Street Art & Cinema: a true love story !

Street Art & Cinema: a true love story !

10 January 2020 0 By Séverine

If you are following the blog since the beginning, you’ve certainly noticed that my first article about Street Art was focusing on Cinema! In fact, I went to a cinema High School, produces and directed shorts films & advertisement’s making-off before changing my career.

I have spoke to you about the exhibition les Capucines de l’Art which were having the French artist Christian Guémy as Expository Comissioner and the theme was cinema. I am not going to re-write about it; but just share again my preferred piece of art done by the artist Guy Denning; interpreting The Birds from Hitchcock; one of my favourite directors!

Oeuvre de Street Art représentant le film Les Oiseaux d'Alfred Hitchcock réalisée par Guy Denning

Les Oiseaux d’Alfred Hitchcock par Guy Denning


Cannes, the beginning of a quest: murals that piqued my curiosity

As I’ve told you in my previous article about Cannes; I’ve start walking in the city searching Street Art unsuccessfully. So at the end I have finally focused on murals dedicated to Cinema and produced by workshops specialized in trompe l’oeil. In fact it is quite far from the Street Art I like; but it was interesting to rediscover cinema through the prism of professional muralists.

Back in Paris and during my travels, I started to open my eyes a little wider! Thought to myself that I’ve certainly missed something. And in fact I have start discovering here and there some works inspired by the old Hollywood cinema and also by American comics.

Fresque murale monumentale Hommage à Stan Lee alias Excelsior créateur des Marvel située à Paris XIX - Copyright : @Altinnov

Fresque Hommage à Stan Lee située à Paris XIX – Copyright : @Altinnov

While traveling in New York, I realized that the very glamorous & iconic Hollywood Stars are a real source of inspiration for Street Artists! We are crossing Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, in the streets of Manhattan.

My curiosity piqued; I spent few hours on the web to do more research on the subject and “O Miracle”, I discovered the fantastic blog done by Stéphanie Martin-Petit.

Street Art and Cinema: a fantastic database for cinema and urban arts lovers!

This website is a real gold mine!

Stéphanie Martin-Petit has listed thousands of Street Art works inspired by movie scenes from around the worlds. When we dwell on this one and get lost in this incredible database; we have this strange feeling that the cinema is almost a major inspiration for Street Art. I felt like if I was diving into an extremely well organized digital encyclopedia. There are all the classics from all eras and countries; Travel on the Moon by Mélies, Metropolis by Fritz Lang, The Birds by Hitchcock, Clockwork Orange by Kubrick,.. But also, to my surprise, much more intimate films. After few hours spent on the site, I have discovered that she has also published a book with the French Editor Editions Pyramides, which is an excellent editor when it comes to graphics, design and visual identity. So I ordered this book illico presto on Amazon, because I did not find it in bookstores!

Street Art + Cinema, a cult book: to have absolutely in your library!

As soon as I opened the 1st pages of this book co-written with Christian Omodoe; I felt the same impression as when I opened Roger Boussinot’s Cinema Encyclopedia for the first time. A multitude of cinematographic memories came back to me! So I contacted Stéphanie Martin-Petit that I got on the phone and told her that I was going to write a small article on her book that is for me a gold mine. Extremely well documented, fascinating and which I sincerely believe will be very quickly a “collector” if it is not re-edited. But here, in a small interview found online; I saw that she was answering with Christian Omodoe some questions I wanted to ask her. So I decided to show you this very nice interview.

Street Art & Cinema is more than an art book; however, the texts remain simple to read and explain cinematographic periods. We find silent cinema, the beginning of speaking one and of course the French Nouvelle Vague; but also more critical periods such as militant, political, protestation… It is a journey into cinema’s history offered to us. And also a journey around the World, since the artworks come from all over the world.

Small bonus, and not the least, this book offers us six portraits of artists like the stencils Big Ben of which I had spoken to you in my walk in Lyon on the slopes of the Croix-rousse, or Christian Guémy Alias ​​C215 which created out many actor & actress stencils. And my real favorite when reading the book was the discovery of the French artist Žilda. His approach to replace the characters of Pier Paolo Pasolini in their hometown by going so far as to integrate them into the neighborhoods where they shoot his films, admittedly controversial, but mythical, had taken place, touched me a lot. A real discovery!

You understand, I am conquered by this book and if you are passionate about Cinema or Street Art, or if you have friends in this case; I can only advise you to run to a good bookstore to order it or like me, give in to the ease of Amazon! As Stéphanie told me; unfortunately, it may not be republished; one more reason to rush! But if you are, by chance, an English or American Editor, she will surely be interested for an English version;-)

3 Street Art works inspired by Cinema commented by Stéphanie Martin-Petit

As my wish was to give her a space to speak about her incredible documentation hard work. I asked her if she would be kind to choose from her thousands photos the 3 most significant shots for her and to comment on them. Of course it was difficult for her to choose from almost 3000 works only 3 photos; so she selected the first 3 that came to her mind. I let you discover her selection with her own comments.

Reproduction of the poster for the film Vivre sa Vie by Jean-Luc Godard (1962), done by Canadian artist Krista Bursey in the El Born district of Barcelona

reproduction de l'affiche du film Vivre sa Vie de Jean-Luc Godard, réalisée par la street artiste Krista Bursey au Canada

“I always say that it is with this work that my project started; I was living in Barcelona at the time and I was taking pictures of all the urban art works on iron curtains (in Barcelona there are thousands); and then one evening I came across this work. And you have to be honest, if you’re not a bit of a movie buff, you completely miss the tribute to the film. I loved this cinephilic wink and wondered if there were a lot of works of urban art inspired by cinema. And that’s where my research started.”

Tribute to the film Salo or the 120 days of Sodom by Pier Paolo Pasolini (1975) done by the French artist Žilda in Rome

Hommage au film Salo ou les 120 jours de Sodome de Pier Paolo Pasolini (1975) réalisé par l'artiste français Žilda à Rome

“Žilda paid many beautiful tributes to Pasolini in different places in Rome. His work is so poetic and in harmony with the urban environment. And then this photo (made by the artist himself) is absolutely incredible: I love the gap between the two priests who frame the work when you know how shocking the film is.”

Portraits of actresses Pola Negri -Polish- and Lilian Gish – American- made by the Catalan artist Btoy in Djerba

Portraits des actrices Pola Negri et Lilian Gish réalisés par la Street Artiste Catalane Btoy à Djerba

“It is one of the peculiarities of Btoy, this extraordinary Catalan artist, to pay homage via her stencils to female artists from the 1920s. All of her work is breathtaking.”


My intrusion into the world of Cinema seen by Street Art artists ends there; but I do not despair of laying another article in a few months! In fact the famous map which allows to geolocate the works; gives me the irresistible desire to take new thematic walks!

I strongly advise you to go get lost on Stéphanie’s Street Art + Cinema site -it is in English!- and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her warmly; for this wonderful gift she gives us all; because it is a considerable and constant work. And a more personal thank you for her warm welcome and sharing her passion with me. If you want to follow the evolution of her discoveries; you can join her Facebook page and even share your discoveries with her!

For my part, I will see you in a few days for a new article; meanwhile you can continue your Street Art walks on the blog, in Queens, in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Mexico City, or even Street Art City in France. Or just discover many new works on my Instagram!

See you soon for new adventures!