This North Wales-born, now Sheffield-based artist’s detailed, narrative artworks are expressed through his surreal and illustrative style, which in turn is influenced by his comic book characters.
Phlegm is best known for his regularly published comic books, and this is where his inspiration for his murals and street art comes from. Working both on large and small scale, his work is commonly in black and white, but can sometimes include colour if working to a large scale. These designs and characters are almost always based on characters from his comic books, which provides an interesting mix of illustration and cartoon style visuals. Phlegm’s work can be seen all around the world, including Switzerland, Canada and Australia, though you’re
most likely to find his work in the UK.
4. Frankie Strand
Strand is an illustrator and street artist based in London. Her work is heavily influenced by animals and nature and is bold and colourful in appearance. A background in illustration can
be seen in the cartoon-like style of her work, and when working on large scale, prefers to work to the ‘canvas’ rather than prepare a piece beforehand, as she feels that this “compliments the context”. Whilst her work is full of narrative it can often be open to interpretation, and can have political leaning, highlighting the very real environmental problems we face such as pollution and climate change.
Based in Spain, Aryz is an American born, Spanish visual artist and illustrator who works with spray paint, brushes and paint rollers. He creates large characters and murals, and though
some sources claim that Aryz rejects any narrative when creating his work, I find this difficult to believe. Aryz is also an illustrator, working relentlessly in his studio when not out creating art on the streets, and this illustrative background can easily be seen in his large-scale works; but what is interesting is that he is also a fine art painter, and this can be seen in some of his large-scale
murals. The two styles are quite different, which makes this artist unpredictable and interesting. The more illustrative characters often have a sci-fi, futuristic, uneasy feel to them, and when viewed at a large scale can make you feel uncomfortable. You can find Aryz’s work Barcelona, New York and Germany (to name a few).
2. Bordalo ii
This Portugese artist has a slightly different approach to what we usually think of street art;
Bordalo uses rubbish, trash, and waste plastic to create large scale sculptures which reflect on the consumerist, greedy society the artist feels we live in. By giving
new life to what others have thrown away, Bordalo raises awareness of ecological damage we are causing by living in a throw away society; he says, “the idea behind it is to build images of the victims with what destroys them”. His work can be seen all over the world, from Lisbon and Rome, to Paris and Turin.
By not publicly giving out his name and known only as ROA, this Belgian artist feels that his
art is untainted and uncompromised by the anonymity the pseudonym provides. His distinctive, mainly black and white wall paintings bring wild and urban animals back to the places they once inhabited –
- there is speculation as to whether this narrative is just what it is (a sort of ‘what was’), but also as to whether there is a deeper meaning to ROA’s work, perhaps the artist’s pessimism with our modern, throw-away society. You can find ROA’s spray paint and acrylic street art all over the globe, including London, Berlin, LA, Paris, and New York.