Episode #8 of the course “Street artists you should know”
Comic book artist, illustrator, and street muralist Phlegm is a British street artist who combines the unique elements of these three distinct art forms. Bringing new life to depreciated buildings and urban cityscapes, Phlegm uses a monochromatic palette and sharp brushstrokes, enjoying the large canvas provided by the blank walls. The majority of Phlegm’s artwork is on display around the UK, but especially in and around Sheffield.
Phlegm first developed a following with the admirers of his self-published comic books. He only uses color on screen-printing or large murals and typically illustrates his comic art using only black ink. While Phlegm’s images are somewhat childish or youthful, they also contain dark figures that may be frightening, disturbing, or disquieting, including robots, dragons, and machinery. The subconscious feelings mixed with childlike innocence and a sense of real “monsters” is similar to the literature of Roald Dahl or the filmmaking style of Tim Burton.
Many of Phlegm’s murals combine animals and people, enhancing their natural forms or situations with intense and often grotesque imaginative elements. Many of them depict how mechanics and nature work together or how one conceals the other, such as the pieces he exhibited at The Bestiary in 2014. Using the positive and negative space of his art, Phlegm has painted figures that seem like shadows walking along the wall, such as a wall in London inspired by Where the Wild Things Are.
Phlegm believes that street art becomes a part of the architecture on which it is painted, contributing to the beauty and culture of the city.
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