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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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
‘Flying Copper’ by Banksy
Work by pioneering New York street artist, Keith Haring
Graffiti artist, Crash from New York
Photo of COPE2, the infamous New York graffiti artist
Jana of street art couple, Jana und JS, painting live at the event, yesterday
Spanish artist, Pez (top), middle bottom is by Chanoir. Top right work by FKDL aka Franck Duval. Bottom left work by Happy Seizewallmaker
Top right work is an original poster from the 1968 Paris riots, produced at the Beaux Arts, Atelier Populaire
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 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).
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.
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.
Women being rare in the street art world, yesterday, and the beginning of my first Parisian autumn, to mark the occasion I went to Le M.U.R. (Association Le Modulable Urbain Reactif) - the Parisian art project which revolves around a three by eight metre billboard set aside by the city council for the purpose of promoting street art - to see French street artist Kashink’s performance.
Wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the work of Jean-Michel-Basquiat and a faux moustache above her delicate lips, Kashink distributed sincere smiles to an appreciative audience gathered at the wall in Paris 11th arrondissement, who watched her hands sliding around holding spray cans, drawing with sweet colours her unmistakable characters.
Kashink paints huge protean figures with multiple eyes, men mostly, or Mexican skulls, all in a colourful graphic style, away from traditional references to female graffiti. Inspired by Frida Kahlo and the “Bad Painting” of Basquiat and Keith Haring, among the themes that are usual to her, these include taboo subjects, such as homosexuality, the status of women, and death.
The number thirteen can be seen in her Le M.U.R., representing the character’s third eye, and is also Kashink’s lucky number, she explained me. Also seen is the phrase, “Okay Mom I will”, which relates to a mum’s concerns with her son and his response being boring, but positive. What she really likes is for people to look at her drawings and feel stimulated to create their own meanings.
Le M.U.R. is always a good place to meet friends, special people, and to exchange ideas with other lovers of urban art. I guess Kashink painted the huge six by four metre panel in around eight hours, of which I enjoyed three hours, yesterday. However, after being chilled by the cold sensation of the autumn air, sadly, I left before she finished the work, but then I came back this morning to take pictures of the work.
Thanks to a beautiful surprise from the Universe this morning! While writing this article beside Le M.U.R. at the Café Charbon I met Kashink still working on her painting that was supposed to be finished yesterday. I had the pleasure to talk with her again and receive her explanation of the work. I asked her to sign my bike and as always, smiling, she gave me this beautiful gift. Thirteen thanks for the beautiful performance of Kashink!
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 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 →