Brighton: the open air gallery

September 3rd, 2014 | 2 min read

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Brighton is a city famous for its love of graffiti and is home to some iconic works.

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KENSINGTON STREET

Local legend Aroe, the artist bringing his unique style to the i360 hoardings, is famous for his large-scale, visually complex wall paintings. He’s the man responsible for Kensington Street’s rebirth as an internationally renowned site for graffiti. But while his reputation takes him around the world, he remains deeply rooted in the Brighton community. He said: “There’s always been a progressive and productive scene here. Brighton is now known as a place for pushing and inventing new stuff. Any success I have I would credit to this city.”

Graffiti moves fast and doesn’t stay long before something new and exciting is painted over it, but many will remember his two-storey Star Wars mural near St Peter’s Church – it was hard to miss. This monster piece depicting two AT-ATs (presumably to scale) took 50 hours and countless cans of spray paint. Where street artists often use stencils or projections, Aroe stresses that graffiti is free hand and a very different art form.

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AROE WITH ONE OF HIS FORMER PIECES OPPOSITE ST PETER’S CHURCH

He and Gary have most recently been busy at Circus Street Market, where Aroe painted the huge and mysterious statement Many Shall Know across the old municipal market building, which is to be redeveloped into an exciting new part of the city.

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Another familiar name for those in the know is Aroe’s crewmate and frequent collaborator, Gary. The abnormally normally-named artist makes the most of his moniker. Traditional graffiti focuses on the ‘piece’, a highly textural, large scale rendering of the artist’s name. In fact, the design often becomes so intricate as to be indecipherable to those outside the culture (we certainly struggled). Gary is a master of the ‘piece’ – his work absorbs and adapts a wide range of techniques, from Abstract, to Sharp, to Wildstyle. The work below reflects this. We’re pleased to say that Gary will be joining Aroe for the i360 live-art event.

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TWO BRIGHTON PIECES BY GARY