Street art can be seen in almost any city. Some of it is simple and crude, almost as if a child is playing with colors, choosing buildings as his canvas. But, some can be stunning, stealing the very air from our lungs with its beauty. Chinese graffiti artist DALeast aged 29 is slowly becoming one of the most loved names on the international street art scene.
During the last two years, the artist has traveled all around the world. He has graffitied his works in cities such as London, New York, Cape Town and Melbourne. His trademark paintings are huge animals painted with black spray. He works incredibly fast and uses white and grey to give his drawings a 3D quality. His animals are usually portrayed in two disconnected parts, most of the times disintegrating at the center or falling away at the sides. DALeast says that he wishes to depict human condition with the help of his animals.
“In my opinion, animals are like humans. We all live in the same environment; we have the same pressures, emotions and a feeling of insecurity in society. Animals are like society, but are kind of attached to humans,” he explained.
DALeast has always been a fan of introspection in is works, instead of using it to make political statements. “Some people in China are doing street art against the government, especially the beginners. I don’t have political information in my art, because I think the political in art is just art,” he added.
The artist first started doing graffiti in 2004, as part of a crew from Beijing. His continued until 2008 when the police arrested them.
“It was a big joke actually,” he explained. “The police thought that we were more than artists- they thought we were terrorists that wanted to bomb the city. They spent three days searching us and we spent one day in custody. In the end, the mayor of the city decided to release us.”
Nowadays he lives in South Africa with his wife. However, he declared that he arrest had nothing to do with his choice to live China. What do you think of DALeast’s works?