Street art is the art to turn public places from boring into something new and exciting. Often provocative in nature, it can also be purely ornamental and aesthetically pleasing. Some of them are sneaky and cheeky. In Paris, and I guess because it is Paris, some of it is even a little bit sexy.
Either way, I always find the way artists respond to and interact with their urban environments invigorating and surprising.
Paris is a treasure box when it comes to street art. There is so much to be found here – simple traffic signs vandalised into funny pictograms, graffiti along the walls, posters and even tiles added to existing structures and walls.
A lot of street art can be found around the Montmatre quarter, the traditional artists’ corner of Paris that has always been home to some of the greatest of artists over the centuries. They are clearly visible and placed in the highly frequented tourist spots, but there are also examples in hidden laneways, high up on garden walls, out of sight on the facade of a residential home.
Paris is a city of graffitis. Most of it is probably not adding to the romance and the fair of this fabulous city, but there are also some beautiful large murals, for example next to the Centre Pompidou or along the Canal St. Martin.
Street art can be a nod to the great artists of the past century or a political response, just like we discovered at the Place de la Republique which has turned into an open forum to voice opinions of sympathy, shock and political disagreement. Je suis Charlie.
And you – do you live in a city that is rich with public urban art? Tell me more about it!