Hest1/ Unknown

France 1976

Graffiti, Painting

Hest1
Unknown
Male
France
1976

All of us seek some sort of fulfillment, coming from love, profession, or something else entirely different. Hest1, also known as The Wild Child, is seeking his spiritual purpose through constant creation, thirst for knowledge, and multicultural exchange. Originally from France, he left for Canada on a whim, and have also spent some time in Bali and Jakarta. During his travels, the artist met a number of people who have marked his life and will continue to inspire his work. He is passionate about writing and painting, and after a long process of learning, the search for balance between innocence and wisdom, harmony and contrast, movement and stability, became his personal quest.

Hest1 - Wind of Change, 2011 (Left) - Slingshot Kids, 2013 (Right)
Hest1 – Wind of Change, 2011 (Left) / Slingshot Kids, 2013 (Right)

Welcome to a New World

The name Hest was chosen because of the timeliness, as those four letters keep turning up good with unusual lettering styles, and maintain silence and sharpness in the process of introduction. Before that, he tried out some other names, including Reak in 1989, and after several months, Leys. It wasn’t until 1991 that he finally moved on to Hest1 The Wild Child, and the name simply stuck ever since. Involved in graffiti from an early age, the first contact was around 1985 when his father took him to BMX racing event, where he first saw graffiti. In 1986, he moved to Paris, and under his window was another graffiti, inviting him to the street world and presenting him an alternative culture he hasn’t been so familiar with.

His first contact with graffiti was at the BMX racing event

Hest1 - Graffiti in Jakarta, 2013
Hest1 – Graffiti in Jakarta, 2013

Around the World

It was a spur of the moment that led up to his moving to Montreal, Canada, in 1999. There he became an official social animator for the city of Montreal between 2003 and 2005, and he was able to share his experiences and pass on the knowledge on the younger generations and inspire them in their own pursuit of artistic expression. The artist also spent some time in Bali and Jakarta. Over time, he started switching between graffiti and painting, and he states it is difficult to summarize what he is in just one label. He hasn’t got any art training except what he has learned while writing graffiti. Hest1 learned to control the aerosol, and the brushes and all kinds of tools he became using later were a simple addition to his need to write and paint.

His art is somewhere between graffiti and painting

Hest1 - Come from Paris, 2005 (Left) - The Right Path, 2007 (Right)
Hest1 – Come from Paris, 2005 (Left) / The Right Path, 2007 (Right)

A Day at a Time

Music is very important to Hest1, it affects his creativity, and his joining the collective Nomadic Massive in 2003 came naturally. They are composed of 10 musicians/artist from all backgrounds, and their help to Hest1 in giving the music a visual dimension was immense. The thoughts about future are reduced to living a day at a time, never taking anything for granted, fully grasping the beauty of life. He has many ambitions – be the best man as possible, to be a good father, brother, son, to find balance within himself. A balance between what his reality is made of and what he channels his art through.

He is represented by Green Flowers Art Gallery in Boulogne-Billancourt.

Hest1 currently lives and works in Paris.

Featured image: Hest1 – Graffiti in Jakarta (detail), 2009

All images © Hest1

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014Contemporary Arabic Graffiti and Lettering: Photographs of a Visual RevolutionHouston, TexasGroup
2013Dia Lo Gue Art SpaceJakartaSolo
2011Oh, for dog’s sakeNaka Gallery, BaliGroup
2008BoomboxOff the Hook, MontréalGroup
2005Unknownla TOHU, MontréalGroup
2005Certified non conform 2CEGEP of Old-MontréalGroup
2004Art and ActivismMc Gill University, MontréalGroup
2004UnknownFly boutique-gallery, MontréalGroup
2003Hold-Up mentalSAT, MontréalGroup
2003Kops crew exhibitionSt Laurent , MontréalGroup
2003Certified non conform with Mode2SO Expo, MontréalGroup
2003Hold-up mental, live paintingCanadian Council of Art, SAT, MontréalSolo
2002Roots 2, live paintingZest, MontréalSolo
2001Mental Revolution, live paintingKola Note, MontréalSolo