Street artist MTO is the French equivalent of Banksy, in my opinion. His identity and location is secret, and his art provocative. But MTO is certainly not Banksy, as he has his own style. The three letters of his pseudonyms are standing for his first name, Matéo, and, ironically for a firm of graffiti’s cleaning. Born and raised in France, the young Matéo discovered silver photography with his grandfather. Since then, his visual universe was inspired by black and white photo-realism.
In 2008, his friend Arone, of crew TWE, introduced him to street art in Barcelona. Soon, he began spray painting stores, deserted locations, and cities with large portraits. He quickly gained respect in the community, and in 2011 was invited to Sarasota Chalk International Art Festival in Venice, Florida. As his style evolved, incorporating more vivid colors and personal portraits, his art grew even more visually powerful, poetic, and always provocative. With hand signs and face painting, they often recreate the moniker of MTO. The themes are also very strong, with dark humor, aiming hipsters, Google, police, and consumerism. A real Robin Hood, he also helps various art schools, shop owners, and victims of hurricanes save their homes.