The King of Lettering – An Interview with Ben Eine

One of Britain’s most notorious graffiti artists, Ben Eine is widely regarded as one of the most successful letterform artists in the world with his distinct typographic style.

A supreme master of contemporary urban art, his work has already reached the level of iconic over a decade ago and has been a major influence on street artists for at least the past 20 years now.

Having begun his career as a teenager secretly creating graffiti on the sides of buildings in the middle of the night, and eventually, all over the world, the duality of his practice has, naturally, transcended to galleries worldwide.

We caught Ben Eine in a brief moment of rest between painting a mural at Iberostar Grand Portals Nous hotel in Majorca, a group exhibition at 2B Art & Toys Gallery, and his first NFT launch, and asked him about his art, his early years, inspirations, and much more.

Ben Eine painting mural at 2B Art & Toys Gallery

2B: How did you start? Do you remember your first artwork or mural?

Ben: I started because of Martha Cooper and the book she made, called Subway Art. My first large-scale mural was Vandalism on Village underground in East London.

2B: What inspires you?

Ben: Hand-painted, weird typography. Traveling. The way the languages translate slightly wrong.

2B: Have you ever been to Mallorca? Have you painted in Spain before?

Ben: No, I haven’t been to Mallorca. I’ve painted in Ibiza a few times and all over mainland Spain.

2B: Tell us a place where you always wanted to paint a mural

Ben: Somewhere in Mongolia.

2B: If you wanted your message to reach a specific audience in a powerful and transcendent way, where would you make your work or where would you place it?

Ben: Something digital or on the Louvre. The last place I would want a painting is next to the Mona Lisa.

2B: Which technique do you most identify with?

Ben: Spray paint.

2B: If you weren’t an artist, what would you have been?

Ben: A drug dealer or a high-powered executive in an advertising agency, which is basically the same thing.

2B: Do you think that Street Art today has ceased to be something transgressive and has become a formal category of art?

Ben: I passionately believe that graffiti and its commercial child, Street Art is the biggest art movement ever.