Roman street artists, Sten & Lex, were in Paris this weekend accepting the invitation offered to them to create a mural for Le M.U.R., the project which revolves around a three by eight metre billboard set aside by the city council for the purpose of promoting street art.

Among the first artists to produce stencil graffiti in Italy, they created the wall, at the weekend at the wall on the corner of rue Oberkampf and rue Saint-Maur in the 11th Arrondissement, using their experimental ‘stencil poster’ technique, which involves gluing a printed image onto a surface and then cutting away the black parts. After this, the remaining matrix is painted and destroyed. The technique creates a unique artwork, with the cut away scraps left dangling from the image and forming part of the work itself.

Sten & Lex point out to people who buy their artworks, created using this technique, that it is an ‘artwork in progress’ and that the matrix could fall completely apart in the future. The work that they produced for Le M.U.R. (Association Le Modulable Urbain Reactif) has been helped in its ‘progress’ by the weekend’s rainfall, with many of the dangling scraps already having been turned to a sad-looking pulp.

The technique is an evolution of the pair’s “Hole School” a name taken because of its assonance with the “old school”, and started life in 2003, originally borrowing the half shades from the field of graphic design to create the impression of there being a gradient. The artwork you see here is an evolution of this technique and creates the illusion of it being produced in a grey scale, but if you look at the image from a close distance you will see only black and white lines and cannot see the image. Their main influences from a stylistic perspective are silk-screen printing and pixel-based printing. However, they are also interested in engraving techniques.

Sten & Lex find their images on the internet, in street markets and in newspapers, following a purely aesthetic criterion, and using only subjects who are not looking into the camera. Interestingly they have discovered that from the 1960s people have been looking more and more into the camera and smiling.

The couple were invited by Banksy to the Cans Festival in 2008 for which they created an ecclesiastic image, the “Saint”, but have since moved away from religious imagery in their murals. Since then they have experimented with a variety of imagery, including a quest to bring back to life forgotten representations, such as old postage stamps and banknotes. Today Sten & Lex are interested in creating original portraiture, which up to now they have been unable to due to time constraints.

  

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Background to interview:

(By Brazilian cultural journalist, Maria Fernanda Schweichler – MyLifeonMyBike.com)

Last Thursday Street Art Paris and My Life on My Bike had the opportunity to interview one of the most famous street artists in the world: Shepard Fairey. It’s a tremendous responsibility to interview an artist like him, who is also involved in business and politics. But yes, working as a journalist of street art I believe that when we have pure intentions and our goal is to absorb what the artist has to show in a positive way, we always get the right dots to connect.

Shepard Fairey is the brains behind the Obey Giant campaign, and also the Barack Obama Hope poster, which went viral during Obama’s first presidential election campaign. Shepard came to Paris to launch a collection for Levi’s at its flagship store on the Champs-Élysées and also to create a huge wall in the Thirteenth Arrondissement of Paris.

During the interview we talked about his relationship with the fashion world, the project with Levi’s, all the charity programs that he is involved with and the help he gives to several institutions, and also about how he feels nowadays after being responsible for influencing so many people to vote for Barack Obama with the poster, Hope.

It’s hard to deny that Shepard is a mix of artist, politician and businessman. Talking with him and hearing his strong voice and well articulated answers I realised that he has a strong power to make a difference and to be a great example. It was really beautiful to hear how he is concerned about using his own profit to help others and the environment by collaborating with non–profit organisations such as Occupy Wall Street, Surfrider Fundation and many others.

When the interview finished, in an informal way I asked him if he was planning to paint something in Paris, and so we had the information first-hand of the address of the wall that he was going to paint (which was kept secret for the first two days of work). The wall was painted over three long days, and we were there following step by step his work in progress, which you can see in the video and in our previous post.

On the third day (Sunday 18th June)  the gallery responsible for the  project invited the media, fans and people involved with street art to make a conference on the residential building  that he was painting. As a super-star Shepard was there posing for pictures and giving autographs with patience, even with a lot of work to do before finally finishing the black and red, and involved and beautiful painting.

Between Thursday and Sunday, My life on My Bike and Street Art Paris recorded different moments and perspectives of his stay in Paris to produce a video that you can watch now in the video above and discover more about Shepard Fairey’s positive ideas and his performance in Paris.

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Shephard Fairey aka Obey Giant - Street Art Paris

Shepard Fairey (pictured above) is currently putting up a huge mural in the south of Paris.  Street Art Paris and MyLifeOnMyBike.com were invited to interview the artist, businessman and campaigner by Levi’s.  Shepard is in town to launch a street art inspired clothing range at Levis’ newly-launched flagship store on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.  Graffiti artist-turned entrepreneur, André is also involved in the Levis project.  André is known for illegally and prolifically painting his Monsieur A. character around Paris for many years, and disregarding the norms of the oft-macho Paris graffiti scene, and regularly using the colour pink in his works.

The filmed interview between Shepard Fairey and Street Art Paris will be published shortly so watch this space… More after the jump…

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Jace hits Le M.U.R.

June 8, 2012

Jace - Le M.U.R. - Street Art Paris

Jace - Le M.U.R. - Street Art Paris

Jace - Le M.U.R. - Street Art Paris

Jace - Le M.U.R. - Street Art Paris

Street artist Jace has been given reign over Le M.U.R., the  project which revolves around a three by eight metre billboad set aside by the city council for the purpose of promoting street art.

The artist who has been doing graffiti since 1989, famous for his Gouzou, a special character that can be found all around the tropical island and French protectorate, Reunion Island, put up his design yesterday afternoon at the wall on the corner of rue Oberkampf and rue Saint-Maur in the 11th Arrondissement.

Jace’s gouzou are often placed in absurd, funny situations and you will find them all over the world including in Madagascar, Mauritius, and Bali, and now on Le Mur.

Recently the character was ripped off by a large Chinese brand to promote their products, but luckily the Chinese authorities gave Jace back control of the gouzou and it has become a  jurisprudence case for author’s rights in China.

Jace and his gouzou can be seen around the streets of Paris if you look extremely carefully, but if you are unable to trawl around searching for them, you can just go and visit his exhibition opening this Saturday. Details below:

Jace, 20 Piges – Galerie Mathgoth

Opening in the presence of the artist on Saturday, June 9th at 6pm.

The show will be open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, 2 – 7pm, until June 21st.

103, rue Saint-Maur – 75011 Paris

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Horfe is one of the leading graffiti writers in the world, leaving his mark outdoors for the past 12 years, mainly in Paris, where his graffiti can be found on shop fronts, the sides of trucks, walls, train sidings and roof tops, city-wide. His style of graffiti is extremely unique. His ‘pieces’ blend letterforms and flat coloured illustration, while his ‘dubs’ (graffiti painted usually very quickly with no more than two or three colours), for example, are done with a naivete that disregards the development of the graffiti style and is reminiscent of very early New York graffiti. This ‘return to the source’ style has also been adopted in the outdoors typographic graffiti of hardcore British graffiti artist Sickboy (a former stablemate of Banksy during their Bristol years), among others, under the influence of London-based writers such as Petro, since his move to London in 2007.

The documentary film on Horfe, Death is Home, below, is part of the Crack & Shine International series by London creative agency Topsafe - to which Horfe belongs, along with the progressive Brit’ graffiti artist, Roids – and is directed by London-born, New-York-based photographer, Will Robson-Scott.

Horfee truck graffiti Paris - Street Art Paris Horfe truck graffiti Paris - Street Art Paris

Horphe graffiti Le Marais Paris - Street Art Paris Orphe truck graffiti Paris - Street Art Paris orfe graffiti Paris - Street Art Paris orfee graffiti Paris - Street Art Paris

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Artiste-Ouvrier - Association LE M.U.R Modulable Urbain Reactif - Street Art Paris

Detail from Artiste-Ouvrier’s painting for LE M.U.R (Association Modulable Urbain Reactif), on the corner of Rue Oberkampf and Rue Saint-Maur, 11e Arrondissement

Artiste-Ouvrier - Street Art Paris (25)

Artiste-Ouvrier - Street Art Paris (23)

Tell us a little about your artistic background and what inspired you to first start painting stencils, and become a street artist?

Street art came late for me, as I began stencilling in 1993, in order to have artworks from Klimt or Paolo Uccello, rather than the usual posters which I found silly and too far away from the painting. So basically I studied Philosophy at the Sorbonne for five years, and a bit of art history, after, and before having all kinds of jobs, from waiter to train cleaner, teacher for violent children. I began to paint in the street, half legally always, in 2003. I was already painting walls, but in the squats in Paris where I used to live.

What prompts you to paint work in the street?

The street is more than a canvas and it doesn’t have borders actually so it’s like a huge collective work changing everyday and mixed with architecture and all the urban things. I like to paint in the countryside too. But I don’t like spraying everywhere like so many do, just for fame and pretending they do the revolution as they just want to sell their stuff, like every artist must. More after the jump…

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 Fred le Chevalier - Street Art Paris

Fred le Chevalier - Street Art Paris

Fred le Chevalier - Street Art Paris

Fred le Chevalier is a phenomenon, having captured the Paris public’s adoration in such a way that his last show, and first solo show, sold out in under an hour. Moreover, when Fred got caught by the Paris police rather than receiving a fine, or worse, spending time in a cell, he found out he has fans in powerful places. Fernanda Hinke-Schweichler, who blogs at MyLifeOnMyBike.com, has done an interview with Fred and kindly shared it with us. We hope you enjoy learning about Fred as much as we did!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when you got started in making street art?

I used to do draw when I was a child and I stopped when I was a teenager. Then seven years ago I started again and I began posting my work on MySpace. I received really good feedback and I would give my drawings to people who were fans of what I was doing. The positive responses that I received encouraged me to draw more and since then it’s taken up a lot of space in my life.

I started to go out on the street to paste up my work three years ago, with the same idea I had with Myspace and with giving my drawings to people, about sharing my work with people without being in a gallery. Doing street art is a way to talk with everybody, not just with a specific audience.

Who are your biggest artistic influences?

When I was young I was really impressed by Ernest Pignon Ernest. I liked this kind of poetry on the street. I’m not a specialist on street art but I had a good feeling about this kind of art, as I like free things. Punk music has the same spirit of being able to express yourself freely without being a musician. In the same way I felt free to draw without knowledge of any formal technique. More after the jump…

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Le MoDuLe De ZeeR aka LMDLDZR hits Le M.U.R. after work by VHILS is stolen

Le MoDuLe De ZeeR aka LMDLDZR hits Le M.U.R. after work by VHILS is stolen

Last night, French street artist Le MoDuLe De ZeeR hit ‘Le M.U.R.’ (Association Modulable, Urbain, Réactif), after the authorised work by Portuguese street artist Vhils was stolen earlier in the week. More after the jump…

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Le M.U.R. - Association Modulable Urbain Reactif - Vhils aka Alexandre Farko

Yesterday, Portuguese street artist VHILS, aka Alexandre Farto, hit ‘Le M.U.R.’ (Association Modulable, Urbain, Réactif), where Rue Oberkampf meets Rue Saint Maur in the 11th Arrondissement.

More after the jump…

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Interview: Leo & Pipo

May 16, 2012

Leo & Pipo - rue Lambert - Street Art Paris

Leo & Pipo - passage Dubail - Street Art Paris

Leo & Pipo & FKDL - Street Art Paris

Tell us a little about your artistic backgrounds and how you go into street art? 

In fact, we have always worked on art projects together. We made music for many years and Leo & Pipo was a kind of declination of what we made in music. We used to sample very primitive pieces from the 1920s and early electronic from the 1940s and 1950s, which we combined with modern sounds. It was already a reflection on collage. We use the same approach for our street art project. Our idea is to place old photographs on a modern background and observe if the combination can create a new meaning.

More after the jump…

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