Temper

Overshadowed Intro by Temper
We Free by Temper
Dave's Star Quest by Temper
Unusual Time by Temper
Scrawls New Peek by Temper
Pink Gum by Temper
Who's Up Next by Temper
A B-boy Road (Canvas) by Temper
Overshadowed Intro - Canvas by Temper
We Free - Canvas by Temper
Dave's Star Quest - Canvas by Temper
Plan The Exit - Canvas by Temper
Graffiti Is Physical - Canvas by Temper
Unusual Time - Canvas by Temper
To many, the name Arron Bird might not register so much as a batted eyelid. Whereas if we instead mentioned the name, ‘Temper’ then we might raise a few more collective eyebrows amongst those gathered. If you happened to reside in Wolverhampton during the early 1990s and were sick and tired of constant graffiti on a series of underpasses and garage walls, then eyebrows would definitely have been arched as we name and shame chief protagonist (and rightly, universally celebrated contemporary artist of here and now), Arron Bird (aka Temper). Yup, the man-child behind some pretty fantastical urban street art caused just as much of a stir (albeit in bona fida art contemporary art circles this time around) as he made the (very welcome) transition from concrete to canvas. But more of this after a few gaps.

Arron Bird (or as he’ll be referred to henceforth on this page as, Temper) first picked up a can of spray paint (in anger, probably) at the age of 11 years as a way of communicating/conveying a message; which went by the aptly-title, ‘Street Level’ moniker. Some 24 years later and Temper (his street artist tag – bit like a CB handle, only a lot more hip) is critically acclaimed as one of the most naturally gifted graffiti artists of his generation. Not bad when you think that includes the iconic (and notorious) Banksy among its clandestine membership.

Starting out in his career as a grave digger, Temper’s might have been more soil-marked during the day, yet by nightfall traces of spray can paint on his hands gave his moonlighting game away as he left his indelible creative footprints across swathes of the West Midlands. He was ‘discovered’ (or rather his signature, perceivably anti-social illustrative calling cards were) back in 1997 when he started receiving payment for his skillset, but before that Temper set out on a more creatively-acceptable path four years prior to this. In 1993 Temper launched his own company, BMC (short for Blind Mice Clothing) which sold printed t-shirts, which was met with measured success, yet Temper still hankered after being known for his more large scale, and potentially illegal artistic statements.

Itching this scratch, Temper frequented more conservative surface areas in the meantime (i.e., canvas, etc) as a means to an end, and whilst plugging away with his front of shop business, and in 1996 he staged his very first solo gallery exhibition in his native Wolverhampton, called, ‘Footsteps’. Temper recalls it well and concurs; “This was a turning point for me," before adding; “With Footsteps, I was able to experiment with other mediums apart from the spray world and I was able to spend more time on each painting." In excess of 3,000 interested parties passed through the doors of the exhibition, and at the same time he began collaborating with the UK hip-hop label, The Jeap Beat Collection, in terms of album cover artwork. Temper eventually originated six unique covers for a variety of acts, including Jimi Hendrix.

Temper’s big break came in the shape of 2001 when he was plucked from (still relative) obscurity to design and produce the outer coat to a new sub-brand of Sprite drinks cans. This coat would stand proud on a projected 100 million cans globally, which is essentially the most expansive exposure you’re likely to ever enjoy as an artist. And is priceless. Adopting his innovative and fresh graffiti take, Temper's handiwork was then seen across Europe in what became the biggest graffiti advertising campaign to date. This propelled Temper’s career to new heights as you can imagine; stratospherically, as now he was suddenly finding himself being approached with commissions by the likes of Coca Cola, Saatchi and Saatchi and the BBC as he became the best thing since sliced bread. The previous thing being just bread, maybe?

later that very same year, Temper’s ‘Minuteman’ exhibition hosted by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery made art history, in respect of Temper being the first graffiti artist to be awarded a solo show in a major public gallery space, which incidentally went on to break all attendance records in the process. As his acceptance in art establishment circles continued at pace, in 2007 Temper was invited to create a major piece of public art – in collaboration with award-winning designer, Ken Shuttleworth – to appear in Birmingham’s next landmark building, The Cube. Which it duly did, adorning the central atrium to the aforementioned building.

Temper's 'A New Day' collection marked the beginning of a new chapter for the prolific artist, as he moved towards traditional fine art, despite his work still being painted with aerosol, and remaining firmly entrenched in its street art origins. Yet in 2008, Temper launched his brand new ‘Post Graphelite Collection’ at the Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace, London, his tenth collection of works and without question his most mainstream. Not least from its launch-pad. This tenth collection of works by Temper is one of studied and expert use of symbolism, astrology, Pre Raphaelite idealisms and a desire to herald the advancement of graffiti, brought together with spectacular impact. Which reads like a press release as it probably is, but moreover heralded a new direction for Temper’s art.

Having the final word on the subject (for now, as we expect to hear a lot more from this exciting artist in the foreseeable future), Temper says; “They don't teach you graffiti in art class and a lot of people don't even consider it art. Of course graffiti is art.” Temper goes on to add; “We do the same as any contemporary artist. We paint, we express our emotions but we are the true story tellers of our era because we reflect what is happening on the streets. It's not about one kind of art being 'better' than another. Graf artists create positive, colorful, meaningful paintings. It's a soulful art form and should be treated with the same respect as other forms of art." And we for one can’t argue with that synopsis.

View All Art Works By Temper