The past 30 years have seen a surge in street art around the world. Influential artists like Basquiat and Keith Haring (who began as homeless graffiti artists), inspired a generation of anarchic works of art. The use of stencils in street art, can arguably be credited to pioneers like Shepard Fairey and Nick Walker. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that 95 present of us would argue that Banksy is the most influential stencil artist of our time, however there have been quite a few significant stencil artists that have made their mark and strongly influenced the world of street art;

7. Dot Dot Dot (Norway)

© Dot Dot Dot

Dot Dot Dot is the pseudonym of an elusive Norwegian stencil graffiti artist from Oslo, whose real name and age remain unknown to general public. He has been active since the late 90’s, and started working with stencils in 2007.

6. Faile (United States)

© Faile

Faile is an internationally acclaimed street art duo from New York City, consisting of Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller. They have been active since the late 90’s.

5. C215 (France)

© C215

Christian Guémy (C215), is a French street artist from Paris with a graffiti drawing career of over twenty years. He is considered as one of the world’s best and most prolific stencil artists and is widely recognized for his intricate and vibrantly coloured close-up portraits of marginalized people.

4. Nick Walker (United Kingdom)

© Nick Walker

Nick Walker is a legend of the British graffiti movement and one of the world’s most famous street artists, who emerged from the ground-breaking Bristol scene in the early 80’s.

3. Blek le Rat (France)

© Blek Le Rat

Xavier Prou (Blek le Rat), is a French graffiti artist from Paris, who has inspired generations of graffiti artists throughout the world. Blek le Rat is often considered the father of stencil graffiti.

2. Logan Hicks (United States)

© Logan Hicks

Logan Hicks an American stencil artist from New York City, widely recognized for his refined hand-sprayed stencil works that capture the dynamics of city life. Before turning to stencils he worked as a professional screen printer, but he quickly accepted stencils as his preferred medium.

1. Banksy (United Kingdom)

© Banksy

Banksy [needs no introduction] is another graffiti artist who tries to remain anonymous despite his growing following and the huge buzz surrounding his work. This British street artist, who also works as a film director and political activist, began his career in the early 90’s as a freehand graffiti artist, writing on the walls of his hometown of Bristol. His work is heavily influenced by Nick Walker and Blek le Rat.

*with excerpts from Widewalls