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Monsieur A

Born in: 1971

France

Biography
André Saraiva is a French graffiti artist and entrepreneur, born in 1971 in Uppsala, Sweden. Of Portuguese origins, his parents flee the regime of dictator Salazar and migrated to Sweden in the beginning of the 70s. At the age of 10, he settled in Paris with his familly. He discovered graffiti then and in 1989, he invented his famous character called Mr. A. Creating at a frantic rate, he did 20 tags per evening, nearly 300 000 Mr. A have been drawn on all sorts of supports since the beginning of his career. After years of training in the world of graffiti without any real recognition, his character named Mr.A suddenly became a real success. The public was seduced by this meek character, with a bulbous face often wearing a top and with one round eye and the other one sealed with a cross, apparently winking. Perched on two long, straight legs, Mister A resembles his creator; smiling, charming and mischievous. After the opening of his gallery called "The Mercerie d'André" in Paris, in which he also sells his pieces, he was discovered in 1997 by Japanese sponsors who introduced him to the artistic scene of Tokyo. In 2002, he created the concept store BlackBlock at the Palais de Tokyo. In 2004, André did the frescoes of the new terminal at the Tokyo Airport. He appeared in 2010 in the movie by Banksy, Make the Wall! André became famous internationally for his work as an artist but he was also denigrated by some and seen as a "vandal" specially by environmental activists defending the Joshua Tree National Park in California where André did a graffiti on a stone situated on the parking lot of the park. In 2011, his work was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles, at the Grand Palais in Paris and at the 54th Venice Biennale. In 2014, a retrospective of his work was organized at the Museu do Design e da Moda in Lisbon.
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