Will Barras - Bad Reception, solo show at StolenSpace Gallery, London, UK, photo credits - Arrested Motion

Will Barras

United Kingdom 1973

Street Art, Painting


Will Barras
Will Barras
United Kingdom
February 24, 2017
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Will Barras is an acclaimed British artist, illustrator, and animation director born in Birmingham in 1973. Barras stated his artistic career back in Bristol where he moved from his native town to study graphic design. Shortly afterward, he became interested in street art that eventually led to him becoming one of a fresh crop of young artists working within Bristol’s extremely diverse and widely renowned urban art scene.

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Will Barras – Untitled #1

Scrawl Collective

In 1999, Barras appeared in the book Scrawl – dirty graphics and strange characters by Ric Blackshaw, that documented the influence of graffiti, DIY punk ethics, comic books and street art on mainstream visual culture. From this seminal book and it’s follow-up Scrawl Too: More Dirt, came Scrawl Collective composed of Will Barras, Mr Jago and Steff Plaetz. With this central trio of Barras, Jago and Plaetz, Scrawl Collective began doing live painting events quickly gaining a reputation for their playful, doodle aesthetic, collaborating with local artists and carving a niche within what was then the very early beginnings of the worldwide street art scene. Becoming a member of the Scrawl collective, opened a lot of doors for Barras and his unique narrative-driven compositions and line work. Will started traveling extensively exhibiting his oeuvre in Asia, all across Europe and the United States.

Barras is known for his unique narrative-driven compositions and line work

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Will Barras – Def Mask

Oeuvre by Will Barras

Though Scrawl slowed down, the artist continued to paint and furthered his technique. His figurative painting on paper or canvas is characterized by his distinctive style – using expressive, bold strokes of paint and fluid lines the artist depicts fragments of stories in which female figures, as well as fast vehicles, play a central role. His impressive brush strokes lend a sense of vast momentum, especially when paired with his amazingly vibrant color palette. Sometimes the backdrop of a piece is dark and looming, with an unexpected injection of luminous tones in places “to make it pop.” It is this heightened contrast that makes Barras’ pieces explode from the confines of their canvas.

Female figures and fast vehicles often play a central role in his work

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Will Barras – Untitled #2 (Left) / Untitled #3 (Right)


When Will isn’t travelling and painting, he divides himself between commercial works, directing animation, designing graphics for projects that stimulate him and undertaking a very strenuous exhibition and event schedule. His artworks were presented at Dark Retreat, exhibition held at Kallenbach Gallery in Amsterdam in December 2014. The show also featured the pieces by Jon Fox. In August 2015, his works were included in a group show hosted by Die Kunstagentin gallery in Cologne, Germany. Entitled Vivid Bunch Vol# 2 the exhibition featured oeuvre by Barras, Hense and Know Hope. He has participated in many exhibitions worldwide, including at AF Gallery, Cologne, Germany; Stolen Space, London, UK; The Don Gallery, Milan, Italy; Amble Gallery, Philadelphia, USA; Space Junk Gallery, Grenoble, France; and Alice Gallery Brussells, Belgium, among others.

The artist is represented by Die Kunstagentin gallery in Cologne, Germany and Fousion Gallery in Barcelona, Spain.

Will Barras lives and works in London, UK.

Featured image: Will Barras in front of his work
Images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2017Will Barras - Into the Middle of ThingDie Kunstagentin gallery, Cologne, GermanySolo
2017Rotten Juice, with Maxwell PaternosterStour Space, London, UKGroup
2016THE W/K – SHOW curated by SHE-ONE Fousion Gallery, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2016Trust Your HandsStolen Space Gallery, London, UKSolo
2015Near Future, with Steff PlaetzMoosey Art, Norwich, England, UKGroup
2015The Reasons For The SeasonsStolen Space Gallery, London, UKGroup
2015Vivid Bunch Vol# 2 Die Kunstagentin gallery, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2015LAXLHR - a co-curated group show with ThinkSpace LAStolen Space, London, England, UKGroup
2014Dark Retreat Kallenbach Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands Group
2013Perfect CreatureAF Gallery, Cologne, GermanySolo
2012T and J ArtwalkOslo, NorwayGroup
2012POW WOW Hawaii, USAGroup
2011When Everything is ShutSpacejunk, Lyon, FranceSolo
2011POW WOW Hawaii, USAGroup
2010Bad ReceptionStolen Space, London, EnglandSolo
2010Primary FlightMiami, USAGroup
2010POW WOWGarage Works, Hong KongGroup
2010Original CultureMusic and Art expo p2, London, EnglandGroup
2009Darling,We’re LeavingUpper Playground, San Fransisco, USASolo
2009Crimes of PassionRWA, Bristol, EnglandGroup
2009Original CulturesMusic and Art expo, Bologna, ItalyGroup
2008Pants VS Trousers,with Jeremy FishThe Don Gallery, Milan, ItalyGroup
2008Absolute ShowerCarmichael Gallery, LA Solo
2008La PazStolen Space, London, EnglandSolo
2008Scope, NonewenemiesNew York, USAGroup
2008GrandZurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2008BotaniqueBrussells, BelgiumGroup
2008Scrawl showPsion Gallery, Los Angeles, USAGroup
2008Fame Festival, painting in disused Monastry and exhibitionPuglia, ItalyGroup
2008Pop!TechMaine, USAGroup
2007Health and SafetyUpper Playground, Portland, USASolo
20072nd hand smoke, Mr Ego, with Mr JagoNonewenemies, Brussells, BelgiumGroup
2007Witch Wagon, with Dave AndersonAmble Gallery, Philadelphia, USAGroup
2007Scope Art Fair Primary Flight, Miami, USAGroup
2006Mind PowerSubaquatica, Madrid, SpainGroup
2006Electric PetSpace Junk Gallery, Grenoble, France Group
2005Vicinity, with Mr Jago and Steff PlaetAlice Gallery Brussells, BelgiumGroup
2005Urban EdgeMilan, ItalyGroup
2005WordlessZurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2004Upper PlaygroundSan Fransisco, USASolo
2004Art ImpropaMilan, ItalyGroup
2004Keep abreastBiarritz, FranceGroup
2004ChairfixTokyo, JapanGroup
2004WordlessZurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2004Designers BlockTokyo, JapanGroup
2003StreetwiseBerlin, GermanyGroup
2001Dream BagsLondon, EnglandGroup