• For several decades now, art has made the largest museum in the world its own: the street. The City of Paris has taken up the subject and will host, from October 15, in the Salle Saint-Jean of the City Hall, a major exhibition on the history of the movement. Through the creations of more than 70 artists, works from prestigious collections, archives, in situ interventions, and off-site projects throughout the city, "CAPITALE(S)" provides a rich and detailed overview of this movement and the importance of the Parisian scene in its development over more than sixty years of history.
    "If its legitimacy was deployed under the pen of journalists and within museums, Urban Art was born in the street. Urban Art is the most important artistic movement of the 21st century. The history of art is underway before our eyes, especially in Paris, one of the most important scenes of this artistic movement."
    - Magda Danysz
  • Curators: Magda Danysz, Elise Herszkowicz, Nicolas Laugero Lasserre and Marko 93. Artists: 9e Concept, André Saraiva, Ash, Blek Le Rat,...
    Jacques Villeglé, Alphabet socio-politique - Mai 2022, Paris
    Curators: Magda Danysz, Elise Herszkowicz, Nicolas Laugero Lasserre and Marko 93.

    Artists: 9e Concept, André Saraiva, Ash, Blek Le Rat, C215, Clet, Cristobal Diaz, Da Cruz, Dize, Dran, eL Seed, Ella & Pitr, Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Futura, Gérard Zlotykamien, Greky, Invader, Jacques Villeglé, Jayone, Jean Faucheur, Jef Aerosol, Jerk, Jérôme Mesnager, JonOne, JR, Kashink, Kraken, L’Atlas, Lazoo, Lek & Sowat, Les Francs Colleurs, Levalet, Lokiss, Ludo, Madame, Mambo, Module de Zeer, Mosko, Nasty, Pest, Philippe Baudelocque, Popay, Psyckoze, Rero, Romain Froquet, Sang9, Saype, Sébastien Preschoux, Seth, Shepard Fairey, Shoe, Skki, Speedy Graphito, Sunset, Swoon, Tanc, Tarek Benaoum, Vhils, Vision, VLP, YZ & Zevs.
  • "I remember Picasso saying that one could make paintings with nothing but typographical signs."
    - Jacques Villeglé
  • Paris, a historical ecosystem of art
    Gérard Zlotykamien, rue Condorcet, Paris, 1984 - Photo: Rosine Klatzmann

    Paris, a historical ecosystem of art

    Enriched by its past, Paris also embodies the history of art in constant progress, the one that is being written before our eyes. This city, where Gertrude Stein received young talents such as Picasso and Hemingway in her salon at Rue de Fleurus nearly a century ago, is once again undergoing a creative revolution.
    For several decades, a visual revolution has been at the heart of the creative process. It arouses controversy as did the impressionists and cubists in their time. Some have difficulty in seeing it as Art. And yet, this is the most important art form of the 21st century, and once again, the French capital has played an extremely important part in the emergence of this movement too often reduced to its American origins. To come across the Picassos of modern times on a daily basis, to see them at work in our streets and our exhibition venues, is an opportunity that should not be missed.
    Paris, a historical ecosystem of art, plays two important functions in the history of Urban Art. First of all, as a city of heritage and art, Paris inspires the new generations that appear there with its rich heritage and exhibitions. But beyond these artists whose vocation emerges on its soil, Paris is also a land of hospitality which, throughout the history of the movement, has attracted creators from all horizons. This connection has made it possible to renew, through contact with local talents, the practice and enrich the original forms of expression, whether they are from across the Atlantic and more marked by graffiti, or from Europe and more connected to the stencil.
    Because of this double movement of back and forth artists coming from here and elsewhere, Paris has imposed itself through the decades as one of the essential and perennial capitals of urban art. Few cities in this truly global movement have counted as much and offer such an uninterrupted narrative.
  • "Paris' contribution to this movement is major. It is part of a New York - Berlin axis where our capital occupies a central place. What characterizes the Parisian scene, in my opinion, is the great diversity of talents and forms of expression: sticker, graffiti, tag, collage, vandal, sculpture, textual art, political, etc., and the places where they manifest themselves: catacombs, subways, trains, streets, etc. A territory so vast that it was necessary to develop a quasi-strategic vision of invasion as Invader or Azyle do. In my opinion, this aspect has favored a porosity of styles and influences reinforced by the beneficial arrival of many foreign artists."
    - Jean Faucheur

  • ASH, Vintage Portrait, 1985 - Stalingrad, Paris

    Bando, Untitled, 1984 - Collection Gallizia Paris


    The year 1982 symbolically marks the beginning of graffiti in France with the arrival of Bando and the organization of the New York City Rap Tour. That same year, from Paris to Los Angeles, via Lyon, Strasbourg and London, the New York City Rap Tour presented American graffiti stars. With trips to the United States for some, with the first books published for others, the graffiti phenomenon takes its full extent and Hip Hop, a true contemporary culture, surges on Paris and its surroundings.
    Leaving the places of their beginnings, the palisade of the Louvre building site or the quays of the Seine, the practitioners of the first wave looked for new, larger and quieter spaces. This is how one of the first French mythical places, or Hall of Fame, emerged, the Stalingrad field. Cleared by the graffiti artist Ash, it became the unavoidable spot of the French graffiti until 1989.
    The year 1986 marks the apogee of Stalingrad with massive gatherings and historic moments of artistic emulation as when the famous DJ Dee Nasty brought his turntables and mixes live while the graffiti artists were realizing their works. The same year, the American photographer Henry Chalfant, while in Paris, immortalized Stalingrad in the cult book Spray Can Art and thus wrote the first pages of the history of French graffiti.
  • Futura, Untitled, 1988, Paris - Collection Gallizia Paris

    Futura, Untitled, 1984 - 65 x 54 cm - Private Collection - Courtesy Danysz


    At the beginning of the 1990s, graffiti was marked by a very strong repression. Little by little, within the movement itself and between its practitioners, a fundamental opposition is set up. As already evoked by the cult American film Wild Style in 1984, the debate rages between the supporters of vandalism and the partisans of an artistic approach. The latter demanded that their practice not be centered on spray-painted lettering and that they create studio works that were exposed to the spotlight.

    As repression raged in the United States as well, talents such as Futura, A-One and Rammellzee accepted the recognition of the European art world and repeatedly came to Paris to present their works in galleries and museums. In their wake, JonOne, who was also keen on this more artistic orientation, even went so far as to settle permanently in the capital and exhibit there very regularly.
    My work is above all an energy. My images are not figurative or graphic, it is rather the diary of my life. [...] I used to belong to this movement called graffiti. And it has been a long way of involvement, and discipline to achieve painting as I do. I worked hard, but always with this doubt, whether my work would be accepted or not."
    - JonOne
  • André Saraiva, Untitled « Je peins avec mon sang », 1997 - Collection Gallizia Paris
  • VHILS, Camada Series #04, 2018 - Courtesy Danysz

  • "Walls absorb what happens around them, their thicknesses echo the history of a place.
    As each city has its own history, all walls are unique.
    I create dialogues with them.
    - VHILS

  • the revival of urban art
    YZ, Open Your Eyes, 2009 - Acrylic on canvas - 73 x 59 cm - Courtesy Danysz

    the revival of urban art

    Since the emergence of many new practices at the beginning of the 2000s, the graffiti of the first hour, although it is still very present, appears from now on as a chapter of opening to a much vaster movement. From 2007 onwards, and not without debate, the name Street Art was gradually imposed. The movement is above all characterized by the abundance of practices of the new generations.
    Among all the talents that express themselves in Paris, some choose the words, while others focus their research on the figurative. Heir to lettering while renewing it, the first ones explore the words either by working on the pure form of the letters until they become almost abstract (Lek et Sowat, L'Atlas, Romain Froquet), or by delivering messages full of meaning (Rero, eL Seed).
    Committed to telling stories and testifying to their journey, the latter (Seth, Tarek Benaoum, YZ, Ludo, Dran) are more illustrative. For all, the techniques are very diverse. They include installation or video, and are deployed indoors or outdoors, in abandoned places or, on the contrary, in places accessible to the public view.

    "I paint in the public space characters that can push the viewer to discover the city in a different way. The choice to paint children, beyond the fact that there are many in the street, allows me to speak to everyone, including adults. It allows us to tackle serious and complicated subjects in a more innocent way, without us noticing."
    - SETH

  • L'ATLAS - Art Azoi 2016 - Rue Henri Chevreau - Copyright BYNDR

    André Saraiva, Mr A. Cobalt Blue, 2017 - Painted Baked Ceramic - 400 x 80 cm - Courtesy Danysz


    Salle Saint-Jean de l'Hôtel de Ville de Paris (Paris CIty Hall)
    From October 15, 2022 to March 25, 2023
    Free admission upon registration Monday to Saturday 10 am to 6:30 pm (except on public holidays)


    More than 70 artists
    300 works, 30 in situ creations specific to the space, rare archives, video testimonies of artists

    A free exhibition, visible to all, with many associated outdoor events.

    An edutainment program, conferences, enhanced content (interactive map, podcasts, etc.)

    A 240-page catalog, published as part of the exhibition by Gallimard (Alternatives)

  • VHILS, Overexposure Series #03, 2020 - Installation with structure of welded tubes (TIG) covered with stainless steel sheet, T8 tubular light bulbs, steel cables, metal rods, Arduino microc - Height 400 cm - Courtesy Danysz
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