Thursday, January 12, 2017

Paris is known for the Eiffel Tower, its fabulous French food and beautiful buildings. However, did you know that the City of Light is also home to some of the most famed street art artists in the world?

After only knowing about Banksy until we moved abroad in 2010, I didn’t know or pay much attention to street art. Since living in Europe and Melbourne now, I’ve developed a huge appreciation and fascination with street art. In fact, before we travel to a new destination, I look up where the best neighborhoods are to find street art or which street artists to look out for as we walk around.

Last year, I fortunately visited Paris twice – once with a girlfriend and the latter time meeting with a group of friends from Germany. Living in London now makes travel to Paris and elsewhere in Europe so much easier than before! On these trips, I simply focused on food, exploring new neighborhoods and looking for street art. The photos below reflect what I found on these new trips. Enjoy!

Space Invader Street Art
One of the cheekier street artists is known as Invader or Space Invader, a French artist originally based in Paris. He attaches weather-resistant tiles in the form of mosaic images inspired from the 1970s-video game “Space Invaders” in cities around the world. Invader started these installations in Paris in 1998, where you find more than 1,200 of his creations, and has continued to “invade” other cities in France, Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia and Australia.

When visiting Paris, spotting an Invader becomes a sort of game. My friends and I had a blast this past summer looking for and taking photos of the Invaders around Paris.
WRDSMTH in Paris
Labeled as “a writer doing time in LA,” WRDSMTH is another cheeky street artist that is known for his poignant messages flowing from a vintage typewriter or written in a typewriter-type font. The anonymous artist uses a unique combination of stencil/spray painting and wheatpasting for his street art. LA is still home to most of WRDSMITH’s creations, but you’ll find his work in New Orleans, New York, London and Paris.

Earlier in 2016, WRDSMTH’s pithy “The only lie” piece found a new home in Paris! I couldn’t resist taking a photo with this 6-foot version located on Rue de la Lune in Porte Saint Martin.

A photo posted by My Traveling Joys (@mytravelingjoys) on

Street Art in the 13th Arrondissement
On both trips, I visited a new-to-me neighborhood on the Left Bank – the city’s 13th arrondissement, which has in recent years become a renowned neighborhood for a number of large-scale artworks by both French and international graffiti-street artists.

Unlike other Parisian districts, the 13th contains many more modern high-rise apartment blocks – which are perfect for large-scale murals. In recent years, the local townhall officials have been working with Galerie Itinerrance and other art groups to commission artists to go ‘big’ on the sides of its buildings. We used the Galerie’s map to try and find as many murals and other street art that we could. Or you could try one of the local street art tours like this one.
Cat by French street artist C215 located at 141 Boulevard Vincent Auriole.
“Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” by Shepard Fairey at 186 rue Nationale (above the Cat on the Boulevard Vincent Auriole.)Right: “Rise Above Rebel” by American graffiti artist Shepard Fairey (also known as Obey), located at 93 Rue Jeanne d'Arc.
Blue mural by church called “Delicate Balance” by Shepard Fairey at 60 Rue Jeanne d'Arc.

Ecole cité Dorée, corner of Vincent Auriol & rue Jenner.

This one is my favorite!“La Madre Seculaire” by Chilean artist INTI, at 85 Boulevard Vincent Auriole. You also can find INTI’s murals in ÅÃ³dź, Poland.
Other murals we found in the 13th:
Another anonymous street artist is one known for his signed works “Kraken Je t’aime” which feature a legendary but mythical sea monster. We found a few Krakens around the city, but this one is one of my favorites.
When you visit Paris, enjoy the food, but don’t forget to look up and down the side streets for unique street art as well!

My Traveling Joys

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Kerry Schultz said...

Ohh It seems like the whole Paris is loaded with these beautiful street art. I really loved it. The way of presentation and the colors using by all these artists are absolutely fabulous :)