Temper the ArtistArtist/Painter Male Birmingham, England, United Kingdom www.temper-art.com
Mayhem # 705682
When he was just 11 years old, a young Arron Bird picked up a can of spray paint for the very first time and created his first painting âStreet Levelâ. Now, 24 years later, Arron Bird is more famously known by his tag, Temper and has achieved phenomenal success as a graffiti artistâ¦.
Welcome to his journeyâ¦â¦
Having previously worked a number of jobs including that of a grave digger, Temper always knew that his heart was with painting. He successfully launched and ran a line of graffiti inspired clothing called Blind Mice Clothing (BMC for short). However, all of Temperâs big breaks came at once when in 2001 he was chosen to produce the design to go on 100 million Sprite cans. Suddenly his tag was seen all across Europe in the biggest graffiti advertising campaign to date.
âThe Sprite campaign was incredible; it was almost like corporate tagging. When I was out in the streets putting my name up, I would never imagine that 10 years on I would have 100 million hits in one go.â Temper 2007
This propelled Temperâs career to new heights; he went on to do commissions for the likes of Coca-Cola, Saatchi and Saatchi and BBC to mention but a few.
His âMinutemanâ exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 2001 made graffiti history once again. Temper had become the first graffiti artist to ever be awarded a solo show in a major public gallery space and broke all attendance records in the process, witnessing 38,000 visitors within 4 weeks.
Temper has gone on to receive massive commercial success, paving the way for many graffiti artists and was the first to ever paint a conceptual collection in the UK. His first collection entitled The Good Die Young was a series of iconic portraits inspired by the artists own personal loss after 8 members of his family suddenly passed away. Painted entirely freehand using spray paint, this 27 piece black and white collection depicted figures from popular culture who Temper felt had a significant impact on him and his family.
âIt was the best way for me deal with my bereavement and I was surprised when people started saying that I had changed the market and reinvented the interest in the icon in art.â Temper 2007
His next collection, Decade traced 10 years of Temperâs life from 1982 â 1991 in a colourful, graffiti style.
âDecade was composition, colour and style, a really easy way of viewing moments of time. Throughout those 10 years my mind and personality were moulded to make me the artist that I am today. After The Good Die Young, reflecting on family members gone, it was natural for me to also look back on my own life and put it on canvas for other people to acknowledge.â Temper 2007
They say a picture paints a thousand words but in Temperâs case, 28,000 words paint a picture in his ongoing Popcorn collection. Using the technique he invented of repeating his signature approximately 18 to 28,000 times on canvas using a single stencil, Temper builds an image of a comic book hero or film character. Since Temper is dyslexic, the irony of creating an image entirely out of words is a powerful statement to make and has received major commercial success.
Too Good To Die Young came next for Temper in 2003 as he reverted back to the memories of The Good Die Young. This time however the icons depicted were in full colour as he celebrated the lives of those that he had previously grieved for.
âWhen I lost my Grandad, I was very, very angry, but when you come out of that place you start thinking about the good times youâve had. I celebrate his life in my mind- the perfect image of him. Thatâs what I wanted to do with Too Good To Die Young.â Temper
Move launched in 2005 and was based on quick sketches of break dancers, DJs, MCs and sportsmen who were all invited to perform live in Temperâs studio.
âI didnât want to see faces, I didnât want to see limbs, I wanted them to look awkward. That awkwardness is what I call reality as an artist.â Temper
In this search for realism, Temper produced a 50-piece collection that pushed the boundaries and capabilities of spray paint.
In 2007 Temper became the first graffiti artist to be awarded a commission for a major piece of public art. The Cube development is set for completion in 2010 and will be Birminghamâs next landmark building. It is designed by Ken Shuttleworth and Temperâs sculpture will adorn the central atrium of the building. To date, the concept of the work is under tight wraps but promises to bring visitors to Birmingham from all over the world.
âI may be on my way to calling myself a craftsman rather than a graffiti artist. However, my roots with graffiti will always remain, but perhaps itâs there to remind me of a starting point to gage how Iâve excelled within my life and my art. I have 33.3 collections already mapped out in my mind and this is just the beginningâ¦â Temper 2007
Private collectors include Roman Abramovich, Ian Wright and others
11 consecutive sell-out collections
Fakin it judge
etc etc etc etc etc