Startle is delighted to introduce the first UK collection from Argentinian street artist, BNS.
BNS’s high-octane street art takes the most iconic faces of our time and catapults them into a world where nothing is what they, or we, expect. His company of bespoke-suited Storm Troopers or a tattoo-covered Audrey Hepburn, overturn the familiar tropes of popular culture, merging characters and ideas in a way that is both creative and charismatic, as well as completely original. Within this frenzied burst of colour, ingenuity and dry humour, BNS invites us to re-examine our perspective on beauty and fame in a contemporary world, where media and communication connects us all far more closely than we realise.
Growing up in Buenos Aires, BNS was a part of the skateboarding and graffiti scene, before he left for New York City where he spent a decade creating the murals and street art which made his name. Combining aerosol paint, acrylics, silkscreen, inks, collage and photography in his compositions, BNS builds each one with around 20 layers, at least 10 of which are made with different silkscreens, and in some cases, finishes them with multiple coats of resin to make the colours pop. Every element of each piece is handcrafted (silkscreens are hand-pulled and wooden panels / frames are hand-mitred and sanded) and he mixes his own colours to create a personal, distinctive palette, which give his artworks their own unique character and story.
BNS describes his work as energetic and intricate, with influences as diverse as old school hip hop to the natural world. He loves the vitality and animation of the big city; how the built environment coexists with nature, often juxtaposing flowers and plants with graffiti and crumbling facades. Every piece is full of personal details which become apparent the more closely you look, referring to particular buildings that have meant something in his life, the flowers that grew around them or a meaningful tattoo.
Already a huge star internationally, BNS has exhibited all over the world and his list of celebrity collectors includes Paris Hilton, Nicky Jam, Macaulay Culkin, Residente (calle13), Rob Zombie, Lisa Hochstein, Birdman and Derek Jeter. Pharrell Williams and Nas both commissioned a series of works from him, including murals for their Miami nightclubs. This first UK collection offers a fabulous opportunity to collectors in this country to support a phenomenal tour de force.