Below, you’ll find a selection of photos captured as a part of our ongoing documentary work:
Philippe Hérard (Paris)
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.
Leiga (São Paulo)
Brazilian artist Leiga 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. We know Leiga from visiting São Paulo on seven trips as artist-documentarians.
Combo Culture Kidnapper (Paris)
Muslim-Christian Lebanese-Morroccan-French artist, Combo visited Beirut with Street Art Paris in 2014, shortly before getting beaten up while making work in the street and the Charlie Hebdo murders. Street Art Paris encouraged the artist to visit the city to undertake an art residency at Mansion, a 19C Ottoman villa run as a cooperative space by a group of educated artists, designers and activists, led by trained architect and former teacher at American University in Beirut, Ghassan Maasri, and French politics researcher-turned-dancer and yoga teacher, Sandra Iché. Combo spent a month at the space and connected to his father’s Lebanese Christian roots, returning to Paris to begin putting up the slogan “Coexist”.
M.Chat aka Monsieur Chat (Paris)
The artist first painted his grinning cheshire cat in public space in Orleans in 1997. The cat is painted up on rooftops, the artist balances precariously on chimneys and drainpipes. M. Chat is his way of communicating, or even of existing, according to a portrayal in the film, Chats Perchés (2004) by French arthouse director, the late Chris Marker.
The artist is eccentric and lived for the decade to 2007 on unemployment benefits. He runs workshops for disadvantaged children, teaching what he has learned about and developed himself from two artistic genres: post-graffiti and pop art.
The poetry does not stop the cat from being utilised for overt political ends. The cat’s image was used on placards at demonstrations against the Iraq War and the French National Front, in the second round of the presidential elections between Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002.
The cat has been welcomed in by the establishment, for example by the Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Orléans (Museum of Fine Art in Orleans). The artist gradually has been able to make ends meet from his art, including through participating in paid artist residencies.
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.
Nelio comes from a graphic design and classic graffiti background, producing a geometric 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. We went out with him to paint this work and he told us about his artistic development and different techniques for developing new work.
Louis Masai (London)
While the United Nations climate conference, COP21, was going on in Paris, London-based artist and muralist, Louis Masai, was here painting coral hearts inside Montparnasse station and on walls in the 11th and 10th arrondissements.
Vhils, real name Alexandre Farto, works with chisel and even explosives to create reliefs into stone walls. He came up in the Lisbon underground graffiti scene as a writer. However, influenced by his father, a left-wing activist, Farto noticed the dreamy portraits employed by the movement’s propaganda, and how the walls of the city are built up with layers of these political, and commercial, posters, working as an artist, exploring the stencil medium, he began to experiment with existing surface texture, arriving at the technique of carving away from these surfaces. He gained international recognition when he was invited to make work at Banksy’s Cans Festival in London in 2008.
Space Invader (Paris)
Space Invaders, or just Invader, has been actively adding ceramic tiled mosaics of pixelated characters from the late-1970s video game of the same name, since 1998, and has installed more than 1,000 in Paris alone, many of which no longer exist. The Paris townhall are, however, very supportive of the artworks and there are penalties for anyone found removing them. Invader ensures his identity is kept secret from the public.
Fred le Chevalier (Paris)
As a youngster, Fred was impressed by street artist, Ernest Pignon Ernest – he liked “his kind of poetry on the street”. Fred tells us he is not a specialist on street art, but he had a good feeling about it, as he likes free things. Fred says: “Punk music has the same spirit of being able to express yourself freely without being a musician. In the same way, I felt free to draw without knowledge of any formal technique”.
Zoo Project (Paris)
This Franco-Algerian artist created large-scale black and white murals similar in style to the artwork of Italian artist, Blu. He visited Tunisia and the Choucha refugee camp at the Tunisian-Libyan border after the Arab Spring to create life size portraits of everyday Tunisians in the streets and around the camp.
C215 aka Christian Guémy (Paris)
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.
Jerry Batista (São Paulo)
This wall was painted in in Paris’ main mural district, the 13th arrondissement. Jerry Batista comes from the hip hop and graffiti mecca, 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 screen-printers, alongside up whom he has grown.
Ella & Pitr (Saint-Étienne)
These two artists live and work in Saint-Étienne, East-Central France, and began working sticking their work onto walls together in 2007. They are widely known for painting giant figures onto floors and roofs. In 2015, they produced their largest figurative work at 21,000m2, which they surpassed with the 25,000m2 painting “What will the weather be like tomorrow” on the roof of the Parc Expo in Paris in June 2019. The work depicts a grandmother in front of a stream of cars, where the work is intersected by a ring road, and a plastic bag flown overhead.
The artist was once the most recognisable yet mysterious street artists in Brussels, but he now uses his real name, Vincent Glowinski, after having been arrested for his crimes.
One of the most special career moments for the artist was a portrait he painted of his father, high on a residential building wall in his home city, Brussels.
Dangling down from six storeys high, with a friend on the roof helping to hold onto the ropes, he was able to look through lit windows to see people walking around in their apartments as he painted.
He believes that it is necessary to draw boundaries in relation to painting illegally onto public property, but he wishes that the law would be applied on a case-by-case basis.
COPE2 (New York)
Truck graffiti in Paris is unmatched by any other city in the world. This van is by the infamous New York graffiti artist, Cope2, once described publicly by former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, as a punk.
A colourful logo of a toilet, up high on rooftops, on shop front shutters, and on the sides of trucks and vans. Chiot works in a variety of mediums, always creating the same toilet logo.
Yseult Digan aka YZ (France)
YZ’s wheatpaste-based artworks place emphasis on the human figure, and attempt to interpret our place as human beings in society, with the intention of forging an intimate relationship with the observer. YZ (“eyes”) often paints, glues and sprays historical female figures that make sense of the fight against slavery and champion civil rights.
Connecting the world of plants and animals with our technological universe and “quest for modernism”, Ludo, also likes to hijack advertising space.
Amir Roti is a painter, stonecutter, sculptor, tattooist, engraver originally from Thonon-les-bains. He gained huge attention in 2012 when he painted a wall in Atlanta, for the urban art festival, Living Walls, which was painted out by locals, who found it to be “demonic”. Roti is interested in animals and anatomy. Interesting to note, in his work are the parts derived from cathedral architecture, which come directly from his work as a stonecutter and sculptor, for which he trained for years, working for a time in Carrara in Italy.
Jef Aerosol (France)
The northern French ‘first generation’ street artist’s signature red arrow seen below is a feature in all of his pieces.
Jana und JS (Paris & Vienna)
Dima, Seth, Dem 189 (Paris)
Sten + Lex (Italy)
Ema aka Florence Blanchard (France)
Florence Blanchard started painting graffiti in the early 90′s on buildings and trains, and today explores themes of symbolism, genealogy, and science fiction.
Da Cruz (France)
Nick Walker (UK)
Le Module de Zeer (France)
Jimmy C (Australia)
David Walker (UK)
Artist painting at a permission wall in north-east Paris
Native, Marko, Da Cruz (USA, France)
Never 2501 (Italy)
Da Cruz (France)
Mister Foetus (France)
Konny Steding (Germany)
Obey aka Shepard Fairey (USA)
OBEY is the moniker of artist, activist and entrepreneur, Shepard Fairey, who began his career in the streets putting up the head of the late professional wrestler, Andre the Giant in the 1980s, from which the above graphic is derived. The campaign is a pastiche, of parody of political propaganda and the Hollywood movie, They Live. On one hand a ‘cool’ street campaign, on the other a serious Orwellian message, a sign of the times, intended to make us become aware of, and to question, our relationship to consumer culture, government, authority. Fairey is best known for designing the Obama HOPE poster, for the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, which was adopted by the Obama campaign team and distributed online for supporters to paste in the streets, not dissimilar to how Fairey has built up his own reputation. Street Art Paris was lucky enough to interview Fairey in 2012, which can be viewed at our home page.
Permission wall in the 10th Arrondissement, by the Canal Saint-Martin
Les Fres Ripoulin (France)
Kashink takes her name from the onomatopoeic words she found in comic books as a kid- it is a sound of action. Comic books still influence her work, especially in her use of colours and thick lines. She has Spanish and Slovakian origins, which is part of why she takes influence from Russian and Mexican crafts, especially the portraits of Frida Kahlo. She used to make tag graffiti, but says she is against its closed community, and prefers to share her art and make people think in a creative way.
This artwork was made as a part of the Mausolée project, a 430,000 square foot abandoned supermarket in the north of Paris that was painted inside and out by 40 uncommissioned graffiti artists over a one year period, shown to the public as a stop frame video which can be viewed by searching online.
Free wall by the Canal Saint-Martin in the 10th arrondissement.
Claudio Ethos (Brazil)
Némo (top) & Jérôme Mesnager (France)
Miss Tic (France)
Ben Vautier (France)
Nether (Baltimore, USA)
Ever (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Horfée (France) & Sickboy (UK)
Milo Project (Paris)
Marcello Ment (Rio de Janeiro)