Paris est beautiful

Paris1

In light of the terrible events that have happened in Paris over the weekend (and earlier on this year) I wanted to write quick blog post highlighting how beautiful and incredible this city is. 

Why anyone wants to bring harm on the lives of the innocent is beyond me.

My thoughts go out to those who have lost loved ones and to the many affected by these acts of mindless violence. There is no place on our planet for inhumanity. I hope the rest of us can stick together and unite against extremism. Give peace a chance.

Paris is beautiful:

Paris-gate

Arc de Triumph

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Boulion-Chartier

One of the best restaurants in Paris. Proper Parisian cuisine.

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Je Suis Charlie tributes shot up all over Paris after the tragic Charlie Hedbo shooting in January.

Ben93

‘Beware of words’ by Ben 93.

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Beautiful work by street artist Seth overlooking Paris.

Paris-street-art2 Paris-Mural

C215

Street art by C215 in Nationale

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Huge piece by OBEY in Nationale

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The stunning Pantheon

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Le Pantheon

Paris-building Paris-river Paris-Bikes Street-art-Nationale

Invader-Paris

Work by the famous Parisian street artist Invader

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View-of-Paris

A see of stunning white architecture

Sacreceour3 I-love-Paris

I’m saddened again to hear about what’s happened in one of my favourite cities. Paris is such an incredible, multi-cultural and welcoming place and it’s shocking to hear the horror that has taken place. I hope the Parisians and the country of France remain strong and know that they have the rest of the world on their side.

#PrayForParis

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Street art daily: day five

If you’ve been paying attention to the news this week you may have noticed that there was an arrest warrant out for Shepard Fairey, aka OBEY.

The American street artist, best known for his ‘Andre the Giant’ posters and the ‘HOPE’ campaign behind President Obama’s election campaign, was arrested in Los Angeles on Monday after Detroit Police issued a warrant for his arrest.

This came after Shepard Fairey was in Detroit painting his biggest mural to date – which he was commissioned to do – by the way. Like any other street artist, OBEY didn’t stop there stating ‘I still do stuff on the street without permission, and I’ll be doing stuff when I’m in Detroit’.

Shepard-Fairey-mural

Impressive: OBEY paints his biggest mural to date in Detroit. Image credits: nytimes.com.

This seems like a massive contradiction by the Detroit authorities, who later retracted the arrest because ‘they don’t extradite on lower-level cases like this’. Can you really pay a street artist to produce a huge piece of art, and then arrest them for doing the exact same thing on another building without permission?

Now unless he drew a penis, or something really offensive this seems a bit hypocritical in my eyes.

Anyway, I salute you Shepard Fairey. Here are some of my favourite OBEY finds:

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Belleville, Paris: Spot the Andre the Giant poster?

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Nationale, Paris: An incredible mural by Shepard Fairey on the side of a block of flats.

OBEY Shoreditch

Shoreditch, London: Another amazing piece by OBEY, just opposite Shoreditch High Street station.

Is street art a crime? What’s the difference between street art and vandalism? Is it money?

It seems like whenever there’s a new Banksy the authorities will do anything to keep it protected as they know it’ll be worth a few bob. Does street art only become accepted when someone’s willing to buy it? Discuss!

Feel free to share some of your thoughts, favourite OBEY street art and let me know where you think to Shepard Fairey’s arrest.

Peace x

Paris street art part 1: crepes, croissants, l’escargot and graffiti

Paris street art 5

Bonjour mesdames et messieurs. Another city that should be on the bucket list of every urban art enthusiast is Paris.

It’s the city of romance, exquisite food and fine wines; a place where millions of tourists flock every year to see sights like Notré Dam, Sacré Coeur, le Eiffel Tower, le Pantheon, Musee du Louvre and the magnifique architecture that spreads across a vast landscape…

The French capital has an incredible street art scene – it’s an urban playground for top artists like OBEY, C215, Monsieur Diamond, Monsieur Chat, VHILS, Nemo, Invader, Alexis Diaz and a whole host of others.

Finding street art en Francais

The city of Paris is absolutely massive and you could easily spend all day aimlessly wondering from one place to the next while getting lost in its beautiful, yet narrow streets. So if you’ve never been before and you want to find some graffiti, I highly recommend taking a street art tour – check out undergroundparis.org.

The tour takes you around the streets of Belleville and Ménilmontant and introduces you to a lot of local artists and Paris’s urban art scene. Like other cities, some of the street art is commissioned (they even have their own graffiti association) and the rest is as illegal as lighting up a joint in Buckingham Palace.

As with my other posts I’ll be doing a few about Paris as there’s so much street art to talk about. I might even tell you where to go to experience some proper Parisian cuisine too (I know that’s why you’re really here!).

Belleville street art 

My first taste of the urban art in Paris was in the Belleville district. There’s plenty of incredible graffiti to find in this area including a massive piece from the 1980s and a street where it’s legal to do as much graffiti as you like… yes you read that right – legal.

The following pictures are some of the best street art findings in the Belleville area…

Paris Mural

One of many murals commissioned by the street art association

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Can you spot an iconic OBEY?

Work by Monsieur Diamond, Monsieur BMX,

On this wall you can see work by Monsieur Diamond, Monsieur BMX, Mega Matt (similar style to Invader)  and Mister P (furthest left).

Trademark street art carving by VHILS.

Trademark street art carving by VHILS. Also on Rue Fontaine au Roi.

Mural on Rue Lemon by Alexis Diaz

Mural on Rue Lemon by Alexis Diaz

At the top of Rue Lemon you’ll find Rue Dénoyez aka the graffiti street. This is the street where it’s legal to carry out as much tagging and spraying as you like. As you can imagine it’s plastered with urban art and it’s probably the most colourful street I’ve ever seen.

Paris street art 14Paris street art 15  Paris street art 2 Paris street art 17

When you reach the end of the graffiti street you’ll come to Rue de Belleville. It’s a pretty steep hill but once you reach the top it’s well worth it. Walking up this street gives you a real taste of this multi-cultural, diverse area.

Here you’ll find the famous ‘detective’ piece by artist Jean Le Gac which went up on the walls in 1986 – 29 years prior to my visit to Paris and two years before I was born.

There’s another massive piece of urban art in this area by Ben Vautier (Ben 93) that depicts two life-size puppets lowering a blackboard that says ‘Il faut se méfier des mots’ which translates to ‘beware of words‘.

Huge detective piece by Jean Le Gac

Huge detective piece by Jean Le Gac

'Beware of words' by Ben 93.

‘Beware of words’ by Ben 93.

Another good urban art spot is at the top of Parc de Belleville. It’s the ‘highest elevated’ park in Paris and it’s a bit of a climb to the top, but once you get there the view is breathtaking.

view of paris

The view of Paris from the Parc de Belleville. Unfortunately it was a cloudy day but you can still see the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

When you finally get reach the park’s summit you’ll find some amazing street art on the viewing platform by an artist who goes by the name Seth. He’s got a unique style and his work is really impressive, and highly ‘instagrammable.’

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Paris street art 19 Paris street art 20

Once you’ve filled up your iPhone with beautiful pictures of Paris (and graffiti) from the viewing platform there’s still a lot more street art to find in Belleville.

Before I finish off the first part of my Paris street art blogging bonanza there’s one more piece I’d like to share. It’s by Spanish street artist El Pez and his ‘feel good’ style can be found in many European cities (I’ve seen a lot of his work in east London).

El Pez's feel good graffiti

El Pez’s feel good graffiti

In my next Paris street art blog I’ll cover more urban art in the Belleville area as well as work by Invader, Shepard Fairey and others… and where to go to eat some pretty good snails.

Graffiti lovers & artists, please add comments, share your favourite pieces in Paris, and add any info I’ve missed.

#jesuischarlie

Peace x