Kate Moss and Rihanna have both commissioned her to do portraits of them. Harry Styles is a fan. Brad Pitt shelled out £75,000 for her piece that showed Noddy driving a car as a present for Ange (who knew Brangelina were fans of Big Ears)? Meanwhile, Adele asked her to create an Amy Winehouse inspired piece especially for her.
Now, the notoriously elusive North London based graffiti artist they’re calling “the female Banksy” has revealed her secret past and what inspires her.
The Artist Currently Known As Bambi (“My dad used to call me Bambino when I was young,” which suggests an Italian heritage, fact-hunters) studied at Central St Martins – previous alumni: Alexander McQueen, Jarvis Cocker, Gilbert and George – before embarking on a surprising, pre- art career.
“I went into the music business as a singer,” she tells us. “The band became a huge success, but my passion has always been painting, so I decided to return to it.”
Although she wouldn’t reveal which band, it’s easy to see why the style of her work – iconic British legends done in bold graffiti style on walls, canvas and metals – has been embraced by many celebrities. From a post-Jubilee piece of spray paint art of the Queen at her coronation (titled ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’) to Kate and Wills arms in arm (see the piece, ‘A Bit Like Marmite’ on Liverpool Road in London) to David Beckham, there’s a definite populist bent to her work.
Her inspiration is rather illusive however. She tells us: “(The images) come to me when I’m dreaming,” rather mysteriously.
Rather than reference the other female graffiti artists like Miss Van and Mishfit, her artistic inspirations range from “Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon,” suggesting a meeting of pop trash culture and Albionic classicism. “Art is the pulse of life,” she adds.
Despite being feted by a coterie of cool celebs, in an ideal world she says she would have loved “Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson and Jimi Hendrix,” to have collected her work.
Perhaps surprisingly for a creative type, she begins her work at the crack of dawn. “I usually start at 5am I want to catch the first light also the tranquillity of the mornings,” she says.
It’s unlikely that she’ll indulge in a turf war with the notoriously competitive Banksy (who was in a “wall war” with fellow street artist King Rollo) though. When asked her how she felt about the legendary spray painter she quipped: “Who’s he?”
Clearly, the future’s all hers.
For more information on Bambi head to Walton Fine Arts www.waltonfinearts.com