Exclusive ‘Stik’ art in The Big Issue

Stik paints wearing sunglasses, to maintain his anonymity

Big Issue vendors became art dealers recently when prints by the street artist ‘Stik‘ were given away exclusively with The Big Issue UK.

75,000 prints were produced in four colours: red, blue, yellow and orange, and were given away for free with every copy sold. Some enterprising readers then sold their prints on eBay, with sets of four selling for up to £60.

Working anonymously, Stik is often described as ‘the new Banksy‘ and his iconic stick figures can be seen throughout London. Whilst his work sells for £6,000 at auction and can be found hanging in the homes of celebrities such as Elton John, Chris Martin and Tinie Tempah, homelessness is a matter close to his heart as just two years ago, he himself was living on the streets.

Stik conceived and self-funded The Big Issue project as a way give back to friends who are still homeless. Speaking to the Big Issue he said: “My figures don’t have mouths, they are silent. Most homeless people are invisible as well as silent. The Big Issue gives them a voice. The Big Issue is a great organisation which helps so many people to get back on their feet. I wanted to give something back to my friends who are still homeless.”

The project received a fantastic response from the public, with one enthusiast buying eight copies of the street paper. But beyond just sales, it also encouraged many people to interact with their vendors, with one reader commenting: “Even though I have purchased The Big Issue in the past, I have probably walked past and ignored Andy more times than I care to think about.” Another added “I love the fact that I have been walking around actively seeking Big Issue vendors.”