Born in 1971 - France
André Saraiva is a graffiti artist but also a French entrepreneur. He was born in 1971 in Uppsala, Sweden. He is of Portuguese origin, his parents fled the regime of Salazar, the dictator and emigrated to Sweden during early 70s. At the age of 10, he moved to Paris with his family. He discovered graffiti and in 1989, which is when he invented his famous character, called Mr A.
He worked in an unbridled pace, around 20 tags per night. He drew over 300 000 Mr. A's on all mediums at the beginning of his career. He devoted many years to graffiti, without actually being acknowledged, his character Mr. A suddenly became successful. The public was taken in by this easy-going bulbous face, often with a top hat, along with one round eye and the other crossed, as if he was winking to the viewer. Standing on long slender straight legs, Mr. A looked a lot like his inventor: cheerful, charming and malicious.
After having opened his gallery in Paris « La mercerie d'André », where he sells his work, he was discovered in 1998 by Japanese sponsor, who launched his career on the artistic scene in Tokyo. In 2002, he opened the concept store called BlackBlock at Palais de Tokyo. In 2004, André created frescoes at the new airport terminal in Tokyo. It appeared in 2010 in Banksy's movie called "Faites le mur!'
André Saraiva became famous worldwide for his work as an artist but was also dispraised by some as a "vandal" and even more so by environmental activists who defended the Joshua Tree National Park in California where André created a graffiti on a rock, in the parking lot of the park. In 2011, his works were exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, at Grand Palais in Paris and during the 54th Venice Biennial. In 2014, not to mention a retrospective which was organized at the Museu do Design e da Moda in Lisbon
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