Temper, aka Arron Bird, is widely recognised as one of the most successful and talented graffiti artists of his generation. Enjoying his art classes at school but struggling to make his ideas understood, Arron stumbled across graffiti in his home-town of Wolverhampton and was instantly intrigued. Already beginning to explore the burgeoning USA-born hip-hop scene that had started to infiltrate popular culture around that time, it seemed like a natural path for a child who wasn’t stereotypically academic, but was incredibly creative.
Arron sprayed his first piece, Street Level in 1982 which seemingly represented his perception of his place in society. Over the next twenty years, Arron Bird evolved into Temper the graffiti artist and continued to spray across the Midlands and further afield. Temper was involved with a number of underground graffiti and B-boy crews in and around his home town, and over the years he would regularly spray album covers for MC and DJ artists involved in the same scene, as well as launching his own clothing label (Blind Mice Clothing) which was rapidly adopted as the brand of choice for a number of underground skating, B-boy and hip-hop communities around the world.
In 1991 Temper had the opportunity to work with legendary music artist Goldie on a commission piece for sports-brand Nike, opening his eyes to the corporate market for the first time. Temper’s career gathered pace, he secured more and more commissions, was involved in creating Britain’s longest ever graffiti production (1996), painted publicly for the first time at Banksy’s graffiti festival Walls of Fire (1998) and importantly presented two sell-out solo exhibitions, Footsteps in 1997 40 and Visual Eyez in 1999. By the turn of the millennium, twenty years of struggle, dedication, hard work, some successes contrasted with some desperate times and family turbulence all culminated in what many term the artists’ big break; in 2001 Temper became the first graffiti artist to ever be awarded a solo show in a major public gallery. Minuteman opened at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, and was quickly followed by a major commission of artwork from Coca Cola who went on to use Temper’s B-boy character on over 100 million Sprite cans and bottles across Europe.
The ten years that followed saw Temper’s popularity soar, taking the genre of graffiti art to unimaginable heights, and inspiring a new generation of UK street artists.
After a number of infamous sell-out collections, Temper returns with cover: versions, thirty three years after he first picked up a spray can.
As is typical of Temper, cover:versions is an entirely new perspective, a new subject matter and a new concept. cover:versions is a collection of twelve tributes to album covers, chosen by Temper for their engaging, enticing or emotive covers.