The kids were on school break last week and Mr French was away on business. With E preoccupied preparing for her Bac exams and The Bug visiting family in sunny California I had a rare bit of leisure time on my hands. The skies were a leaden grey, mingling with relentless rain and my Parisiennes were almost all away visiting far-flung family or on exotic vacations to wonderfully alluring places like Mauritius, so I was having an unhealthy dose of holiday envy. It was time for a break. But a working girl has got to work, so I took the morning off, picked up some out of town guests and headed to the rue Denoyez in the 20th arrondissement for a little cultural disorientation and a wild collection of street art.
We were really lucky to catch a tagger in the act just as we arrived. Unfortunately, he is from Barcelona and does not speak French. I do not speak Spanish. We tried a bit of English but the most I got out of him was that he has two names; a real name and his tag name, both of which I have forgotten.
We visited his gallery, Mind, where I snapped a few shots of the paint cans that reminded my of photos I had taken at my tailor’s. The canvases in the gallery were small, which must take a considerable amount of skill, but inside on the walls, I found them to be a bit sad and without any of the power of good graffiti. them continued up the street to admire the pique-assiette parking poles, pochoir street art and more graffiti. It was colorful and bright. The perfect ant-depressant to combat the dreary grey spring we’ve had this year. We had fun identifying Rimbaud, finding Batman and admiring a particularly twisted montage of decapitated Barbie dolls exposed to the elements in an emptied out hole of a tired old building.
The pièce de résistance came as we ended our walk and turned right on to the rue Ramponeau, heading towards the Belleville market. There was a truly impressive example of black and white graffiti art that we discovered just as a femme walked by in brightly clad African fashion. Confirming that you don’t need museums to enjoy great art.
Great pictures, Sylvia. Den and I discovered rue Denoyers during a walk with another OPFer in September 2010 and were so taken with the art. You are so right, you don’t need a museum to enjoy great art. Some of it was amazing in its detail.
Personally, I’m glad everyone was out of town! I’ve always wanted to see this and it did not disappoint! The street was an outdoor museum!
Great post Sylvia. I also have visited rue Denoyez, first a few years ago and then last year. The street had been cleaned up considerably and was much more viewer friendly.
Amazing that you cought a tagger ” in the act ” so to speak and then visted his studio!
Good use of a day off.
Love Denise from Bolton