Street Art Tour of Paris

Last week I joined the Street Art Tour at the Belleville neighborhood promoted by the Alternative Paris, commanded by the journalist and enthusiastic of the world of street art Demian Smith. In a grey Saturday morning, our group walked around 3 hours at this creativity atmosphere, surrounded by the Parisian architecture, to discover great works as graffiti’s, stencils and posters that brought so many colors to our day.

Usually when I go out with my bike, I’m always with my eyes very awake to see street art and document this in a spontaneous way, but making this tour brought me in a incisive path with great projects and some hidden street art works.

Better than just appreciating street art during the tour, was all the explanations that the guide Demian could give us. He has been involved in street art since 2005. Time that he managed, for more than 3 years, a street graffiti shop that later was also a contemporary art exhibition space called Frisson Gallery in London. He has also joined his knowledge of fine art and graffiti to intermittently teach spray-can art and silk-screen printing to young people, often in under-privileged environments.

Demian also opened my eyes to pay attention to the trucks in Paris when he explained during the tour that Paris is the city that has the most number of graffiti trucks in the world. I realized that in my research to document all messages that come from streets for this blog, trucks has the power to stay at the street as the graffitti’s on the wall but with a peculiarity to circulate around the city spreading this cultural movement.

I really recommend for everyone this great experience. As a open sky museum, the tour brings you to appreciated some nationals and internationally  well know street  artists as Invaders, Nick Walker, Fred Le Chavalier, Ludo, Konny, Clet Abraham…. And some recent projects as Zoo Project and Act Up LGBT. The tour happens every Saturday at 11am and it’s for Free (it’s nice to tip the guide in the end of the tour). More information at Alternative Paris website.

Fred Le Chavalier

Clet Abraham from Italy

Leo & Pipo with speech bubble by konny Steding

Ludo

Nick Walker from England

Syriani done for Act Up LGBT festival

Ouvrier painting Le M.U.R.

Unknown artist

Dast

Zoo Project

Jana & Js (small figure on top by Leo & Pipo)

Nosbe

Unknown artist

Kouka – grayscale portrait

Jana & Js and Invaders on the top

La Forge commune and Zoo Project

La Forge commune and Zoo Project

left to right: Mac1, Ben slow, Nick walker

Nick Walker with smoke by SheOne

Le Frichez Nous-Paix gallery

Mausolée: A Residence artistique in Paris

Last weekend an astonishing project called “Mausolée” was presented  by the French artists Sowat and Lek. In 2010 they found one abandoned supermarket ( 40.000 m2 in 4 floors) in the north of Paris, which was also, for a long time, the residence for homeless. The  abandoned building  was invaded and made an artistic residence by Lek and Sowat.

They invited 40 French graffiti artist and photographers, old and new school, to work with them for a day or a week. For a year, in a great secret they created the mausoleum. In the destroyed building with a lot of dirt,  abandoned  pieces of cars and personal objects from the homeless that  use to live there, the artists found a paradise for graffiti art: white walls.

Amazing and huge abstract and figurative graffiti was painted during the residence, putting the roots of the street art  in deep connections with its means of existence: sub-culture.

To present us this incredible project “Mausolée” the artists made a movie and a beautiful book (Mausolée – edited by Alternatives). Both were showed in a great installation, inspired by the artist residence and also with some objects that they captured from the abandoned supermarket. The exhibition took place in a 200m2 site under-construction residential building last weekend. Congratulations Sowat and Lek!

 

The Glorious Flowers of the Netherlands!

To finish my series of The Netherlands I will tell you about the spectacular show that I experienced on the spring blossom. Narcises, hyacinths and the queen of them: The Tulips.

Leaving Amsterdam to come back to Paris a wonderful stop close to the Keukenhof Park (30 km from Amsterdam) put myself and my friends in a such abundance glorious of colours and fragrances, fabulous long bed of flowers with beautiful canals around.

The Netherlands are the country that most grow and import flowers in the world. The first tulip was planted in Duch solo in 1593  and since then they invented a whole horticultural industry turning their lowland into a blanket of blooms.

It’s one of the worth things to do in this, again, so organic country.

The best time to enjoy the flowers in The Netherlands is between April and September. Nothing more refreshing  and inspiring than walking around this amazing paradise and see nature in all its glory.

I AMsterdam!

Inside Out: The True Colors by Lex Pott

Still in Amsterdam, still in NSDM North I will continue to tell you about all the good things that I captured on that energized,  creative yet organic environment. Actually, those are words that I heard from the designer Lex Pott. These abstract concepts are all inside all his work.

The  young designer Lex Pott is graduated cum laude in 2009 at the Design Academy Eindhoven, one of the most prestigious institutions of design in the world. He works in a raw and intuitive method, combining art and industrial design. His subjects come from the origins of the materials, working mostly with wood, stone and metals. He is looking for the essence of  things and he has been finding with great spontaneity.

In his studio at NDSM Werf, north of Amsterdam, I had the opportunity to appreciate his most recent work called “The True Colors Miniatures”, that will be presented during the Salone del Mobile 2012 in Milan, next week.

A series of  6 panels, each with their own formula and colors, on which the oxidization transforms and reacts where the true colors of this art pieces come from. Inside out, as Lex describes.  Forty limited editions of the “The True Colors” captured from the beauty and irregularity of metals have been sold exclusively via Found By James.

Appreciating Lex Pott ideas and his art/design organic work combined with this creative atmosphere from the NSDM,  confirms that The Netherlands are able to look forward and act globally with new perspectives but at the same time in a raw and natural way. That represents a deep respect for the whole Universe!

Watch the special preview of the inspirational process for “The True Colors Miniatures”.

 

 

Graffitis in Amsterdam Noord.

Continuing my series of articles about Amsterdam, I will show some graffiti’s that I saw in Amsterdam Noord. Invited by the product designer Lex Poot, who has a studio there ( I will talk about him in my next post) we left downtown Amsterdam and took for free, btw a boat to NDSM Werf.

The NDSM is an old shipyard on the shore of IJ North of Amsterdam, that was closed down in 1984 when the ship industry started to move out of Holland. Now the place is the center of subculture in Amsterdam.

The patio measures 84.000m2, the equivalent of 10 football fields.  It hosts the NDSM barn, with the area of 20.000m2 and 20 meters high, where 250 artists work with visual arts, design, theatre, cinema, media and architecture

The pear NDSM is the home of several artistic disciplines and crafts, it’s a refuge for artists and individual crafts, for known and less know artists, independent organizations that work together and inspire each other expecting that new initiatives arise.

With a lot of space for creative minds, of course that there’s a lot of graffitti, bringing colors, contrast and inspiring messages for this incredible place.

I Amsterdam!

All pictures by Maria Fernanda

I Amsterdam!

Lest weekend I spent a great time in Amsterdam. Now inspired by the flowers (specially by the tulips), the amazing infrastructure to bike, coffee shops, creative people and a lot of street art, I will start a series of articles about the forbidden city.

Maybe you can think that I am exaggerating to say that a city can be a paradise, but if you really like to bike, if you really concern about living in a very conscious way being responsible for the whole universe, where people think about sharing their knowledge instead of selling it. If you like this idea, The Netherlands can be a paradise for you.

This was my second time in Amsterdam but something in my feelings has not change since I went there in 2008. Amsterdam is a calm, peaceful and bucolic place.

In this first post, I will present some graffiti’s that I saw downtown while biking. I rent a bike for a very convenient price (22 euros for 2 days) and I could feel how the Dutch live and enjoy the amazing view around the canals.

Actually The Netherlands has the most high proportional number of people cycling in the world . They do everything by bike. Go to work, shop, go to school etc. It’s such a feeling of freedom when you can bike without fear that a car can hit you. Therefore if you know that the laws are always on the bikers side, riding in Amsterdam makes  you feel awake, protected and inoffensive for the whole environment.

Bike + street art = I Amsterdam!

All pictures by Maria Fernanda

(Watch the video on the end of this article, to understand better about cycling culture in The Netherlands).