The sudden emergence of a long, straight wall fizzing with colour and warping dimensional planes is all the more akin to an explosion of sherbet on the visual taste buds. This is a new 100m wall-painting that borders a building materials depot, and which is itself dwarfed by the gargantuan over-pass of the périphérique, marching overhead like a set from War of the Worlds. It is in these impossible surroundings that three of the most accomplished graffiti veterans recently collaborated on a new commission from the local Mairie and the building materials firm, SPL.
Jerry Batista comes from Grajaú in São Paulo's Zona Sul district and co-runs the A7MA gallery in the city's Vila Madalena neighbourhood with a group of artists and screenprinters whom he has grown up alongside in the city's graffiti-street art and music scenes. Here's an interview with Jerry made in Grajaú, accompanied by images of a mural he's painted here in Paris' main mural district, the 13th arrondissement.
Brazilian artist Leiga has been in Paris after attending the Stroke Art Fair in Munich. He took a few days to visit Paris and we met and painted a couple of walls in the 20th and 13th arrondissements. Leiga's work is centred around his 'bubbles', what he describes as a "mixture of cells... both concrete and abstract" and for the witness, an experience people have told him is like taking a special magic pill and entering, like Alice, into a wonderland.
Street poet Nitzan Mintz and street artist, Dede, both from Tel-Aviv, have painted work in front of the Petit Cambodge restaurant and Le Carillon bar, two sites synonymous with the 13 November terror attacks which took place last year. Both artists explain the intervention here, with a healthy dose of humour at the start, becoming more solemn later into the interview.
Nelio comes from a graphic design and classic graffiti background, producing a geomteric style similar to the Constructivist and Suprematist aesthetic. He favours street painting to producing in a workshop, especially abandoned spaces, in which he creates site-specific work that draws out the architectural shapes, textures and ambiances to form the narrative, transforming these spaces into places. Here, he explains to Streetartparis.fr his artistic development and different techniques for developing new work.
While the United Nations climate conference, COP21, has been going on here in Paris, London-based artist and muralist, Louis Masai, has been here painting coral hearts inside Montparnasse station and on walls in the 11th and 10th arrondissements. We've been out in the streets with Louis finding out about his artistic intention.
With a professional background as a graphic designer and illustrator, having for years been the comic strip illustrator for a popular kids magazine, Dityvon explains: "In France, the supermarket industry, this kind of culture, it's very dangerous for our minds... This is why my characters are always wearing hats, because the hat or the tie, for me, it represents the politics, or big industrials - big bosses".
French street artist Intra Larue started casting plaster sculptures from her breasts as a joke. She works a day-job and hasn’t told her father about the endeavour yet, which is surprising because with 450 painted breasts and counting, her sculptures are slowly giving flecks of colour to a grey Paris.
Hybridisation is probably the most and least suitable noun to describe Michael Kershnar’s work : a mixture of graffiti and skate cultures, indigenous American iconography, Old Testament stories. We met him at an apartment he’d been keeping for a few months, close to the Grands Boulevards, where he took time to graciously share his story with us, along with some cheese and avocado.
Born in the Lorraine region of East France, 27-year-old Levalet takes advantage of Paris' architecture, combining his knowledge of theatre and painting especially, with a keen eye for topography, to produce site-specific scenes painted with Indian ink. Here, he talks about what makes his work possible, his artistic background, the legality of making street art in Paris, and places he likes putting up work.