Paris Street-Art retrospective of 2012

Dear reader, as this is my last post of the year, I would like to share a retrospective of my work in 2012.  

Aimed to be a journalist specialized in street-art, I did a selection of 20 works that I experienced on the streets of Paris and most touched my heart. I organized it in chronologic order with a few words to describe my emotions during the four seasons.

Spontaneity and pure heart were rules to execute my work. Extraordinary things happened and filled my soul in the chaos of my own existence.

I came to Paris exactly a year ago. Since my first day in the city of lights I have been shooting  all art that I have been finding on the streets. In total of 600 different art-works from artists all over the world.

In January will be one year that I have been blogging here at My Life On My Bike.  So far I wrote 60 articles, mostly about street art. I was blessed to be seen in almost 100 countries with more than 10 000 viewings.

I did my first street-art tour in Paris last April. Moment that I met for the first time the  journalist Demian Smith. Both passionate for street-art, together we produced my first video documentary. I became a Contributor Editor for Alternative Paris and I got the chance to interview one of the most important street-artists in the world: Shepard Fairey.

During 2012 I interviewed more than 50 graffiter and street-artists. At Le M.U.R de L’Art show last november, just in 4 days I interviewed 35 artists. A marathon of interviews for a street-art documentary that I’m working for and will be ready in 2013.

I traveled to Prague, Amsterdam and London . During all those trips, I had open eyes to register and learn the local urban art scene.

I went to vernissages and I visited a lot of shows in galleries and museums focused on street-art and graffiti.  I watched many performances, mostly at Le M.U.R. (organization that promotes urban art in Paris, with live performance each 15 days). I hang out with artists, photographers, journalists, poets, cinematographers and ordinary people passionate about it. I met so many beautiful souls.

Passion and gratitude are the feelings that define my year of 2012. I thank for everyone, I say thank you for the Universe. I am thankful for all good energy in the world. It was all about learning! And I dedicate all this learning for inner peace and happy mind for all leaving beings in the world.

See you in 2013 with new projects. Even more dynamic and professional!

Have a lovely New Year!

1 – On my first day in Paris in a cold night of winter time, I found this poetic wall. I started to discover the sophistication of Parisian street-artists. Fred Le Chevalier became my hope to keep me dreaming. (read my article about Fred Le Chevalier here)

2 – Close to my place,  at Le Marais, days before Christmas of 2011. I found this big collage on the dramatic roofs of Paris by Bonom. In those days, my world was like this, completely up-side-down. (read my article about Bonom here)

3 –  A treat by Fred Le Chevalier welcomed my year of 2012. A such blessed year!

4 – The Mario Bros from Space Invader made me complete nostalgic during the hard weather of January. I felt I could play as  Centre de Pompidou plays with his modern and colourful architecture, contrasting with the classical and beige atmosphere of Paris. (read my article about Space Invader here)

5 – On the same day that I visited Gagosian Gallery, one of the most powerful galleries in the world,  ironically, I found this graffiti by Kidult. I questioned myself: How power could eliminate misery? (read my article about this story here)

 

 6 – While visiting the hype store Collete at Saint Honorre street I got obviously dominated by the desire of consumption. Getting off I saw this work just next to the store.  I was reminded by Jérôme Mesnager that  freedom is about controlling those desires.

7 -End of the winter. I was walking on the streets of Saint German des Pres and been surrounded by imposing and classic galleries, I was surprised by the cross of LMDLDZR. The feeling of elitist art was immediately broken. (read my article about LMDLDZR here)

8 –During my first street art tour with Underground Paris, I was introduced to Le M.U.R at Rue Oberkampf in Beleville. I felt in love.  A new street-artist working live each 15 days?! Love at the first sight. (read my article about  street-art tour here)

9 – On a beautiful primrose Friday in Paris. At Canal Saint Martin I interviewed Fred Le Chevalier. In that moment, he was the first artist that I catch up in Paris. My knight of the streets is so lovely as his art is. (read my complete interview here)

Fred Le Chavalier and my friend and fan of his work Mines.

Fred Le Chevalier and my friend and fan of his work Mines at Canal Saint Martin.

Tattoo on the arm of Fre Le Chevalier

Tattoo on the arm of Fred Le Chevalier

10- Love, street art, bike and spring time was in the air, was on me.

11 – On the day that Francois Hollande was elected the French President, while a huge party was happening at Bastille, I was editing my first mini-documentary about the project Museum  Imaginary. An ephemeral and illegal exhibition that was opened for the public just for one day, the day of the presidential election. I was lucky to be there. We documented this genial art project. (read my article about Museum Imaginary here)

Museum Imaginary

Museum Imaginary

Museum Imaginary

Museum Imaginary

12 – I tried to invade the abandoned super-market were the fantastic artistic residence Mausolée was done. We just taste part of it. Fear, dirty and darkness blowed our minds. The sense of being unsafe dominated us. We will come back.(read my article about Mausolée here)

13 –Summer arrives. Sunshine, colours, sensuality, pic nic on the parks, smiles, happiness and more street-art on the walls. Paris is like a dream!

14 – I interviewed Shepard Fairey in a hot summer afternoon at Champs Elyses. I was informed directly by him that he would start working on a wall that you can check bellow. We followed Shepard while he was painting it for 3 exciting days. We produced a documentary about his visit in Paris. He liked it (check his personal comment here) and we loved that experience. (read my article about Shepard Fairey here)

15 –I interviewed my  Brazilian country fellow Rafael Suriani in a bucolic day. He brought me to see some of his paste-ups. We spoke in Portuguese, we talked about Sao Paulo and discover some beautiful connections. I felt home. (read my interview with Rafael Suriani here)

16 – During a street-art bike tour with Underground Paris on a astonishing sunny day, I was captured by the expressive eyes of this carving by the Portuguese artist Vilhs. Our eyes are the mirror of our soul. (read my article about bike street-art tour here)

17 –Nether is an artist from Baltimore. During his short stay in Paris, one night, we filmed him putting some illegal stuff on the streets of Le Marais. I indicated him to past up on this wall…the work didn’t rest to much. I learned that is not about time, is about value.  Nether art is all about enriching children of his forgotten city Baltimore.

18 –My family was visiting me on the end of the summer. With my lovely nieces in a playground in front of the Seine in a surrealistic moment I saw this work from Leo and Pipo.  For a moment this people looked real and playing with the children, looked like a beautiful dream. I get confused to distinguish what was the reality.

19 – Parisian autumn arrives.  I was been warmed with the presence of my Mom and my second Mom (my aunt) from Brazil in Paris. Together we watched Kashink performance at Le M.U.R. The importance of family is a matter of surviving in my life, Kashink seems to feel that and wrote as a thought of his four eyes character : Okay Mom, I will. (read my article about Kashink here)

Ok Mam I will by Kashinsk

“Okay Mom, I will” by Kashinsk

20 – Colourful autumn trees are decorating Paris. Red, green and yellow leaves are scattered on the ground. I’m working with Alternative Paris crew covering the five days event Le M.U.R de L’Art. My little house was transformed into a recording studio were I interviewed 35 street-artists in less than ninety six hour for Alternative Paris documentary (expected to be ready in 2013). I also posted a daily article during the event. Despite the long working hours, the good energy from all people involved marked a great experience in my heart.  (read my articles here: opening, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4)

My interview with Jana & JSPhoto: Charles Devoyer

My interview with Jana & JS
Photo: Charles Devoyer

My interview with FKDLPhoto: Charles Devoyer

My interview with FKDL
Photo: Charles Devoyer

My interview with Gola Hondun and Zosen BandidoPhoto: Charles Devoyer

My interview with Gola Hundum and Zosen Bandido
Photo: Charles Devoyer

My interview with Speed GraphytoPhoto: Charles Devoyer

My interview with Speedy Graphyto
Photo: Charles Devoyer


Just one more than 20:

21 – Last picture that I took in Paris two weeks ago at Belville Park, days before the winter comes again.  It’s sensible: I believe that without cultivate our spirituality , we will have a unbalanced life. Seth said in a recent interview: “If art is not spiritual, it doesn’t work for me”. Such beautiful philosophy for one street-artist!

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Paris bike tour from Alternative Paris

For someone like me, passionate about street art and biking, nothing could be better than a street art bike tour. This genial idea now exists in Paris and I enjoyed this perfect combination last week organized by the super cool Alternative Paris commanded by the journalist and expert in Street-Art Demian Smith.

Alternative Paris also offers 3 times a week, a walk tour focused on Belleville neighbourhood. In April I enjoyed the walk tour and was a really important moment that add so much in my work as a journalist for street art and was also a moment that Demian and I met first time and started to make some street-art projects together. I need to confess you that the bike tour was much more fun and a full experience in a way of having a more complete lesson about street art scene in Paris in just on day.

The Paris bike tour started on Boulevard Richard Lenoir, close by the tour started showing us two huge works by the artists Bonom and Zoo Project. After it goes to the 13 arrondissement,  on the way we crossed a bridge that gave us one astonishing view of the Seine river.

On the beginning of the thirteen we came to the shore of the Seine to appreciate the Le M.U.R  XIII,  an association that brings a new  street-art work each 15 days . Going up, we enjoyed the work of C215, the massive work of Shepard Fairey, Jana and JS, Inti, M-City and also my “coupe de coeur” of the day, a work by the Portuguese artist Vhils who uses a unique technique of chiselling out of the wall. This piece is  a beautiful portrait of a man with intense eyes that really impressed me.

Yet on the thirteen we came to the charming Butte-aux-Cailles, to see the stencil of the famous Parisians street-artists Jef Aerosol and Miss Tic. With a lot of work to discover between the walls of the coffees and restaurants, the tour makes a pause for a lunch in a Basque restaurant named Chez Gladines that welcomes you with two Miss Tic works on their front wall. I had a delicious and massive salad with a glass of wine for affordable €10. (Be careful, on this restaurant I recommend the salads but the plates are huge and you will have to continue to bike after lunch).

On the way down we passed inside the romantic Ile Saint-Louis (by the way, my favorite spot in Paris) and had a tour at Le Marais to appreciate the famous and huge Jef Aerosol close to the Centre Pompidou.  We also enjoyed works by Konny Steding, Fred Le Chevalier, THTF, Le MoDuLe De ZeeR  and the two top works in Paris from Space Invaders.

Crossing Le Marais to go back to the point where the tour started, we passed in front of Place des Voges which is considered one of the most beautiful and symmetrical squares in Paris, finishing our tour seeing one literally lovely work by Nick Walker and also one piece from Sten and Lex made using a really interesting technique.

Top view of Place des Voges

More than just appreciating the best of street art in Paris explained by the guide Demian who has a huge expertise on the subject, was enjoying so many different atmospheres of Paris. I used to say that biking is the best way to explore the city, you can go faster and enjoy all the sights that you wouldn’t have on the subway. So you can now imagine how this Paris bike tour is a really perfect combination allowing you to see the best street art in Paris and also the unique architecture of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The Paris bike tour took around 3.5 hours of pure delight. It happens twice a week. It’s important to bring water, wear comfortable clothes and use the hand signs (explained before the tour starts). It costs €29 which includes the bike (there’s a discount you have your own).  I totally recommend it! Don’t miss it!!!

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!

Food experience in Paris from abroad

One thing that I love in Paris is the multiculturalism. I use to live in Toronto last year and I had multicultural experience as I am having in Paris. In Canada, I knew people from more that 40 different nationalities and also tried  their foods. Paris has one of the best foods and chefs in the world but, because it’s a mix of people, here you can also find really good and affordable restaurants from abroad.

I tried 2 special ones: Japanese (not sushi) restaurant and one Tibetan. With environments completely different, both were a whole experience. That for me, means to have a good food, service, decor and music.

The Tibetan YAK (in the third arrondissement)  is a peaceful place with a sweet staff from Tibet. A great selection of pictures  from their country on the wall and  Buddhist  references, you can take a sit in front of the Offerings ritual (a traditional way to pray and meditate on Buddhism philosophy) and also contemplate all aspects of the atmosphere, with furniture and also very calm music. The silverware that presents us the food is so delicate, like a “grandmother house” with this so positive energy, of course the food was really delicious.

The Japanese one calls KUNITORAYA   it’s in the first arrondissement, they have 3 units (1 Japan and 2 in Paris). Relaxed ambient, where you have a sit and watch they cook your food. The place is small, but they have also a little wine rack downstairs, classic music was playing and all the cool Japanese staff was really friendly. And the food, great visual surprise and taste combination.

All pictures by Maria Fernanda

59 Rivoli – An Artistic Revolution

A liberal space where artists show their work and share their lives. This is the 59 Rivoli.

Located at the heart of Paris, a 6-storey building, with free entry that hosts 30 artists of different forms of artistic expression, cultural events and concerts on weekends.

The true democratization of art, 59 Rue de Rivolli is ranked the third in Paris to receive the highest number of visitors to contemporary art.

It all started with a simple formula: great intentions, will power and a lot of courage. That is what, in 1999, a trio of artists called the KGB (Kalex, Gaspard and Bruno) did when they occupied this building and called it “Chez Robert, Electron Libre”. In 2006 the building was purchased by the city hall, who renovated it during three years reopening its doors to art in 2009.

The studios are public spaces, where visitors experience the artists in creation.

The revolutionary mission of this community is to provide another connection, deeper between artist and audience, unlike the static and immobile system led by galleries.

A large spiral staircase with walls covered in graffiti leads to the sixth floor, where it is possible to feel the effervescence and naturalness of what art should be: True to the purest of intentions.

All pictures below by Maria Fernanda

Monjul – Inventive cuisine

Imagine to be surprised by one discrete restaurant on the heart of Paris. Inventive culinary presenting each plate as a masterpiece. This how Chef Agobert Juliano carefully creates at the restaurant Monjul on Le Marais.

With 19 years of experience in palaces, castles, small provinces and abroad, this audacious chef really knows about the French cooking.

With affordable prices (19 euros for appetizer + entree + dessert during lunch), the service was really nice on a pleasant  environment.

Be surprised experiencing the creative cuisine, true shapes, tastes and colors.

All pictures by Maria Fernanda

Onion pie, ratatouille, kalamata olives and endives

Chili corn "Nonjul"

Choux "pain perdu", english creme caramel and diced fruit

A day full of art. I mean, different perspectives of arts

When I was riding on the way to my French class, I found one “graffiti” of the street artist Kidult , I didn’t have my camera in that moment, so I planed to came back later to register that manifest/protest.

My plan for the afternoon was to visit the so much criticized exhibition “ The Complete Spot Paintings” by Damien Hirst at the Gagosian Gallery and after to visit the Henri Cartie Bresson Foundation currently exhibiting – “HCB and Paul Strand Mexico 1932-1934”.

My day was really intriguing. First off all I registered the “graffiti” that the infamous Kidult did, before someone erase it. This is part of one protest that the artist has been doing vandalizing stores in Paris, in this case it was  just a normal writing on the wall, but Kidult have been leaving his “trademark” on some flagships as Collete, Hermes and Luis Vuitton.

My plan was interrupted by an unexpected rain, that resulted in a purchase of a book on the art of Rembrant for the bargain of 7 euros. When the rain stopped I continued riding my bike to  Gagosian Gallery to check on Damien Hirst’s exhibithion. Inside the gallery  it is forbidden to take pictures, but the one that I did on the Gagosian display was enough to represent the concept, which is simultaneously  happening on the eleven Gagosian galleries around the world , there are more then 300 frames with the same subject, on Hirst’s work since 1986. This exhibition prepares the public for a major retrospective about Hirst that will be held on Tate Modern soon this year.

Dimien Hirst is the wealthiest living artist and the most prominent member of the group YBA (Yong British Artist), death is one of his central themes.  For my luck I have some pictures of his work that I took last year in Brazil at the Biennial of Arts of Sao Paulo.  These, in my opinion, justify the importance of Hirst’s work.

Dimien Hirst at Biennial of Arts of Sao Paulo

Dimien Hirst at Biennial of Arts of Sao Paulo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaving Gagosian Gallery and unlocking my bike across the street to follow straight to the HSB Foundation, I couldn’t ignore to view Gagosian Gallery and Christie’s auction house side by side  and make a picture. The gallery and one of the most important action houses in the world movement billons of dollars in art. Coincidently on the window of Christie’s there was one poster of one of Henri Cartier Bresson that was sold for 433.000 euros, a world record for photography.

I follow to HCBFoundation and found one charming atelier that was building in 1912 by Molinie. The building was named “La Maison des Artistes” and won the best Prize for architecture in 1913.

My passion for HCB started in 2008 when I came first time to Paris and spent a lot of time at “Ile de La Cite” (actually, my favorite place in Paris). After while I discovered the epic picture of HCB over the Seinne river.

Last year, I studied photojournalism in Canada and I did my conclusion work about his biography.

The exhibition “ HCB and Paul Strand Mexico 1932-1934” show some pictures when both were photographing in the same period in Mexico, but with different perspectives. The American’s immobility with Frenchman’s fluidity. I really recommend this exhibition that is being shown until April 22.

Henri Cartie Bresson

Henri Cartie Bresson

Paul Strand

Paul Strand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this delightful visit to HCB Foundation I follow riding the charming neighborhood of Montmartre absorbing everything that I saw on this afternoon.

The sky was impressively beautiful in blue and pink.

I consider this afternoon very intriguing. Starting with Kidult manifest against luxury,  going to the peculiar world on billionaire galleries and action houses, ending with the power that photojournalism has to show us: Life exactly how it is.