When Art consoles…

After November 13th the walls of Paris became adorned with cries of love and rebellion, expressed with aerosols and paint brushes. In the aftermath of the attacks artists from the Street Art spontaneously went to the city facades to pay their tribute. New works thus added to the capital’s already impressive urban art heritage.

Since the prehistoric caves the walls of all eras have served as a support for man to express his feelings, his tributes or decry. Long considered vandalism, graffiti is now recognized as an art in itself (although still punishable by law in unauthorized places). It is often expressed thru calligraphic messages, signatures with elaborate lettering, designs using stencil work techniques, from sophisticated paintings to fully decorated buildings and batisse.

In Paris, this form of expression becomes noticeable during the events of May 1968. The urban development taking place in the post war era provides an ideal support for this new art. It takes a beauty leap in the 80’s with Jerome Mesnager’s famous “White Man”, a poetic silhouette he will replicate all over the world to the Great Wall of China, or the luscious brunette created by Mis -tic. Banksy takes the relay in the ’90s with his provocative illustrations. Urban art finally gets integrated in France in the early 2000s with the creation of numerous artist groups and has since become very popular. The Street Art Festival held in the United Kingdom last July as an indication attracted by over 25,000 people.

Just walk the streets of Paris to discover this public art, knowing a little attention will make you appreciate its subtleties. Sometimes it is in a corner, an unexpected place, by raising or lowering the eye that one discovers a message or illustration triggering a memorable emotion.

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