The mutant love child of the hip hop and skate scenes, Cheo was raised in Kingswood, Bristol, on a high-carb diet of The Beano and Nutty comics, and subsequently Vaughan Bode's twisted underground cartoon strips. Obsessed with 'drawling' since early sproghood, he hit adolescence just in time to be consumed by the arrival of hip hop from the US in the early 80s.
After a brief spell spinning on his back and arse for shillings at the local shopping centre, graffiti fired up the young B-boy's imagination enough to lead him to the shady heights of the notorious Barton Hill Youth Club in 1987. Here he found a deranged community of like-minded bodkins painting the walls, doors and floors of the club - and everything else within a five-mile radius, for that matter.
Cheo became a veteran of various drawing competitions (including one in Nutty comic, and another on kids TV show Get Fresh) and one national graffiti championship, which he won alongside local legend Deed in 1987. Then, in 1989 Cheo hit the big time, coming second at the Bridlington World Graffiti Championships alongside local wild style prodigy Inkie. Soon after, however, the creeping evil that was the emerging rave scene all but snuffed-out UK hip hop's young-flame, and along with the shock of being busted for his (ahem) nocturnal artistic endeavours, Cheo was driven into extended hibernation.
Gleaning sustenance from video games and Japanese Manga, Cheo's talent slept like Rip Van Winkle for many a year, until the revitalised, shiny graffiti scene tempted him out of his cave for a second bite of the cake. Now older yet equally immature, Cheo has found the world just about ready for his odd and colourful scribblings.
Available from December 1st
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