About Demian Smith

starts out painting graffiti in the late ‘90s around Swiss Cottage in London, and ends up writing gossip journalism for the Daily Telegraph. Arrived in Paris in 2012 to establish Underground Paris.

Paris Face Cachée, radical leftwing tourism?

Paris Face Cachée is a 72 hour series of unique guided tours taking place next weekend, which is aimed to promote “interactive not contemplative tourism”, of the kind exposed in the bestselling book, Métronome, by Lorànt Deutsch.

There is a debate surrounding how Deutsch’s book attempts at rewriting the Paris narrative, which certain critics are calling “fabrications”. We wonder where the critics stand on Paris Face Cachée, with its selection of  ’experiences including the “prohibited, unpublished and unknown?

The Marie de Paris has said previously that it is aiming to rewrite the Paris narrative, we guess to try and move away from its tag of being a museum city, in the minds of Parisians only though, it appears. The entire event is being offered just in French, and, Paris as a museum city is surely a tag worth keeping in the minds of Americans, and every other nationality that pays homage each year, just for this reason.

The seed to Paris Face Cachée is in the Mairie de Paris’ 2001 proposal to support unusual and avant-garde events. “Being underground is knowing how to step aside”, is a line quoted on the Paris Face Cachée website (and translated via Google), which comes from Jean-François Bizot, a late leading figure of French counter-culture, and journalist and founder of the magazine, Actuel, and Radio Nova.

Bizot, switched from being an economic forecaster to journalism, working for French newspaper, L’Express, for three years to 1970, when he founded with some friends – Michel-Antoine Burnier, Patrick Rambaud, Bernard Kouchner and others – a leftist magazine, focused on the beatniks, freaks, punks, feminism, homosexuality, squatters, ecology, ultra-leftists, situationists, hackers, Kerouac, Karl Marx, and LSD.

Paris Face Cachee is championed by Paris’ Deputy Mayor of Paris, in charge of Tourism and New Media, and fittingly President of the Federation of Paris of the Radical Left, Jean-Bernard Bros. The event claims it will satisfy both the “nerd-hipster” and “grannies looking for a thrill”.

Examples of what to expect include entering a Masonic temple, spending the night in a major newspaper, and exploring a World War II bunker, to immersive experiences such as entering the village of Flateurville.

A joint collaboration between the Mairie de Paris (Paris Townhall) and A Suivre Productions, and with all venues and locations being kept secret from ticket holders until the last moment, activities also include those in Paris’ ‘less attractive’ neighbourhoods, such as, La Goutte d’Or (which claims the honour of being inner-Paris’  only Sensitive Urban Zone (ZUS)) or Belleville (lower down the scary scale, but still with its fair share of social issues, in addition to being Paris’ most artistically interesting area).

Paris Face Cachee - Clet Abraham - street art - Paris Underground

 

Paris Face Cachee - Clet Abraham - street art - Paris Underground

 

Paris Face Cachee - Clet Abraham - street art - Paris Underground

 

Paris Face Cachee - Clet Abraham - street art - Paris Underground

Paris Face Cachée, however, now in its second year, also includes family-friendly experiences at the request of participants. Working with a budget of €60,000, some of the tours for free, while others cost as much as €24 – the most expensive being a treasure hunt with a digital tablet.

Paris Face Cachee - Underground Paris Copyright

Bizot with Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads. Photo copyright Catherine Faux

The event poster which is currently omnipresent in the Paris Metro is designed around the street art of Clet Abraham – a sticker of man diverting the meaning of a no entry road sign with a sticker of the Eiffel Tower bent to the left. You can actually see Clet’s interventions stuck on street signs all around Paris. Clet Abraham is a Parisian ex-patriot, living in Florence, who makes a living as a street artist, painter and sculptor. There is now a gallery in Paris which specialises in artwork produced solely on road signage, including by Clet Abraham.

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Bizot’s book Underground, L’histoire (Denoël) published in 2001 uses the word underground, which he favoured over the term counter culture, he told French newspaper Liberation. Jean-François Bizot also wrote many other books including, Au parti des socialistes (The Socialist Party) (1975) with Leon Mercadet and Patrice Van Eersel, Les déclassés (The Downgraded) (1976) and Les Années blanches (The White Years) (1979). He also translated the works of Charles Bukowski, made documentaries for French TV channels, Arte and Canal +, and a movie, La Route (The Road) (1973).

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Paris Face Cachee - Clet Abraham - street art - Paris Underground

Paris Face Cachée takes placve on 1st, 2nd and 3rd February, 2013

Tickets are available online at www.parisfacecachee.fr.

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Check out more English and French language experiences at undergroundparis.org, including street art tours and stencil art graffiti workshops.

Le M.U.R. laced with paper cut by Rubbish

Rubbish Cube’s delicate hand cut paper lace artworks, each requiring many hours to produce, are recognisable on walls around Paris, especially Rue Amelot in the 11th arrondissement. The lightness and fragility of his street art, requiring an impressive technical mastery, now have a two week legal outdoors showing, courtesy of the impresarios at Le M.U.R..

Quickly, for those unfamiliar with Le M.U.R., it’s a project which revolves around a three by eight metre billboard set aside by the city council for the purpose of promoting street art.

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2012 http://charliestine.net

Rubbish’s street art. Copyright 2012 charliestine.net

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 True Duke http://www.facebook.com/duketrue

Rubbish approaches his working space.  Photo: Copyright 2013 True Duke

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 True Duke http://www.facebook.com/duketrue

The previous iteration of Le M.U.R. by Da Cruz covered by Rubbish (tee hee!). Photo: Copyright 2013 True Duke 

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 True Duke http://www.facebook.com/duketrue

 Photo: Copyright 2013 True Duke

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 Laurence Pierrain-Mateudi http://www.facebook.com/laurence.pierrainmateudi

President of Le M.U.R., Bob Jeudy (left) with Rubbish (right). Co-founder and Secretry of Le M.U.R., Thomas Schmitt, in the background giving the artist a helping hand. Copyright 2013 Laurence Pierrain-Mateudi 

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 Laurence Pierrain-Mateudi http://www.facebook.com/laurence.pierrainmateudi

  Community of dedicated Parisian urban art enthusiasts look on at the live artwork performance. Copyright 2013 Laurence Pierrain-Mateudi 

Street artist, Rubbish Cube (or his preferred name, Rubbish), a 32 year-old, self-taught artist who lives and works in Besançon in the east of France, creates delicate collages – reminiscent of female American street artist Swoon - which create a slender poetry in paradoxical symbiosis with the stone built Parisian urban space are mostly large portraits in black and white, often with a emotionally intense piercing gaze.

Rubbish, who takes his name from his former band, Dirty Rubbish, showed last year at Le Cabinet d’Amateur gallery in a group show, alongside Fred le Chevalier, Diamant, Gzup, Arnaud Boisramé, Miss.Tic, Paella and Tristan de Limbes, among others.

Ordinarily, pasted up on walls in Paris, evolving and eventually disappearing at the rate of the weather and the activity of the city, recurring motifs in his work, include the hand of the ‘Inquisitor’, or the ‘Heart of the City’. This interaction between the work of the artist and the vitality of the urban space, cause rise to fierce beauty, and the expression of an aesthetic accessible to all.

Rubbish Cube qualifies urban art perfectly as an ephemeral gesture of the values of libertarianism and humanism. Rubbish Cube inspired by Native American culture, myths and legends, or figures from the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, uses colour rarely.

Made with incredible technical precision the poetic emotion that emanates from his delicate paper lace convey infinite patterns. By following the path of these fine carvings the viewer can be roused into a state of deep contemplation.

Rubbish admits being influenced by American street artist, Swoon, who also uses intricate cut lace paper collages, which she pastes up in New York’s Brooklyn neighbourhood, and further afield, but Rubbish’s work is a very different artistic style. Rubbish says he tends not to be influenced by street art, but rather pop surrealism and Lowbrow art, such as the art of Todd Schorr.

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 True Duke http://www.facebook.com/duketrue

 Photo: Copyright 2013 True Duke

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 Laurence Pierrain-Mateudi http://www.facebook.com/laurence.pierrainmateudi

  Copyright 2013 Laurence Pierrain-Mateudi 

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 Laurence Pierrain-Mateudi http://www.facebook.com/laurence.pierrainmateudi

  Copyright 2013 Laurence Pierrain-Mateudi 

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2012 http://charliestine.net

 Copyright 2012 charliestine.net

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 True Duke http://www.facebook.com/duketrue

 Photo: Copyright 2013 True Duke

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 True Duke http://www.facebook.com/duketrue

 Photo: Copyright 2013 True Duke

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art - Copyright 2013 True Duke http://www.facebook.com/duketrue

Photo: Copyright 2013 True Duke

Le M.U.R. - Rubbish Cube - Paris street art

Visit Rubbish’s website, at rubbish-cube.blogspot.fr

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Le M.U.R. can be visited twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year at the following address:

107 Rue Oberkampf

75011 Paris

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The post draws on articles and interviews at the following websites:

mcwp.net

parisianshoegals.blogspot.fr

streetlove.fr

 

JonOne tags up Eric Cantona’s Rolls-Royce for Artcurial

JonOne, the New York train graffiti artist who, many, many moons ago, settled in Paris, has painted a Roll’s Royce donated by Eric Cantona as a publicity stunt for the ArtCurial urban art auction taking place this afternoon.

A little bit of vomit appears in this writers mouth, too, but before swallowing, make note that the money raised from this graffitied Rolls-Royce will all go to the Abbé Pierre Foundation, which is a charity helping the utterly impoverished.

Exorbitant prices are staple at Artcurial, a private company with an annual turnover of €127 million in 2011, but Eric Cantona’s second-hand Rolls-Royce Corniche II covered with tags by JonOne is being flogged quite cheaply – bidding starts at just €20,000.

Today, nearly 330 works of street art are going under the hammer at the auction house in the Hotel Marcel-Dassault. Starting bids are at €400 and going up to €120,000, including the work ‘Kiss’ by Banksy’s protégé, Mr Brainwash.

Of course, Banksy’s work is represented at the Artcurial show, as well, with one work with a starting price of around €100,000. Banksy’s works are all sourced from the secondary market, however. Banksy generally does not participate in these sorts of bourgeois art affairs directly. Although, we hear from the Bankrobber gallery in London that he does feed the upper tier auction houses in the UK in an agreement to keep them from selling his ‘illegally’ gotten street pieces. In France it is actually illegal to take works from the street.

The Rolls Royce belonging to Kung Fu Kick Cantona, was painted by graffiti artist JonOne live on TV last November and will go under the hammer this afternoon. Artcurial has waived all fees and charges for the sale of the 1984 Roller, a Corniche model, which Cantona oversaw being ‘tagged up’ by JonOne on the French TV station Canal+ in June 2012. Cantona said (via a translation by Google): “I decided to donate it because it’s the ultimate symbol of wealth, and will help those in ultimate poverty.” Going on to add  (also, via a translation by Google): ” This Rolls Royce painted by the world-renowned street artist JonOne has a real coherence and a lot of force.” Not dissimilar to one of Cantona’s flying kicks, this writer imagines.

In the courtyard of Marcel Dassault yesterday sat the Rolls-Royce the former footballer bequeathed to Artcurial to benefit the Abbé Pierre Foundation that the American artist JonOne painted in November 2012 live on the Grand Journal show on French TV station, Canal +. The Roller is the largest of the 300-work sale, which is expected to raise around €1 million. In 2012, sales amounted to €1 million including costs, against €555 700 in 2011.

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (16)

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (12)

 

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (14)

 

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (15)

 

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (13)

 

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (17)

 

Among the other artists and artworks present are “Chinese Soldiers” by Shepard Fairey (with an estimate of €30,000 to €40,000), “Flying copper” by Banksy (with an estimate of €90,000 to €120,000). France’s Space Invader is represented by a number of mosaics available at starting prices of €800 to €12,000

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (11)

Shepard Fairey aka Obey showing room at Artcurial. Photo of Fairey holding up image in by Philippe Bonan, taken in Paris in June 2012. See our film coverage of when that photo was taken, here.

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (1)

‘Flying Copper’ by Banksy

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (7)

 Work by pioneering New York street artist, Keith Haring

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (6)

 Graffiti artist, Crash from New York

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (8)

 Photo of COPE2, the infamous New York graffiti artist

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (10)

 

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (9)

 Jana of street art couple, Jana und JS, painting live at the event, yesterday

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (5)

Spanish artist, Pez (top), middle bottom is by Chanoir. Top right work by FKDL aka Franck Duval. Bottom left work by Happy Seizewallmaker

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (4)

 Top right work is an original poster from the 1968 Paris riots, produced at the Beaux Arts, Atelier Populaire

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (3)

Snap back to JonOne, a main figure in Parisian ‘street art’ (he admits he has not painted outdoors for a long time): JonOne is first and foremost from New York, where he learnt the original style of the subway graffiti movement, which he imported to France. Born in 1963 in New York, JonOne began to write his name in the city in the 70s, before getting into painting onto canvas in the late 80s. His work today is a blend of his graffiti roots – tagging – combined with an abstract expressionism, brightly coloured, often including tribal patterning, and to some extent free of the conservatism of ‘hip hop’ graffiti. The movement, however, he still defends strongly.

JonOne developed his style alongside graffiti artists, A-One and Phase II, drawing inspiration from the New York subway graffiti movement. Many graffiti artists would denounce his canvas work, however, due to the additional influences of non-graffiti painters such as Matisse and Kandinsky, and abstract expressionists, Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell.

JonOne paints Eric Cantona Rolls-Royce for Artcurial urban art auction in Paris (2)

JonOne canvas painting

Real name John Perello, JonOne was born in New York’s Harlem neighborhood to parents from the Dominican Republic. He first came into contact with graffiti aged 17, first tagging his name Jon with the suffix 156. Around this time he came into contact with graffiti artist, Bando. Following an invitation from Bando, Jonone moved to Paris in 1987, beginning his canvas work at a former hospital building converted into a squat, the Hôpital Ephémère (Ephemeral Hospital), located in Paris’ 18th arrondissement, painting alongside artists, A-One, Ash, Jayone and Sharp. A notable exhibition from his early days in Paris was the 1990 show at the Gleditsch 45 gallery in Berlin

His ties with the annual Artcurial Urban Art auction extend to its roots. In 2007 a canvas made at the Hôpital Ephémère in 1993 named Match Point, sold for almost €25,000 to a collector from  New York. It remains the highest bid ever received for a piece of French graffiti art.

JonOne mastered the stylistic conventions of graffiti during his New York days, but is ill at ease conforming totally to this school of art. Even before arriving in Paris in 1987, JonOne’s output  had never matched up to the archetypal notion of the graffiti artist. When he would rock up to a subway train in New York, he is known to have brought with him paintbrushes in addition to spraycans. Through the graffiti artist, A-One (Anthony Clark), JonOne, had a direct connection to Jean-Michel Basquiat, or, rather, a link between the graffiti world and the gallery world. Allowing himself to adopt mainstream ideas and techniques into his artwork, JonOne’s pieces show great movement, intense mixtures of colour, freestyle and precise strokes, repetition, all balanced to create a dynamic visual experience. (This last sentence is mostly plagiarised from the Wikipedia article on JonOne).

One of JonOne’s most significant paymasters, Artcurial (he is also represented by the top two Paris urban art galleries, Galerie Le Feuvre and Galerie Magda Danysz) is the foremost French auction house, and is fronted by three auctioneers: Francis Briest, Hervé Poulain, and François Tajan. It is an independent business, with shareholders including the Dassault Group, which owns among many other enterprises, the French newspaper, Le Figaro. It was located at 9 Avenue Matignon (which now houses Britain’s largest auction house, Christie’s), but is now based out of the  Hôtel Marcel Dassault at 7 rond-point des Champs-Élysées, owned by Dassault. Artcurial holds more than one hundred sales per year, across 20 specialties. Formerly holding the monopoly on auctions in France, a change in the law in 2000, opened up the market, and saw the arrival of British auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Artcurial’s first partner and founder, Francis Briest, works with Hervé Poulain, and François Tajan, with auctions all being held at the 2,000 m² headquarters and open to the public.

Artcurial’s departments of expertise include Modern and Contemporary Art, Art Deco, Tribal Art, Asian Art, Eastern Archaeology, Islamic Art, 19th Century paintings and drawings, antiquarian books, autographs, engravings, antique cars, wines and spirits, among a number of other fields. It also sponsors and organises events, including the Artcurial Book Award for Contemporary Art and the Marcel Duchamp Prize.

It also controls four subsidiaries in France: in Toulouse, Deauville, Marseille and Lyon, as well as Artcurial China in Shanghai. In total it manages eight auction houses worldwide.

Head auctioneer, Hervé Poulain, was also an amateur race driver and has participated in eleven of the 24 Hours of Le Mans races, the the famous endurance race, held annually since 1923 and is the inventor of the “Art Cars ” concept, whereby artists decorate cars participating in Le Mans. Previous designs have been made by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Poulain is also the author of a number of books on art, including, Art, Women and Automobile (1989) and Pop My cars (2006).  He is the founder and president of SYMEV (the French national union of auction houses).

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Artcurial Urban Art Auction

January 22nd, 2pm

Artcurial

7 Rond-point des Champs-Elysées, 75008

www.artcurial.com

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To download the catalogue for the urban art element of the Artcurial auction, click, there >>>> here.

Flateurville closes its doors in a blaze of blue smoke

Passing by the Office of the Sheriff, you are soon in The forest Flateurville. Make your way further, and you will face The backyard of the castle (concert hall). Then on your sides, Marcel and Lorette’s rooms. Continue to Marcel’s Workshop and two lounges. And finally, the Equipped cabins.

Flateurville has now come to an end after seven years, so no more confusion. But just so you know what on earth happened in the back alleys of the 10th arrondissement, not far from Chateau d’Eau metro station, let me explain.

The town of Flateurville are all hooked on a blue flower, which we are told can be chewed, smoked, injected; a gallery of portraits by Laurent Godard and videos projected on the television screens are showing throughout the complex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the entrance to the venue at 24, Cour des Petites écuries, 75010, one might expect to be greeted by artist/musician/filmaker/baker/dentist, Laurent Godard, the creator of Flateurville, this imaginary village, presumably on an imaginary planet, which he has created from places he has experienced on his travels and meetings which he has created in various places: an old tannery in Essaouira; an oyster farm on the island of Ré; a housing project in New York; a chateau in Burgundy; and the Piscine Molitor in Paris.

This  600 square metres site was formerly 24 small stables, before being occupied as the print house of the newspaper Le Parisien

Flateurville has until last night served as both all that is wrong and a place of awakening of the artist in each of us.

The paintings by Laurent Godard that hang all over the walls are created by the method of dripping, which we know best from Jackson Pollock, produced by dripping paint from the brush onto the canvas. The paintings represent the people of this unusual place: P’tit Louis, a pimply teenager, bored to death in this sad town; Susan, a painter who returned to Flateurville after a twenty-five years absence; Jean-Baptiste, the son of the priest’ Mouss, a little gypsy; Marcel, the bad guy, fresh out of prison.

Fragments of the history of the people of Flateurville everywhere, an amazing narrative journey, an evolving scenario about which we are both scared and curious.

Sadly it is no more.

However, the Flattervillois are searching for a new piece of land on which to settle, and would be happy to hear any suggestions.

Flateurville Facebook page

Flateurville website

 

Palais de Tokyo entrails painted by Lek, Sowat & Dem 189

Abstract graffiti on the ceiling, floor and walls, mostly in black, red and white, tags everywhere. Few dashes of colour in drained graffiti and a soft pallet in the room beside of it, make this space in Palais de Tokyo a messy temple of graffiti culture.

Dans Les Entrailles Du Palais Secret [In The Entrails Of The Secret Palais] is an intervention created in the basement of the museum, and the next step after the astonishing Le Mausolée project presented earlier this year by French graffiti artists (not street artists) Lek & Sowat.

Inside the massive Palais do Tokyo complex, the project has been realised in the passages leading to the emergency exit, a space that has never been open to the public before, let alone used to show art. The space has been purposely chosen in an attempt to stay loyal to the original roots of graffiti, even inside the environs of a rich and powerful contemporary art museum.

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (2)

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (10)

 

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (9)

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (3)

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (12)

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (8)

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (5)

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (1)

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (4)

Firstly, about the artists leading the project: Lek, one of the first generation of Parisian graffiti art, learned his craft between the north-east Parisian districts of La Chapelle and Stalingrad, where French street culture emerged. Nowadays, he works with the crews French Kiss, LCA, GNS, RAW and 1984, with a focus on abstract graffiti, graffiti futurism, post-graffiti – whatever you want to call it, but directly connected to the artistic culture that started on the sides of New York subway cars in the 1970s and 1980s – graffiti, not street art.

Meanwhile, Sowat is a Franco-American graffiti artist who grew up between Marseille and Los Angeles. He was inspired by Chaz Bojorquez, an important figure in the Californian graffiti scene, who developed “Cholo writing”, a calligraphy used to mark the territories of Latino gangs in Los Angeles. Sowat works with one of the most sophisticated graffiti crews in Paris, Da Mental Vaporz.

Both artists are practitioners of Urbex, short for Urban Exploration, a discipline that consists of finding abandoned spaces, and in these artists cases, creating artistic interventions. The curatorial idea of this project was to reproduce the feeling of Le Mausolée, inviting artists from other generations with different artistic practices, to work together as a collective.

Palais de Tokyo Graffiti exhibition - Dans les entrailles du Secret Palais - Lek, Sowat et Dem 189 - Le Mausolee. Photo: Fernanda Hinke Copyright 2012 (11)

Other artists who were involved in the creation of Dans Les Entrailles Du Palais Secret at Palais de Tokyo, are as follows:

ALËXONE, AZYLE, BABS, BOM.K, COKNEY, DEM189, DRAN, HONDA, HORFÉ, KATRE, LEK, OUTSIDER, RIZOTE, SAMBRE, SETH, SOWAT, SWIZ, VELVET, WXYZ, ZOER

The Palais de Tokyo installation is inspired by Lek & Sowat’s, Le Mausolée project – one of the most astonishing ever illegal graffiti interventions, which was unveiled in 2012. Produced over a year long period by 40 of France’s best graffiti artists at a 430,000 square foot abandoned supermarket at Porte de Pantin in north Paris, you can watch a stop-motion video of the event, below:

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Palais de Tokyo

13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75016 Paris

www.palaisdetokyo.com

Runs until 1st September, 2013

Interview with James Brett founder of The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything, presented in Paris by Chalet Society, led by former director and chief curator of Palais de Tokyo, Marc-Oliver Wahler is a collection of artworks by those untouched by artistic culture, work by men and women who function without art education, theory or society. We have interviewed the founder of the exhibition, James Brett.

The show consists of work by those who for various reasons exist, or at least produce artwork, outside of the mainstream culture, unconcerned in their creativity with worries of competition, acclaim or social promotion; for whom the act of creation and the impulse to make depend neither on destination nor on definition.

Founded by Britisher, James Brett, the 500 works span the 19th, 20th and 21st century, and highlights include the panoramic adult fairytale of Chicago janitor Henry Darger, the towering spirit scrolls of Chinese factory worker Guo Fengyi, the mystic constructions of French miniature architect ACM, and the dense tramways of Dutch self-appointed naive Willem van Genk.

The Museum of Everything was established by James Brett in 2009 in an old dairy in Primrose Hill, north-west London, and has since travelled the world. The show is in Paris until Christmas before heading to Moscow.

In the interview, Brett explains a little on how one determines outsider-ness, how the exhibition ended up in Paris, and why Banksy’s former gallerist, Steve Lazarides is the King of Outsiders.

Henry Darger - The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (3)

Portrait of a Girl Scout by reclusive American self-taught artist, Henry Darger. Photo: © The Museum of Everything

Josef Karl Rädler - The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (9)

Portrait by Austrian porcelain painter and psychiatric patient, Josef Karl Rädler. Photo: © The Museum of Everything

Henry Darger - The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (6)

 Double-sided panoramic episode by reclusive American self-taught artist, Henry Darger. Photo: © The Museum of Everything

Henry Darger - The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (7)

  Double-sided panoramic episode by reclusive American self-taught artist, Henry DargerPhoto: © The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (11)

The Woodbridge Figures. Photo: Pavlos Metaxas. © The Museum of Everything

Prophet Royal Robertson - The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (8)

Environmental sign by Prophet Royal Robertson.  Royal Robertson created countless drawings of aliens, buildings, women and calendars, as well as signs directed against his former wife. Photo: © The Museum of Everything

Justin McCarthy - The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (15)

 Portrait of ice skater, Hans Leitner, by Justin McCarthy.  The prolific McCarthy is considered an important and enigmatic Southern American self-taught painterPhoto: © The Museum of EverythingAleksander Pavlovich Lobanov - The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (16)

Hunting scene by Aleksander Pavlovich Lobanov.  A Russian deaf-mute confined to an institution for 50 years, Lobanov created a vast body of work, including drawings and paintings which featured him as a gun-toting hero of the revolution. Photo: © The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything artworks are by contemporary and historic self-taught, visionary and non-traditional artists, often termed outsider artists. Tell us a little bit about how you came to be involved with the Museum.

The Museum of Everything started because it had to. No other British art institution dedicated itself to creators whose creations had no perceived destination. When museums did present this work, they relied on labels and categories – like outsider art and art brut – to design a distance. The art was often abstracted or neutralised, the artists presented as others, rather than as aspects of us.

These segregations seemed more than a little inappropriate. So our first exhibition curated over 100 artists in a ramshackle former dairy in London. We invited all the contemporary artists, curators and thinkers we knew to choose their favourites and verbalise their choices. The result was an informal and alternative history which seemed to touch and inspire a wide-ranging audience.

Their enthusiasm inspired us, so we carried on. Hence, three years, a bunch of shows across Europe, movies, books and a vast obsessive creative mess.

Are there really any outsiders anymore? And if so, outside what?

Most people think of themselves as outsiders, most creative characters do anyway. It’s the romance of difference and counter-culture. Add the word art and we tend to project: to the isolated hermit carving masterpieces in his cave. So on that level the implication is correct. Today there are less caves, less hermits.

Yet it’s one thing to label oneself an outsider, another to have the label stuck on you. A person who cannot see or hear can be called an outsider from a physiological or psychological point of view. But what if it was your child and what if it was you?

Questions of outsiderness are all a bit irrelevant. This person is like us, he or she is us, different to some, similar to others, a varied variable human being whose art might speak to us even when he or she cannot. We don’t really need a word to find our empathy. If anything, the definition is more likely to encourage the opposite. That’s why The Museum of Everything always has an eye on its tongue.

No inside, no outside, no walls.

WILLIAM HAWKINS - The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (2)

King Kong by William Hawkins.  Hawkins is one of the most reknowned and sought-after self taught African-American painters.  Photo: © The Museum of Everything

Dan Miller - The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (14)

Environmental sign by landowner, GT Miller.  Photo © The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (17)

Anonymous working model of funfair ride.  Photo: Pavlos Metaxas  © The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (13)

William Hawkins installation shot at Exhibition #1.1 in Paris.  Photo: Pavlos Metaxas © The Museum of Everything

The exhibition is installed in an ephemeral space, an ex-Catholic school in St Germain, and includes 500 works: private drawings, signs and carvings, hand-made books, discovered bodies of work and environmental installations. How did the venue reveal itself to you?

The venue appeared courtesy of a tall Swiss gentleman called Marc-Olivier Wahler, the esteemed former director of Palais du Tokyo.  We knew each other, were mutual fans and shared a cup of mint tea in North Africa.

There in the heat, Wahler revealed his new art space - Chalet Society - an anti-museum centred around radical philosophies of creativity. The chosen building was a monument trapped in time. Thin and decrepit, it had once been home to the city’s Catholic students, where a printing press pumped out propaganda inside rooms painted in more colours than a Parisian rainbow.

We fell in love immediately, changed nothing and we started to hang pictures and place objects. As we did, the structure spoke to us, told us what it wanted and where it wanted it to go. We just got on with it.

The exhibition also incorporates essays by leading artists, curators, writers and thinkers, including David Byrne, Ed Ruscha, and Marlene Dumas. Can you tell us a little about the way the non-outsider art world views the Museum of Everything and outsider art in general?

It’s a good question, but what is the art world? Some know us, many more don’t, a lot turn up, the lucky few get it, museums ignore us, unless of course they don’t, free-thinking curators embrace us, traditionalists steer clear, collectors are intrigued, galleries flirt, auction houses don’t bother; we don’t merit the market.

But the contemporary creative communities are as fascinated as we are. Artists, designers, musicians, filmmakers and writers connect with the authenticity of this work because it connects with their own creativity. Through their support, our ideas have reached out into the world, call it the art world if you must.

All we see is that our artists are turning up more and more, in major shows across Europe and America, in festivals, fairs and biennales. That seems to indicate some level of impact, although you can never really tell.

The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (12)

Morton Bartlett installation shot at Exhibition #1.1 in Paris.  Photo: Pavlos Metaxas  © The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (10)

ACM installation shot at Exhibition #1.1 in Paris.  Photo: Pavlos Metaxas © The Museum of Everything

The Lazarides gallery in London calls the pieces it sells outsider art, partly because it is produced by artists who also make work outside, the website notes, tongue in cheek. The gallery most famously used to represent street artist, Banksy. Should artwork produced by this stable of commercial street artists share the outsider art label?

Steve Lazarides is the King of Outsiders, Banksy draws on walls, we knock them down. It’s all a question of taste and intention. But since hermits like cave walls, it would seem a little short-sighted to impose a world-wide ban.

What are your future goals with the exhibition Museum of Everything? And, do you have any other projects coming up that you can tell us about?

Right now we are sojourning in Paris, after that we trek to Moscow, for a final show of our Russian summer discoveries. Then who knows, the universe beckons and there are many tiny creative nooks. Sign up to our newsletter, when we get a moment, we’ll let you know.

The Museum of Everything by James Brett at Chalet Society by Marc-Oliver Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo (1)

Almighty God installation shot at Exhibition #1.1 in Paris.  Photo: Pavlos Metaxas © The Museum of Everything

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Chalet Society presents The Museum of Everything // Exhibition #1.1

14 boulevard Raspail, 75007 Paris

Wednesday to Sunday, from now until  end of February, 2013

 www.musevery.com

 —————-

Also, while you’re there you can check out Le Café d’Everything –  an exclusive coffee-counter and all-you-can-eaterie with bespoke delicacies from the animal and vegetable kingdoms, created by Momo and Derrière.

And, The Shop of Everything an award-winning boutique, with limited edition books, prints, clothes, homeware and knick-knackery to benefit The Museum of Everything and its artists.

The Shop of Everything can be found rive gauche at Chalet Society, 14 boulevard Raspail, Paris 75007, and rive droite at Merci, 111 boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris 75003.

For the full range, go to www.shopevery.com.

 

Madame (Moustache) Paris exhibition vernissage

A vernissage-cum-soirée with Madame (Moustache) at clothing shop, d’Hotel Manufacture, last night and a meeting of two of Paris’ most talked about wheatpaste street artists.

Madame wears no moustache, rather, she is feminine and attractive in tight denim jeans. Fred le Chevalier, the first knight of Paris street art, a fan, was also on hand, giving support – both artists currently working hardest at decorating Paris’ public spaces.

The intent of these photos, taken by Richard Beban & Paris Play, is to honour Madame’s stylistic conceit for the black and white in her artwork. Some of the photos are by Guetteur Urbain.

Madame expo Paris - poster street art - Alternative Paris. Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play, Copyright 2012 (7)

 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

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 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

Madame expo Paris - poster street art - Alternative Paris. Photo: Guetteur Urbain (http://www.facebook.com/guetteur.urbain) Copyright 2012

Photo: Guetteur Urbain Copyright 2012

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 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

Photo: Guetteur Urbain Copyright 2012

Madame expo Paris - poster street art - Alternative Paris. Photo: Guetteur Urbain (http://www.facebook.com/guetteur.urbain) Copyright 2012

Photo: Guetteur Urbain Copyright 2012

The artworks on display: a mixture of collage and painting - Madame using posters with the addition of her distinctive moustachioed logo stenciled on afterwards using spray paint. Her street art uses the medium of the paste-up to its fullest effect.

Madame expo Paris - poster street art - Alternative Paris. Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play, Copyright 2012 (3)

Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

Madame expo Paris - poster street art - Alternative Paris. Photo: Guetteur Urbain (http://www.facebook.com/guetteur.urbain) Copyright 2012

Photo: Guetteur Urbain Copyright 2012

Madame expo Paris - poster street art - Alternative Paris. Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play, Copyright 2012 (1)

 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

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 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

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Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012 

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 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

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 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

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 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

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 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

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Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

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 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

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Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012 

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 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

Madame expo Paris - poster street art - Alternative Paris. Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play, Copyright 2012 (6)

 Photo: Richard Beban & Paris Play Copyright 2012

Madame exhibition Facebook page

d’Hotel Manufacture

56 rue Volta 75003 Paris

Métro Arts et Metiers/Temple

www.madamemoustache.fr

Tomek & Skube (PAL crew) exhibition at Jour et Nuit

Paris art exhibitions don’t come much more underground than Paris main hardcore graffiti art crew, PAL. Tomek and Skube are two of its most active members. Their ‘indoors practice’, however, is a little departed from what you’ll see sprayed on walls around Paris, but not so dissimilar.

Open to the public at the ‘art squat’ Jour et Nuit in Paris’ 15th arrondissement, next to the Eiffel Tower, here is a photo report of the artwork for sale.

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (1)

Click the image for larger size

Tomek comes from the Paris street art scene with a focus on typography and gestural painting. His style shows an orbiting of energetic materials and calligraphy. His generous painting invites us to question certain aesthetic limits from the speed of his stroke, to consider other approaches due to the ease of its forms and innovative technique. Its appeal can be sought from the general movement that proposes us to follow the evolution of an artist aware of his era, which is constantly changing.

Skube, also from the Paris street graffiti movement, meanwhile, presents us with eddies of a turbulent world, from which he first emerged as an artist, in the year of grace, 2001. From a timeless decade Skube searches for the absolute, his eyes main ally, his curiosity as a faithful adventurer. His understanding of graffiti supports his quest: to break the time and manners, laws and good taste of this stylistic movement.

The show is organised by the specialist graffiti art dealership, Pour la Gloire.

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (7)

 

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (3)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (4)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (5)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (8)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (9)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (10)

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Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (12)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (13)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (14)

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Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (17)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (18)

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Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (20)

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Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (27)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (28)

Paris graffiti art exhibition by Tomek & Skube - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (29)

Exhibition runs from 2nd to 9th September, 2012, 12pm to 7pm.

Jour et Nuit

61, Rue Saint Charles, Paris

(Metro Charles Michels)

http://www.pourlagloire.eu/

http://jouretnuitculture.blogspot.fr/

Paris graffiti Mecca on the Canal l’Ourcq

Paris Graffiti artists of the PoDaMa collective paint the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris à Pantin on the Canal l'Ourcq for l’ete-du-canal - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (15) (22)

Along the Canal l’Ourcq at the north-east Paris suburb of Pantin stands a shrine to local Paris graffiti artists Artof Popof, Da Cruz and Marko and their guests, who have painted completely the exterior of two gigantic old warehouses.

As part of this year’s L’été du Canal (“Summer Canal” event) the town hall of Paris suburb Pantin gave carte blanche to the graffiti artists to paint these former Chamber of Commerce and Industry buildings, built in 1929 to receive grain and flour.

The industrial era is over and the use of the buildings is currently under reclassification. The buildings will eventually be rehabilitated to house economic activities. And so takes place the reconquest of the banks of the canal!

Paris Graffiti artists of the PoDaMa collective paint the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris à Pantin on the Canal l'Ourcq for l’ete-du-canal - Alternative Paris. Photos: Demian Smith (15) (2)

The warehouses of the old Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris at Pantin, located at Rue Ernest Renan 93500, Pantin Continue reading

Mural by São Paulo artist Claudio Ethos

If Paris street art were able to make noise, it would most certainly yelp at the addition of Claudio Ethos’ artwork. The mural is still among the finest pieces of street art to be seen in Paris, despite being painted some time ago, organised by Galerie Itinnerance.

Claudio Ethos Paris street art, organised by Galerie Itinerrance - Alternative Paris. Photo: Demian Smith (2)

Claudio Ethos Paris street art, organised by Galerie Itinerrance - Alternative Paris. Photo: Demian Smith (3)

Claudio Ethos street art in the background, located on Boulevard Masséna in Paris 13th arrondissement

Claudio hails from São Paulo, with an estimated population of 21.5m living in its 31 recognised boroughs and outlying areas, and diverse ethnic mix with roots in Africa, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Spain, Germany, Russia, and all over Latin America. These factors provide the conscious and unconscious backbone of Ethos’ art work. Continue reading