Martin Whatson

Martin Whatson

Norwegian street artist, Whatson studied art and graphic design at the Westerdals School of Communication in Oslo.  He grew interested in graffiti, spraying freestyle directly onto walls and then became fascinated in the different art of stencilling, inspired by the technique of British artist Bansky. Unusually, he has gone on to master both skills. He even started his own stencil production 10 years ago in his native Norway.

All his work combines these two practices (which are often seen as incompatible by the two opposing camps of graffiti and street artists). Whatson often contrasts his static stencil images in black and white with hand lettering and outlines sprayed directly from the can.  He takes unashamed icons of old-fashioned beauty: stone angels, Michelangelo’s David, zebras, butterflies and ballerinas en pointe. These are effaced with modern looping graffiti tags in aqua, fuchsia, orange and bright green full of twisting energy and fluid line.

In his gallery shows, some of his most successful street paintings are re-imagined on a smaller scale as screen prints on watercolour paper. He has even brought some of his painted statutes to life, by graffiti-ing ready-made garden statues with his distinctive spray tags.

His work can be seen on the streets of cities such as Paris, Tokyo and Copenhagen and he sometimes collaborates with other street artists such as Roamcouch, Pure Evil and Snik.