“One paste up per month for the public health,” is the theme for this program called Le Mur, now on their 84th piece. In our time of self-imposed quarantines, invariably we feel our liberties are being infringed. Yet seeing this lad skipping down roof-tops of trains may provide the viewer an imaginary doorway to jump through – a momentary mental health break.
“I guess you could say that the boy running on the train reminds us of the innocent freedom to play that we don’t now have,” says photographer Martha Cooper of this youthful romp taken forty or so years ago. The original plan was for Martha to be there documenting Ella & Pitr at work pasting her photograph on the wall. Alas, Covid-19 thwarted those plans, just like millions upon millions of people all over the world have seen their own plans derailed, canceled, and postponed.
In the middle of a pandemic, artists Ella and Pitr succeeded in getting this image printed large format and pasted it here in St. Etienne. There is something reassuring about seeing this image persisting through time, emancipated into the public realm, waving its flag of self-directed liberation here on the street.
Across the US today families are joining together/avoiding each other for Thanksgiving in a spirit of gratitude. For those who are afraid to have potentially firey political conversations at the dinner table or for those who are living too far away from home to afford to travel, Thanksgiving often becomes “Friendsgiving” – just gathering friends and like-minded neighbors together to eat, drink, tell stories, be grateful for the blessings of life that we recount to one another.
American contemporary/street artist Karl Addison lives in Berlin right now but still created this tribute to a dear friend on a Parisian wall last week for the Le M.U.R. Project. Over 200 artists have created installations on this wall at 107 Rue Obrkampf and Karl’s is #221. He says he was inpired by the palette of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere this time of year, specifically the trees and leaves in Paris, when he created this portrait.
A tribute to a friend is a noble endeavor. As we reach across the table and the difficult cultural divide, may we all make just one more friend this week in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
Rubbish, the French Street Artist who can work for endless hours to finely cut paper as intricately as lace, is taking his turn at the Le M.U.R wall in Paris right now. Still pretty new to the scene, the Besançon based artist has a meticulous cutting method influenced by painting, mythology, even Art Nouveau. Recent portraiture subjects have been poets from the Beat Generation like Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, but he is more of an emotional romantic than they were.
With his first solo show in November at Le Cabinet d’Amateur, this guys’ work may remind you of Swoon’s paper cutting in the late 2000s and his portraits have a forlorn quality found in the subjects of French stencilist C215. Whatever his influences, he is clearly still exploring and he happily covered selected regions of this 8 meter x 3 meter wall with with a certain organic symmetry in placing these large works of cut paper on a cold late January day. According to Jean Emmanuel Voltz, who curated this choice, this kind of Rubbish is a “Good discovery”.