Interview with ZAP and JUMBO

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".

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Interview with Philouwer

Where are you from and what year were you born? I was born in 1977 in Berck between the sea, a lighthouse and sand dunes. Which must partly explain why I draw so much with marine chalk. What led you to become an artist and create works in public spaces? I have always drawn as a self-taught artist since I was little and my beginnings in the street are linked to a combination of circumstances which meant that between the right meetings and the right people, I came to graffiti on the walls of my city , Vitry sur Seine. I started this way by creating figurative spray works among the lettering of other graffiti artists before turning to the pastel technique.

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Interview with Falco

Heartbreaking News by Falco marks the horrors committed by the State of Israel in Gaza, which have taken place after Gazan soldiers indiscriminately and barbarically murdered 1,200 people, and took hundreds more hostage.  What led you to become an artist and to make work in public space? It was between the ages of 15 and 18 that I began to paint graffiti and to put up my first illustrations with stickers, and to make personalised t-shirts. I quickly understood that I was not at home in the general sector and that I would head towards a creative sector after obtaining my Baccalaureate in economics and social sciences. So, it was after having obtained it at 10.02/20 in the remedial exam that I joined the FAC and integrated a “communications degree” where we were taught art history. I, who thought I would do Photoshop from morning to evening to become a graphic designer, had a bad start. But I stuck with it, and by being confronted daily with the analysis of works of art, sometimes powerful, conceptual or meaningful, I quickly became fulfilled, and I too felt the need to create and share my creations, other than through a screen.

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Interview with Milo Project

Tell us a little about your artistic background and why did you get into street art? I started with illustration which for a long time was a way to develop my ideas. Then I discovered the world of graffiti as an observer. The reappropriation of urban space quickly caught my attention. I realized the potential that urban space offered to artists. My first interventions in the street were painting and stenciling. I quite quickly felt frustrated by the technical limits of painting. There was a gap between my desires and the 2-dimensional technique. I then considered my work in volume which opened up an infinite number of possibilities for me.

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Interview with Kashink

In my personal life, I have been wearing a moustache every day since 2013, so I learned to detach myself from the eyes of people and the judgment that could be made about me. For a long time, anyway I've always been a little eccentric so it's been a long time since I detached myself from the eyes of people and the pressure that can be felt to conform to something conventional we will say. Especially in France where eccentricity is not really a value. So the painting and the commitment that I have on the walls does not come from a will of confrontation you see. To wear this moustache I do not do it to be aggressive or militant, on the contrary, I want to be in the sharing, I want to be in the dialogue.

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HOPNN – ‘I want to ride my bicycle!’ – an Italian street artist in paris

The street artworks of Yuri (aka HOPNN – Yuri written in Cyrillic.), an Italian artist who recently moved to Paris, are composed of dreamy characters painted in white and red, featuring bikes as their core ‘sacred’ element. HOPNN was inspired to focus on bicycles while living in Rome – if you have ever been there you will know it’s a city choked with traffic. Yuri tells me that painting bikes became a sort of political message for him, even though he says, now, “the bike has become more of an abstraction in my thoughts: I use bikes to talk about other things, not only to push the message of biking more. If you are in Paris and you want to meet Yuri, you can take art classes at the Académie des Beaux-Arts, where he works part-time as a figure model (he’s the static naked guy in the middle of the room, in case you wondered).

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Keila Alaver and the creation of a temporary autonomous zone for art

“Zona Autônoma Temporária” was the name of an artistic residency organised by the artist Tinho in January 2016 in Sao Paulo. The idea was to develop a temporary autonomous zone where art was considered a space of freedom, a place where anything could happen, for this, the space was free of rules and anarchy was established. Twenty-five artists participated in this project where they had to live and breathe art for ten days in a former convent. The artists lived there, they experienced immersion in the artistic processes of other artists. Reflection on art and its place in the contemporary world was the common objective.

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Interview with Lasco

Lasco is a French street artist based in Lyon specialised in prehistory and rock art, who paints interpretations of animals found painted at Palaeolithic cave sites. The most renowned of these caves is Lascaux, which was discovered by four teenage boys in September 1940 and was first studied by the French archaeologist Henri Breuil. It consists of a main cavern 20 metres wide and 5 metres high and several steep galleries. Each is magnificently decorated with engraved, drawn, and painted figures, in all some 600 painted and drawn animals and symbols and nearly 1,500 engravings. Lasco's paintings are urban reinterpretations of these paintings and other caves for example at Altamira and Cueva de las Manos.

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Interview with ZLISM aka 林雅儀 Zoie Lam

ZLISM aka Zoie Lam from Hong Kong painting at Le M.U.R., the eight by three metre former advertising hoarding founded by Jean Faucheur, Thomas Schmitt, and others illegally originally, and later with authorisation of the corporate advertising landlord and the local town hall, at 107 Rue Oberkampf, 75011 Paris.

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JonOne tags up Eric Cantona’s Rolls-Royce for Artcurial

JonOne, the New York train graffiti artist who, many, many moons ago, settled in Paris, has painted a Roll’s Royce donated by Eric Cantona as a publicity stunt for the ArtCurial urban art auction taking place this afternoon. A little bit of vomit appears in this writers mouth, too, but before swallowing, make note that the money raised from this graffitied Rolls-Royce will all go to the Abbé Pierre Foundation, which is a charity helping the utterly impoverished. Exorbitant prices are staple at Artcurial, a private company with an annual turnover of €127 million in 2011, but Eric Cantona’s second-hand Rolls-Royce Corniche II covered with tags by JonOne is being flogged quite cheaply – bidding starts at just €20,000.

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Keith Haring “The New Yorkais” Speedy Graphito

Art student, Keith Haring arrives in the cradle of the now ten-year-old graffiti movement, New York in 1978, and becomes accustomed to a new and frenetic energy: the graffiti art scene. Influenced by this ‘subway art’, Haring cuts his own way in the scene, and begins drawing illegally in white chalk on empty black advertising poster panels in subway stations. Paris has a new show of indoors works by the artist, “The Political Line”, which is split between two venues: the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Centquatre.

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Basement graffiti art exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo – Lasco Project 3

In the same week Google announces the French launch of its virtual street art documentary project at the Palais de Tokyo, a similarly impressive and graffiti-related event takes place within the same venue – a body of work presented on walls in the museum’s basement, which unlike the former, can be viewed in reality, and as far as we know, free of any rights infringement issues. The exhibition is set in the underground and forgotten entrails of the building and is a continuation of the project instigated by French graffiti artists, Lek & Sowat.

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Interview with Michael Kershnar

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.

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How & Nosm Hit the Holy Land

The State of Israel utterly dominates the Palestinian territories and its people, life is made harder than we can ever imagine from simply watching the reports on the BBC, collective punishment is committed by the Israelis - that is punishment on a mass of people for the misdeeds of one or a few of the group - land is continually being seized from the Palestinians. But let's not judge the situation as it stands without assessing what has happened in the past. The wall is a stain on global humanity, but imagine what ends you'd go to if you were repeatedly kicked in the face by your neighbours. This is a two way assault and when a Palestinian kid pulls out his silver penknife, asks you if you love Israel, to which you mumble something inaudible hoping that he changes the subject back to the Barcelona vs Real Madrid dichotomy, and then makes a sideways stabbing motion in the air, while uttering the word "Israel", you can bet that wall or no wall, both sides are guilty.

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Interview with Thomas Dityvon aka Mister Pee

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".

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Interview with Mathieu Tremblin

Originally from Le Mans, Mathieu Tremblin works in Strasbourg on multi-dimensional pieces that are sometimes subtly satirical and other times blatantly candid. With an approach to the city linked to sixties libertarian texts, Visual Studies, and French Theory, Mathieu Tremblin develops humorous and subtle artistic gestures, actions and interventions for an audience of passersby. In this interview Mathieu discusses the relationship between public ownership, the power of art and the urban context.

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Interview with Intra Larue

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.

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Interview with Leiga aka Jack Neto

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.

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Banksy’s in Bethlehem

When blank concrete walls are constructed in socioeconomically deprived areas, graffiti is sure to be painted. Not long after the Israeli-controlled, Palestinian territory, the West Bank, was imprisoned inside an eight-metre high wall, street art began to appear, most notably made by British-artist, Banksy. This Bristolian has painted in the occupied Palestinian territories more than once, recently even going so far as to sneak into Gaza to paint a kitten playing with a ball, among other works, all aimed at shedding light on the area and the plight of the Palestinian people The alternative being to succumb to a feeling of helplessness, similar to the woe being experienced by people in Paris, Beirut, Iraq, and Weston-super-Mare, at this moment, too. His Gaza interventions included an unusually earnest quote: “If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful – we don’t remain neutral”.

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Interview with Jerry Batista

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.

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Interview with Vitor Zanini

Vitor Zanini’s work whether made in his home city of São Paulo or in Ménilmontant-Belleville relates to his relationship to material space from a cosmological point of view and relies upon intuition as its most important tool when in production. His work might be said to be truly site specific in that regard. The paintings we have chosen to show bring into motion forms and colours that reference situations he has experienced both since arriving in Paris, before and studio work made at the time of publication. The pieces come from a desire to mould the thoughts that he channels: the idea is to use what has been learned, to take the information and break into action with paint and brush.

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Jérôme Mesnager paints artwork for Franprix

Happy birthday Franprix! Working in association with the supermarket, veteran first-generation street artist, Jérôme Mesnager, plants his latest painting outside one of its shops. Mesnager’s mural celebrates the 60-years since its founding, depicting two of Mesnager’s 'hommes en blancs', who hold hands and seem to frolic into the distance, surrounded by birds. Part of the Casino group which holds an 11.6% share of the French market, and owns chains across the world, from Brazil to the Indian Ocean, Franprix is far from a small community institution to be cherished and celebrated.

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Documentary of Illustres ! C215 autour du Panthéon

Throughout Paris’ 5th arrondissement, faces big and small dot the streets and look over the passersby as they wander the area surrounding the pantheon. It is here that graffiti-street artist, C215, displays his series of 28 portraits of great French figures, choosing walls, doors, post-boxes and feeder pillars as his canvas. Each of the figures displayed has been honoured in the Pantheon, an impressive looking church that was repurposed during the Revolution as a mausoleum to house France’s most celebrated citizens, which it continues to do today.

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Large-scale mural project with Jean Moderne (RCF1), 2Shy and Honet

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.

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Interview with Nelio

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.

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Interview with Louis Masai Michel

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.

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