Tankpetrol is a Polish street artist, now based in Manchester. He uses stencils as his main medium, which he entangles with carefully placed background details, making neat, well-executed art pieces.
Born in 1982 in Poland as Irek Jasutowicz, he spent his teenage years doing graffiti tags. His obsession over details, visible in his artwork, was noticeable in his childhood – he used to spend hours assembling plastic models of planes, boats and tanks. In the later years, he joined the army, where he was a tank driver and tank gunner – and that’s from where his moniker originated. After quitting his army job, in 2006 he moved to Manchester in search of a decent paid job which he couldn’t find in Poland. It was in Manchester where Tankpetrol first got in touch with stencil art, inspired and influenced by anonymous street artists.
His search of personal style and development led him to complex looks, in which he tries to fade stencils and spray paint using other techniques like acrylic paint and various mixed media. Although he doesn’t want to use multi-layered stencils, in order to preserve a certain look of stencil art in his pieces, Tank’s works are highly detailed, full of background elements like upside-down triangles, geometric shapes, self-made fonts, typography and logotypes. Central figures in his work in most cases are women dressed in military fashion, surrounded by animals and depicted in strong posture.
Using a combination of stencils, fonts and traditional paint, Tank is comfortable working across a variety of media and projects that include painting, customizing, creating large scale murals, interior design and carpentry, always retaining the finest quality of his works.
Tankpetrol has gone on to be commissioned by Sven Vath, Channel4, Adidas, Microsoft, Carhartt, San Disk and Red Bull. He has done live painting for many UK and international festivals and events in Sweden, Germany, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland and France. Tank has exhibited internationally.