Contemporary Art

Phlegm /   Unknown

United Kingdom

Street Art, Illustration

United Kingdom
April 26, 2017

Phlegm is a British muralist and artist who draws his environment into the narrative. He first developed his illustrations in self-published comics, and he still creates books of ink drawings. At one point he began developing his characters presented in a medium of murals. These are highly detailed with a very bold idea. The artist’s work is striking and it will not leave anyone ambiguous. His works are mostly featured in the urban landscape, and run-down spaces. His surreal illustrations tell a story untold, as his imaginative creatures explore the visual narrative.

you can view best graffiti in london of 2014 in march
Phlegm – Mural in Montreal, Canada

A Long Way from a Cartoonist

Even though he started as a cartoonist, street art has become his main interest over the years. The way how the artist incorporates his art into city architecture is influenced by the surroundings and makes it more alive than a canvas in an art gallery. Phlegm comes from Sheffield, which makes this town filled with his works, especially in old, abandoned parts of town, with factories scattered, their use took away from them. Phlegm brings new life and meaning to these places as he enriches them with his new monochrome world.

Phlegm incorporates his art into city architecture

best london mural in privacy edition for march
Phlegm – Mural in Paris, France (left) / Untitled (right)

The Narrative

The majority of Phlegm’s artwork is strictly illustration-based. He leaves his street artwork and murals for his cartoon-based art. In fact, that majority of his large characters originate from his comics and they are often spray painted onto very large walls. Phlegm prefers to paint his comic work with black Indian ink and a dip pen. Each drawing forms part of a grand narrative that extends worldwide, in countries including Norway, Canada, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, USA, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, and Australia. His work has also appeared in a variety of objects such as airplanes, boats, buildings, vehicles and many street art festivals.

The majority of his large characters originate from his comics

contact sheffield to view the best mural edit in 2014
Phlegm – Untitled works

The Origins

The artist’s name comes from one of the four bodily humorous in ancient Greek medicine: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm, the latter believed to be responsible for an apathetic and unemotional temperament. Phlegm uses long-abandoned warehouses and factories to depict with his phantasmagoric narrative. The artist’s work is all done using Indian ink with a dip pen, as he uses color only when he is screen-printing or painting large murals and other objects.

Phlegm - Untitled #5
Phlegm – Mural in Sheffield, England

Opening the Cabinet of the Mind

Phlegm’s characters have something menacing to them, along with a childlike aspect. His imagery is set up in cityscapes with castles with winding stairways and turrets. Occasionally, his long-limbed half-human characters, with woodland features will find their place in a city they are depicted on. The dream world he creates conveys impossible flying machines, networks of levers, pulleys, and cogs. We don’t ask for the meaning of telescopes and magnifying glasses because Phlegm’s pieces are in a way self-explanatory, and completely meaningful in the world they create with the space around them. The artist opens a cabinet of the mind, working solely in monochrome, the intricate detailing awake curiosity with the viewer as they are derived from it.

Featured image – Phlegm – portrait
All images via

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014The BestiaryHoward Griffin GallerySolo
2013Boombarstick Urban Arts & Music FestivalVodnjan/Dignano, CroatiaGroup
2013International Proactive Art FestivalHQ Museum, IBIZA, SpainGroup
2011Black/LightBussey Building PeckhamGroup
2009Animal HouseGraham & Oldham Artists GalleryGroup
BLOOP's 9th Ibiza Edition Goes Back to Street Art Basics

BLOOP International Proactive Art Festival 2019 returns for another strong edition, this time based on the universal theme of Resilience.

Read More
Fifth Wall TV Visits Phlegm's Mausoleum of Giants

Doug Gillen of Fifth Wall TV visits Phlegm's solo show at Eye Witness Works in Sheffield, titled Mausoleum of Giants.

Read More
Nuart Aberdeen 2018 - A Revolution of the Ordinary

Nuart Aberdeen 2018 will bring together an impressive roster of twelve international artists to intervene in the urban environment of the Granite City.

Read More
54. Phlegm in Ostend, Belgium

Phlegm has created an intricate mural for The Crystal Ship Street Art Festival in Ostend, Belgium.

Read More
Street Update #152

Our November's Street update will take you to sunnier places on Earth as we visit Chile, Taiwan, and Indonesia in search for the finest murals of the month.

Read More
Phlegm in Jacksonville

Phlegm made this illustration-based art piece in the town of Jacksonville in Florida.

Read More
Street update #148

A monumental artwork painted in Australia and a series of artists collaborations are the main street art events that marked the week behind us.

Read More
Phlegm and Mum - Time To Scream And Shout

It's Time To Scream And Shout in Reykjavik as street artist Phlegm and music band Mum join forces to decorate the capital of Iceland.

Read More
Most Liked Instagram Art Posts of June

Instagram is taking the world by storm, so let's check out the ten most liked Instagram art posts in the month of June 2016! Read all about them here!

Read More
Phlegm in Birmingham

The Sheffield-based muralist Phlegm has painted a beautiful mural filled with sadness for the Birmingham City of Colours street art festival

Read More
Street Update #133

Which great murals have emerged in the streets all over the world in the week behind us? If you want to find out, read our latest edition of Street Update.

Read More
Phlegm in Birmingham

The famous street artist, cartoonist, and illustrator Phlegm has painted a new mural in Birmingham for the City of Colours festival

Read More
Instagram Wall Art We Loved in February - Widewalls Community Picks

These are the murals that you liked most, according to Widewalls' Instagram, during the month of February. Enjoy the selection!

Read More
Phlegm in New Zealand

Phlegm's new work in the city of Wellington, New Zealand.

Read More
Top 100 Murals of Our Time - Street Update #100

Widewalls Street Update section is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a monumental selection of 100 best murals of the past 3 years. Enjoy!

Read More