Monday, June 13, 2011

Street Art

After all the sunny weather we had in April and May, it's not so easy to go back to the typical Parisian weather -- cool and gray being the order of the day, pretty much any time of year.  But after being cooped up in the house much of last week, I didn't care what the weather was when Friday rolled around.  My friend had promised to take me on a tour of street art and how could I say no to that?

Turns out that the tour was one prepared by Adam Roberts, whose blog, Invisible Paris, I always enjoy.  Adam's Paris rarely features fashion, chocolate or restaurant reviews. Thank goodness.  Instead, his focus is a mix of architecture, urban history, art, politics, and sociology.   This tour (which you can download for your smartphone at iTunes or in a .pdf if you're old school like me) wanders about the streets of Menilmontant and Belleville on the city's eastern edge.

But street art being what it is, some of it had disappeared since the last time my friend had done the walk. There were freshly painted walls in places, buildings demolished in others.  But there were also new works, and one series, featuring a lonely looking fellow on a ladder, particularly captured our attention. 

Every time we rounded a corner, there was another variation with moods varying from introspective to humorous to alienated.

At one point, we happened upon an entire wall populated with these figures.  Regrettably, I did not note the exact location.

None of these works were signed and certainly not explained.  So who is this mysterious artist and what does it all mean?  I shot an e-mail to Adam and very quickly he found the answer.  If you're as curious as me, you'll have to pop on over to his blog....the story continues here.

Thanks to Adam for his incredible responsiveness to my question.  And a thousand thanks to Karen for sharing the day with me.  Wherever you lead, I will follow.


Adam said...

Anne - thanks for following the walk and for challenging me!

When I designed this 'street art' walk, I knew that it was quite a mad thing to do. Street art by nature is ephemeral, so featuring particular creations would be a tricky thing to do. I chose a route therefore that would always feature some kind of street art, and which has several other points of interest outside of that subject anyway.

That said, thanks for pointing out the recent changes on the route. I will update the walk very soon!

Jeanne said...

I might be in Paris this year and would love to do this walk. What a find ...this mural art. A couple of years ago I was in this area and felt unsafe. I rarely feel this in Paris so we followed our gut and left the area. You seemed to be fine so I may give it a try.

g said...

love these images....depicting so many emotions

Starman said...

What a fascinating concept by an extremely talented artist.

Anne said...

Jeanne: This isn't my quartier so I can't speak definitively or with any nuance. But midday during the week, I had no safety concerns. But then I feel that way about 90 percent of Paris, day and night.

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