Yosh, the French street artist and muralist, has recently completed a colorful new mural in Paris with the Art Azoi organization. The artwork is painted on a long one-story wall and showcases Yosh’s signature style, which is characterized by vibrant and often surreal images in a cartoon-graffiti style, with a focus on animals and marine life.
Yosh’s history as a street artist and illustration techniques has evolved since beginning as a teen graffiti writer influenced by US hip-hop culture. In recent years he has participated in various street art festivals and events, exhibited his work in galleries and art spaces in Paris and has created murals and public art installations in various locations, including Paris, Amsterdam, and Barcelona. Additionally, Yosh has collaborated with various high profile sportswear and cosmetic brands and created custom artwork and designs for music and art festivals. Yosh’s creative inspiration comes from his passion for nature and animals and his travels and experiences, which he often draws upon to create on the street.
Bringing two of the elements of Hip Hop together on his latest mural, painter and photographer (and occasional professor) Henry Hang shows his enthusiasm here in his native Paris with an aerosol can and brush with equal passion.
A former graffiti tagger with ALB in the early 1990s, Mr. Hang also practiced dance as a bboy – saying that he is bringing it all together on canvas and walls with the energy of graffiti. Last year he was teaching students at the Figaro fair about all of the plastic and performative arts that contribute to the “aestheticization of hip-hop culture.” This new wall with Art Azoi combines his appreciation for all of it.
The figures are lifted and turned with a certain elegance: always in motion and gravitating above the ground with a resolute honesty found in street performance sometimes. Not that he is trying to be too literal; his appreciation for impressionism is evidenced by the title he has given himself, “Le Degas De La Street Dance.” Seeing his enthusiasm and his expression of it is inspiring in itself.
Writing since the late 80s, Parisian artist PEST pulls out another high-style classic for Art Azoi in the city that has spawned much of the great graffiti since the 1990s – including his own crew named P19. While he has kept up with all the new styles from original New York to German style and many of the newer ones across the world, PEST gravitates to the classic graffiti culture and likes to keep it clean.
Kraken elevates the everyday items that we wouldn’t normally feature as worthy of display for aesthetic enjoyment. With his new public mural for Art Azoi in Paris, he chooses some household items you normally overlook; a leveling composition of tools, implements, containers, and adorable household pets. By inclusion, they become artistic elements.
With his sharply rendered strokes, he gives an additional character to commonplace items in the way that an illustrator favors, playing with discomfiting facts of consumerism, consumption, and the waste of every day by everyone. Kitsch and a skewering of class come into the mix, with high and low treated equally, purposely pushing the conversation. Perhaps you would not choose to glorify these elements to the level of a public mural, but Kracken is very pleased to, with a certain laudatory and humorous respect.
5 Rue des Platrières, 75020. Kraken sur la terrasse des plateaux sauvages.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. A tour through L’ESSENTIEL 2. Faith XLVII in Boston 3. A Team On Their Own: Maya Women Fight Inequality Through Baseball.
BSA Special Feature: A tour through L’ESSENTIEL
Updating the 2010’s magpie approach to group show curation of the abandoned industrial palace, L’ESSENTIEL presents a video tour on par with the metaverse – since we are all still awaiting a functional version of that much-ballyhooed digital world we will expect to inhabit.
Here you find a tone-on-tone parade of installations by some of the best in the street art/graffiti game- a common palette and a mostly 2D execution in the spaces that helps keep it all cohesive. Aiding, or distracting, your trip is the glitchy electronic world-wailing soundtrack and the pixel-thin placards that pop out of concrete seams to introduce the pieces hanging in the air nearby. The show is impressive and gives a wholistic aura. The question is, does this ephemerous collection exist here in the physical world or in the digital one?
L’ESSENTIEL: A Collective Experience of The Ephemerous Art. Graffiti / Street Art
Faith XLVII in Boston
“Perhaps you could dream something that happens in the future,” says Faith.
A Team On Their Own: Maya Women Fight Inequality Through Baseball. Via The New Yorker
In Melissa Fajardo’s documentary short “Las Diablillas: The Mayan Rebels,” Mexican baseball players challenge the restrictive gender norms of their small town.
If you think you are being held back, the first step may be to look in the mirror. The second is to look for kindred spirits.
A new mural from Rouge Hartley in Paris for the organization Art Azoi. The contemporary figurative painter is attracted to the street, although she didn’t begin with graffiti or street art. Originally from Bordeaux, she brings bright florals to the city using a uniquely blurred view of beauty; romantic, if you prefer. The emotion is here, and you can write the stories.
“For this long passing wall that we imprint on a slope, I tried to think of a sequence shot in painting. Around a still life narration, in which I voluntarily break what we have been taught, passively, to see it fade, I propose here an almost abstract sequence around resilience and free will, and unfolds in the same image the temporality of a destruction or a rebirth depending on the direction of travel.
In a summer when everything is burning I know we are capable of better. It is around my old obsessions that I allow myself to turn here: the echo between our catastrophes, political and ecological or intimate, the temporal palimpsest and the tension of time in painting, and of love.
I leave you with this little manifesto of a lover.
I ask us to be bold in love and brave in lovelessness
I expect you to have the audacity to desire your equal and to renounce making us goddesses before knocking down our mats.
I ask us to have the courage of uncompromising honesty, and the finesse of permeability, to love each other with all the future pasts, the wounds of yesteryear, and the nostalgia for possibilities that have not taken place,
To taste the density of the silences between our words,
And to the thickness of our words that say what they are,
I ask us to be vulnerable and true,
To get rid of courtesies that disempower and detours that disarm
Without strategies and without hatred,
I ask us for tenderness and time and space for the infinity of our constraints, our complexes and our wounds.
I ask us to be able to name our borders and invent more victories there than laziness
I ask us to state instead of humiliate
To leave before reducing our powers to comfortable abodes
A French graffiti writer since the 90s, a skillful assistant to many of the big street art names on enormous walls since the 00s and 10s, a student and teacher of both genres, Gris Fluo is slowly coming into the light with his voice and thoughtful technique.
He confidently summons a lively scene on his new wall in Square Henri-Karcher for Art Azoi that flows across this pungent bright red sea on an otherwise dull gris day. The brushwork a bit brutish but intentional, the hand tender, the hues cultivated and cleverly combined, glowing. His skeleton characters are wicked, elongated, in motion, and mirthful – perhaps with more adventures in mind.
Art by Gris Fluo Powered by Art Azoï Curated by Elise Herszkowicz et Cristobal Diaz
French visual artist Jeanne Varaldi is more urbanist than artist perhaps, but her new collaborative work with Paris streets and the L’association Art Azoï skillfully incorporates both interests. She says her abstract mural is composed of urban signatures and elements that are inspired directly by the urban surroundings. Literally she is referring to the incorporated map of the area and nearby crosswalk in her new composition.
“These urban elements seem to fragment and decompose and invite us to look at the city as a constantly changing playground,” she tells us on a chilly spring day. “Yellow and orange markings that are inspired by those on construction sites also appear here.”
A crisp new wave ode to 1980s graphic design and dusty pastel templates, Varaldi’s affinity for retro is spiced by the freehand elements of graffiti that keep the work lively. “The mural uses urban markers to invite everyone to better see and appropriate them.”
Speaking in his abstractly modern visual language, artist Clément Laurentin creates this curvilinear winter ode to our permanent state of precariousness. In cooperation with Art Azoï, an important street art association in Paris which manages a number of walls in the city and pairs them with artists, Laurentin tells us that he chose the palette in December to complement the natural elements here on the terrace of “Les Plateaux Sauvages”, a theatrical and artistic center.
The blues hues of hard cold times can still be rewarding despite their nature, and Laurentin says he keeps his mind and spirit in balance when creating – even if a piece like this one alludes to the “fragile mental architecture” we build our lives upon. A gifted painter, he’s equally gifted describing his process and intention.
“I never sketch a wall before starting it,” he says, “I improvise the drawing directly on the wall on the first day. I like the idea that you can’t remove any piece of the composition without making the whole composition collapse. Every part has to be in the right place so that the whole thing can stand.” “In every artwork, I like to bring an oniric /surrealistic atmosphere to the piece; in such a tough and materialistic world, I want my work to be some kind of an inner life window,” he says, “a place where you can escape the time you’re looking at it.”
Photographer: @godownramsey Location: @lesplateauxsauvages Street art association: @art_azoi Artist: @clementlaurentin Artistic crew: @9emeconcept.
The Paris-based graffiti writer and aerosol transformer has been active around the world since the 1980s and has been anamorphosing letters and his home city once again with a scene of industrial destruction/deconstruction caught mid-collapse.
Fresh from his successful exhibition with Aloha, Neok, and Raeone at Garlerie 59 Rivoli, Manyak here takes his brilliant mind outside again to paint with L’association Art Azoï.
It can be a serious challenge to coax some margins of the city alive, but Manyak has the experience and unique ability to create a vibrantly dimensional fantasy scene – even with a pile of broken concrete in a bombed out lot. Here the challenge is to transform this long expanse in Paris – and the length of the piece is difficult to capture well in its totality, so we bring you these details of his new work, courtesy of photographer Michele Garnier.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 1. Good Guy Boris – Remote Sensing 2. ZEKY via Art Azoï. Video by Justine Bigot 3. DETOKS & GENOM, “Not Bigger, Not Better, But…More!” Via Montana Colors TV 4. HONET via Art Azoï. Video by Justine Bigot
BSA Special Feature: Good Guy Boris – Remote Sensing
The misadventures continue on the 1 Line in Athens.
“Athens now has that feeling of being wild and unpredictable – a little exciting or dangerous in some parts.”
And the voice…. it sounds so familiar.
ZEKY via Art Azoï. Video by Justine Bigot
DETOKS & GENOM, “Not Bigger, Not Better, But…More!” Via Montana Colors TV
Silvers! Rollers! Color Pieces! Oh my! Barcelona’s Detoks and Genom are on the loose around big highway spots and metro stops. They say they are not bragging, but they get around.
“The revolution will be the flowering of humanity as love is the flowering of the heart” Louise Michel, revolutionary, activist, and significant figure of the Paris Commune.
Montmartre, Belleville, and all those poor neighborhoods in the 11th, 18th, 19th and 20th arrondissements all shake with the memory of the Paris Commune as we mark the 150th anniversary this spring of the short-lived self-governance ended by a “Bloody Week.”
To mark those events and the thousands killed when the rich fled, we share with you new public works from artists of the TWE Crew in collaboration with the Black Lines movement – and in association with Art Azoi in the heart of the 20th arrondissement of Paris. A combination of street art, graffiti, mural art, and illustration influences all join forces in black and the bloody red that stood as their flag. Figures depicted may be contemporary or of the period, but their universal plight appears devastatingly on-point.
“Working men’s Paris, with its Commune, will be forever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of a new society. Its martyrs are enshrined in the great heart of the working class,” said Karl Marx. Professor John Merriman speaks in his book “Massacre” of that eclectic revolutionary government that held power in Paris across eight weeks between 18 March and 28 May 1871 and says that the crushing of the poor who were unable to escape the city sadly anticipated the horror shows that would follow in the 20th Century.
In other words, they were killed because they were too poor to get out.
Conversely, in many ways, the Commune created a template as well for social and political justice movements that would come – proposing in their city council such things as economic laws, workers rights, separation of church and state, abolishing the death penalty and mandatory conscription, and labor’s self-management. From these brutal times and events, you may wish to salvage many of those radical ideas – the only spoils of victory, if you will.
But even today, a century and a half later, conversations about how to remember the Commune are divisive.
“It was a populist movement. And in the current state of France and the world – when in Paris we have the yellow vests and in Washington they’re storming the Capitol – I do not think we should be celebrating people who burned down our city hall.”
Participating artists are @lasktwecrew, @kwim__t.w.e, @kracotwecrew and @al_zoyer of the @blacklinescommunity