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Craig Everett

From his childhood home, a council house in Bradford, Craig Everett grew up in the world of Chopper bikes, Spangles and running to the end of your street when you heard the ice cream van, clutching 10p for a Screwball. And, of course, the zeitgeist that was Punk, after which the world was never quite the same. Then came Space Invaders, skateboards and BMX as the 70s gave way to the Acid House 80s and Tank Girl and Booga appeared on a thousand t-shirts.

By the 90s, Banksy was capturing the disillusionment of the British people and virtual band Gorillaz brought music and art together in a fictional, eccentrically postmodern, universe. All these influences are present in Craig’s art.

Craig is a self-taught artist. He started out as a printer’s artist, what we could now call a graphic designer. Working with typefaces and logos during the day, he spent his spare time painting, and like many before him he looked for inspiration in the surrounding industrial streets and landscapes. Exhibitions in local galleries and print releases followed as Craig, working under the name Rourke Van Dal, found his way to the urban art movement, becoming a major player in its UK growth with his Vandalart online art gallery. He experimented with stencilling and spray painting, embracing all the materials available to create his increasingly popular artworks.

Urban art could be one of the most significant movements in recent art history. The term is often interchangeably used with street art and to some extent graffiti. It’s an art that originates from urban environments, created by artists who live in the cities, use the urban lifestyle as their inspiration and consider cities their working environment.

It represents a democratisation of art that takes it beyond the canvas and into animation, comics, fashion, photography and music. Its immersion in everyday reality makes it current and accessible, unlike other contemporary art that many feel has lost its sense of its social surroundings.

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