Sunday, August 26, 2007

Paris Street Art: Grafitti Mystérieux

Paris street artI am fascinated by the anonymous, and not-so-anonymous art on the streets of Paris. Some might call it graffiti, but to me, it's art. There are sprayed-on stencils all over the sidewalks as well as on the walls of buildings.

This one was on the wall of an old building right off of the Place des Abbesses in Paris, also home of The Love Wall. I have no idea who this guy with the goatee is or what the stencil means.

Most of the stencils have a purpose and meaning. The mystery and fun are in figuring out exactly what that meaning actually is. There are some that I have been unable to figure out, nor have any of my Parisian friends shed any light on them. So they remain a mystery. If you can take a look at this one and have any ideas, do let us all know.

Paris Street Art 2This one turned out to be a really smart advertisement for a new DVD from End of the Weak, a US hip-hop record label who has franchises all over the world. (Official US site, French franchise MySpace, US MySpace) As you walk along, if you see that logo enough, especially if you live near Chateau Rouge and La Goutte D'Or (drop of gold, also a song by Aristide Bruant), the Little Africa of Paris, you will start recognizing it and start asking about it. Then you'll want to buy a T-Shirt and DVD. Brilliant free advertising.

Paris Street Art 3Here's another great one that I took on a recent rainy day. It looks like there's a pink person crying out for help. "I'm in the Paris sewers and I can't get out!"

The Paris sewers are an interesting story in themselves and have been since the 13th century. You can tour parts of them. But there's also a group of anarchistic people who like to sneak in and hold meetings, even to this day...probably figuring out how to overthrow King Philippe Auguste. (They haven't been upstairs in a long time.) They are in good company with Victor Hugo who said about the Paris Sewers, "Crime, intelligence, social protest, liberty of conscience, thought, theft, all that human laws pursue or have pursued, have hidden in this hole..." (Les Miserables; Jean Valjean, Book II, chapter 2).

I have tons of photos of Paris Street Art and take new photos every time we go out for a walk. So I'll be uploading them for your viewing pleasure. Some mysteries will be easily solved. Others will remain unknown.


Anonymous said...

I like it! The meaning behind the face may not be obvious but it does compel you to really LOOK at it for some reason. The hand coming out of the sewer drain? Same thing! Quite neat!

Lisa Wines said...

Thanks Cindy. Maybe the pink hand is Diana? :-) I peeked at your blog.

Unknown said...

LOL...Could be! Thanks for "peeking"!

Lizziebeth said...

I really enjoyed these!

Lisa Wines said...

Thanks Lizziebeth. I'll upload some more soon. I look forward to your blog posts as well. :-)