ROA (artist)

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ROA Mural in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Painted in 2011 in the Range of his Exhibition: "Transit", at the Skalitzers Gallery.
ROA's numbat in Fremantle
Snails, Lagos, Portugal
Artwork depicting birds in Katowice, Poland
Chameleon in Djerbahood, Tunisia
Mural by ROA (2013) in Málaga, Spain.
Chameleon by ROA (2013) in Málaga, Spain.

ROA (born c. 1976)[1] is a graffiti and street artist from Ghent, Belgium. Internationally, he has created works on the streets of cities across Europe, the United States, Australia, Asia, New Zealand and Africa.[2]

ROA generally paints wild or urban animals and birds that are native to the area being painted.[3] ROA usually uses a minimal color palette, such as black, white, but also creates works using vibrant colours depicting the flesh or internal systems within the animals and birds.[2]

Notable works by continent[edit]


In 2014, ROA contributed with several mural paintings in the Djerbahood project on the Tunisian island Djerba.[4]


In 2010, ROA painted a large bird on the side of an Indian restaurant at the intersection of Hanbury Street and Brick Lane in Tower Hamlets, London. He originally intended on it being a heron, but changed it to a crane after learning that cranes are sacred to the Bengali community.[5][6]

In 2011 ROA came to particular notice in the UK when Hackney council threatened to paint over one of his paintings, a 3.5 m high rabbit. The rabbit had been legally painted on the wall of The Premises Studios in Hackney Road, London.[1] A campaign was launched to keep the mural, by the building's owners and local residents, forcing the council to change its mind.[7]

In 2010, ROA participated in the Cologne CityLeaks Festival and painted a mural in Ehrenfeld at Senefelderstrasse 5[8]

In August 2012 ROA took part in the See No Evil street art festival in Bristol, England, creating a two-storey high fox on the side of a building.[9]

In 2013, ROA participated in the MAUS project in Málaga, which aimed to provide Soho, a district of the city known as "The Arts District", with a valuable legacy in contemporary cultural heritage. ROA created two artworks in this district, a graffiti of a chameleon and a mural depicting rodents trying to escape.[10][11]

Picture of ROA's badger (2011) at Subtopia in Botkyrka, Stockholm County, Sweden.
ROA's badger (2011) at Subtopia in Botkyrka, Stockholm County, Sweden.

North America[edit]

ROA painted a mural in El Barrio, East Harlem, New York City for the MonumentArt Festival.[12] The mural is located in Lexington Gardens on 108th Street and Lexington Avenue.[13] Typical of Roa's work, the black and white composition features several animals. The work was commissioned to celebrate the neighborhood's culture, history, and imagination.[13]

ROA is also responsible for painting "The Sleeping Bears" in Rochester, NY as part of a collaboration with local organization Wall\Therapy. The bears experienced public backlash due to their frequently lewd interpretation, and were later vandalized in the summer of 2021.


In January 2014 ROA visited Dunedin in New Zealand and painted a tuatara mural on a building on Bath Street.[14]

While exhibiting works at Perth's Form Gallery, ROA was commissioned by the City of Fremantle to leave his mark on Fremantle, in about 12 hours ROA created a 25-metre (82 ft) mural of a Numbat which he chose because it is a local endangered species.[15]

Crane on Hanbury Street, London

In 2020, ROA had a solo show at Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne, Australia.[16]


  1. ^ a b Gabbatt, Adam (25 October 2010). "ROA's graffiti rabbit faces removal by Hackney council". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Roa @ Galerie Itinerrance". Graffiti Art Magazine. Paris. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  3. ^ "ROA at North West Walls (BE)", CityKingZ, 3 July 2014.
  4. ^ Ben Cheikh, Mehdi (2015). Djerbahood : le musée de street art à ciel ouvert. Albin Michel.
  5. ^ "The Sacred Crane, The Flayed Pig & The Mighty Hedgehog | Spitalfields Life". Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  6. ^ Author, Gentle (2012). Spitalfields Life: In the Midst of Life I Woke to Find Myself Living in an Old House Beside Brick Lane in the East End of London. Saltyard. ISBN 978-1-4447-0395-5.
  7. ^ Coleman, Jasmine (10 November 2010). "Council u-turn in row over ROA graffiti rabbit in Hackney Road". Hackney Gazette. Retrieved 2012-09-15.
  8. ^ Groffman, Adam (17 March 2014). "Street Art by ROA in Cologne's Ehrenfeld Neighborhood". Travels of Adam.
  9. ^ "Bristol's street art bonanza: See No Evil 2012 – in pictures". 20 August 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  10. ^ Nat (May 9, 2019). "ROA y su "fauna" en Málaga". Street Art Málaga (in Spanish). Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  11. ^ "ROA". MAUS. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  12. ^ Harrington, Jaime Rojo & Steven (2015-10-21). "'Monument Art' Murals Sing Of El Barrio in 2015". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  13. ^ a b "11 Internationally-Known Street Artists Are Painting In East Harlem & The Bronx". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2017-04-22. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  14. ^ "ROA New Mural - Dunedin, New Zealand", StreetArtNews, 24 January 2014.
  15. ^ Catanzaro, Joseph (31 October 2011). "Artist springs mural surprise on Freo". The West Australian. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  16. ^ "ROA: ANNIHILATION. 2020". Backwoods Gallery. Retrieved 2020-05-01.

External links[edit]