After experimenting with copy-art in the late 70s, the French stenciler went on to work with stencils.
Inspired by music, film and literature, his trademark mix of life-size actors, musicians and poets can be seen on walls in numerous cities, including Paris, London, Lille, Chicago, Venice and Amsterdam.
Jef Aerosol started stencilling in the area around Tours, France, in 1982 and has since left his easily recognisable works all over the world.
About the 'Wake up' print Jef says:
"This print is a tremendously important image for me, as it was the first stencil I ever cut, way back in 1982, from a photobooth self portrait.
It's the very first one I spray painted on the walls of Tours (France) more than 25 years ago! The Mickey ears were added later. I've already cut this stencil many times since that time and I can't imagine never using it again! It has become my "avatar" and as much a "trademark" as my red arrow, and for a lot of people who have known my street stencils since the beginnings, it is definitely symbolic of my work.
I think I like this selfportrait for its energy, its "punk" and wild aspects, the way it can be seen as a shout as well as a laughter...The Mickey ears were added a while ago and they obviously state that I belong to the "Disney generation" even though I reject "Disney Culture" and all it implies! The "Wake up" wording underlines this and means : come on, free yourself from that consumer society and think for yourself, don't be a manipulated Mickey.
I had wanted to release this image as a print for quite a long time and here it is now, in a very limited edition... Enjoy !" (Jef Aérosol, feb.2008)