Extra thing of the day… STIK in the Big Issue…
HERE’S WHAT THE BIG ISSUE MAGAZINE HAVE TO SAY
He started painting his haunting figures on buildings across the capital two years ago and was quickly noticed by the art world. After a number of high-profile exhibitions, his work was snapped up by celebrity collectors.
The graffiti artist said he decided to give away a print in tribute to his homeless friends, but also to toast the work of the Big Issue.
Stik, who keeps a pseudonym to maintain anonymity, said: “My figures don’t have mouths, they are silent. Most homeless people are invisible as well as silent. The Big Issue gives them a voice.
“The Big Issue is a great organisation which helps so many people to get back on their feet. I’ve wanted to do a project like this for a while. Also, I wanted to give something back to my friends who are still homeless, who taught me how to skip dive for food, the people who helped me open my first squat, even the people who taught me the tricks of street survival and showed me some sort of stability.”
Discussing his own homelessness, Stik added: “A house is like a second skin: it protects you from the world. Without it you can get badly hurt, physically and emotionally.
“Homelessness is relentless, and grinds you down to a state where you just exist on a level to survive. You try to develop a thick skin but end up getting hurt anyway. It is hard to stay positive. When you are homeless you feel like you are in the street even when you are in a house. And even when you are not homeless, the street still feels like your living room.
“I think people who have been homeless will know what I mean when I say I still have my homeless days, when I am back in that state even though I have a home now. Council letters and tax forms seem to bring it on, that temporary inability to comprehend normal domestic life. It is a reminder of how easy it is to lose it all.”
To get your hugely collectable limited edition print buy this week’s Big Issue, on sale now… and tell us what you think: #bigstikissue