Interview with Ella et Pitr

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Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright Ella & Pitr

Tell us a little about your artistic backgrounds and how the two of you met.

We met each other one autumn evening in 2007 in the streets of Saint-Étienne, while pasting. Ella, who comes from the south of France, was pasting up her first drawings, and I asked her what she was doing and if she’d like to paste work with me. She said yes – now we have two children.

Our backgrounds are like a connection between our street art and people in the streets – it’s very interactive. We play on this side of our art by asking people to take photos in front of the frames we paste, and getting them to send them to us.

Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright Ella & Pitr

Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright 2012 Demian Smith

Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright Ella & PitrYou currently have a show at Galerie Le Feuvre here in Paris. How does the work that you exhibit indoors differ from that which you paste in the streets?

Indoors, our work is not free, so for every canvas we show in a gallery, we paste two or three drawings outside to maintain the spirit of the street, which is our main activity. The reason behind our street art is simply that it’s the easiest way to get in touch with the public.

Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art

Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright Ella & Pitr

How do you choose the walls on which to paste your work? Do you prefer certain contexts over others?

We choose the walls that have beautiful colours, details and history. We like to paste drawings that can have a link with the context. We try to create a story for every drawing.

Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright 2012 Demian SmithElla & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright Ella & Pitr

How do you prepare the work you paste?

We prepare our work in advance in a workshop and mainly use paper and Chinese ink.

Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright Ella & Pitr

What has been the most unusual place you’ve installed your work?

We have put work before in a church.

Have you ever collaborated with other artists?

We are especially close to artists who have no direct link with street art – so far we have only worked with another street artist, Maca, whose work is compatible with ours.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced putting up a piece on the streets?

The biggest challenge recently was the low temperature. We pasted recently when it was -12° and the glue became ice, and our fingers were out of control.

We’ve recently seen new work around Paris. Tell us a little about these pieces?

The drawings of picture frames we did are like a game. We think it’s cool to create a link between us and unknown people.

Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright Ella & Pitr

Tell us about some of the reactions that people have had to your work on the street.

Usually, people are pretty nice, but once when we were in Venice, a man who saw us pasting big works in the street phoned the police and followed us untill the police arrived. He was really proud of it. We were really angry. Fuck this guy.

How do you feel when one of your pieces is ripped down very soon after being put up?

We feel like children in front of a destroyed sand castle. And then we create a new drawing and start again to look for a place to paste it.

You live in Saint-Étienne, but you travel a lot.  How does the street art scene in Saint-Étienne, and France in general, compare to the other places you’ve been to?

Saint-Étienne is a quiet city. Street art is not really important. We like to travel because it’s important for us to see what is going on in the world – everything is moving very fast.

Where else in the world would you like to put up pieces?

Where do we start – the list is too long.

What do you think is the importance of street art?

This is a joke, and we hope that one day, nobody will ask that sort of question.

What are your plans for 2012?

Day after day, forever.

Ella & Pitr - Paris Paris Street Art Photo: copyright Ella & Pitr

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An exhibition of Ella et Pitr’s work, ‘Celui Qui Volait Les Etoiles Pour Les Mettre Dans Sa Soupe’, runs until 15 April, 2012 at Galerie Lefeuvre:

164, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008

Ellapitr.com

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