Nick Walker (1969)
Born in Bristol in 1969, Nick Walker emerged on his city’s graffiti art scene in the early 1990s; he painted his first wall in 1992. He is the pioneer of British Street Art and, like Banksy, his work is distinctive because of its use of stencils.
In 1999, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick asked Nick Walker to recreate New York street graffiti for his film Eyes Wide Shut. Walker learned so much from executing these works for the film he said it was almost like being in school.
Walker’s protagonist, who recurs regularly in his works, is a man in a bowler hat named ‘Vandale’. Walker represents the figure pouring pots of paint, painting a heart, or hiding beneath an umbrella. In 1994 Walker organised his first exhibition in London. ‘I looked at what I was doing in the street, and I focused on what could be transferred either to canvas or to wood,’ he explained to Inrocks. ‘I did not have any other choice to remain an artist: I had to sell works.’ He works with galleries such as Black Rat in London, and his works travel from New York to Paris to Moscow.
Nick Walker was the first artist in residence at the Quinn Hotel in New York, during which he realised about fifteen original works.
‘I always try to include humour and irony in my works’, he explained. ‘Painting is a form of escape for me. If my work can allow the viewer to escape, too, then I have achieved my goal.’
His works appeal both to the public and collectors alike. In 2006, his work Moona Lisa sold for £54,000 at Bonhams London, exceeding its high estimate.
In 2010, he painted the work Corancan in Paris in response to Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposition to ban the burka in public spaces. The fresco depicts veiled women dancing the cancan.
The following year he participated in See No Evil, the first of a series of annual exhibitions of Street artists in Bristol.
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Art works from Nick Walker
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