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.
Christian Guémy voyage pour apporter son travail dans des environnements vierges et immaculés, c'est-à-dire dans des endroits non connus de la culture street art. Nous avons découvert qu’il était le premier à critiquer certains lieux comme New York ou Londres, mais c’est sa critique de sa propre ville, Paris, qui résonne vraiment. Appelé au Sri Lanka, nous savons maintenant ce qui guide cet artiste hors des sentiers battus.
Michael de Feo feels just as much at home getting in trouble with the cops in Amsterdam as he does dishing out the art world jargon. This multifaceted artist —part street, part gallery—manages to walk a fine line between the hoity toity art world and the comparatively unaffected urban scene. De Feo comes to Paris with a mission he's repeated literally countless times before: he's here to paint flowers.
In Paris to paint at Le M.U.R., the three by eight metre billboard set aside by the city council for the purpose of promoting urban art, his latest painting is child-like and colourful, but actually serves as a vehicle for a much darker message. You may be drawn in by Pomar's work at Le M.U.R. with its chipper rays of sunshine, but this mural is certainly no wallflower.
Sydney-siders, ZAP and JUMBO, in Paris recently, were first exposed to graffiti culture in the '80s and '90s. JUMBO says about graffiti culture: "In this age that we live in, it has become harder to be individual and have a unique voice. Our culture is more homogenised. I think that going and taking a spraycan, ball of yarn, poster, or tin of paint to the street and creating something of your own is a statement of individual willpower and stands against the kind of society that seeks to flatten peoples viewpoints and ideas".
French artist, OX's, latest ad takeover at Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, is a site - and weather - specific artwork that was planned for this out-of-town location due to OX's fondness for displaying his artworks backed by barren suburban landscapes, as well as the changing nature of the Parisian billboard space, which makes it ever harder to find suitable billboards to hijack.
The former grain and flour storage facility, Magasins Généraux that stands along the Canal de l’Ourcq at Pantin, has for the past seven years been a central focus for local and visiting graffiti-street artists. For in this year’s L'été du Canal artists Art of Popof, Da Cruz and Marko and their guests have been given carte blanche to paint the two giant warehouses.
Sowat & Lek, from France’s DMV art collective, organised forty French artists to paint out the inside of an abandoned 430,000 square foot supermarket in North Paris over one year which they documented in film. Here an exhibition ties together the work of the duo and detritus imported from the site to mark the launch of the film.
The Belleville neighbourhood is our favourite street art and graffiti destination in Paris, and Rue Denoyez is the main attraction! Since the 1980s musicians and artists have cohabited with the indigenous working class and Chinese communities, and utterly coated the walls with art, some great, some not so great. Here's a raw sampling of the neighbourhood.
OnOff is a French graffiti art collective which has sprouted from different creative fields: design, architecture, graphic design, photography, drawing. With all members having been formally trained, some are also familiar with the São Paulo graffiti scene - a reference point for the global graffiti-street art culture. Here we find out how the collective combines its production, and on its recent show at the project space, La Friche.