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Day 322: Discover Paris Street Art.


Besides drinking a cold glass of rosé on a café terrace, one of my favorite ways to pass time on a warm day in Paris is wandering the streets, looking for and photographing street art.

I first became familiar with this now thriving subculture back when I was living in Los Angeles, where I had friends who were following in the footsteps of pioneer Shepard Fairey, by going out on night brigades to post their art on the sides of buildings, freeway overpasses and vacant lots. These ninjas of the night would be in head-to-toe black, their faces covered with a bandana, and would post their work within minutes to avoid getting fined and arrested. Some see it as graffiti, others see it as art, and the authorities clearly see it as vandalism, but whatever your stance is on this growing form of expression, it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. While I'm nowhere close to being a black cat in the night contributing to this burgeoning art form - as I would totally blow the whole cover by charging out of an alleyway with flailing arms the second I heard the L.A.P.D - I stand as a supporter.


Before coming to Paris, I was unaware of how big the street art presence is and that several French street artists (who still remain anonymous) have now crossed over to other international major cities and are able to make a living off of their passion. Street Art has reached new heights of popularity where you can't turn a corner (especially in the northern bohemian parts of Paris) without seeing a Space Invader mosaic or my personal favorites, quirky and girly pieces by Nice Art and Madame Moustache. 



Getting on board with this growing phenomenon, a French team of street art enthusiasts developed Urbacolors, an interactive application (that was recently celebrated as Glamour's Glam App of the month!) that allows fans to upload, share and discover new street art worldwide. Starting off with a modest following, Urbacolors has now up to 4,000 subscribers and growing as more buzz circulates around this hipster App. 


The debate on whether street art is merely graffiti or true works of art remains on-going but what's undeniable is recognizing that this is a sign of our changing times, even in our charming, old-world city of Paris. Who said nothing ever changes around here?

To download this free application and for more info,

go to www.urbacolors.com

To deepen your knowledge of Street Art, check out their supplement website www.urbamedia.com

9 comments:

  1. I like Miss Tic's street art on plain walls and other graffiti in certain places (some is truly artistic), but I hate it when morons deface heritage buildings and monuments just for the sake of it with uninspired/brutish scribbling (for instance, the buildings along line 2 in the 18e...)

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  2. I totally agree. I'm talking about real art here, not some teenager from the suburbs who found a can of spray paint and is tagging his name n'importe où. Unfortunately, there are more of them than the actual artist's work. Sigh.

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  3. One of our recent visitors told me that the Space Invader mosaics scattered about town aren't in random locations as I originally thought. He said that, looked at collectively and plotted on a map, they form the outline of a large Space Invader. I'm not sure if this makes sense the way I wrote it, but do you know if it's true?

    I agree with Duchesse. I like street art when it enhances a building not destroys it. Someone once told me that art is supposed to surprise and delight us -- and that's the kind of street art that I enjoy seeing.

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    1. I just consulted with my street art expert and he says that a large Space Invader can be seen on on a map of Montpellier but not of Paris.

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  4. There is a blog all about Paris street art http://blogs.paris.fr/surlesmurs/

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    1. Oh wow, thanks! This looks great! She has some great shots!

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  5. What a unique idea! I just downloaded it! I love that it's free, because isn't that what street art is all about?

    Thanks for passing this on to us! You know such cool little things about Paris.

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    1. Aw, thanks. I try to share the little bits here and there that I know. It's good to know that my findings are appreciated. Thank you. : )

      Have fun with the app!

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  6. AnonymousJune 19, 2012

    I'm not a hipster but a luddite -- so though I do have an iphone I don't know how to download apps (as I've forgotten the apple password). No app has made me really care, however urbacolors will get me off my bum. Thank you Seb and Miss Coquine!

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