Paris Street Art Final Round-Up / Rassemblement final: Coda
I am back in the states and I did say my last post would be the final “round up” kind of post (for the moment), but looking over that last post and the street art posts before it I realized that I had left out enough interesting street art to justify a coda. So here goes. (After this, I may post about individual artists – or food. Or both! Who knows?)
First, today’s news on the discovering-who-made-this front: it turns out the “exclamation point cartoons” I’ve seen all over the place and mentioned/shown in two or three posts are by Maxime Aum. Here are a couple of them, as a quick reminder:
Maxime Aum’s pasted figures are so varied (in pose, size, etc) that I didn’t immediately learn to recognize them as the work of the same artist — see my post on street art in the Marais, in which I failed to recognize all the Maxime Aum pieces there as work done by the same artist, despite what is now obvious to me as a distinctive style. I like his exclamation mark figures. They’re cheery, while being discreet enough (since they’re nearly always on paper more or less the same color as the walls) that you don’t see them right away. I very much enjoy art that does stand out, as I think is obvious from my posts, but I also find fun the stuff that you won’t see unless you’re paying very close attention; there’s a particular moment of satisfaction when you spot them, a pleasure in seeing something hard to see (a great example of this kind of easily-missed art is the lovely cat-on-a-pipe I posted here).
I also tracked down the name (stage name, if you will) of an artist who’s been putting puzzle pieces high up on the walls of Paris: Béa Pyl (puzzleyourlife). (I found this out through the facebook page Escapades Street Art; I haven’t been able to find anything else online about this artist.) Unfortunately, though I saw several of her puzzle pieces here and there, I was only able to photograph two undamaged examples:
I did find a partially ripped up one near that second one, which must’ve looked really cool before it was damaged:
I reiterate my basic question from the lacunae post: why destroy, or try to destroy, something like this? It’s unobtrusive, and besides that, it’s so high up on this wall that whoever dug away at it had to either be using a pole or a ladder — in other words, going to a fair bit of trouble. What harm was it doing there? (Also, the wall it’s on is big and windowless and clean and therefore just begging for street art – but it’s always bare, so whoever owns it must be diligent about painting/peeling/whatever… even though around the corner, a wall that is part of the same building is regularly covered in art. I really don’t get the logic, if there is any, behind decisions about where to take down art and where to leave it up.)
Lomozano recently came through the neighborhood and papered the little square on Rue de la Forge Royale with his small paste-ups, mostly (this time) of female figures, many of whom are declaring their allegiance to Paris in some way. (On a side note, I can’t seem to dig anything up online about him other than photos of his work, most of which I’ve already photographed and posted here myself. This brings up the interesting question of these artists’ relationship with anonymity…) Anyway, here they are:
A little political commentary along with a cat:
Then a couple of paste-ups in a Greek sort of theme, and, well… ouch:
A blasé-looking lady (who looks familiar, actually) accompanies one of Paddy’s selfies (out of frame):
A day later I found this, looking pretty established, in the Rue de la Main D’Or next to BauBô’s Pacman vs Tetris:
I don’t know who the artist is, but a friend (who also doesn’t know a name) tells me his/her work was all over the 11ème a few years ago.
In the section of my last post about the “Mustafukaz tribute” I neglected to put in any close-ups of Bastek‘s tile work (I think he also did some of the smaller insects accompanying the big cockroaches):
I’ve seen Bastek’s distinctive diamond-shaped works (often covered or partially covered in ovoid figures) in a lot of places around the 11ème. This recently-placed work in my beloved little square must be by him, I think, though it’s unusually large and the frame is atypical as well:
I also found out today who was putting up little paste-ups of cars around the 11ème: an artist — or rather, two artists — who go by the name DS Street Wall. It’s a reference to the fact that all their paste-ups are of the fabulous old Citroën DS (link in English) — the car driven by Giles in the early seasons of Buffy, for my fellow Buffy geeks.
Soon before I left I came across another two of K’s teddy bears:
On Tuesday a pair of small mermaids in Rue de la Main D’Or harkened back to this one (from Rue de Charonne in November; see “part deux” post) so much that I think they must be by the same artist, using a different medium:
People had been by the mash-up next to “Mustafakaz Tribute” and put up new paste-ups, and a large box had been taken away from in front of a red stencil of Scooby-Doo and one of the many cockroaches from the Bastek and Codex Urbanus “Mustafukaz” tribute:
(The insects are kind of a great metaphor for what happens in that part of the tiny square involved – a veritable swarm of street art, ever-changing, much like what you see in the square on Rue de la Forge Royale.)
An amusing grumpy Gz’Up (link in English) octopus was presiding over the Passage de la Main D’Or:
I have no real idea what was going on here — the figure looks familiar but I can’t make out who it is or who it’s by:
This next small grouping was rather elegant and lovely. I can’t venture a guess about the black pyramid, but I’m pretty sure the painted-porcelain design must be by Nemi Uhu, even though it’s not a fish [ETA 12-30-12 I can now confirm it’s indeed by Nemi Uhu]:
…And finally, after I wrote my last post, it was time to leave. After dinner at Le Stone I took a rather melancholy walk home, detouring just a little out of my way in the dark as it rained, going around the block to check on the works in the Passage Saint Bernard and Rue de Candie and Rue de la Forge Royale. Someone had turned a grille into a radio:
And the slow (or not so slow) dismantling of BauBô’s neighborhood masks works was continuing (I could even add an ETA section to the lacunae post on the subject):
And I saw, almost by accident, the last new work I would see with my own eyes until whenever it is that I return, a cheerful little figure in a top hat gracing the name of my street:
And that was that. I left my apartment less than twelve hours later and found myself in North Carolina some twenty hours after that, in a city where putting up street art is punished harshly and street artists are tolerated in exactly one place, NC State University’s Free Expression Tunnel (which I may go check out, if only to get my fix. I have a resolution: to try my best, driving all over hell as it may require, to find something in this city, not in the tunnel, that qualifies as street art).
So this is most definitely the last post, for the duration, gathering up Parisian art I’ve seen in person and photographed myself. I’ll stay updated on the scene as best I can via the internet, and it’s likely I’ll write other posts about it (on particular art or artists I’ve seen, for instance), but it won’t be the same – no more walking slowly through winding streets that are riots of mundane detail, knowing that little bits of street art are waiting to be discovered/uncovered and large pieces are waiting around corners and that all you have to do is walk a little farther and pay attention. Perhaps I can transfer that kind of attention to the places I travel in the States; perhaps I’ll even find some street art; perhaps I’ll even (gasp) talk myself into actually walking here (or at least in Santa Cruz) in an attempt to find something, some little intervention, some unscripted moment of urban joy, some human attempt to add a flash of beauty to the metal and concrete and peeling paint of the infrastructure. I’ll keep you posted.