Artist Profile: SHOK-1

Heart Noose (China-2011) - Shok1Bespoke Arcades has decided to team up with the cream of world street artists in order to produce a range of exclusive “Art-cade” machines. Our 1st collaborator is SHOK-1 who has very kindly donated his time and considerable skills to us for free.

We intend to donate all the proceeds of this sale to charity – namely the British Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund.

So without further ado, we present to you……. SHOK-1.

SHOK-1 is a self-taught outsider artist who has been spraypainting cutting-edge urban wall paintings around the world since 1984.

Based in London, he was one of the earliest Europeans to co-opt the street cultures that exploded from New York in the early 80’s. His iconic characters, innovative organic graffiti and original concepts have earned him legendary status in the international scene. He has worked and exhibited with many of the best worldwide.

A peerless mastery of the difficult medium of spraypaint led Banksy to refer to him as “a spraycan technician of distinction”. He has combined a long foundation in subculture with an ongoing exploration of formal art to produce a more mature and thoughtful style of painting.

'RGB Trinity' by SHOK-1 London 2011 (photo Artofthestate)A complex and ever-evolving body of work demonstrates great imagination and risk-taking at every turn : powerfully-illuminated organic letterforms substitute for the role that figures normally play in painting and provide a structure for a stream-of-consciousness form of surrealism; “to make a a letter say more than a word”, as he puts it.

Random letters evoking passwords or cyphers substitute for the classic use of the pseudonym. An icon of a heart noose reoccurs frequently, as do cunning word plays and a semi-fictional punk character named Baz. Biological elements evoking cells and X-rays are painted with uniquely delicate translucent washes of spraypaint more akin to watercolour than the usual heavy use of the medium. An obsession with intricate detail is ever-present.

Recent projects include a 60ft high commissioned mural in Shenzhen that was censored by the Chinese government (see above), a huge WW2 Nazi bunker transformed into an art installation for the City of Frankfurt and SOON Gallery – a new street level gallery concept in Central London.

We are very excited to do this collaboration with such a talented and respected artist. We thank him for all his hard work and patience as we’ve put this project together. We think the art-cade cabinet looks incredible and look forward to working with him again in the future. Follow this link to contact SHOK-1 directly. Check out our other less-artistic arcade machines!


Back to blog
1 of 3