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KID ACNE 

BORN – Lilongwe, Malawi 1978

LIVES & WORKS - Sheffield, UK

Artist, illustrator, print-maker and MC – Kid Acne is a modern day renaissance man and elder statesman of the international Street Art scene. Having first picked up a spray can at the age of twelve, his formative years were spent painting graffiti, producing fanzines and making DIY punk / hip-hop records. The combination of these interests informed a more illustrative approach to graffiti, incorporating influences from skateboard graphics and underground comics, culminating in the development of his own inimitable style​, ​first published in the now seminal Scrawl tome (Booth-Clibborn Editions) in 1999​.

At the turn of the millennium, momentum and interest grew as Kid Acne ​illustrations began to appear as the backdrop to major UK club nights and adorned countless record sleeves, skateboards, T-shirts, pizza boxes, spray cans and knitwear. His signature style has now been commissioned by some of the world’s leading brands, from fashion houses in Paris to toy manufacturers in New York. Meanwhile, the man himself continues to paint epic murals and produce intricate wheat-pastes, which can be seen across the planet, from Baku to Beijing, Milan to Miami, Sheffield to São Paulo.

Musically, Kid Acne has released a series of singles and EPs sporadically over the past two decades – often collaborating with his close friends under the umbrella Invisible Spies/ Toah Dynamic/ Mongrels. His first two solo albums (​Rap Traffic and ​Council Pop) were ​produced by British graffiti ​pioneer, Req​. ​Both LPs received favourable reviews, landing ​Kid Acne ​with an EMI recording contract in the mid 2000′s.

2007 saw the release of ​his third album, Romance Ain’t Dead​ (produced by Ross Orton) to critical acclaim, followed by an abundance of live shows throughout the UK. In 2008 after a successful European tour, the self-styled ‘Rap Barry McGuigan’ decided to focus on his artwork full time and hung up the microphone for a while. 

Inside the gallery, Kid Acne’s work has been exhibited in group shows since painting his first ever canvas in 1996. His art has been displayed alongside leading Street Art contemporaries and old masters alike. His first solo show however, was not until his London debut, Smoke & Mirrors in 2009. His exhibitions tend to explore themes of an enigmatic, antediluvian ​matriarchy known as​ ‘Stabby Women’​. T​he most comprehensive being a major​ retrospective aptly titled Kill Your Darlings at Museums Sheffield in 2011. The exhibit attracted over 50,000 visitors and is still regarded by the Museum as one of their most successful shows to date.  

Kid Acne has recently produced a series of short animations for Channel 4 based on his co-created character, Zebra Face (written by Supreme Vagabond Craftsman). The cartoon boasts a cast of British talent, including Roots Manuva, Rosamund Hanson and Jarvis Cocker who provide the voices. ​

In 2015, Kid Acne reinstated his original rap group, Mongrels alongside lifelong friend and DJ, Benjamin with the release of a limited edition EP, Low Budget/ High Concept. The duo’s debut LP, Attack The Monolith is due for release in May 2016. The album features New Kingdom alumni, Sebastian Laws as well as guest appearances from UK heavyweights, Lord Rao (Strange U) and Juice Aleem (New Flesh).

And he still has acne.

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SELECTED CLIENTS
Levis / Kenzo / Prada / Keihl’s / Elle / Warner Bros / Brompton / Ford / Volkswagen / Mercedes Benz Beck’s / Kid Robot / EMI / WARP / XL Recordings / Ninja Tune / Schuh / Djinn’s / Thornbridge

 

SOLO SHOWS

2015
DESTINED FOR GREATNESS / C.A.V.E Gallery, Los Angeles, USA 
RUMBLE IN THE JUMBLE / B&B Gallery, Sheffield, UK

2014
THE RETURN / Galo Art Gallery, Turin, Italy 
STANDARD PRACTICE / B&B Gallery, Sheffield, UK
ADAPTATIONS / Graffiti Life Gallery, London, UK

2012 
DAMN STRAIGHT/ Inoperable Gallery, Vienna, Austria
STAND & DELIVER / C.A.V.E Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

2011
CLOAK & DAGGER / Other Gallery, Beijing, China 
KILL YOUR DARLINGS
 
/ Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, UK  
RHYTHM IS A DANCER 
/ Stolen Space, London, UK

2010
WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS / Concrete Hermit, London, UK
DUST IN THE GIANT’S EYE / Electrik Sheep Gallery, Newcastle, UK 
OIS’ EASY / Helmet Gallery, Munich, Germany

2009
SMOKE & MIRRORS / Stella Dore Gallery, London, UK

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KidAcne_JeromeCampbell_Cb

 

SELECTED GROUP SHOWS

2014
WU TANG IS FOR THE CHILDREN / Londonewcastle Project, London UK

2013
WINTER GROUP SHOW/ B&B Gallery, Sheffield, UK

2012
SCRATCH 17 / Londonewcastle Project, London, UK

2011
NIGHT BIRDS / Kenzo Showroom, Paris, France
TERRAIN VAGUE / Pilori Museum, Niort, France

2010
NEVER JUDGE / Stolen Space, London, UK
SUMMER GROUP SHOW / Stolen Space, London, UK

2009
FLYING EYEBALL / Gallery 27, London, UK
SEVEN STYLES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS / APG Works, Sheffield, UK

2008
STELLA DORE GROUP SHOW / Stella Dore Gallery, London, UK
BROTHERS IN ARMS / Mini Gallery, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

2007
ALTERNATIVITY / Truman Brewery, London, UK
BESTIAL / Iguapop Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
REFILL SEVEN / MTV Gallery, Sydney, Australia

2006
HIS LIFE IS FULL OF MIRACLES / Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK

2005
PICTURE THIS / Bargehouse, London, UK
GIRLS / Myymälä 2 Gallery, Helsinki, Finland

2004
THE BIG DRAW / Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, UK
GRAPHIC/ Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York, USA
APPLICATION / Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Australia

2003
BASEFIELD / The Commons, Melbourne, Australia
SEXPO / Hixept Gallery, Grenoble, France

2001
GRAFFITI: CONCRETE OR WALLPAPER? / Swiss Embassy, London, UK

1998
GRAFFITI BASTARDS 2 / Custard Factory, Birmingham, UK

1996
GRAFFITI BASTARDS / Custard Factory, Birmingham, UK

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DISCOGRAPHY 

KID ACNE Albums 
RAP TRAFFIC (LP) / Invisible Spies 2001
COUNCIL POP (LP) / Invisible Spies 2003
ROMANCE AIN’T DEAD (LP) / Lex Records 2007

KID ACNE Singles / EPs 
SQUIRREL HUNTERS – Midfield General Remix (7″) / Invisible Spies 2001
REGARDE KID ACNE (7″) / Invisible Spies 2002 
ZUB-ZUB ROCKERZ (7″) Electro Caramel 2003
RADIO MUSIC / HOOLIGAN 78 (12″) / Invisible Spies 2003
REALITY RAPS (12″ EP) / Invisible Spies 2004
WORST LUCK (7″, 12″) / Lex Records 2007
SLIDING DOORS (7″, 12″) / Lex Records 2007
EDDY FRESH (7″, 12″) / Lex Records 2007

MONGRELS Albums 
ATTACK THE MONOLITH (LP) / Invisible Spies 2016

MONGRELS Singles / EPs 
SLINGSHOTS (7″) /
C.U.Next Tuesday 1997
FRESH ARRANGEMENTS (7″) / Invisible Spies 2002
LOW BUDGET/HIGH CONCET (10″) / Invisible Spies 2015
YOU DIG RAPS? (7″) / Invisible Spies 2015

MONGRELS x BURGUNDY BLOOD  
…IN THE POP WILDERNESS (cassette EP) / Invisible Spies 2016

TOAH DYNAMIC Albums 
MOVEMENT (LP) / Invisible Spies 2000
COPS HATE OUR LOVE (LP) / Invisible Spies 2002

TOAH DYNAMIC Singles / EPs
HIP-HOP GYMKHANA (7″ EP) / C.U.Next Tuesday 1996
HARVEST FESTIVAL (7″ EP) / Invisible Spies 2000
SON OF A COPPER (7″ EP) / Invisible Spies 2000

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FANZINES / SELF PUBLISHING 

1995
VELCRO GRASS #1 / Edition of 50

1996
VELCRO GRASS #2 / Edition of 50 
ZEBRA FACE / Edition of 100
VELCRO GRASS #3 / Edition of 50

2001
ZEBRA FACE / Edition of 1000

2009
SMOKE & MIRRORS / Edition of 100

2010
STABBY WOMEN / Edition of 250

2011
WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS / Edition of 150 
COLOUR ME BAD Vol. 1 / Edition of 100

2012 
STAND & DELIVER / Edition of 200
COLOUR ME BAD Vol. 2 / Edition of 200
2014 
CALL TO ARMS / Edition of 500
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SELECTED GROUP PUBLICATIONS

SCENES FROM THE INSIDE / Drat & Blast 1996

SCRAWL – Dirty Graphics & Strange Characters / Booth-Clibborn Editions 1999

STREET LOGOS / Thames & Hudson 2004

GRAFFITI WORLD – Street Art From Five Continents / Thames & Hudson 2004

WARPLabels Unlimited / Black Dog Publishing 2005

KASKAD / Robert Horne 2005

ALL ALLURE / Gestalten 2006

ART OF REBELLION 2 / Publikat 2006

BOOK ART – Innovation in Book Design / Rotovision 2007

STREET ART NEW YORK / Prestel 2010

NINJA TUNE – 20 Years of Beats & Pieces / Black Dog Publishing 2010

I AM PLASTIC TOO / Kid Robot 2010

ART OF REBELLION 3 / Publikat 2010

THE 3D ART BOOK / Prestel 2011

BEHIND THE ZINES – Self-Publishing Culture / Gestalten 2011

STREET ART – The Best Urban Art From Around The World / Michael O’Mara Books 2011

REINVENTING SCREENPRINTING / Roto Vision 2011

OISEAUX DE NUIT / Images en Manoeuvres Editions 2012

WE OWN THE NIGHT / Rizzoli 2012

THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF STREET ART / Robinson 2012

IT’S A STICK UP / Laurence King 2013

 

 

 

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