Famous Graffiti Artists

Graffiti artists have been creating art on the walls of cities for centuries. There are many types of graffiti and it can be anything from a simple painted word, or a complex wall painting. It has been around since ancient times and it can be found in countries such as Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire. Typically, graffiti is done without permission, and is usually displayed in public view.

Shephard Fairey

A well-known figure in the street art scene, Shepard Fairey is a prolific American artist. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries around the world, and his designs can be found in the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He is also the founder of the Obey label, and his work has inspired a clothing line.

Fairey is known for his politically-charged posters. In the 1990s, he started a campaign of stickers that were pasted in public spaces. The stickers featured images of Andre the Giant, a wrestling star who passed away. After this, his popularity began to grow.

Fairey is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. While at RISD, he met American filmmaker Helen Stickler. Both of them became fascinated by the world of graffiti and street art.


Banksy is a British graffiti artist who has been famous for his political, anti-authoritarian art. His work is known for its use of provocative imagery, often using copyrighted material or rats.

Banksy started his career as a graffiti artist in the 1990s. He first began with stenciling, then began spray painting. He became an active member of the DryBreadZ crew, a Bristol-based gang. As he developed his style, he also started to experiment with freehand graffiti.

In addition to graffiti, Banksy has also created installations. This includes works of art placed on walls and in charity-owned stores.

His most famous piece is the “Girl With Balloon” sculpture. The sculpture is a black silhouette of a girl reaching out to a red heart-shaped balloon.

Blek Le Rat’

French graffiti artist Blek Le Rat has been in the game for more than a decade. His artwork was the spawn of a creative mind, and his obsession with stencils has influenced a plethora of other artists. He has been dubbed the “Father of Stencil Graffiti” and is known as one of the most influential graffiti artists of all time. In fact, he has been credited with inventing the life-size stencil.

Although his work has been limited to the walls of the City of Paris, his creations have made an impact throughout the world. His works have been displayed at a variety of museums, galleries, and events, including the 2008 Cans Festival in Paris.

As a pioneer of the stencil graffiti movement, Blek Le Rat is considered the father of Paris street art. Since the early eighties, he has been creating dedicated pieces in the streets of the city.

Alexandre Farto aka Vhils

Alexandre Farto is a Portuguese visual artist. Born in Portugal in 1987, he was raised in the outskirts of Lisbon. He studied at the Byam Shaw Fine Art Skills and Practices in London, the University of the Arts in London, and the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London.

The young artist’s work is an exploration of the impact of urbanity and globalization on the human condition. Using a range of media and a wide variety of techniques, he creates sculptural installations, murals, and portraits that explore the way people interact with each other and their surroundings.

Vhils has been creating powerful visual statements from materials since the early 2000s. His art is unique and combines detailed figuration with an involved material process.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American painter, graffiti artist, musician and writer. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he was raised by a Haitian father and a Puerto Rican mother. He learned to speak English, Spanish and French at an early age. His interest in art and writing began at a young age.

His mother, Matilde Andradas, encouraged him to pursue his passion. She brought him to museums to expose him to art. Her love of poetry also played a big part in his life. As a teenager, he dreamed of becoming a cartoonist.

He met and befriended fellow artist Andy Warhol in the early ’80s. They started collaborating on graffiti. Basquiat became known for his tag “SAMO” or “Samo”, which was a combination of the words for “artist” and “graffiti”.

Basquiat became famous as a graffiti artist. Using the same mark for the word “SAMO”, he would create a series of graffiti artworks that spanned the lower Manhattan area.