Move over Banksy – Blek le Rat is coming to town

If you think that stencil graffiti begins and ends with Banksy, that's where you're wrong. French artist Blek le Rat is often considered the father of stencil graffiti, and this art world legend has a new solo exhibition opening at Woodbury House in Mayfair. Open to the public between 20th June and 31st July, “War and Peace” is an exhibition of more than 50 new paintings and prints that explore the artist's and humanity's relationship with conflict. 

The pieces in the show are influenced by Blek le Rat's childhood experiences in post-war France, including his father's first-hand accounts of combat and imprisonment during the war. The artist has drawn inspiration from centuries of conflict, from the Middle Ages up to wars going on today, conveying a theme of futile sacrifice. Blek le Rat aims for the exhibition to start a conversation with audiences and for them to consider what war and peace means to them. 

Blek le Rat's career spans decades, with his signature stencils making him one of the first well-known graffiti artists in France. He is widely credited with starting the worldwide stencil graffiti movement. Woodbury House is the exclusive distributor of his works in the UK. Whilst the gallery is usually open by appointment only, it will be open to all for the first three days of the show's run. Visitors can also contact the gallery to arrange an appointment up until 31st July.