Punk Me Tender, born 1982 in France, lives and works in Los Angeles. He receives a lot of recognition for his colorful paintings and 3D sculptures. His identity has been kept well hidden even though his artworks are highly recognizable. As an upcoming street artist he left his mark across Los Angeles with some of the city’s most impressive murals.
The artist draws his inspiration from street art, graffiti, photography, fashion and the female form. His graphic, raw form of art offers a new, more unfiltered look on the female body in hopes to urge the viewer to open their minds and reject old stereotypes. Alexander McQueen and John Paul Gautier are among the fashion icons that inspire him, alongside designer Philippe Starck and artists like Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Salvador Dalí. Fashion and beauty icon Kylie Jenner commissioned a large lilac butterfly piece from Punk Me Tender for her recent Kylie Cosmetics x Stormi launch.
Desire that drives our souls, love, beauty and sensuality are major themes that Punk Me Tender explores in his work. Just like in the message of his colleague Mr. Brainwash a theme of unity can be found. “There’s an aspect of beauty in everything I do, as seeing and appreciating beauty brings people together,” he says. He works based on instinct, never following specific rules. But there is one constant: Like the butterfly that has become his signature, the artist strives to create a transformative experience for anyone who comes into contact with his work.
As the artist reveals, a mix of graffiti and fabric is an original approach for him that never fails to intrigue and captivate the viewer. He never follows a strategy or traditional creative approaches and has set no rules along his journey. He only creates works that are authentic.
Spin art is one of the major techniques the artist employs in his work. “The technique I use is itself a transformation: I lay down colors over white butterflies, and watch them transform,” the artist says. “The same way a butterfly is born, and how it transforms itself from a chrysalis—my whole body of work is based on that.” Punk Me Tender is also known for his use of original photography, bold colors and high-gloss embellishments like glittery Swarovski crystals, diamond dust and glossy acrylic coatings that push his work right over the top.
Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the artist’s identity has ben kept well hidden. “Before, everybody was out and I was hiding myself inside, now that everybody is hiding inside, I’m showing up,” he says. He has started to visually identify himself with glimpses of himself at work in his Hollywood studio via his Instagram account, @punkmetender. The heightened importance of human connections while practicing social distancing made this decision easy. “People need to connect with a person. The artwork itself is not enough. So I had to let go of my anonymity. I want to do bigger things, and I can’t hide anymore.”
Punk Me Tender also does murals and installations, he is starting to be in high demand for mural and other projects in public places, restaurants and hotels worldwide. The strong and established market of Punk Me Tender has continued to grow due to his public and private installations and high profile collectors support in the US and abroad.