Street Art at the ART42 museum in Paris: a strange experience!1 July 2019
Street Art or Urban Art between 4 walls; it’s quite contradictory! But it was freezing that day in Paris and I had not returned to ART42 Museum since its opening. By going on the site, on which you can reserve your free pass at fixed times, I saw a slot available, so I went there without thinking! A good opportunity to see what is on display and share it with you. This ” ART42 museum” is located in the coding school 42 and visits are provided by ICART School whose founder Nicolas Laugero Lasserre is at the initiative of this very special museum; besides, it is his own collection that is presented in the school.
On entering school, the tone is quickly given; in front of you, a lithograph by Shepard Fairey, King of the American Street Art, welcome you. At the reception desk we can immediately see Banksy’s little rat nearby a Durex distributor stencilled by the artist Christian Guémy Aka C215.
Instead of showing you the entire visit; that would take away all surprises if you are deciding to visit this ART42 museum while in Paris. I decided to present 5 artists from this collection; I have selected them because they come from completely different horizons, use techniques such as stencil, engraving, collage, … and do not provide the same messages. A good example of the diversity that you can find during your visit.
SWOON, the Humanist Street Artist
It is quite rare to see Swoon’s works in France; the artist I discovered a few years ago was born in New London, Connecticut, and lived in Brooklyn since a long time; she places many of her works in the heart of the Bushwick Collective not far from her studio. She is certainly the most committed artist in the world of Street Art; in a collective groups, she embarked on four major humanitarian missions in Haiti, following the earthquake of 2010, in American cities that have suffered in recent years such as New Orleans or Detroit.
The faces of her works are those of the women and men she encounters during her travels, marked faces, strong expressions; but the whole reflects a great sweetness in the eye of the artist. Technical side Swoon had a very classical training; she engraves her works on linoleum before printing them on recycled paper. Recycled materials are at the heart of her work; then she assembles the different parts and adds touches of color with acrylic paint.
A major artist with a big heart! You can follow her work and missions around the world on Instagram.
Jef Aérosol, l’étoffe des pionniers
It is at Street Art what Rolling Stones are at Rock! a Must. Jef Aérosol is certainly the most famous French stencil artist. His musical inspirations like The Clash or artistic like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring or Jean-Michel Basquiat; to whom he pays homage on this panel; are systematically felt in his work. The Red Arrow his signature! If you open your eyes; he has artworks in almost all the cities of France, and also in Lisbon, New York, … We could qualify his work of poetic punk; but especially not political. I invite you to visit his site; a real gold mine with a real Rock universe!
PIMAX, the POP icon hijacker!
With PIMAX the heroes of your childhood; Goldorak, Mickey, Marylin Monroe … become provocative, disturbing; His offbeat humor is found in many alternative places in Paris; combining electronic music and Urban Art. PIMAX is present throughout Paris with his colorful stencils; but he also hijacks the boxes of Warhol’s Tomato Soup, which he transforms into a pot of paint! If you come across a piece of Pimax, there is a good chance that you will not see the icons of your youth with the same eyes. One point that I find very appreciable with PIMAX is that it did not succumb to the temptation of easy money by multiplying large-scale lithographic prints; he continues to make the original and illegal stuff and it has become rare enough to emphasize!
Monkey Bird Crew, psychotic stencil crew!
You read correctly, this French collective makes stencils like Chopard make Haute Joaillerie! Talking about the sense of detail becomes an euphemism; their cutting work is more goldsmith than Street Art. The photo that illustrates this article is one of their work that you will see at ART42 museum. This collective plays with metaphors and have taken as symbol two animals that are the monkey and the bird. We could speak of metaphysical architectures as their work is inspired by geometry, mechanics, cosmology and astronomy. Personally I often find their works mystical, a feeling that is reinforced by the use of calligraphy, which makes us think of religious icons. We can regret that their production work is increasingly declined on recovery media such as wood, metal or glass, which end in the galleries, and less and less present on the walls of cities. The school is full of many of their works, enjoy!
Andrea Ravo Mattoni, the reinterpretation of the great classics
This Italian artist is a discovery for me, a nice discovery. His work is borrowed from classical art. One of his greatest achievements? The reproduction of Caravaggio on a hospital wall in Rome; a reproduction almost identical; but in giant format! With his work he gives a new impetus to the classic and creates a bridge between the past and the present. His inspirations do not turn only to the great Italian masters, since in Bordeaux in 2018 he reinterpreted Eugene Delacroix. An artist to follow and who has been selected by the Louvre museum for an upcoming intervention! If this classic side sharpens your curiosity; his Instagram should amaze you.
In conclusion: Street Art between 4 walls that gives what?
I’m gonna be very honest; I did not feel the “Wow” that I can have while falling in front of a a giant fresco at the corner of a street. It’s a little tight. Nevertheless, this collection is impressive, the school have a very particular architecture and the atmosphere with the student quite surprising. And I can’t forget the fact that Nicolas Laugero Lasserre offers to see his Street Art collection for free! A gesture to salute!
If you do not know anything about Street Art, it’s a good way to see various works and discover artists from around the world. We find Banksy, Clet, C215, Jerome Mesnager, Roa, Speedy Graphito, Madame and many others.
If before you go there you want to discover more works of the ART42 museum, go to my Instagram.
And if you prefer Street Art outdoors; you can follow my different ballads:
- Street Art Walk in the Frigos district of Paris
Or download the Street Art Cities App to discover Street Art next to you!
If you liked it, thanks you for sharing 😉