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Xavier Prou (Blek le Rat)
Xavier Prou (Blek le Rat) at the gallery opening and book signing at the 941 Geary Gallery, San Francisco
Blek le Rat
The iconic stencils of rats by Blek le Rat
Blek Le Rat 2007
Blek le Rat in Los Angeles

Blek le Rat is Xavier Prou. He was one of the first graffiti artists in Paris, and has been described as the "Father of stencil graffiti".

Xavier Prou was born on 15 November 1951 in Boulogne-Billancourt in the western suburbs of Paris.

Early career and influence

Blek began his artwork in 1981, painting stencils of rats on the walls of Parisian streets. He described the rat as "the only free animal in the city", and one which "spreads the plague everywhere, just like street art". His name comes from the comic book Blek le Roc, using "rat" as an anagram for "art".

Blek le Rat - Ballerina
"Ballerina" by Blek le Rat at the 941 Geary Gallery, San Francisco

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