Born in Bristol in 1969, Nick Walker is one of UK’s leading artists creating beautiful freehand work with the help of stencils. He worked in the field of advertising and also as an illustrator and tried his hands on film set designing as well.
In 1992 he began to combine stencils with my freehand work which allowed him to juxtapose almost photographic imagery with the rawness which evolved from conventional graffiti styles. ‘Stencils introduce an impact element to my work. The appeal of stencils is that they allow me to take an image from anywhere – dissect any part of life – and recreate it on any surface. I try to add an element of humor or irony to some paintings to add a little light relief to the walls. Painting is a form of escapism for me and if my work allows the spectator to do the same thing, then I’ve achieved more than I set out to do.’
Nick Walker’s recent work had been displayed in exhibitions like “Two Floors”, Soho (London), a solo exhibition sponsored by Absolute Vodka, at Goodge Place, London, “The Underclass”, a solo exhibition sponsored by Two Dogs, at the Thomas Kettle Gallery, Covent Garden, London, “Seconds in Mecca”, another solo exhibition sponsored by Snapple at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and a collective exhibition, “Street Style” as well as many more. His work had been selected by the V&A for producing his designs in a postcard format for sale in the museum shop. Some of his works like Moona Lisa, THE CANS and BORN2BOMB are partly hand-sprayed and partly hand-printed. They are all unique and are signed and numbered.
Nick Walker has been granted the license to create designs for successful organizations like Addidas, Bristol City Council, Pinewood Studios for Philips commercial, Snapple Europe, London Science Museum and Peter Gabriel, for record label “Real World”. In addition, he has also worked on films like “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Incognito”, at Ealing Studios and “Judge Dredd” at Shepperton Studios and is also commissioned for films and commercials at Pinewood Studios.
Nick Walker’s Street Art
Street artist Nick Walker hit New York recently and put some walls up in Brooklyn, LES and Chinatown. The piece above is located on the corner of Eldridge and Hester in Manhattan.
Nick Walker Background
Banksy’s Rival Nick Walker Sells 750,000 Pounds of Street Art
April 19 (Bloomberg) — Nick Walker, an old spray-mate of fellow British street artist Banksy, sold 750,000 pounds ($1.5 million) of paintings and prints this week at the start of his first one-man show in the U.K., the gallery said yesterday.
All but two of 60 original Walker works on offer, many featuring his anarchical alter ego, “The Bowler-Hatted Vandal,” found buyers within hours in Shoreditch, east London, said gallery director. Prices at the exhibition, which started with a private view on April 17, ranged between 2,000 pounds and 35,000 pounds.
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“I’m proper pleased,” said Walker in a telephone interview. “I couldn’t believe anything like this could have happened.” Walker, 39, said demand for his work had gone “pretty crazy” after Bonhams’s Urban Art auction in London in February. At that sale, his 2006 spray-paint-on-canvas “Moona Lisa,” showing La Giaconda exposing her bottom, sold for a record 54,000 pounds with fees, more than 10 times the upper estimate.
Walker said that he had got know Banksy in Bristol, western England, in the late 1990s when he was invited to be part of the “Walls on Fire” group of graffiti artists.
“We don’t talk too much now,” he said.
Sold in Seconds
Two new Walker prints were issued online in editions of 150, priced at 450 pounds each. These sold out within seconds, said Snelle. The complete edition of a third new print, titled “Life’s 2 Short,” priced at 750 pounds, was reserved for the first 75 people in the line. Some people were photographed with numbered certificates to ensure they didn’t sell their place.
“We had at least 60 people camping out the night before to make sure they were at the front,” said Snelle. “For a lot of people it’s all about being part of a memorable experience. It’s a bit like going to Glastonbury.”
Dale Clark, a property developer from Hoxton, east London, queued through the night to buy one of the prints and a 4,500- pound painting.
“This was the first art show I’ve been to,” Clark said in an interview. “It was manic. There were people everywhere, red dots everywhere. This kind of art is all about impulse and passion.”
For some it’s also about trying to make a quick profit. At least half a dozen “Life’s 2 Short” prints were being “flipped” on EBay Inc’s Web site priced up to 13,000 pounds. At the time of writing, the prints had bids of up to 2,272.22 pounds and none had been sold.
Snelle said that more than 500 people had crowded into the gallery for the private view. More than 20 of them had flown from the U.S. especially for the show, he said.
“People now realize that there’s more to street art than just Banksy,” said Snelle, who earlier in the week had laser- beamed Walker images on Big Ben and the Bank of England to promote the show.
Other street art aficionados remain to be convinced that Walker is the new Banksy.
“The incredible price tags were shocking when held up against the rather simplistic subject matter of the work,” said a user called Danvnuk on the street art discussion site, banksyforum. “It isn’t challenging, there’s no depth, but compared to someone like Banksy whose work always contains some wry observation, or poking fun at the human condition, it left me quite underwhelmed.”
The auction record for Banksy is the $1.9 million paid for the 2007 painting “Keep it Spotless” at Sotheby’s “Red” charity sale in New York in February, according to the saleroom result tracker Artnet.
(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are his own.)