Benjamin Flynn (b. 1970), known professionally as Eine, is an English artist based in London. His works first came into the spotlight in the “commercial” graffiti scene through his partnership with Banksy. Their symbiotic relationship allowed Eine to access the commercial world, and Banksy the underground scene. His unique works are exhibited in global arenas in galleries and museums, and are also part of many private collections, including that of the Obamas.
Rebelling against conventions of traditional visual art, Eine’s recognizable style of street art typography can be attributed to his dedication and curiosity in exploring the letter form. His letterings are marked in the streets of London, Paris, Stockholm, Hastings and Newcastle upon Tyne. Whilst he wouldn’t pit himself as a ‘political artist’, his works do express his views and opinions, albeit in a more nuanced way. So much of what is standard and quotidian like the letters in the English alphabet goes unquestioned – artists like Ben Eine invite us to recalibrate and see things in a different light, through reinventing your A-Zs.
In July 2010, President Barack Obama was presented with a painting by Eine, Twenty First Century City, as an official gift from the British prime minister, David Cameron. Eine was so surprised that he subsequently created “The Strangest Week”, an artwork of giant letters made out of “smileys” along Hackney Road.
Eine is also featured with Banksy in the Netflix film Saving Banksy (2017) alongside other prominent figures in the graffiti scene, such as Risk, Revok, Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Blek Le Rat and Anthony Lister.