Do you think the British graffiti art scene is basically about Banksy, and then the rest? Think again. Indeed, the whole Bristol underground scene from which the latter originated might not have been quite as strong without the presence of Nick Walker.
Born in 1969, Nick emerged from the infamous and groundbreaking Bristol graffiti scene of the early 1980s. As a forerunner of the British graffiti phenomenon, Nick’s work has become a blueprint for hundreds of emerging artists. His work is constantly evolving and remains innovative, modern and thought-provoking.
Nick mastered his art using the freedom of spray cans with the addition of very controlled and intricate stencilling. He also likes to add an element of humour or irony to some paintings and to add a little light relief to the walls.
One of Nick’s signature images is that of a gentleman in a bowler hat, aka The Vandal. In the words of the artist:
“I first came up with The Vandal concept back in 2005. I was walking through London and I saw one of those massive golfing umbrellas on the ground. On second glance I saw that there was someone underneath it lighting up a pipe. This is how the Vandal Triptych print came about, it stuck in my head and it got me thinking that umbrellas act as the perfect smoke screen for pretty much anything, especially graffiti. The second decoy is the outfit, someone dressed as a quintessential Englishman donning a bowler hat is not the kind of person you would expect to be doing graffiti.”
The Vandal came to life in a painting called ‘The Morning After’, a painting that depicted the artist after a night, ‘painting the town red’, observing the city behind him with the satisfaction of a job well done. The concept of ‘The Morning After’ happened in cities across the world, from London to Agra to Paris, and The Vandal went on to feature in a Black Eyed Peas video.