Birmingham & Black Country

Foka Wolf: Street artist channels spirit of Banksy

A Foka Wolf poster Image copyright Foka Wolf
Image caption This curious poster recently appeared in Birmingham city centre

Posters poking fun at the annoyances of modern life are turning up across London and Birmingham.

The spoof ads by Foka Wolf - the latest of which takes aim at the second city's new Primark store - are, unsurprisingly, drawing comparisons with the work of Banksy.

A Foka Wolf poster Image copyright Foka Wolf
Image caption The artist lampooned Birmingham's new Primark store, which is currently being built in the city centre

The anonymous Birmingham-based artist has been identified in newspaper reports as being male and female but prefers to be referred to as "they".

Foka Wolf, who has more than 10,000 Instagram followers, told the Evening Standard how their work started as handwritten notes created when they were "severely hungover".

From those modest handbills, they went on to create designs for huge billboards, which at first glance can look like ordinary adverts.

Poster Image copyright Foka Wolf
Image caption All sections of society are targets for the artist
Foka Wolf Brexit poster in Birmingham city centre
Image caption Political statements are also part of their work

Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, the artist said: "I try not to have a political leaning... because we live in a time where it's a little bit clouded and no-one knows what is really going on."

More often than not, it's the everyday annoyances, rather than the political ones, that crop up in Foka Wolf's art.

A Foka Wolf poster Image copyright Foka Wolf
Image caption Ghoulish references for Brexit while the politics play out
A Foka Wolf poster Image copyright Foka Wolf
Image caption If you forgot to note down the number of your local roadman last time you met, fear not
A Foka Wolf poster Image copyright Foka Wolf
Image caption A public health warning with bite
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A Foka Wolf poster Image copyright Foka Wolf
Image caption The redevelopment of Birmingham has also been covered by Foka Wolf
A Foka Wolf poster Image copyright Foka Wolf
Image caption This poster was praised on social media for its "delicious absurdity"

The artist said: "I'm trying to show people the nature of information, and question the nature of information - basically, put these fake adverts in so people question real news and adverts.

"But off the back of that, I've realised that there's a bunch of people who believe anything you stick up. If you put it up in the right way, people think it's real."

Foka Wolf poster Image copyright Foka Wolf
Image caption Future predictions?

Foka Wolf is exhibiting some of their art at Bene Culture on Gibb Street in Digbeth, Birmingham, on 17 November.

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