Opake One is a London based graffiti artist. Starting at the age of 13 he experimented first with subculture and tagging. 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, lead to his unique illustrative style combining wildlife, letter work and street/popular culture.
Opake’s love of tattoo art is clearly evident in his big, black, bold lines and his use of bold colour and popular cultural imagery. As is his love of graffiti with his use of tag styles and nods to graffiti subculture. The crown symbol that you will see in his work can also be used as a marker in graffiti to show your high status as a writer – that you are considered to be a king. There is also a lot of skill involved in evolving and writing a good tag and Opake One incorporates this in the rawest and purest form in his work.
Opake One’s deep love of music also influences his work and he often incorporates lyrics and ideas from his favourite artists.
All Opake One’s works are original, mixed media artworks produced on board, hand-drawn and then finished in resin.
The collection of work ‘Outlaws’ is based around combining a punk aesthetic with graffiti culture. The use of bold block lettering and neon colours is a salute to the punk and skate cultures that many believe to be lost. A graffiti artist is often constantly trying to evade the law so the images are a representation of that struggle, and getting caught.
The mugshot part of the collection is based on the idea that each character has had some involvement with the current crisis we are dealing with; from Pinocchio getting drunk and ignoring government guidelines to Peg Leg Pete’s hand sanitiser scam.