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.
So it was in 2019 that I came to cut my first stencil, an instrument which initially was simply the solution to materialise my illustrations. I vandalised my first wall, unaware that what I was doing was actually “street art”.
Soup Shower by Falco. The work nods to British environmental activist group, Just Stop Oil – which demands the British government to commit to ending new fossil fuel licensing and production – whose members Anna Holland and Phoebe Plummer splashed orange soup onto Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh in The National Gallery, on 14 October 2022. Just Stop Oil were complicit in splashing orange soup onto the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum, through the A22 network of activist groups, on 28 January 2024, shortly after a JSO zine-making workshop, when Demian Smith and Phoebe Plummer had brief contact.
Hellven by Falco.
Work entitled, Dov’è.
Work entitled, The City as a Playground.
What motivates you to create?
Five years later, expressing myself in the street has transformed into a means of providing contextualisation to my works. It is the final outcome of the idea and the coherence between what I wish to express, the place and the moment where I do it.
I also like the fact that art can speak for me, needing neither my face nor my mouth to express itself. This is the reason why I don’t put my face on display.
It is also a consecration to be able to use my ideas to defend causes and contribute so actively, as recently with Art for Gaza, a 100% auction of works for the benefit of the “Artificial Limbs and Polio Center” in Gaza.
The True Love Show.
The True Love Show (detail).
Exit to Exist.
Girl Running with a Wet Stencil.
Lost Connection Paris.
Please tell us about your art.
My work answers the question: if works of art history had to be produced today, how could they have been represented? I update art history paintings and sculptures with characters represented at least on a 1:1 scale or more. I took three years of classes.
For example, in my painting Mi CancelAngelo, Michelangelo’s David is seen hiding his private parts after parents demand the dismissal of a teacher who had shown them a photo of the sculpture. Myron’s famous Discobolus is no longer preparing to throw a disc in a Greek stadium but a lifebuoy into the sea on the Greek coasts. Rodin’s The Thinker becomes The Overthinker and addresses the subject of mental health. The Scream by Edvard Munch, painted to represent his existential anxiety, fear and depression in the world he belonged to becomes The Stream.
Please let us know the names of any artists who have influenced your work.
Artists who had a profound impact on me and completely deconstructed and then redefined what art was for me were Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duchamp and Sophie Calle.
Marcel Duchamp challenged conventional ideas of art and creativity. His artistic provocation by submitting his urinal “Fontaine” by signing “R. Mutt” instead of his real name is for me a great act of resistance and defiance of established norms. Duchamp allowed me to realise that you didn’t necessarily have to study fine arts or paint like Caravaggio to be an artist. In the end, what is art? What are its limits? What constitutes art?
Joseph Beuys, for his part, helped to deconstruct the image I had formed of contemporary and modern art museums to which I was initially indifferent. I thought you had to be crazy or a hypocrite to be captivated by a blanket on a piano or the performance of a man living with a coyote. By exploring his personal history and the meanings hidden beyond the museum labels I was finally able to grasp the power of his works which had seemed so inaccessible to me.
Stra, dead Nestle honey bee.
There are many stencils that cover the city and it is in particular thanks to those of Stra, Dotmaster or even DS Art that I realise that the stencil technique is not limited only to Bansky, that it is simply a question of a medium, without being assimilated to his work or considered as a copy cat.
Work entitled, Timida Lisa.
Work entitled, What a Wonderfuel World.
Do you have a network of other street artists, and how do they support you?
Falco and Bleg collaborate together to produce an artwork.