French street artist Intra Larue started casting plaster sculptures from her breasts as a joke. She works a day-job and hasn’t told her father about her preoccupation yet, which is surprising because with 450 painted breasts and counting, her sculptures have slowly become a sort of addiction.
Place de la République, and after an accidental fire at the recently built Cafe Monde et Média, a three-metre high hoarding is erected while it undergoes repair, which the Paris townhall hands to a gallerist who contacts a group of artists to decorate.
The order from above is that the paintings mustn’t include political or religious messages, which is why here we’ve juxtaposed the highly politicised messages adorning the Statue de la République, with photos of the wall, and an interview on the new graffiti project with artist and veteran graffiti journalist, Nicolas Gzeley of Spraymium Magazine.
Hazul Luzah is an artist who predominates on the streets of Porto, Portugal’s second city after Lisbon. A self-taught graffiti writer, who has developed a style blending classic lettering, transformed into undecipherable, decorative calligraphic forms – which this interviewer mistook for Arabic calligraphy! – often mixed with imagery from nature, he describes his work as a “step-by-step” process, always building on his last work.
The latest invitee to the famed public art space, Le M.U.R., reserved solely for those with credible backgrounds in the street, pictured above, we briefly interviewed him, as follows.
Hybridisation is probably the most and least suitable noun to describe Michael Kershnar’s work, a mixture of graffiti and skate cultures, indigenous American iconography, Old Testament stories. We met him at an apartment he’d been keeping for a few months, just off of the Grands Boulevards, where he took time to graciously share his story with us, along with some cheese and avocado.
How would you describe your artwork, its message, the audience?
Creation, The Creator, something larger, trying to invoke ancient feelings, too, something kind of familiar, which touches people regardless of gender or age.
I want little kids and their grandmothers to like it. I want a hard core audience to like it: skateboarders, cynical graffiti writers, – everyone across the board. And of course, not everyone will like it, but I like to make it accessible. I keep trying to approach what I would call ‘aesthetic truths’: perfect composition, perfect use of space, that there’s some mastery or undeniable beauty.
Born in the Lorraine region of East France, 27-year-old Levalet takes advantage of Paris’ architecture, combining his knowledge of theatre and painting especially, with a keen eye for topography, to produce site-specific scenes painted with Indian ink. Here, he talks about what makes his work possible, his artistic background, the legality of making street art in Paris, and places he likes putting up work.
Tell us about your works, what are your main themes and influences?
I don’t know if we can talk about any main themes in my works, I work on staging each piece uniquely. My influences are numerous: theatre, film, plastic arts, comics. Afterwards, I contextualise it with the environment which affects the iconography of my scenes. Most of the time I rely on situations inspired by everyday life, and always a bit out of sync with reality.
Interview by Antoine Weber
Introduction by Ignacio Mackinze
Paris-based Colombian artist Alberto Vejarano aka Chanoir returned to working in the streets two years ago, aiming to enlarge the ‘expressive resources’ of his distinctive cats. A former student of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, he is aware that street art has a different logic to that of working in his atelier.
In the interview, below, Chanoir discusses his work with brands, and how this poses no problem for him – actually, quite the opposite.
Words by Jess Zimmerman:
Michael de Feo feels just as much at home getting in trouble with the cops in Amsterdam as he does dishing out the art world jargon. This multifaceted artist —part street, part gallery—manages to walk a fine line between the hoity toity art world and the comparatively unaffected urban scene.
De Feo comes to Paris with a mission he’s repeated literally countless times before: he’s here to paint flowers. This should come as little surprise for an artist working under the moniker “Flower Guy”, and he’s been at it for a mind boggling twenty-two years.
Does this warrant our respect or should we question his mental health? The real question is whether the sight of his now iconic imagery makes him want to hurl his daisies? Fat chance. This New Yorker is staying true to the perennial that brought him fame.
Naively painted animals toting guns on a public wall in Paris? Chatting with Argentinian artist Jorge Pomar (AMOR), reveals he experiences little anxiety over the potential clash of such imagery.
In Paris to paint at Le M.U.R. – the three by eight metre billboard in Paris’ 11th Arrondissement, set aside by the city council for the purpose of promoting urban art – his latest painting, above, is child-like and colourful, but actually serves as a vehicle for a much darker message, not so dissimilar to his 2013 exhibition at Belleville’s project space, La Friche.
You may be drawn in by Pomar’s work at Le M.U.R. with its chipper rays of sunshine, but this mural is certainly no wallflower. Be prepared for a cold hard dose of social reality to go with it.
An interview with Pomar follows:
Miss Van, also known by her real name, Vanessa Alice Bensimon, a native of Toulouse, in the south of France, is now one of the 140 plus artists to make their mark at the Le M.U.R. project, pictured above.
The eight by three metre former advertising billboard, which every two weeks plays host to a different graffiti-street artist – and in keeping with the ephemeral spirit intrinsic to street art discards every work to make room for the next invitee – is managed by the not-for-profit association, Le M.U.R., founded by street artists in 2007, who had been previously involved in systematically and illegally hijacking the space with artwork.