Opake is a London based graffiti artist. Starting at the age of 13 he experimented first with subculture and tagging, and it was here that he discovered the art form allowed him to produce large-scale pieces for everyone to experience for free. He naturally gravitated towards larger mural based collaborative work with other graffiti writers. This, and an apprenticeship in tattoo art, led to his unique illustrative style combining letter work and street/popular culture.
The concept of Opake’s new work “Black Lines” is based on contrast and the merging together of images that, in theory, shouldn’t belong together. His pieces are a juxtaposition of time periods, and highlight the differences of our comfortable, capitalist society, where real issues are kept at arms-length, with portraits of individuals living in a much starker and harsher time period that, in reality, many still experience today. Painted on either aluminium or paper, the work combines graffiti and pop art, using silhouettes for the characters and bold lettering to blur the boundaries of traditional 19th century portrait photography with popular cartoon imagery.