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Most street art is signed by the artists using a nickname (tag). In New York, you can encounter unique works singed by NOBODY, through which the artist is sending people an important message.

NOBODY: Street Art With A Mission

Eva Ledecká
12.May 2017
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1 minute to read

Street art signed NOBODY or TMNK can be found primarily in Miami, in its creative Wynwood District. What led this “nameless” man to this nickname, and what do the symbols that appear in his work mean?

The Man Nobody Knows sells art on the street

TMNK is an acronym of The Man Nobody Knows and it is the same person that calls himself NOBODY. At the start of his career, he produced his own painting which he one day decided to sell on the street in New York’s Soho district.

Back then, he sold his first piece for 29 USD. Today it would easily go for 1,000 USD. He decided that art would be his career and continued to sell his works. During the day he sold on the street, and at night on eBay. He got together with other people to found the So Sick Collective, and together they earned a living selling their own art.

Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 9, 123m
Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 9, 123m, Praha 9

The origin of the nickname has a strong story

The nickname NOBODY came about at a time when somebody murdered the artist’s friend. It was a murder that nobody cared about and it was never investigated. TMNK realised that similar murders happen every day, which the police don’t care about, which are never investigated, nobody gets dried and nobody is punished for them.

Since then, he started calling himself Nobody or The Man That Nobody Knows. The death of his friend haunted him. He painted a piece featuring a crown, one eye and a tear. After a while, somebody wrote Nobody cares across which, which was strangely ironic. The symbol started appearing all over New York and similar ones can now be seen around the world.

Nobody and his mission

Until this moment, the core of his creative efforts was the system, racism and prejudices. But now, the message he wanted to give to people was much wider. He started using his art as a weapon against human injustice and his aim was to sow the seeds of humanity.

TMNK was not just an important artist, but also a loving farther and just person, who was an integral part of Wynwood. His work is featured in many private collections. According to available information, he faced considerable psychic problems in the last months of his life, and committed suicide towards the end of last year. 

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