Tower to fall painted inside and out by artists from fifteen countries

by Jeanne-Marie Laurent on October 4, 2013

Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (1)

Paris, the 13th arrondissement, nine floors, one hundred artists, these are the numbers that introduce us to the story of La Tour Paris 13, an ephemeral exhibition.

An old apartment building to be torn down in less than a month, which has been painted inside and out by an international set of artists recognised in the fields of graffiti and street art, the project is the brainchild of gallerist Mehdi Ben Cheikh, director of the Parisian, Gallery Itinerrance, in association with the  Mairie du 13e (townhall of the 13th arrondissment).

Similar to gallerist Magda Danysz’s Les Bains Douches earlier in the year, La Tour Paris 13 has for more than six months played host to international artists from all branches of the graffiti street art scene, whom have all left their mark in rooms throughout the building and most obviously on the outside, visible from the bright orange colour paint chosen by the two most prominent of the ‘outsiders’, Tunisian calligraffiti artist, eL Seed and more traditional typographical graffiti artist IDEM. Armed with their cans, their brushes … all artists involved have worked tirelessly to revive this abandoned building.

David Walker Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (2)

David Walker - ‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Shaka  Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (3)

Shaka - ‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

 C215 aka Christian Guémy – La Tour 13 Paris exhibition.

 C215 aka Christian Guémy – La Tour 13 Paris exhibition.

  C215 aka Christian Guémy – La Tour 13 Paris exhibition.

C215 aka Christian Guémy – La Tour 13 Paris exhibition.

Roti basement La Tour Paris 13 graffiti street art exhibition with Lek & Sowat and Legz - Photo by Demian Smith IMG_3687

Roti’s Minotaur sculpture in the La Tour Paris 13 basement, as part of a group installation with Lek & Sowat and Legz. French artist Roti first painted on walls and parked trains in his neighbourhood. A trained stonemason, Roti creates by sculpture, printmaking and painting.

Roti interviewed on his Minotaur sculpture that he installed in the dark ‘labyrinthine’ basement of La Tour 13, including commentary on his approach to putting sculpture in the public space.

Lek & Sowat, Legz and Roti work in the cave of the ephemeral La Tour Paris 13 graffiti street art exhibition

Lek & Sowat, Legz and Roti work in the cave of the ephemeral La Tour Paris 13 graffiti street art exhibition

Lek & Sowat, Legz and Roti work in the cave of the ephemeral La Tour Paris 13 graffiti street art exhibition.

La Tour 13 Paris graffiti street art exhibition Photo by Demian Smith

 La Tour 13 Paris graffiti street art exhibition - Photo by Demian Smith

Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (4)

The exterior of the tower covered with works is what makes us wait to get inside with pleasure – the line to get in is long. Once we enter, the bravest take the stairs, but the smartest take the lift to the ninth floor and descend on foot.

From floor to ceiling, the rooms of the apartments are covered with the work of C215, Nemi, Seth … to name but a few. There is something for everyone. In some parts, there are signs of life from before the arrival of the artists: wallpaper, furniture, bathroom fittings, which sets the stage to retain the building of its emotions, and brings us to observe the world with open eyes.

Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (5)

“Certain works are fragile and may be dangerous. Thank you for not leaving your children on their own.”

Alëxone  Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (7)

 Alëxone - ‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (8)

 ‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Jimmy C  Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (9)

Jimmy C‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (10)

 ‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (11)

‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

My stroll through La Tour Paris 13 takes me across continents: from one floor to another, moving from Africa to Europe, and Asia; artists from 15 countries have left their mark on and inside of the tower.

A1One  Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (12)

 A1One - ‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Let your eyes wander, be attentive to detail and surprising hidden rooms.

Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (14)

 ‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (15)

 ‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Katre street art graffti La Tour Paris 13 - photo by Jeanne-Marie Laurent IMGP4029 copy

Katre installation - ’La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Walk the hallways above ground, but do not forget to go down to the basement, which also provides some nice visual surprises.

Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (16)

Pantonio‘La Tour Paris 13′ exposition

Mehdi thank you for your hospitality, which enabled us to make this article.

el Seed  Tour Paris 13 exposition art La Sablière (17)

The side of the building was painted by eL Seed, a French-Tunisian artist, now living in Canada.

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Photos: Jeanne-Marie Laurent, copyright 2013, and Demian Smith copyright 2013, unless otherwise stated.

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Tour Paris 13

Rue Fulton, Paris 75013

Open 12 to 8 pm, every day except Mondays until 31st October, 2013

Entry is free

Galerie Itinerrance

About the Author

Jeanne-Marie Laurent has “loved” film since the age of ten, especially Kubrick and Scorcese, but no mention of how she got to watch them at such a tender age. She is currently making a documentary on Parisian street art.

  • Atefeh Mohammadi

    hi
    plz help me i’m looking for miss jerman khajatoriyan she live in
    13street in paris plz help me i’m from iran and this is so important for
    me

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