Visual Arts » Public

French for Very Cool!



"Paris loves lovers," at least according to Indiana native Cole Porter.

But, it seems, the City of Light is also more than a little bit in love with street art, and the city is increasingly peppered with both legal and illegal murals. A number of galleries represent street artists. And the mayor of the 10th arrondissement actually works with a local organization Le M.U.R. XIII to showcase graffiti writers and traditional artists from around the world.

The organization whose name spells out the French word for "wall" (and stands for Modulable, Urbain and Réactif) exists to make noncommercial public art. And the group has a great spot to showcase it, on a billboard by the Simone de Beauvoir footbridge, a structure that carries pedestrians and cyclists across the Seine.

Since 2012, roughly every two months, a carefully selected artist installs a new piece on a reserved billboard. From paint and pasted paper to wood and yarn, the evolving spot offers passersby direct engagement with contemporary work.

In May, UK-based "Gif-iti" artist INSA [link NSFW] installed his own bright and e-enhanced M.U.R. XIII piece. INSA not only creates street art, he paints multiple versions that, when compiled into gif files, become what he describes as "online meets offline, hand-painted animated street art." While the final spray-painted skulls and upside-down hearts aren't as eye-catching as his web-ready image, we're still a little jealous of the Parisians who get to walk by it each day.


Clemens Behr x Le Mur XIII from Daiz on Vimeo.

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