Nick Walker/ Nick Walker

United Kingdom 1969

Urban Art, Graffiti

www.theartofnickwalker.com

Nick Walker
Nick Walker
Male
United Kingdom
1969

No matter what you choose to devote yourself to, there’s often going to be someone or something that you look up to as a role model, following that subject to a certain degree in your own work and being inspired by it. Given that the field of art is nearly as old as man himself, the choice of artists and movements you may wish to follow goes rather far in all directions. However, we’ve seen quite a few ways of artistic expression being invented just recently, and many of those looking to work with graffiti and stencils often turn to Nick Walker and his oeuvre for guidance. As one of the most known stencil artists that assisted the movement’s development, he has inspired many contemporary artists with his work.

Nick Walker morning love read home account terms, 2016, arts, video, new, morning
Left: Nick Walker – Vandal (Paris) / Right: Nick Walker – Vandal (Ludlow, NYC)

The Ripple Effect

As one of the “younger” art movements that appeared during the 1960s, stencil graffiti gained a lot of momentum despite its slow start. Through the use of the medium by some of the most known artists today, Nick Walker contributed to this development in the early 1990s as he saw its potential. The ease with which such artwork spread isn’t attributed only to its form, but to the influence that the artists would have on other artists. In such a lush urban environment, the influence of stencil artists created a ripple effect, spreading quickly across the pool that is the global art world.

Naturally, Walker had his own source of inspiration for using stencils. Using the medium of stencils was a sort of a controversy during his graffiti days; Walker was dissuaded by a fellow Bristol artist going under 3D (Massive Attack) in the early 1990s, pulling him into the world of stencils. He, in turn, had an impact on many other contemporary colleagues of the time. Although the comparison slightly annoys the artist, the work of Banksy comes to mind when talking about such effects. Given their similar age and the time they both started working with stencil, it’s unclear whether one’s work had influenced the other or vice versa; either way, Nick Walker remains one of the towering figures of the movement even today.

It’s 2016, and the artist still effortlessly manages to surprise and entice the public

Nick Walker morning love read home account terms, video, arts
Nick Walker – Le Corancan, 2010

Liberated by Stencils

Nick Walker started out as purely a graffiti artist. Even though stencils appeared back in the 1960s, they were looked at as if forbidden by the graffiti population due to their strict form and predetermined lines. It was all about the free movement and can-control at the time and Walker wouldn’t realize the potential of the medium until 1992 when he had started using it.  Combining his graffiti freehand methods with the defined lines of stencils, Walker was defining the art movement throughout the 1990s and later on. The freedom that came with the medium came in the form of him being able to pick an image out of any aspect of life and easily portray it on any surface while retaining the ability to easily recreate it elsewhere. Not only that, but the application of work was much faster than completely making the piece manually, and since graffiti is generally against the law, the feat comes in handy.

Stencils provided Walker with a lot of flexibility, doing work in cities like Paris

Influencing Social Norms

As it comes with the territory, any work done in a public place will get to be perceived by a great many people. Walker’s practice tends to sway towards the ironic and humorous side, one most often portrayed through his alter ego going by the name of The Vandal. Knowing the size of his audience, Walker made his opinion on certain political decisions known on more than one occasion. Most famous of these “interventions” was the Le Corancan done in 2010 as an answering to the French President Sarkozy’s intention to ban the Burqa in France. The piece was quickly removed from the streets of Paris; alas, many other Walker’s pieces stand to this day, changing the way people view not only art made in this way, but the subjects he depicts.

Walker’s practice tends to sway towards the ironic and humorous side

Nick Walker contact nyc london
Nick Walker – Vandal (Nelson Street, Bristol), 2011

Between Gallery and Street Walls

Nick Walker’s work can be titled as nothing less than monumental. His practice has paved the way for other street artists in Britain and wider and created the mold for those looking to get immersed into the craft. Recognized by the press and the art world alike, Walker made a smooth transition into the gallery ambient in recent years, presenting his pieces on canvas while maintaining his street renown. Constantly inventing new ways to surprise and entice the public (the prime example being his Moona Lisa done in 2006), Nick Walker remains a towering influence in the ever-developing world of street art.

The artist is represented by Galerie Brugier-Rigail, Artsuggest.com, HANG-UP GALLERY, Ministry of Walls, 30WORKS Gallery.

Nick Walker lives in Bristol, England.

Featured image: Nick Walker – portrait, photo credits Robert Malmberg
All other images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016MIX Winter Group ShowLawrence Alkin Gallery, London Group
2015Brotherhood - Curated by Yasha YoungJonathan Levine Gallery, New YorkGroup
2015SCOPE Miami Beach 2015Lawrence Alkin GalleryGroup
2015Vicious Beauty Galerie Brugier-Rigail, ParisSolo
2015POP THE STREETS Saatchi GalleryGroup
2014Amazing SummerMuca, MunichGroup
2014All I Ever Wanted Was My Name On Fire345 Broome Street, ManhattanSolo
2013America's Finest (and Others)  Belgrave Gallery St Ives, St. Ives, Cornwall (England)Group
2012Graff the Peace! Opera Gallery, ParisGroup
2012Art & Toys – Collection Selim Varol me Collectors Room Berlin, BerlinGroup
2012Streets of the World Opera Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2011Outside - Urban Street Group Exhibition 34FineArt, Cape TownGroup
2011Urban Art Show 2011 Belgrave Gallery St Ives, St. Ives, Cornwall (England)Group
2011Untagged (the white wall show) IKON Ltd, Santa Monica, CAGroup
2011Addicts... D'art Urbain Addict Galerie, ParisGroup
2010Nick Walker - In Gods We Trust Art Sensus Gallery, London (England)Solo
2010L'art Urbain...du Mur à L'atelierAddict Galerie, ParisGroup
20091984The Kowalsky Gallery, London (England)Group
2009Get Rich Quick Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art, Culver City, CAGroup
2009With You I Want to Live: Gordon Locksley & George T. Shea Collection Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FLGroup
2008Pretty Decorating Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art, Culver City, CASolo
2008Black Rat Press gallery , LondonGroup
2008V 4 Vandal Black Rat Press gallery, LondonSolo
2008Pretty DecatingCarmichael Gallery Los AngelesSolo
2007Grand Opening Group Show Carmichael Gallery of Contemporary Art, Culver City, CAGroup
2007White Noise LondonBlack Rat Press galleryGroup
2007 ‘Found’ Leonard Street GalleryGroup
2007Group showRandall Scott Gallery, Washington DCGroup
2007To Have & To Hold at The Wonderful Workshop Bristol, EnglandGroup
2007The Art of Nick Walker The Park ,Bristol, EnglandSolo
2007Group show Santas ghetto, LondonGroup
2006Origin of the Species Grand OFR. LondonSolo
2006ZarJaz-2000AD LondonGroup
2005On the 7th Day LondonGroup
2005The Christmas show Cooshti’s BristolSolo
2005Best in Show Best. LondonGroup
2005Origin of the Species - 2nd Chapter 95 Gallery BerlinSolo
2005Adfunture Invasion Pixie Gallery Taipei,TaiwanGroup
2005Origin of the Species 17 gallery. LondonSolo
2005Adfunture Show Iconic Toronto Group
2005A World of Influence Urbis Artium Gallery. San FranciscoGroup
2005Adfunture Show Gigantic Brand, New YorkGroup
2005‘A Decade of Art’ 10th Anniversary showThe Kantor Gallery-Los AngelesGroup
2005Islands & Bridges Upper Playground Gallery - San FranciscoGroup
2004StencilitisCooshti BristolSolo
2004Scrawl Collective show ‘All the people we like are dead’ 17 Space Gallery- LondonGroup
2004Graffiti World exhibition AKA LondonGroup
200420th anniversary Exhibition of the Design & Artists Copyright SocietyThe Mall Galleries, The Mall, LondonGroup
2004‘Talking Walls’ The Arnolfini Gallery –BristolGroup
2004Lost & Found One30, BrsitolGroup
2004‘Manifestation’ Best, Clerkenwell ,LondonSolo
2004‘The Scrawl Collective’ Box Fresh-Shorts Gardens, LondonGroup
2003‘The Scrawl Collective’ The Lab 101- Santa Monica, Los Angeles-USAGroup
2003The Robinson Building ExhibitionBristol, EnglandGroup
2003Sexhibition13Hundred Gallery,Cleveland, Ohio- USAGroup
2003TexstylesNFS Industries, Boston, MA 02205- USAGroup
2003 'TeeTime' Millicent Gallery, Los Angeles - USAGroup
2003 'A Series of Small Paintings' Il Bordello - BristolSolo
2003 'SexCells' Exposure ,LondonSolo
2002 'Apish Angel' The Hoxton Square Bar,LondonSolo
2002D-frost Centre Space Gallery, BristolGroup
2002 'The Future Is Not What It Was' Tobacco Factory BristolSolo
2002 'SexCells'Hotwell Gallery BristolSolo
1997 'Uptown Downtown'Two Floors LondonSolo
1995 'The Underclass' The Place LondonSolo
1995 'Seconds In Mecca'Thomas kettle Gallery, LondonSolo
1994 'The Underclass'Thomas Kettle Gallery, LondonSolo
1985 'Graffiti Art in Bristol' Arnolfini Gallery, BristolGroup