A gravedigger turned graffiti artist who first picked up a can of spray paint at the age of 11 is set to showcase his work in Birmingham from Saturday.
Wolverhampton-born Arron Bird, known as Temper, began his career spraying illegal tags on walls in the West Midlands before being snapped up by Sprite who used his designs on one hundred million cans.
He is one of a handful of the region’s best artists chosen to be part of The Artbox, at The Mailbox’s Elite Exhibition of Local Work, which will also feature Birmingham-born micro sculptor Willard Wigan MBE, SoulScape artist Louis Parsons and precision artist Sue Rowe.
Steve Turner, director of Kudos Fine Arts, which is jointly organising the exhibition, said: “The breadth and body of works that will be on exhibition is exceptional. There will be paintings and sculptures to suit all tastes.
“In addition to the exceptional local artists, there will be a selection of works from prized international artists such as Tony Evans, Len Gifford and the late Robert Lenkowiez, each leaders in their own field.”
The exhibition, which runs from April 16 to May 2, will show some of Temper’s work from his acclaimed Post Graphaelite Collection, on display for the very first time in Birmingham.
Hundreds turned out to see the collection of 12 canvases depicting the signs of the zodiac when it was first shown at London’s Banqueting House in Whitehall.
Self-taught artist Temper is thought to have been the first graffiti artist to have a solo show at a public gallery when his work appeared at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
He also designed the front page of the Birmingham Post on November 11, a project that has been shortlisted for Front Page of the Year, at the Regional Press Awards.
His work will be on show alongside micro-sculptor Willard Wigan whose work is famed for being so minute it can only just be seen by the naked eye.
Willard, who suffered from dyslexia found solace in creating art, starting when he made houses for ants aged five.
He has since gone on to sculpt a church from a grain of sand, mounted it in the eye of a needle, as well as a tiny sculpture of President Barack Obama.
> More information on the Elite Exhibition of Local Work at the Mailbox website