasting up an image in a London street last year he was asked by an inquisitive passerby: “are you Banksy?” Such is the notable similarity between the two graffiti artist’s work


But Blek, a Frenchman, has been daubing rats, ironic self-portraits and stencilled socio-political commentary on city streets since 1981. Author Sybille Prou (who is also Mrs Blek le Rat) and filmmaker King Adz have done a fine job in bringing Blek’s story across, collecting together a range of images of the iconic street art he’s been making for nearly 30 years. Interestingly, Banksy’s very first “uno∞cial biography” is also published next month. Here, the reference to Blek’s potential influence is brief, but nonetheless revealing: “Every time I think I’ve painted some­thing original, I find out that Blek le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier.” Check out Blek’s book for some of those original ideas. 

Blek le Rat, Thames & Hudson; £11.95 (published May 12), Banksy’s Bristol: Home Sweet Home by Steve Wright, Tangent Books; £12. A Blek le Rat exhibition opens at the Thru Cargo Garden, Arch 461, 83 Rivington Street, London on May 9


More from CR

50 Cars = 1 Bus

Every day thousands of Swedes drive to the airport. In an effort to get them to take a Flygbussarna bus instead, Acne created this, somewhat literal, manifestation of some basic arithmetic. Traffic chaos ensued…

CRTV: Japan’s New Mohemians

M-novels, M-soap operas and a musician who goes on world tour from his living room – Kirsty Allison reports from Tokyo in this special CR film on Japan’s mobile culture

D&AD Awards 2009: Music Videos

Director James Frost talks about his time on the judging panel for the D&AD Music Video category and the impact of directing the video for Radiohead’s House of Cards

Graphic Designer

Fushi Wellbeing

Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency