In pictures: Street art 'Godfather' paints London
27 April 2012
Last updated at 18:42
With a spray can still in his hand aged 60, Blek Le Rat is known as 'Godfather of street art'. At that age he now claims to be the 'Grandfather of street art'. His new London exhibition has just opened.
Blek Le Rat's first large-scale London exhibition caused queues when it opened at the Opera Gallery on New Bond Street on 27 April. He says the exhibition is a tribute to the old masters. It runs until 18 May.
Known as the "Godfather of street art", 60-year-old Le Rat was born Xavier Prou in Paris. He began stencilling walls in his home city with his signature rat silhouette in 1981. Januszczak Waldemar, in The Sunday Times, has referred to him as “The rat who gave birth to Banksy".
He says London is the best city in the world for creating and looking at street art. London-based artist Slinkachu is one of his current favourites.
"Street art is the most important movement in the world," he said.
Le Rat cites David Hockney and Andy Warhol as the two artists who have had the most influence on him.
The day before the opening of his new exhibition, Le Rat created his latest painting - with the owner's permission - on a wall outside the Embassy Restaurant in Mayfair.
His latest work is on New Burlington Street, just 100m from the Royal Academy.
Embassy owner Dan Kapp says it is a painting of Andy Warhol.
Others who saw the stencil suggested a colourful resemblance to Sir Alex Ferguson or Boris Johnson.