The Street artist Stik, renowned for his iconic graffiti portraits of stick people, has created an exclusive series of four prints available only with the Big Issue magazine (on sale March 11th). The prints, which will not be available through any other channels, are part of a collaboration designed to turn Big Issue vendors into art dealers for a week; interaction with a vendor is the only way to own one of the 75,000 of the highly collectable prints
Inserted into the magazines at random, there are four prints available: 30,000 blue, 30,000 red, 10,000 yellow and 5,000 orange, some of the which will be signed by the artist. The first person to collect all four prints will also have the chance to claim a non-folded red print signed by Stik.
The collaboration has been funded by Stik, who was himself homeless in 2011. “Being homeless is one of the most debilitating things that can happen to an individual. All the support systems rely on you having a home. My stick figures don’t have mouths, they are silent, but people see them. Most homeless people are invisible as well as silent. The Big Issue gives them a voice and I hope this collaboration reminds people that the people selling The Big Issue are trying really hard to help themselves, and to get out there and speak to them.”
Stephen Robertson, CEO of the Big Issue Foundation, adds: “When Stik came to us to offer to work with us and fund this project we were intrigued and then incredibly excited. This is both a terrifically generous act from someone who himself so recently homeless, as well as a powerful statement from an artist. The Big Issue Foundation will be holding a Sleep Out in Bristol on the 19th of April and London on the 26th of April, to help raise funds for our work with vendors and raise awareness of homelessness issues in these hard times. We hope through Stik’s work we can recruit a new generation of readers and fundraisers.”
Stik’s street art can mainly be seen across London, but his recent gallery shows have been sell-outs, with his work being bought by everyone from Elton John and Chris Martin, to Tinie Tempah and Goldie, a street artist of some renown in his own right. His work is also part of the V&A print collection. He has also just completed a unique painting in the vendor area at The Big Issue’s offices in Vauxhall, where his journey from homeless person to celebrated street artist shows hope and inspiration to the vending community.
A Series Of Four Limited Edition Prints To Be Distributed Exclusively With The Big Issue Magazine
The Big Issue costs just £2.50 and vendors buy their own copies of the magazines for £1.25 per copy.
Photo: Stik Hoxton © ArtLyst 2012