Basement graffiti art exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo – Lasco Project 3

In the same week Google announces the French launch of its virtual street art documentary project at the Palais de Tokyo, a similarly impressive and graffiti-related event takes place within the same venue – a body of work presented on walls in the museum’s basement, which unlike the former, can be viewed in reality, and as far as we know, free of any rights infringement issues.

The exhibition is set in the underground and forgotten entrails of the building and is a continuation of the project instigated by French graffiti artists, Lek & Sowat, a couple of years ago, which we reported on, here.

A play on the name of the caves at Lascaux, known for their wall-painted prehistoric art, the Palais de Tokyo’s Lasco Project, third edition – curated by the elusive Hugo Vitrani – is, perhaps, the best yet, including work by among others, early New York graffiti artist, Futura 2000 and UK graffiti pioneer, Mode 2. Other artists included in this edition are as follows: Cleon Peterson (USA), Horfée (France), Ken Sortais (France), Evol (Germany), Vhils (Portugal), Cokney (France).

Work by Horfé. Photo by Horfé for Underground Paris.

(top) Artwork by Los Angeles-based, Cleon Peterson. One of the most sought-after skateboard illustrators, Peterson leads the general themes of the exhibition, depicting dystopia, void of morality and justice – an ultra-violent urban landscape, similar to the one in which he was raised.

Horfé’s work sits opposite work by Ken Sortais’, below, which each draw inspiration from Japanese manga series “Violence Jack”. Both artists live and work in Paris, and are graduates of the revered Beaux-Arts in Paris. Photo by Horfé for Underground Paris.

Ken Sortais, while remaining very active in the streets through his and Horfé’s artists’ collective, PAL (Peace And Love), has developed a strong studio-based practice. Sortais exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in 2011 after winning that year’s Prix du Salon de Montrouge.


Still projection of Japanese manga series “Violence Jack,” created in 1973 by Go Nagai, below.

Beginning his career as a train painter, Portuguese artist, Vhils, real name Alexandre Farto, adds one of his inimitable stone carved portraits to the basement of the Palais de Tokyo. A graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (London), Farto came to the public’s attention at Banksy’s Cans Festival.

Work by Vhils at the Palais de Tokyo, Lasco Project 3.

Berline-based Evol creates tiny housing projects using concrete blocks, stencils and spraypaint. His work comments on the misgivings of our attempts at creating an architectural and political utopia. Photo by Nicolas Gzeley.

French graffiti artist Cokney‘s exhibit for Lasco includes framed documents he was issued for criminal damage. Fined over €200,000 for his illegal paintings on trains and subway cars, he contests the decision. He also works as a Tattoo artist at Paris studio, Hand In Glove.

Work by Cokney at the Palais de Tokyo, Lasco Project 3.

Work by Cokney at the Palais de Tokyo, Lasco Project 3.

Work by Cokney at the Palais de Tokyo, Lasco Project 3.

Work by Cokney at the Palais de Tokyo, Lasco Project 3.

Graffiti writers were given free rein at the vernissage to add their names to certain walls at the Palais de Tokyo, Lasco Project 3.


Lasco Project 3 runs until 31st July at Palais de Tokyo, 13 avenue du Président Wilson, 75016, Paris.

Guided tours happen every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 12:30pm.

[Originally published 26 June, 2014]

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