As one of the OG’s of stencil art and street art in general, Jef Aerosol knows a thing or two about urban art and how to stay relevant over long periods of time. Inspired by punk rock music and the French contemporary art scene at the time, Jef began cutting and painting stencils throughout his small town in central france as early as 1982. Still active today over three decades later, it is no wonder that he is considered to be one of the pioneers of stencil art. What is quite interesting however, is to hear his views on the subject of stencils. In his own words, “I don’t really care about stencils. A stencil for the sake of itself has no interest to me. It is only a tool.”
In a contemporary art scene filled to the brim with street artists of every kind pushing the boundaries in countless ways, it is refreshing and somewhat humbling to go back over 30 years with Jef and hear what it was like then and what motivated him to begin making art in this way and stick with it for such a long time. As he continues to work in both the streets and in the studio and show across the globe it is clear that we’ve all got a thing or two to learn from those who paved the way for street art as we know it now.