Nashville has added another mural to its growing street art scene, after French graffiti artist Blek Le Rat visited the city last week and left his mark.
When Blek Le Rat, otherwise known as Xavier Prou, works, he doesn’t talk. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t making noise. You can easily hear the
artist rattle his spraycans and a hissing sound as paint splatters onto a series of stencils.
The end result is a portrait of Beethoven, spread across the white-bricked walls of a coffee shop on the corner of 4th Avenue North and Monroe Street in Germantown.
“Nashville is a capital for music. So my work now is to introduce old masters of music like Beethoven with the modern music [here],” says Blak Le Rat, as he arms himself with a gas mask to avoid breathing in the fumes of the cans.
Blek Le Rat
a pioneer in the stencil graffiti art movement. He’s famous for his artwork throughout the streets of Paris, especially his many paintings of black rats. Some say he influenced street artists like Banksy.
He was invited to Nashville by Montgomery Bell Academy
to work with students and paint murals in the school and throughout the city. There are now six at MBA and one in Germantown.
But the artist says he also came to Nashville for another reason.
“I really prefer to be in Nashville than in New York, because in New York if you do something on the street, nobody care. Here it’s completely different,” said Blek Le Rat. “They have a real interest.”
And already art followers are
noticing. While the artist painted the wall, a fan of his stopped and told the artist he had seen his work in another city. He said he was moved by it.