Le Mur de L’Art – Opening documented by Alternative Paris

Alternative Paris  is shooting a documentary during the second edition of Le Mur de L’Art exhibition in Paris.  Right now, I’m tired, very tired.  Is already 2 a.m and our crew worked hard. I’m posting here some thoughts and pictures from this amazing first day!

Scenario – lights – cameras –  frames – distortions – thoughts.

Work in progress by artists  – installations – shootings – photography – smell of sprays – introductions –  booking interviews – thoughts.

Time –  last details – cardboard – food – team – first interview – first shooting on the street while artists were acting – thoughts.

Vernissage – people + people –  party – music – drink for free – 27 interviews booked, artists performances – friendship – network – business – thoughts.

Relax – movie inspiration – revision – walk – thoughts.

Relax – write –  photos to choose – this article – dreams and good night!

Chanoir at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Astro at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Speedy Graphito at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Shaka at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo by Fernanda HInke

Kouka at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Bustart at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Kashink and Speedy Graphito at Le Mur de L’Art
Phto: Fernanda Hinke

Thom Thom at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Beton and Valentim at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Teurk at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Jean Moderne and RCF1 at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Le Cyklop at Le Mur de L’Art
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Ella et Pitr interviewed by Fernanda Hinke for Alternative Paris documentary 
Photo: Jonathan Edwards

Ella et Pitr pasting -up on the streets and been filming and shooting by Alternative Paris crew: Jonathan Edwards, Charles Devoyer and Richard Beban. Photo: Fernanda Hinke

Elle et Pitr
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

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M. Chat performance and Le M.U.R de L’ Art exhibition

Saturday, third day of November, a frozen autumn in Paris.  A few days before the expected event that Le M.U.R association is promoting starting on November 8th,  involving more than 50 street artists for an exhibition plus live performances,  I joined the spray paint performance of the French street artist M. Chat promoted by the Le M.U.R XVIII.

In front of the Seine, on the end of the afternoon entering the night, cold one. One event where just lovers of street art who could bear the feeling of their feet freezing while M.Chat was drawing his lines in details before finishing his remarkable yellow cat with a big smile on the roofs of Paris surrounded by a hopeful and beautiful blue sky.

M. Chat painting Le M.U.R XVIII
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

M. Chat painting Le M.U.R XVIII
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

M. Chat painting Le M.U.R XVIII
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

M. Chat painting Le M.U.R XVIII
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

M. Chat painting Le M.U.R XVIII
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

M. Chat for Le M.U.R XVIII
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

M. Chat started to paint in Orléans, France in 1997, on chimneys, roofs, and train platforms. He kept his identity anonymous for 10 years, when in 2007 he was caught in the act of creating the cat.  He was documented by the film maker Chris Marker in 2004, named Chats Perchés (The Case of the Grinning Cat). In 2010 M.Chat had more than 60 cats on the streets of Paris during one time for an exhibition.

M. Chat on the roofs of Montmartre
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

M. Chat at Pont EPhémère in Paris
Photo: Fernanda Hinke

For the event Le M.U.R de L’Art that will happen during this week,  My Life on My Bike and Alternative Paris crew will be covering with creative and alternative journalism  the most important moments of this exciting exhibition updating information every day with videos, photos and articles. Be sure to check out our website every day during this week!

Beyond the 50 artists will be exposing their art work on canvas, with performances and installations. Every day there are three performances, workshops, music and the presentation of the “400 ML Project”. 400 spray cans customized by 400 international artists over the last  years.

Come enjoy with us Le M.U.R de L’Art at l’Espace d’animation des Blancs Manteaux, located at rue 48 Vieille du Temple, Paris, between the 8th and 11th of November.  For more information click here.

Horfee – Hard Comix solo exhibition in Paris

Last Saturday I joined the opening of the second solo show of the Parisian street and graphic artist Horfee. The exhibithion named Hard Comix took place at the Gallery Celal in Paris.

“Hard Comix” by Horfee at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

Hard Comix series on canvas is a result of a new challenge for Horfee. Producing works indoors in a studio, he criticizes the contemporary art world, the excess of the capitalism, corruption and greed. His inspiration comes from the original pulse of his city and also from old cartoons of the 30’s that he represents between illustration and abstraction.  Five hours after the opening of the show , half of the canvas were already sold, proving Horfee’s immense success.

“Escape dat shit” by Horfee at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

“Quatre éléments” by Horfee at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

“Skull head’s mechanics” by Horfee at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

“Try one” by Horfee at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

“Train 3” by Horfee at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

“Trains mascarade” by Horfee at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

“This is how we do it” by Horfee at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

Horfee at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

Horfee Vernissage at Celal Gallery – Photo Fernanda Hinke

Horfee started to work on the streets of Paris 12 years ago. He have been writing his name on walls, trains, trucks and roofs all over the world and his work is considered to be the most innovating and original graffiti in the world at the moment.  With a unique style mixing typography and illustration,  he loves bombing  (or “BOMB-BING” as he calls it) in a “dubs” (style of make graffiti very quickly).   But even with this underground attitude in his blood he also attended the “celebre” École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Graffiti by Horfee
Photo by Demian Smith – Alternative Paris

Graffiti by Horfee
Photo by Demian Smith – Alternative Paris

Graffiti by Horfee
Photo by Demian Smith – Alternative Paris

Last June in company of Demian Smith, we interviewed and recorded Horfee while he was making a wall with the British artist Sickboy in the eighteenth arrondissement in Paris, a wall arranged by Alternative Paris. Moment that we understood his point of view as a graffiti artist working between freely on the streets and for galleries. “The way that street art evolved gave us an opportunity to live from it without transforming what is the base, the base for us (me and my friends) is street graphic as a discipline, just putting your name out in the streets. Beside you are free to be an illustrator, and show your art with the same name that you sign on the streets inside galleries.”, Horfee explained us.

Horfe (left) & Sickboy (far right) stand in front of their painting at the eighteen arrondissement in Paris Photo by Demian Smith – Alternative Paris

Horfee & Sickboy work at eighteen arrondissement in Paris
Photo by Demian Smith – Alternative Paris

The show Horfee Hard Comix will run until December first at the Gallery Celal. For more information click here.  Our video interview with Horfee and takes from this amazing show will come soon!

Sten and Lex – Solo exhibition in Paris

Yesterday I joined the opening of the solo show of the Italian street artists Sten and Lex at Magda Danysx Gallery in Paris.  The art duo are world famous for their unique style which they named “Hole School”, a reference to the “Old School”.

Sten and Lex at Magda Danysx Gallery in Paris.

They mix two important elements of street-art: stencil and poster. Gluing an image on wood medium and hand cutting thousands of lines, painting it black, what brings an image when paper tape comes out, slowly revealing the work.

Sten and Lex at Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris

Sten and Lex at Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris

Sten and Lex at Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris

Sten and Lex art work is really impressive, always portraits, photos from the 60’s and 70’s, anonymous characters,  black and white, elegant and discreet.  A finesse that you can see in each line, a thousand of them cut by hand that also creates an illusion, part of the meticulous work.

Sten and Lex at Magda Danysx Gallery in Paris.

Sten and Lex at Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris

Sten and Lex at Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris

Sten and Lex at Magda Danysx Gallery in Paris.

In Italy, they are considered the pioneers of “stencil graffiti”, where they have been working since 2001. Last year  Sten and Lex had their work exhibited at Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (MACRO) marking their entry into the world of contemporary art. With an international reputation, they already participated in a lot of festivals and projects around the world, including an invitation by Banksy to work beside him on Cans Festival in 2008 in England.

Sten and Lex solo show at Magda Danysx Gallery in Paris.

Sten and Lex opening show at Magda Danysx Gallery in Paris.

Last June, Sten and Lex came to Paris to make Le M.U.R (an association that brings a new street-artists to performance each 15 days, in a huge ex-billboard on Rue Oberkampf ), at the time they also did some other awesome works on the streets of Paris.

Sten and Lex work on the street of Paris

Sten and Lex work on the street of Paris

Sten and Lex work in progress for Le M.U.R last June.
Photo by Demian SmithAlternative Paris

Sten and Lex  for Le M.U.R last June.
Photo by Demian SmithAlternative Paris

Sten and Lex  art work is really strong and unique. I highly recommend everyone to enjoy the show, which runs until November 10, at Magda Danysx Gallery in Paris.

Alternative London Street-Art tour

Last week I went to London for a trip of a couple of days. In company of two lovely ladies from Brazil who were visiting me in Paris, we planned to have a general view of London, including all mainstream places. It was a very short time to enjoy the city, specially a so exciting and cosmopolitan city as London. I also got some tips from my British friend Demian Smith who suggested me to have a beer on Soho, to visit the Primhose Hill close to Regent’s park for a beautiful view of the city and also to visit the East End of London to enjoy the creative community and of course to see street art.

Work by Flip from Sao Paulo on East End London

On the second day, while my travelling mates were spending some pounds at Harrods’s  I booked an street art tour for myself promoted by Alternative London.

I disagree with the provocative and hilarious Australian street-artist Lush, that last May wrote with spray cans on the walls of London that “Street art tours are gays”, justifying that street art tours are unnecessary once even alone if you just walk in that area you are able to discover a lot of street art  without being on a tour with a guide. For a short trip, to book a street art tour is definitely the best way to see the most important pieces of street-art, get fresh information about the artists and also to learn the history of one specific area, usually home of a creativity community.

I also like to discover street art in an intuitive way, for example last August when I spent 10 days in Amsterdam just biking around the city I was able to collect pictures from more than 150 works. In London, with the street art tour, I saw more than 50 different works just in 2 hours, isn’t it spectacular?

Work by Lush last May in London – Photo by ecosystem.org

The Alternative London Tours is the pioneer to offer street-art tours in London, they are very passionate and have a huge knowledge about Street Art. Our meeting point was in front of the Spitalfield market, a place in East End of London where you can clearly see the fusions of the of Victorian splendor and contemporary architecture also the financial center that has been invading the community area.

The East End has always been recognized for the wealth of culture represented. Historically it has played host to a transient community, primarily for new immigrants. It’s an area known for its spirit and strong sense of community. It’s quite shocking to look in one direction and see the Christ Church, Spitalfields that was built in the 1741 and also the Spitalfield market that has been working since 1638 beside that so many contemporary buildings as 30 St Mary Axe also know for “The Gherkin” built in 2004.

Christ Church, Spitalfields  East End of London

During the 2 hours tour, the guide Doug Gillen showed us a lot of very sophisticated street-art including well known artists as Ben SlowROA, Pablo Delgado, Flip, Stick, Dscreet  and many others. I was really surprised during all the tour beyond the explanation of different styles, techniques and the street-artists concepts, the guide gave us a lot of insights about the history and culture of that community that have made the area what it is today, witch enriched so much the tour.

Alternative London walk tour –  Background work by Stik

Work by Ben Slow

Work by Jana & Js and Dscreet

Work by Mear One

Work by Malark  and ROA

Work by Vilhs, Ronzo and Mobster

Work by D’Face and  Ronzo

Work by ACE

Work by Dibo & Pez

Work by Jimmy C.

Work by Olek

Work by Nether and Swoon

Work by Jimmy C.

Work by Pablo Delgado

Work by ROA

Work by Pure Evil

Work by Eine

Work by Eine

When the tour finished I still took the chance to go back and check on a interesting  unicorn painted by Lush which is on the area.  Alone I walked there to appreciate the work and have my own picture. On the way back to take the subway on Liverpool Station, just a few meters from Lush work something really magical happened. I met the American artist Nether on the exact moment he was pasting up on the street. An amazing coincidence!!!!! I had interviewed him one week ago in Paris,  with my colleagues  from Alternative Paris (that has no connection with Alternative London by the way). We also followed and recorded Nether pasting up around Paris for a street art video that we are working on and will be available soon. Meeting him in London while acting, definitely wanted to tell me something really special.

Work by Lush

Nether pasting up on East End – London

Yes, if you are planning to go to London I rightly recommend you to book a tour with Alternative London. More than just see great and impressive street-art, you will be inspired by the creative atmosphere of the area and maybe something magical can happen with you as happened to me. For more information’s click on the link here. The tour is operated on a pay- what-you-like basis. 

In front of Liverpool Station with the “The Gherkin” on the back

13 –  Kashink number of luck!

On the beginning of my first Parisian autumn, yesterday I went to Le M.U.R to check on Kashink artistic performance. Women are quite rare on street-art world, so it was wonderful to meet someone like her. Wearing a t-shirt with a work of Jean-Michel-Basquiat, an atypical mustache in her delicate face and distributing  sincere smiles for everybody make her performance even special to the audience appreciating her hands sliding with spray cans in sweet colors drawing her unmistakable characters.

Kashink performance at Le M.U.R

Kashink paints huge protean figures with multiple eyes, men mostly, or skulls in Mexico, all in a colorful graphic style, away from traditional references of female graffiti. She is inspired by Frida Kahlo, the Bad Painting Basquiat and Keith Haring .  Among the themes that are usual to her, there are taboo subjects in our society, such as homosexuality, women’s status, or death.

Kashink work in progress at Le M.U.R

In this painting on Le M.U.R she putted the number 13 as the third eye of her character, her number of luck, she explained me. She also wrote the phrase  “Okay Mom I will”, which for her is the story about a Mom concerning with his son and his response boring but positive.  What she really like, is when people look for her drawings in a way to stimulating their creativity and create their own stories.

Kashink performance at Le M.U.R

Kashink performance at Le M.U.R

Kashink performance at Le M.U.R

Kashink performance at Le M.U.R

Kashink

Le M.U.R is always a friendly place to meet friends and lovers for street-art. A meeting point to review special people and also exchange about urban art.  I guess Kashink painted for more than 8 hours in total the huge panels of 6x4m. I enjoyed 3 hours of her work after been chilled by the cold  autumn sensation on the air.  Sadly I left before she finished the work yesterday, then I came back this morning to take pictures of the work.

Kashink work in progress this morning

Kashink work in progress this morning

Kashink – “Okay Mom I will”

Thanks to a  beautiful surprise from the Universe, this morning, while writing this article beside Le M.U.R at Charbon Café I met Kashink again finishing the work that was supposed to be finished yesterday.  I had the pleasure to talk with her again and have her explanation about this work. I asked her to sign my bike and as always, smiling she gave me this beautiful gift!!!

Kashink for Le M.U.R

Kashink signing my bike

Kashink

‘Actions speak louder than words’ – L’Atlas interview

One day before interviewing Shepard Fairey last June in Paris, I was fortunate to interview the French artist L’Atlas. On his peaceful studio in La Forge in Belleville neighborhood, with a fresh and raining afternoon surrounded by bird songs and in company with my artistic minded friend Jordan Alves (who set up the interview and also helped me to edit it), we had the opportunity of submersing ourselves in L’Atlas universe explained by his calm and sweet voice.

L’Atlas Studio, Belleville – Paris

L’Atlas, whose real name is Jules Dedet Granel, is a French artist born in 1978. Major figure in the street-art, artist and typographer who has studied Archeology and Calligraphy. He started to work with spray on the streets of Paris writing his name in the early 90’s.

L’Atlas Studio, Belleville – Paris

In 2001, he stopped to use spray can and discovered the tape (scotch). L’Atlas is particularly interested in Kufi, writing geometric codes which transposes into the Latin alphabet. Always been attracted by the cards and travel, his artistic approach was marked since childhood by the books on astronomy and geography whose aesthetics attracted him deeply. It is in this universe that owes its name, directed in most of his works. After marking the floors and walls of the cities with huge compasses and labyrinths, L’Atlas took the path of geometric abstraction. Today he is represented by 5 galleries around the world in Paris, NY, Milan, London and Marrakech.

“Cosmic Graffiti” Exhibition, Espace Beaurepaire – Paris – Photo:Bombes Production

L’Atlas manhole cover, Toulouse – Photo:L’Atlas

I first asked him, how he got interested about cosmos, earth and geography. “I was attracted by things around energy, like earth and cosmos and I use to do Tai Chi Chuan that easily opened my contact with the energy of the universe. I think life is energy and also calligraphy is energy, paint is the translation of pure energy. For me, there is no difference between the universe and painting. When you look at a map, the universe and cosmos are geographic landscapes in a balance. In my paintings, I’m looking to re-find the balance of the landscapes and cosmos”, he explains.

L’Atlas, Jakarta – Photo:L’Atlas

His artistic name comes from the titan in Greek mythology. He explained to me that during his studies of archeology he learned also Greek and Middle East mythology. “I was fascinated for by that and I thought it was a good idea to mix this old mythology with something really contemporary and modern.  Also because the Atlas it’s a universal form that everybody understands. On the book and the map, Atlas really influenced my work”.

L’Atlas Studio, Belleville – Paris

L’Atlas Studio, Belleville – Paris

L’Atlas Studio, Belleville – Paris

Influenced by Hakim Bey, researcher of the Sufism, he explained to me his spiritual path: “I don’t believe in God, I believe in a stronger energy and I am trying to follow this energy. I’m very sensitive to feel the energy inside places. I used to read a lot of books about Taoism and I feel connected with this philosophy, where everyone can find his own personality and even that in this philosophy there are rules, they are flexible, different of the traditional religions that don’t respect your individuality, making people follow their own visions’.

L’Atlas, Bruxelles – Photo:The Street Art Blog

L’Atlas started to learn Latin calligraphy in 1996 and between 1998 an 2000 he learned Arabic calligraphy  in Morocco, Cairo and Syria, each time with a different master. “First time in Morocco was classic calligraphy. I learned 9 or 10 different styles, the year after I came back to Cairo to make a documentary about calligraphy. This time was the beginning of my art. In this time I was doing my first ideogram, trying to find a balance between the letters and the form. In 2000, I made my first exhibition with a video of calligraphy”.

In 2001, L’Atlas stopped to use spray can and discovered the tape. He confessed to me that when he used to work with cinema, he used to steal some rolls of tapes which wore perfect to start making links with geometry. “With tapes you don’t have to draw something so the line is already there. I like this concept of the tape, it is physical. The tape is something to make straight line, also the old painters used that to make the letters”, he said.

L’Atlas, La Forge in Belleville – Paris

L’Atlas, Strasbourg – Photo:Fat cap

In love to register the ephemeral of the streets,  he said: “I like to register the ephemeral of the streets, because it’s the dream of everyone to be eternal and then die. Since I was a child, I was looking to the forms of the city, especially geometric forms. The manhole cover influenced my work with graffiti and calligraphy.  I like the idea that I’m going to enter into this format and stay there”

One of the memorable works of L’Atlas career were the compass series on the streets.  He told me a funny story that about how this idea was born, when in 2001 the city hall decided to clean all graffiti and street art in Paris. “It was really strange, overnight they cleaned everything. I felt confuse and lost in the city that I grew up. That’s why I started to make the compass, to find my own directions on the city again. It was a joke for me”.

A joke that resulted into something useful in the city.  The compass series used to be  in front of the subway, people were confused, thinking that the compass were commissioned by the city or some museum.  “I realized that when you’re doing ephemeral actions you will provoke something on people’s mind”.

Compass – Centre Pompidou, Paris

In the Greek mythology, Atlas has 7 daughters, that which is a representation of the universe in movement. Our contemporary L’Atlas also has his 7 daughters, that are 7 canvas that he did in 2001 and he has been traveling around the world with them, with the same idea of movement. “My idea was to travel with the canvasses and make pictures of them everywhere, in each city that I passed by, always in the same way. I used to do it with graffiti, writing my name. With the 7 daughters is the same thing because my name is right on the canvas but what exists it’s just the pictures. It’s the most ephemeral action that you can do on the streets”.He is editing a book, which is coming soon, with 400 pictures from 40 cities with the 7 daughters.

One of the “Seven Daughters”, India  – Photo:L’Atlas

One of the “Seven daughters” , Moscow – Photo:L’Atlas

L’Atlas started writing his name with spray in the beginning of 90’s on the streets of Paris. When he was 21, he used to tag his name on Agnes B.’s truck in front of her gallery and got a show with her because of this action: “The power of the walls is huge. To make a graffiti is a really strong action. That’s why my favorite quote is ‘Actions speak louder than words’”, he said.

L’Atlas graffiti, Paris  – Photo: Jojo Blogs

Nowadays, he can spend a month in just one canvas working for a show inside his studio. I was curious too understand how he has been mixing these two things and he told me: “I made the choice to work with galleries, but sometimes I need to go to the street and make big things, otherwise I can feel really nervous and aggressive. I miss the street because before I had the right balance between the street and the studio. Now I’m working in a big studio with Tanc. I work for several galleries around the world so I’ve to spend a lot of time to create exhibitions”. He also completed: “The street is a good thing to show your art, because if you sell a canvas, maybe 50 people will see it, but if your work is on the streets, maybe a thousand people will see it every minute!”.

Even working more inside his studio than on the streets nowadays, it’s impossible denied L’Atlas roots from street-art.  It’s a such powerful example that how an artist that started to work on the “free” walls of the street can achieve successful and maturity in his art- concepts and lifestyle.

L’Atlas signed my Le M.U.R book, Belleville – Paris