Stik

Stik

Stik keeps the details of his identity secret, but will say that he never went to art school and spent some 10 years sleeping rough on the streets of London. He began painting on the walls of inner city London in 2002.

His work is now some of the most distinctive on the London Street scene: stick men painted in black outline with a white fill, with rectangle bodies and two dots for eyes. His figures have no mouths or other features.

These wide-eyed characters look out candidly at the world around them. Sometimes alone, sometimes in pairs or groups, often on a coloured background. Their legs curve or bend at the knee evoking emotions of timidity or loneliness, often they have a sense of melancholy.

What makes them witty is their juxtaposition against the often inhuman architecture of the city.  Sometimes, Stik plays with simple contrasts of scale: as in his recent work Big Mother, a 38-metre high mural of a stick figure and child on a condemned tower block in Acton, West London. It lays claim as the tallest street artwork in the UK and is visible from the London flight paths.

Stik’s streetworks are also often remarkable for their cleanliness, part of his practice includes returning to every painting to clean it up from dirt and tagging – maintaining the purity and simplicity of his figures.