After a poignant illustrated response to the terror attack in Paris at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by the French London based Illustrator, Lucille Clerc went viral on the web, after the drawing was originally thought to be by Banksy. Banksy’s French counterpart has created his own work in response to the horrific terror attack on the country.
Now the street artist Blek le Rat, the pioneering artist whose style was largely appropriated by the British street artist and who is almost as famous in France as Banksy is over here, hascreated his own work of condemnationagainst the terrorist attack by masked gunman which claimed the lives of 12 at the satirical newspaper and left five more seriously injured at that location.
The French street artist, 63, dubbed “Banquesy” by the British press, told The Telegraph that he was rendered speechless by “the cold-blooded determination of a crazy minority” who conducted the violence.
Speaking exclusively to The Independent Le Rat urged his fellow nationals to keep in mind that those responsible “are just a tiny minority”, adding: “It makes me think of the Muslim families in France who must feel horror and fear that this incident will spread further hate.”
Le Rat, whose real name Xavier Prou, a Parisian, grew up in the 16th arrondissement of Paris and studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. The street artist also claims to have been the second person, behind fellow street artist Zloty Kamien, to have brought street art to Paris.
Le Rat was an avid follower of the political cartoons of Charlie Hebdo, claiming that he “waited impatiently” for the new edition every week. With the deaths of some of France’s most celebrated political cartoonists, Jean Cabu, Georges Wolinski, Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac, as well as Charlie’s editor Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, have said to effected the street artist greatly.
“Charlie somehow educated me,” Le Rat pronounced. “I adored the work of Wolinksi and Cabu – it is as if they killed a time of my youth. Again, it is so terrible there are no words.”
The French street artist’s works featuring rats first appeared on the banks of Seine when Banksy,,would still have been at primary school, if reports of his age are to be believed. In his unauthorised biography Banksy stated: “Every time I think I’ve painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek le Rat has done it as well, only 20 years earlier.”