Discover Street Art City, the home of Street Art in the French countryside!3 July 2019
Discover Street Art City is an idea that I had in mind since the opening of the site in 2016. But here I also had in mind a lot of apriori! Because the concept reminded me a sort of Disneyworld’ Street Art; pay entrance and coffee on the spot! It is clear that if I write this article is that I changed my mind on Street Art City. A change of opinion that is the result of several things that make the assets of the place:
- A very nice welcome; pleasant, almost family-friendly, by young people from the region who are happy to work there and happy to tell their stories with artists or neighbors!
- Some beautiful frescoes, when I say “some”, it is counted on the fingers of several hands.
- Buildings left in their own juices, with a little Urbex side.
- A route in the hotel 128 that will remind the less young some squats artists known in the 80s!
Once the old rusty portal of Street Art City spent: the experience can begin!
It is reached by a small country road; and the neighborhood is more bestiary than human! An old metal door comes to you and someone from the team comes to open you; it offers you the 2 existing rates. Explains where to park and other small technical details and gives you a map of places with the names of the artists. The visit can begin!
I choose to do outdoor 1st and enjoy some sunlight. Very quickly I discovered dilapidated buildings, and especially the pleasure of having no one on my shoulders during the visit. Street Art City is in the middle of the fields and I admit it is the first time in my life that I see Street Art when I hear cows!
My selection of 9 murals to give you a good idea of Street Art that you will discover
As usual during my Street Art walks, I made a selection of works that I preferred and which for me illustrate the different types of artists who have here. And if I post you everything, you would have nothing to discover by going there! With this selection you will be amazed by the mix of styles, techniques and also the international side of Street Art City.
The look of childhood seen by SEF, Peruvian artist
This gigantic wall is one of the first that we see when entering Street Art City. I was immediately seized by the look of this child and the work of the artist who had played with the different textures of the wall. We have the strange sensation that this child will jump on us! This fresco of great quality is made by the Peruvian artist SEF.01; a discreet artist on whom you will not find much on the Internet. Children are for him symbols of innocence, purity and freedom. He usually paints in cities marked by war to bring hope and love to the wounded people. We can find some of his frescoes in Antwerp, Milan, Paris, …
A remake of Alice in Wonderland by two talented artists!
To say that this four-handed work is talented is a euphemism! This wall is simply taping! We find an Alice made only by aerosol spray by the American artist BKFOXX who finds herself immersed in the world of ZESO, who is for me the mascot of Street Art City, so much he worked there. BKFOXX is a “purist” artist, she never uses brushes, no paint guns and even less stencils. She creates photorealistic murals around the world. We find her work in Brooklyn, London, Bordeaux, Paris… ZESO is a Lyonnais artist, who is also a great name in the New York scene! He lived 10 years illegally in the United States and has distinguished himself in the world of graffiti! To our great delight he was Kindly asked by the US Government “to go back to the border” and stayed a whole season in Artist residency at Street Art City … I think he has more than contributed to the growing success of the place!
When the “Blaze” of a graffiti artist and comic characters come together!
The kids who visited the place at the same time as me seemed to love finding their favorite comic book characters! It must be said that this mix between the pink panther, cochonnet, rapetou with the graffiti signature of SOTEN works very well. This Danish artist is undoubtedly one of the kings of graffiti. He spends his life between Copenhagen and New York and no one knows how many Typographies he could invent! On this simple fresco his name “soten” appears on 7 graffiti with different typos.
The giant face of the child worker by Ted Nomad
He has a deep look, a heavy tool on his shoulder; you could imagine him coming out of a mine or breaking pebbles! Weeks of preparation, a week for the final realization; the time it took Ted Nomad to realize this face. This Mâcon artist makes celebrities or unknown stencil faces; each stencil is unique and each face speaks to you, often with sadness. He also made a room in Hotel 128, which I will not reveal now…
OJI: a work around imposed architecture
Je vous avais déjà parlé d’OJI dans mon article sur le Bushwick Collective. A la différence de beaucoup d’artistes qui recouvrent les murs de leurs œuvres sans utiliser les formes de ceux-ci; OJI s’en sert ! Ses deux fresques de Street Art City sont très parlantes ; il renforce les lignes autour des fenêtres, utilise la technique du ravalement en trompe l’œil,… Un Street artiste français étonnant qui pour chaque fresque délivre son propre message. À droite : « À grimper encore et toujours l’individu s’isole. Il nous faut apprendre à redescendre sur terre. ». À gauche : « Un regard qui s’échappe à travers les barreaux de nos vies qui entravent souvent la joie simple ». Vous l’aurez compris pour cet artiste Parisien, le thème de l’emprisonnement, de l’empêchement est une récurrence dans son travail.
I had already told you about OJI in my article on the Bushwick Collective. Unlike many artists who cover the walls of their works without using the forms of these; OJI uses them! He reinforces the lines around the windows, uses the trompe l’oeil technique, … An astonishing French street artist who for each mural delivers his own message. Right: “To climb again and again the individual is isolated. We must learn to descend to earth.”. Left: “A look that escapes through the bars of our lives that often impede simple joy.” As you will have understood for this Parisian artist, the theme of imprisonment and impediment is a recurrence in his work.
Carolina Pepe, portraits of emotion
I chose to present you the work of this artist from Argentina; because something happened to me when I posted the picture on Instagram! A gang of “haters” began to criticize her work, criticize her personally, and talk about her difficult childhood in Argentina. In addition some threatened me if I did not withdraw the post! You read correctly ! But which artist does not use his experience through his works? The art of Carolina Pepe is an exploration of the inner world and the complex nature of emotions. Through her one-eyed women, she points out how an individual defines her perception of reality. This fresco is striking, the sweetness of the characters, the mirror effect that shows two eyes and vegetation running on the wall. A powerful and poetic fresco at a time!
Bling Bling, Groovy and sexy style for this fresco of a Japanese Street artist
Le grand écart ! Pour le coup on change carrément de style. D’inspiration Hip Hop cette fresque de la Japonaise Shiro réunit un grand nombre de codes du Street Art. On se croirait projeté dans le Bronx avec graffitis, boombox, pepettes exubérantes, baskets de rigueurs et j’en passe. Cette artiste Japonaise a une étonnante personnalité ! Au Japon elle est nurse et sa mère ne comprend pas très bien ce qu’elle fait quand elle peint aux quatres coins du monde. Hé oui, vous l’aurez compris, Shiro est une artiste plutôt reconnue ; à New York elle est très proche de la Team de Tats Cru qui vient de faire la fresque du mur iconique de Bowery. Cette artiste a une pêche d’enfer et les galeries commencent à se l’arracher ! Une chance pour nous elle préfère toujours peindre sur des murs !
The big gap ! For once we change style. Inspired by Hip Hop, this fresco by the Japanese Shiro brings together a large number of Street Art codes. It’s like being thrown into the Bronx with graffiti, boombox, exuberant peppers, rigorous sneakers and so on. This Japanese artist has an amazing personality! In Japan she is a nurse and her mother does not really understand what she does when she paints all around the world. Yes, you will understand, Shiro is a rather well-known artist; in New York she is very close to the Tats Cru Team who take over the iconic Bowery Wall beginning of this year. This artist has a hell of peach and the galleries are starting to tear off! A chance for us, she always prefers to paint on walls!
A graffiti face for the highest fresco of Street Art City
Those of you who know a little graffiti world will have immediately recognized SNAKE‘s style. He is a figure of graffiti since a few years and like many others hide his face! He defines himself as a “modern calligrapher”. Of course he comes from the hip-hop world of the 90s and for him the graffiti can only be monumental! This Toulousain is one of the rare graffiti artist to live from his work and without complex he collaborates with major car brands, starred chefs, architects! We can find this weird, but SNAKE like many other graffiti writers has gone through the prison cell for degradation and he believes that he would never have been able to make these beautiful encounters if he had remained in the system of illegality.
Aéro, the artist who pays homage to his grandfather
This wrinkled face, these crumpled hands, this sailor’s cap, the boat that goes away, … This wall in black and white is striking by the sweetness of its interpretation. So it did not surprise me when I learned that this artist from Rennes had paid tribute to his grandfather. Aero is an amazing artist; he dropped his brushes in 2002 and traveled the world as a cook! Returned to Rennes to get closer to his family, he finally abandoned the kitchen in 2017 to return to his first love; graffiti and aerosols. Local figure of the city of Rennes; he is also a rising figure in the French Street Art scene. To watch very closely!
I hope these 9 artworks already give you an overall idea of what you can discover at Street Art City. But in fact, there are more than 80 murals you can see outside Street Art City. If you only have 2 or 3 hours, you will have time to see everything for 12 euros! But frankly, leaving to go in the countryside and do the road, I advise you to continue the course by visiting the hotel 128, and in the end, to spend your day there. I invite you to continue this visit in the heart of Street Art City: Hotel 128 in my next article! And of course, you will find in this second part, my final verdict on this place more than astonishing! If you want to go there without reading further, you will find all the useful information on the site of Street Art City!
If you want to discover other amazing places where Street Art is king; go for a walk in the Street Art section of my blog. You should find your happiness!