It's been a while since we talked about Belgian street artists. And that's why we present you ROA. Just like fellow Belgian street artist Bonom, secretive ROA has a love for the animal world. Growing up in Ghent during the eighties, ROA started his creative process with art under bridges and on walls.
The spray-painted visceral black and white animals, which can be found worldwide, are mysterious. His depictions of birds, bunnies or pigs might seem cute, but don’t be mistaken, they all have a dark edge. They appear normal but there’s something dark hiding below the surface. A David Lynch feeling is never far away.
To create this feeling ROA searches his animal inspirations online, sketching them before going to the streets. Even though these dark giants are easily loved, ROA isn’t interested in gathering a fan base. That's why some of his work is painted in abandoned places, industrial areas where nature takes over again. Often, the only living thing visiting his work are small animals, sometimes the same animals reflected upon in his work (let's say rats).
Back in October 2010 a local council in London tried to remove a ROA rabbit. Thanks to a neighbourhood petition the rabbit was saved, showcasing the public love for ROA’s street art. More of his work can be loved in Manhattan, Brooklyn and across Europe from Norway to Italy and São Paulo, Brazil. The I Love Belgium team made a selection, but check out if you have a ROA in your city on his Tumblr account.