I couldn’t leave well-enough alone. I had to document more of my Paris trip…
We had the good fortune of meeting a few people that were quite knowledgable in the area of Street Art. Through these guys (and their stories) Phil and I obtained an in-depth portrait of this ephemeral art form and its Parisian stars. I think graffiti is modern; it’s more modern than modern art. These guys are expressing themselves, and not doing it for the money. They’re rude, vulgar, and imposing; yet clever, creative, and generous at the same time. They piss people off, make people think, and make them laugh too. They create beauty and excitement that you can’t put a leash on.
There’s part of me that says, “this is destruction of public property and it’s wrong.” There’s also the other part of me that says, “this is cool.” It’s one of my many internal struggles, but isn’t that what life (and art) are for?
Not all street artists are just writing their names on walls. (thank God) Take the above picture for instance. The “Art is a basic need” guy can be found everywhere. Here, he has juxtaposed himself with a tiny mosaic in homage to Louise Michel. She was a revolutionary living in the late 19th century in Montmartre. She spent most of her life fighting government and living between jail cells. The people of Montmartre love her. I’m sure they enjoy being reminded of her (and her passion) every time they walk around this street corner. Moreje is the author of the mosaic in homage to Louise Michel Jerome Gulon and was completed in 2011 for the 140th anniversary of the Paris Commune.
The “Art is a basic need” guy knows this and is using the tiny mosaic to underscore his point.
This guy even has his own website where he maintains a catalogue of his creatures.
This artist’s work is amazing. I am sorry I can not post more pictures of his, but you can catch a complete Bio and slideshow on the Gallery Itinerrance Website.
I took this shot during, what I like to call, the “mural hunt.” I did one in Philadelphia this summer. Phil and I just did one in the 13th too. We had a map from Gallery Itinerrance. You can find it here.
This truck is done by a guy in U.V. TPK. Never heard of them? Allow me to spell it out…Ultra Violent The Psycopath Killaz. While I admire this truck I’m not sure where I stand on the group name and all that it implies.
I’m sure these guys aren’t actually killers, because they would have spelled it killers.
Obviously, I saved the best for last. This artist, literally, walks around looking for dog poop on the ground and then places a photo of a politician in it. While I find his efforts terribly amusing, I’m glad it’s not my picture. At the very least I’m sure he keeps the street sweeper entertained.
If I’ve peaked your interest in Parisian Street Art rest assured you can see more photos on my FB album…and at these fine locations:
One more thing:
The next time your in town, don’t forget to tip the street performers…and the guy playing guitar, covering Clapton tunes, on the metro. They’re doing it because they love it, but they’re doing it for you too.