There’s no place like Paris for the expression of art on the urban tabula rasa. To preserve the sanctity of epic murals, Parisian graffiti artists uphold a strict honor code to never deface or tag another’s work. To scare off taggers (and attract attention to local businesses), many building owners commission artists to construct emphatic scenes on their wall. If you’re planning a trip to Paris, make time to lose yourself among the colorful social, political statements of Parisian street art.
Space Invader, a well known international street artist plans to take over the world with his distinct mosaic-pixel characters. Mostly found in the 10th, 11th and 20th but keep an eye out. According to his website, there are 1,204 throughout Paris.
Jef Aerosal has a very well known piece that you have probably seen. At the Igor-Stravinsky square, behind the fountain, you will see a self portrait of Jef giving you the silence finger. Located right next to the Pompidou Center and across from popular brasseries, this street art gets a lot of attention and is seen in many photos. He may just be the protector of the Marais watching over us all!
Nemo’s alter-ego, the “bonhomme noir,” can be spotted all over with his signature red balloon, umbrella and suitcase. He has twenty different works all over the city, two-thirds of which are in the Bellville/Menilmontant area, with the largest at 146 Blvd Menilmontant.
ZAG / SIA
It’s easy to trip down these stairs and not even notice one of these masterpieces. Disoriented up close, they can only be appreciated from a distance:
- Playtime: The stairs of avenue René Coty and Rue des artistes – Paris 14th.
- La Liberté guidant le peuple (Tribute to Eugène Delacroix): The stairs of the street Chevaleret & Gds Moulins — Paris 13th.
- Parisienne: The stairs in front of 69 Rue du Chevaleret – Paris 13th.
Located next to the popular corner bar Aux Folies, this pedestrian street is the site of a panoply of pieces in remembrance of the November 13th attacks. “Spray for Paris,” a play on “Pray for Paris” can be found bordering playful and political artwork.
- Intra Lane, a local artist in Paris, speckles the city with uniquely painted sculptures of breasts. A pair sits on Rue Denver; another looks out over Bellville Park.
- The whimsical birds of L7M, a Brazilian graffiti artist who coined a signature brush stroke design using spray cans, can be found at the top of the stairs on rue d’alsace next to the Gare de l’Est.
- Les Canotiers conjured up the large wall mural (Featured Image) bordering the Farmer’s Market on Rue des Maronites, between Menilmontant and Coronne.
- The heads of Gregos are hidden throughout the city. Scale the borders between the 14th and 6th for this lost soul: