Charles Uzzell-Edwards is a graffiti and street artist known better known by the cheeky moniker ‘Pure Evil’.
He is the son of the late Welsh painter John Uzzell Edwards. “Having Pure Evil as a nickname is a bit of a joke,” Charley confesses,”but it’s a license to have fun with dark imagery. It reflects the darkness that’s in the world right now. You can’t just ignore it... and do a nice picture of a unicorn. Unless it’s a unicorn with a rocket launcher on its head.”
Charles was born in South Wales and studied fashion and graphics in London. However, the physical and cultural landscape of the United States beckoned and soon after graduating Charles set off for California's West Coast. He settled in San Francisco working for the Anarchic Adjustment clothing label as a clothing and graphic designer.
Street art of course proved to be Pure Evil's most important discovery during 10 years in California. He became heavily influenced by West Coast graffiti artists like TWIST and REMINISCE and skate art, and began gracing freeways with his tags and slogans.
He felt the pull of 'Dirty London' though and returned to his homeland. There he began tagging the streets of London with his now infamous fanged Pure Evil bunny rabbits. His tag of a vampire bunny rabbit was bore from the artists feeling of remorse after shoot a rabbit in the countryside as a youth.
Charley explains, “I’ve always regretted this terrible deed and the idea is that the rabbit is coming back to haunt me”. He also explains the economy is such a beautifully symbol, “The great thing is, you can do it in about five seconds. If you are running through the streets of Moscow at night you can just do a quick bunny on the side of a hoarding and run away”.
Pure Evil fell in with the people behind Banksy's Santas Ghetto and started producing prints for Pictures on Walls. Then, focusing on his own work he launched his first exhibition in 2006 to great acclaim, allowing him to open his own Pure Evil gallery in Shoreditch.
In May 2012 Pure Evil appeared on the prime time BBC TV show The Apprentice, where he took part in an urban art task, leading to again another major uplift in the interest for his work.
In the past five years he has exhibited worldwide in China, Russia, Mongolia, Brazil, USA, and all over Europe.