Best known for their ethereal portraiture and hand-cut, multilayered stencils, UK-based artists SNIK, challenge the possibilities of their craft and push the boundaries of contemporary stencil art. Born from a male/ female dual perspective, SNIK’s contemporary approach to classic pre-Raphaelite portraiture births their unique and distinctively recognisable style.
Working together since 2012, the pair have become well known for their large scale murals, produced on walls the world over. Hand-cutting stencils totalling up to 120m in length, they have worked on numerous internationally renowned projects such as Nuart Festival (Stavanger and Aberdeen), HK Walls (Hong Kong), Urban Nation Museum (Berlin), Le Mur (Paris) and The RAW Project (Miami).
Throughout their career, SNIK have remained true to their ethos of painstakingly hand-cutting each of their stencils. The intricacy of layered stencil work requires precise cuts and careful compositional thought, with some stencils taking more than three months to produce.
Away from city streets, the duo self-produce many of their own exhibitons, their largest and most ambitious to date being ‘Ephemeral’. The 'Ephemeral' project was formed of two parts - held 18 months apart - and captured themes of growth and decay of the natural world, its reclamation of our lives and surroundings as decades and eras pass. This cycle has taken progressive prominence in SNIK’s work and continues to be a primary focus.
The extended exhibition allowed SNIK's work to move out beyond the canvas, producing new perspectives in venues that amplified the artwork's underlying messages. 'Ephemeral' was always intended to be more than the sum of its parts, going beyond a showcase of work and bringing audiences inside the art. At a time when the noise and distractions of the modern world are near-impossible to avoid, creating truly immersive experiences has become a powerful challenge that SNIK welcome.
Between the unearthed halls of The Crypt Gallery London, where ‘Ephemeral’ part one took place in 2019, and the dilapidated walls of a factory in the north of England, part two in 2021, SNIK's commentary on the fleeting nature of lives lived and nature's overwhelming inevitability became truly experiential.
Ephemeral II. Photographer Liam Keown.
In 2021 Bio Editions had the honour of publishing SNIK’s first book which brought together the two shows, not only their finished states, but the conception, evolution and execution of each showcase - in an effort to truly present the art from the artists' perspectives.
We are now pleased to produce their latest, thirteen-layer screen print ‘Retrograde’, which launches on Thursday 2nd November via our website. Print continues to play a crucial part in SNIK’s practice and documents significant works, giving their audience a wider opportunity to treasure these landmark pieces. The layering process of producing a screen print beautifully translates the many layers of SNIK’s stencils and the mirrored processes complement their work in an unparalleled way.
‘Retrograde’ will be available in five editions, Hand-finished, Triple-leaf, Gold-leaf, Fluro and White, and can be purchased on Thursday 2nd November at 5 pm GMT.