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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve already ventured into Belleville, in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, you can be sure you’ve walked past one of Philippe Hérard’s “gugusses”. The French artist has been based in this French quartier – home to Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier – for the past 25 years, and has kindly received us into his atelier, for an interview and coffee.
Spanish mural artist David de la Mano’s newest commission finds itself in the heart of Paris 13th arrondissement. This building-sized work on rue Jenner near Nationale portrays dancing half-humans that create a massive human profile. Known for his figurative monochromatic silhouettes, the street artist often explores themes of nature and humanity. In our interview with David de la Mano he explains his poetic imagery and his mentality of staying present.
The Pont des Arts, connecting the Louvre to Rive Gauche of Paris, once carried the weight of hundreds of thousands of lovers. Once upon a time couples would latch a lock manifesting their love, engraved with their initials to the bridge and throw away the key, immortalizing their relationship by the Seine in Paris, the city of Love. Controversially Paris and the mayor were moved to dismantle some 45 tons of iron from the bridge’s railings for fear of its collapse, but with many couples infuriated, Paris needed to find some solution to their burdensome problem. Once the romantic padlocked bridge today has been transformed into a public gallery for street art.
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.
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.
Street Art Paris and My Life on My Bike interview Shepard Fairey, the brains behind the Obey Giant and Barack Obama Hope poster campaigns. Shepard has been in Paris to aid the launch of a Levi's collection which sews the multinational Obey Giant symbol of subversive anticorporatism to the multinational fashion brand.
Jace, and his yellow blank faced character, the Gouzou, can be found at home resting on the tropical French island, Reunion Island. Recently he had his worked ripped off by a Chinese brand but managed to successfully fight to keep his copyright. Painting graffiti since 1989, the street artist has been invited to Oberkampf in Paris' 11th arrondissment to make work at the public art wall, Le M.U.R..
He started his career as a stencil artist in 1993, in order to have artworks by Klimt or Paolo Uccello on his walls, rather than the usual posters. Artiste-Ouvrier studied Philosophy at the Sorbonne for five years before starting to paint in the streets in 2003. He splits his time between working in France and India.
Portuguese street artist VHILS (Alexandre Farto), has made work for the association, Le M.U.R. (Modulable, Urbain, Réactif) in Oberkampf, creating a large paper cut out stencil. The artist works with a variety of media but is best known for his relief portraits which are chiseled into plaster and brick walls.
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.
This couple met in the streets of Saint-Étienne one autumn evening in 2007, while pasting up their art. Ella, who comes from the south of France, was pasting up her first drawings, and Pitr asked her what she was doing and if she’d like to paste work with him. She said yes – and now they have two children.
The international street artist, C215 (Christian Guémy) has achieved near rock star success by painting artwork in the streets all over the world and promoting it using social media, especially, as well as by more conventional channels. His home town, the Paris suburb, Vitry-sur-Seine, is a veritable museum to street art, mainly due to the efforts of Guémy and his network.