Martin Whatson Norwegian, b. 1964

Martin Whatson is a Norwegian street and stencil artist who got his start in Oslo’s emerging graffiti scene in the ’90s. Whatson begins each of his works with a detailed grayscale composition—often self-portraits, dancers, animals, or iconic figures from art history. Next, he “vandalizes” his own work by adorning the figure with an explosive collage of abstract graffiti. The resulting images are characterized by their multi-layered texture and liberal use of color—such as one series featuring janitor characters “sweeping” away his spray paint designs. In addition to his large-scale outdoor installations, Whatson applies his vibrant motifs to canvas, prints, and sculptures.