Artist, illustrator, print-maker and MC; KID ACNE is a modern day renaissance man and elder statesman of the UK Street Art scene. Having first picked up a spray can at the tender age of 12 in the early 1990’s, his formative years were spent painting graffiti, making fanzines and releasing DIY punk/hip-hop records. The conversion of these interests informed a more illustrative approach to graffiti, incorporating influences from skateboard graphics and underground comics, which culminated in the development of his own inimitable style, first published in the now seminal Scrawl tome in 1999.
In the same year, while studying Fine Art in Sheffield, his work gained the attention of WARP Records executives who commissioned him to illustrate Plaid’s Rest Proof Clockwork LP sleeve, introducing his artwork to the music world at large.
At the turn of the millennium, momentum grew and Kid Acne illustrations began to appear as the backdrop for major UK club nights and in style magazines internationally, as well as customising everything from knitwear in Yorkshire, to record sleeves in Paris, skateboards in Frankfurt, T-shirts in Milan and vinyl toys in New York. Musically, Kid Acne has released a series of 7″s and EPs sporadically over the years – often collaborating with his close friends under the umbrella of Invisible Spies / Toah Dynamic. His first two solo albums
(Rap Traffic and Council Pop) were produced by UK graffiti veteran, Req. Both received critical acclaim landing Kid Acne with an EMI recording contract in the mid 2000’s.
2007 saw the release of ‘Romance Ain’t Dead’ to rave reviews and an abundance of live shows throughout Europe, before Acne decided to concentrate on his artwork proper and hang up the mic for a while.
Inside the gallery, Kid Acne has created regular international solo shows since 2009. His exhibitions tend to explore themes of an antediluvian matriarchy known as ‘Stabby Women’. The most comprehensive show being a major retrospective held at Museums Sheffield, titled ‘Kill Your Darlings’ in 2011, attended by over 50,000 people.
For the last couple of years Kid Acne has been working on a series of short animations for Channel 4 called ‘Zebra Face’. The pilot series boasts a cast of British talent, including Roots Manuva and Jarvis Cocker who provide the characters’ voices.
Kid Acne has also recently reinstated his original rap group, ‘Mongrels’ who have just released a limited edition 10″ vinyl EP, ‘Low Budget/High Concept’ and are currently mixing their LP, ‘Attack The Monolith’, due for release this Winter.
…and he still has acne.