Not enough boxes to tick
If you are into graffiti, urban art, street art, or graffiti fine art, it is unlikely that you haven’t heard of the London-born graffiti artist ROIDS. Although active long before, it was around 2008 – 2012 that the graffiti world was taken aback by the supreme precision and innovation of this groundbreaking artist.
Starting in his hometown of London and rapidly spilling over the borders to Europe and the world beyond, via the internet, graffiti print press, and soon after via the praise of the fine art and design worlds, the name ROIDS found itself not only speaking to a larger audience, his artwork also became a driving force on a global stage. His 2008 alliance with the U.S-based crew MSK only ramped things up further as his well-earned street cred now steamrolled forwards catching the eye of not only the graffiti international graffiti community but also the international fine artists, curators, designers, and collectors nationally and abroad. A point that was reiterated by a successful entry in the exhibiting of illustration work in 2011 at the Known Gallery and followed by a sellout debut solo gallery show in 2012 at Topsafe gallery.
So what is it that makes ROIDS so unique? Is it that you always know it’s a ROIDS piece even if you can’t read it? Is it that no matter how he changes his style, technique, or approach to making art that it never looks like anyone else’s? Or is it that every time you see a ROIDS piece in the flesh you can’t help but stop and ask yourself how something so perfect was made by hand? The experience is most likely different for each viewer depending on their orientation. However, the glue that holds it all together is graffiti. His one true love, the reason to get out of bed and keep exploring, that thing that lights the fire for all the creative endeavors he pursues.
Graffiti of every orientation, typography, illustration, design, manga, retro computer graphics, or even 80s and 90s nostalgia. Who cares, throw it all in the mix, and if you are lucky you might get close to ticking some of the boxes that describe the elements that can be found in ROIDS artworks. Artworks that can be found on paper, canvas, walls, wood, trains, and most likely many other places all over the world. Many are embellished with the enduring vibrance of carefully chosen Montana GOLD and BLACK can colors.
Even though his Instagram account @willis82 tells us he has 59K followers, Will Gates as he is also known as is far from a follower. As one of the most innovative contemporary graffiti artists, we look forward to seeing which path he will take next. You can also find him at @w_gates_ and https://www.willgates.com.