Blek le Rat

French graffiti artist

Blek le Rat is Xavier Prou.[1][2] He was one of the first graffiti artists in Paris, and has been described as the "Father of stencil graffiti".[3]

Xavier Prou (Blek le Rat) at the gallery opening and book signing at the 941 Geary Gallery, San Francisco
The iconic stencils of rats by Blek le Rat
Blek le Rat in Los Angeles

Xavier Prou was born on 15 November 1951 in Boulogne-Billancourt in the western suburbs of Paris.

Early career and influenceEdit

Blek began his artwork in 1981, painting stencils of rats on the walls of Parisian streets. He described the rat as "the only free animal in the city",[4] and one which "spreads the plague everywhere, just like street art".[5] His name comes from the comic book Blek le Roc, using "rat" as an anagram for "art".[3]


  1. Januszczak, Waldemar (8 June 2008). "Blek le Rat, the man who gave birth to Banksy". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  2. "Blek le Rat: This is not a Banksy". London: The Independent. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Blek le Rat: biography of a street artist. Stencil Revolution". Archived from the original on 2016-09-18. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  4. Reiss, Jon. Blek le Rat Archived 2008-09-18 at the Wayback Machine. Swindle, Issue 11. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  5. Blek Le Rat interview Archived 2011-04-18 at the Wayback Machine. UK Street Art. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
"Ballerina" by Blek le Rat at the 941 Geary Gallery, San Francisco