Born in 1986, French artist Mr. Oreke describes his work as "street pop art". His creative life began in the early 2000s when he became involved in the graffiti scene covering walls with spray painted images in shimmering colours. Then, as now, his nostalgic subjects are drawn from his own childhood linked to the present through memory and reinterpretation. He describes his creative process as transporting characters of past generations into the world of today by setting them in a modern context. His style drew inspiration from the pop art movement and American comics of the ‘50s and ‘60s, and the freedom and modernity of abstraction. Stencilled faces, both male and female, became central to his work after he visited an exhibition from Roy Lichtenstein. Introducing broader elements of urban culture – fashion, art, design, news and current affairs – he made the transition from concrete to canvas, and his work began to appear in galleries across France.
Mr. Oreke's distinctive style is the result of different layers in his work. He builds up a backdrop using spray paint like the graffiti artist he once was. He combines inks with acrylics along with a variety of collage elements such as bank notes. The narrative is humorous and slightly fantastic, and there is a freedom of form resulting from collages, colours and typographic elements. In this way every piece is redolent of the comic books he loves, and carries an overwhelming sense of movement and energy. Mr. Oreke’s latest work, featuring a posse of his favourite classic cartoon characters is making an impact artwork in galleries across Europe.