street art in paris PART 3

hello again, this here post centres on the stencil style of street art (as requested!)

stencil art is perhaps one of the newest forms of street art and is also perhaps one of the most involved and highly skilled media within the genre.  it’s labor intensive, it’s extremely risky and it involves extra equipment to achieve if you wanna do it right, yo.

to produce a piece with multiple colours or tones one must draw and cut the same number of stencils as are colours/tones. each stencil is sprayed onto the wall and later overlapped with another stencil and another layer of colour/tone (very much like screen printing if anyone has dabbled in printmaking) to produce a detailed, high depth work.  in between each layer is a waiting period, depending on the type of paint used, which can be a risky business when making ones art where people often pass by.  even in the wee hours it only takes one narrower-minded walker-by to pick up a phone and dial 17 (the number for the police here).

hence, my feelings of respect towards such individuals and the work they so lovingly produce is strong.  please scroll for a number of random works i am unable to credit very well (feel free to help me here if you can!)  and never fear, i have a handful more really superb stencil works featuring in my next post.  so watch this space!

enjoy…

by ‘jef aerosol’

i assume also by ‘jef aerosol’ as the style is remarkably similar
(esp. with the red arrows)
the red text on the windowsill translates as “the music soothes the walls”

i admit this one is not particularly skilled BUT i love the concept.  this work is also really well located, surrounded by a lot of expensive boutiques, restaurants and bars in one of the most wealthy arrondissements of paris – a nice little comment on some of the weath and status obsessed parisians… and it’s cute!

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street art in paris PART 2

space invader!

if you dig street art and haven’t heard of space invader my first question to you would most likely be, have you been living under a rock??! said with much indignation, buckets of disbelief and a hint of outrage.

probably one of the most iconic and infamous street artists in existence, space invader himself is based in paris (lucky me!).  the tally of his invasion of this city is currently at 704 which means that you’d have to have seriously impaired vision not to spot one of his works!  i’ve noticed that there seems to be more of them around the north and east of paris if you’re keen on hunting some down. also check out his website here for more pictures and info.

besides paris and the rest of france, space invader has left his mark literally all over the world.  again, check out his web site for more details.  perth and melbourne (in my beautiful country of origin) hold totals of 26 each (including one stuck to a shipping buoy in the middle of the ocean!).  however, it disappoints me slightly that sydney has been forgotten… he’ll just have to come back someday.

the things i love about space invader
*  his street art name is both clever and cute
*  staying true to the original video game he gives himself points for every invasion
*  each little character up on a wall is different
*  his visual style is really simple, iconic and fun
*  it’s such a nice surprise to turn a corner and bump into one here… sometimes i play a game to see how many i notice (and how many points i can accumulate) in a day.

please scroll to see some of my favourites…


on a side note:
i’ve noticed a few around town that look like they might be fake or copycat versions… can anyone confirm/deny/offer an opinion on this??

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street art in paris PART 1

i am a big fan of street art
sometimes i leave the house just to go treasure hunting for new pieces…

tags? NO
elaborate crap on the side of trains? NO
bathroom graffiti? NO
all of the above: JUVENILE

try beautiful posters, peepholes, mosaic pieces, clever slogans
think banksy, swoon, obey, JR, space invader, blek le rat and gaia (just to name a handful of some the most well-known).

a lot of people are currently debating the validity and value of street art these days.  artists such as banksy and space invader release films and sell iconic merchandise and in the tune of “selling out” i see their point.  people have even started cutting out pieces of concrete walls to own a ‘banksy’.  and if you’ve seen his film exit through the gift shop you will see that the subject of this film is a classic example of the “sell out” type.

i agree that yes, there’s a charm in the idea of the starving artist, making art in the name of passion and truth but in my opinion everyone’s got to make a living!  i, for one, am certain that retaining integrity and making money is possible!  debate aside…

the reasons i love good street art:
*  it’s free for all to see
*  it’s very temporary and ephemeral depending on the weather, the street cleaners, the building’s owner etc
*  the element surprise when you turn a corner
*  there is no particular style or limit as there is no one from whom to gain permission or approval
*  the element of risk involved in putting the piece on the wall is exciting
*  the anonymity of the artist and this kind of secrecy is fun
*  the artists doesn’t ask permission therefore doesn’t have to endure long and arduous processes to have their work displayed/exhibited.

please scroll to see 5 of my favourite treasures so far
and stay tuned for more in the coming couple of weeks.


goliath – le marais

goliath – le marais

NB: these are all images taken by yours truly during the 8 months i’ve been traipsing the streets of this glorious city.
ALSO: if you happen to know the names of any of the artists i haven’t credited please do tell, as i would be keen to put their names in lights and learn more about their work.

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jessica harrison


 

check it out!

i am partial to a little bit of gore at times.  especially when used playfully and with humour.  edinburgh based ceramicist and sculptor jessica harrison, has absolutely nailed the contrast of blood and guts with smiles and grace.  her concept here seems to me so simple and straightforward which is perhaps why these little sculptures are so popular, so hilarious.

according to the artist however, a number of similarly juxtaposing layers lay just under the surface.  harrison speaks about ideas of making a hard object (the miniature figurine) soft by exposing her insides.  she also mentions the importance of the process itself – how delicately the figure is physically deconstructed and reconstructed, opposed to the apparent violence implied by severed heads, the spilling out of intestines and cut throats.

this is all very interesting, i would like to tell the artist, but what makes me smile the widest is the smiles, delight and charm on the faces of the figurines as their organs spill out.  take note of amy jane in the green (the last piece pictured).  isn’t she just adorable?

many bloggers have posted about this artist – i am certainly not the first and her facebook fans seem to be breeding at present.  become a fan yourself here.  you might also be interested to know that harrison has just announced that a limited edition of prints (photographs of the sculptures) are now available on her website.  a fabulous option if you can’t afford one of the pieces themselves!

 

 


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art student parties

i forgot how much i miss these parties.

one time i went to my cousin john’s grad exhibition and we watched a performance artist throw raw fish and gnawed ham bones around and down his underpants in the middle of a courtyard.  he was next to naked and accompanied by some minimal house music coming from an old school tape deck including the occasional spoken lyrics, “fish to the left, fish to the left” whereby the raw fish was thrust leftward.  to this day anything resembling that phrase amongst those that were there results in fits of rolling giggles.

like my cousins grad exhibition, this little student art party i stumbled on tonight was located on the school grounds and included bottles and bottles and bottles (but never enough) of cheap red wine to be consumed at our leisure.  we were lucky enough to find half a bottle and (in imitation of the others) guarded it jealously under our arm as we perused the work there.

it was no surprise that the show contained some work that was terribly weak and some that was magnificent.  following is some of the more magnificent.  being a poorly organised event, there were no names titles or numbers attached so i cannot give anyone credit.  ALSO i must apologise for the poor picture quality – i only had my phone on me at the time as our attendance this eve was completely unplanned, unannounced and uninvited.  sorry fellas… désolé les gars.


i overheard a funny conversation while two guys looked at one of the pieces.  it went exactly like this:

garson1 – j’ai un question…
boy1           – i have a question…
garson2 – ouais?
boy2           – yeah?
garson1 – pourquoi???
boy1           – why???

this was the one he referred to:

i have to admit, i agree completely.  but what’s one of these shows without some seriously overdone clichéd lame piece of shit???

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caroline bouyer

NB: please excuse for the poor picture quality – click on the links to see better versions and more info on this work

 

one thing i really love about paris and travel generally is the opportunity for exploration and discovery.  i remark often among friends that there is truly too much to explore and discover in this city and i’m afraid that a year is still not enough to see everything i want to see.

so on the topic of exploration and paris, i’d like to share one of my adventures with you.  yesterday i decided the weather was mild enough to get out of my “box” (what my friends and i have nick-named our tiny top floor studio living spaces) and go for a nice walk around the area of république and further into the heart of northern 11th arrondissment/neighbourhood.  the promise of a number of artists’ squats that i’ve been told are located here whet my appetite for adventure.   the area also has a reputation for being a little more relaxed and ‘alternative’ with more young people residing here.  so with a friday morning to myself i thought, pourquoi pas? why not?

and what did i find you ask? my answer: a trove of hidden treasures of not only several artists squats but some great cheap vintage stores, pockets of amazing street art and most excitingly, painter and printmaker caroline bouyer, in her shopfront studio.  i spotted her beautiful prints in the front window and upon entering the shop was greeted by the artist herself, sat at her workspace next to the radio working on inking up to produce the next print.  the scent of the ink and turps took me straight back to university and my own time in the printmaking studios there.

despite a bit of a language barrier (due to my nerves and subsequent loss of what french language i have) bouyer was extremely accommodating when i asked her permission to take some photos and to write this post.  she told me that intaglio etching is her favourite medium to work with and that the process is sometimes very long.  from sketching the design to rolling the paper and plate in the press, a lot of things can go wrong.  i think this is why i found it so satisfying at university – when i began to hone my technique, less went wrong and when i finally made the ink and paper do what i wanted them to do i felt such a sense of achievement.  printmaking is a medium and skill that i truly respect!

bouyer works within four categories at present: urban landscapes, busts, portraits and the ‘inner world’.  i am particularly fond of the works from the inner world but i must admit i’m fond of them all.  i find the appearance of texture and it’s effect on the light and the shade of the works to be really delicate and it’s clear that sensitivity and skill have been applied to all of the work you see here.

click here for bouyer’s web site and more of her work if you like what you see.

following is also a short film you can find on the artists site (particularly cool if you are interested in the printmaking process!)

Caroline Bouyer : Gravure from fussandfeathers.com on Vimeo.

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stacey rozich

i love this womannn.  i just found her recently through a blog i frequent named my love for you is a stampede of horses.

the best way i can describe it is like taking where the wild things are and drenching the characters with hyper-colours, geometric patterns and slightly more gruesome visages.  the ‘wild things’ reference is stretched further by rozich’s interest in tribal costume.  sited in another post by my love for you, the artists speaks of tribal influences including north west native american, west african and also an affection for 70s russian folktale cinema and eastern european illustration.

as you can probably see, each work depicts a little narrative and every detail reflects an aspect of the character.  like the traditions rozich refers to, each element of her pieces hold significance in the telling of a tale.   i especially love the juxtaposition of the happy sweet colours and bold patterns with the eyeless masks and more gruesome details.  i actually really like the more gruesome details: the worm like faces hiding behind masks and the sharp claws, teeth, spears, horns, axes and tongues.  in the telling of these stories rozich invents her own mythologies and legends.

whats MORE, one of my favourite bands ever (introduced to me by the one and only lachlan dale – no one i know is more obsessed with creating and absorbing (good) music than he – his blogs here, here and here) earth, have commissioned stacey rozich to create the artwork for their recently released album ‘angels of darkness, demons of light’.

 

 

earth’s vocabulary similarly consists of mainly folklore and mythological references and i believe this album to be an astounding collaboration of visual and aural.  it makes for a sublime sensory experience.

listen to this song descend to the zenith while browsing rozich’s work, if you will.  tell me what you think.


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