It all began four years ago when Bandit set out to create his first piece of street art, spraying a stencil portrait of Picasso on the drab alley walls of his hometown of Turnhout in Belgium, with the brazen call to arms slogan "Pablo Will Prove Us Right". He headed home with a healthy art glow. The next morning it had been painted over. Undaunted Bandit began phase two. A year later, he exploded on the streets of Spain with a vengeance, with the visually arresting and cheeky style he maintains today. His works include the striking "Hey Banksy why dont you return my emails" piece at the historical Cans Festival '08 in London, where he worked directly along side the infamous man himself as well as with other artists and collectives such as Faile and Logan Hicks.
Recent shows include: Famous When Dead Gallery (Melbourne), Black Maria Gallery (LA), Black Rat Press, & Hip Art Gallery (London), as well as a solo show at Vancouver's own El Kartel. He is now living in Vancouver and finding inspiration from the North American culture and the intense alley ways of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside which he had previously only ever seen on television.
Company/Organization: I'm a one man band.
Education: Highschool drop out (planning on going back to school).
Describe your work:
I always try to get the message across as straightforward as possible, I use color where I think it is necessary, sometimes funny...sometimes thought provoking.
Banksy (reason why I started), everyday life, my past, movies, friends.
Awards or Recognition:
People ranging from 13 to 60 years old emailing me telling me my works inspires them and makes them think, I'll take people's honost reaction over sales figures any day.
My grandfather showed me what it is to be creative, and I don't think any other family member influenced me as much as he did. He had the chance to see my early graffitis...but I would have loved to do some stuff with him. I still have his sketches and in the future I want to do a him v.s. me exhibition using his work/ideas in works of mine.
What is one word that describes your artist style?
How did you get started working with ROLLOUT?
My girlfriend emailed you guys when we moved to Vancouver in case you ever needed some stencil graffiti in one of your many projects.
Please list a few cool or inspirational websites you visit and love:
These are the first pages I open up when I've just woken up, keeps me up to date on the latest in street art and tech news:
What resources do you use for creating your work?
My experience, any kind of computer, and Photoshop although many of my older works were done with a crude and amateur program called "Microsoft Picture Perfect 10" which was limiting but back then it got the job done. For the actual making of the stencils I use a regular printer and a projector depending on the scale of the work.
Can you share any of your secret tips?
I put magnets on my cans when I go out at night, that way there is no rattling, and that gives me ninja-like stealth.
What did your parents want you to be instead of a designer?
I don't think they've ever wanted me to be anything but happy, and when they saw my passion for what I do they knew it was the right thing for me. They fully support my vandalism.
Is there a piece of art you wished you had created, and why?
I wish I could go back in time and do the first stencil in a cave somewhere and who knows...maybe in the future I will.
What gets you excited about tomorrow?
The idea that tomorrow might bring another inspiring moment where an idea pops up into my head. I find inspiration at the most random times...so I'm always curious.
How would you refer to the current artistic style and mindset you live in today?
I think the mindset is pretty grim right now due to the economic turmoil, but I'd take this over happy times because now artist have the right to make social comments...and the opportunity to uplift spirits at the same time. And as far as artistic style goes, I don't think about having a certain style...it all just turns out as it turns out.
ARTWORK BY BANDITIncendio Murals by Bandit, Kaori Pi, Anita Modha & Jonathan Nodrick