Born in Narbonne in 1987, Aiiroh began his creative life on the streets and in the railway stations of southern France, anywhere that he could find access to huge walls to use as his canvas. At the turn of the millennium, he began to discover people, objects and ideas that interested him – Robert Indiana’s ubiquitous LOVE image, the torn posters of Rayond Hains, perfume bottles, stencils – and started amassing a broad range of cultural tropes that would transform him into the artist he is today.
Possibly his greatest influence was the work of poster artists such as Villeglé, Dufrêne, Rotella and of course, Raymond Hains, whose famous 1961 exhibition ‘France in Shreds’ obsessed him as a young street artist. Seeing the power of the torn posters to carry an aesthetic, poetic and political message was a revelation which gave Aiiroh his early voice. He spent many nights wandering the city streets in search of the exact poster he wanted, which would be the one to tear and regenerate in his own work. His technique still incorporates collage, but he now works with spray paint, stencilling and traditional painting, on occasion using cut outs or sculptural ideas to create high impact 3d pieces.
Aiiroh incorporates these many elements of popular culture into his works, including recognised global brands to represent what he sees as our dependence on consumer products. The purity and clean lines of these sleekly stylish branded elements stands in sharp contrast to his turbulent and provocative style, with colours, textures and shapes all vying for pole position. Over the last decade however, he has become less concerned about politicising his work; instead, he offers messages of optimism and includes iconic cartoon characters and celebrity portraiture.
Aiiroh’s vibrant, anarchic work, so patently of the streets, has nevertheless achieved mainstream success in galleries across the world, from Europe and the USA to Israel and East Asia.
“Thanks to Banksy and before him Blek le Rat, young street artists like me can have a visibility that they never would have had before. The works which were intended before for a few passers-by in a dark and obscure alley, can now be seen by the greatest number.
Social networks, especially Instagram, also play a large part in the rise and explosion of street art. I define myself as a street artist but also pop, in the original sense of “popular”, which brings street culture to life. I like to make fun of and play with the references and icons that touch and bring together my generation. However, most of the time I try to keep a spirit of love and optimism. ”
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