Street Art in Paris Canal de l’Ourcq is worth a visit!16 September 2020
unmissable! The wall of free expression on Henri Noguères street
I have never seen this wall without a single graffiti, tag or mural! Every week graffiti artists come to put their blaze or create frescoes. It is truly an iconic Street Art spot nearby the canal. And above all, it is a place where artists can express themselves without having to fear a ticket or an arrest!
There are local artists; but also sometimes international artists who come to have fun on this wonderful playground. During my last visit we could see works by Choofy, BerthetOne with his message « Knowledge is a weapon of mass instruction”. And also a very beautiful blaze done by Astro, well known Street Artist who does not forget where he comes from.
The astonishing phenomenon of Henri Noguères Street is this fresco in tribute to Stan Lee, the immense creator of superheroes for Marvel Editions. It has remained intact over the year; which certainly demonstrates the attachment of graffiti artists for those childhood’s characters or the respect they have for ARM Crew who produced this fresco ;-)… We find there Hulk, Iron man, Captain America and Spider-Man!
Artworks that have become iconic along the Canal de l’Ourcq, quai de la Loire
Going up along the Canal de l’Ourcq, if you keep your eyes wide open, you will come across some nice Invaders…
If you tend to look up, you can’t miss this sailor made by French artist Raphael Federici or the incredible barge covered with the work “Sarah, the jaguar charmer” done by Marko93!
It is as you get closer to the Crimée Street that a festival of works that have been there for years awaits you. They transform this walk along the Canal de l’Ourcq into an unique moment! As with COVID, i’m not ure you’re coming for a walk in Paris, I’ve decided to show you more works than in my previous articles!
I start with the work of Andréa Ravo-Mattoni which is a real bridge between classical painting and urban art. This Italian Street Artist never stop reproducing classic paintings; here we find a reference to the French painter Valentin de Boulogne who made a career in Roma at the beginning of the 17th century. Just magic!
Still on the dock side, we find Simone Veil erected as Marianne produced by the French collagist Jo Di Bona. This fresco was produced in a very special context because the artist Christian Guémy had painted portraits of her around the Panthéon. these has been degraded with swastikas! Highly anti-semitic act. By styling Simone Veil with the Phrygian cap, Jo Di Bona sets her up as a symbol of Republic and thumbs his nose at the loosest and most abject anti-Semitism there is!
After this powerful work, we can rest the eye with a dose of sweetness created by French artist Vinie Graffiti. She distils her pin-ups all over the world by systematically doing surprising work on their hair. Here she produced a work as part of the Ourcq Living Colors Festival and paid tribute to it and to its founder dAcRuZ. look carefully a the the pin-up’s hair 😉
We can also admire the Mechanicals Animals of the French artists ARDIF. I’ve thought of Street Art for years as a formidable bestiary. Some artists focus on endangered species while Ardif asks us about the precarious balance between nature and industrial world. Its gears and architectural constructions are very complex and suggest that the animal is eaten from within by the modern world. It may sound a little scary, but I still find his work quite poetic…
Right next ARDIF’s work, we find an ultra-graphic and very colorful face produced by the militan Street Artist Kashink. And also those birds that seem so light by Thai artist Mue Bon… who systematically distills messages that appeal to the public. Here if you’re knowing French, we can read between the lines “REVOLUTION”!
Arriving at Ourcq Street, at the level of the bridge, you quickly understand that you are entering the universe of Ourcq Living Colors Festival. The easy point of reference, not to get lost, is a work by dAcRuZ, and one on the other side of the bridge that I like a lot from Cart’1, although it is a bit degraded…
Ourcq’s Street: An artistic explosion of giant & small frescoes and also old style’s graffiti
It al starts with a giant work by dAcRuz and then we discover a myriad of works, each more colorful than the next. The works follow one another and are not alike. You will be amazed! There are artists from completely different universes like UnkolorDistinto, FKDL Franck Duval, Shiro One, Kaldea, Sitou, Jessi Doudou and many others… A very Hip Hop rhythm for this wall that never ends;-) Frankly, it’s difficult for me to select only few works; so I gave you a little slideshow for this incredible wall before showing you a more secret place!
The big hidden Street Art Wall of the restaurant Le Passage à niveau
One would tend to walk past this entrance without seeing it; it’s look like nothing more than an old tunnel under a railway track. in fact those old railway called “little belt” circled Paris and are beginning to be rehabilitated. The raisl are still there, but we also discover other treasures! By rushing into the number 2bis Ourcq Street, you think you will arrive… nowhere or just on a restaurant terrace after climbing the steps on the left. In fact, we discover a very nice restaurant that has a magnificent view on a wall full of works!
The discovery of this wall gave me pleasure because we find there the comic delirium of Dawal, un magnificent face madeby Hecat Oner, nice graffiti by Don Pablo, the wild France of Choofy and many others artists if we take a look closer.
I didn’t linger at the restaurant which looked more than nice, but i will go back! In fact, I couldn’t wait to see what else I could discover in the district. So I continue on Ourcq’s Street to Jean Jaurès Avenue and turned left on Ardennes Street to find myself Germaine Tailleferre’s Street.
Germaine Tailleferre’s Street; the other spot of the Ourcq Living Colors Street Art Festival
This is the end of my Street Art walk close to the Canal de l’Orucq and what an end! One thing is certain; Street Art would not be as developed if there were no festival and without the intervention of the artist dAcRuZ! This last row of works is amazing, there is a host of artists, styles and colors, always more colors! I have concocted a small slideshow with all the works, ending with the discovery of the artist David ‘Techeko ‘ Latulipe who produced a very graphic fresco, all in movement, which almost makes us want to dance!
To take this Street Art walk around the Ourcq Canal, nothing could ne simpler, you just need to take the subway to Jean-Jaurès station and go Quai de la Loire… Frankly, it’s worth the detour!
If you liked this walk, you should love Street Art in the Queens or in Vitry-sur-Seine which I thought about a lot while walking in the 19th of Paris.
I put my sneakers and head for the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer for my next article!
See you soon for new Street Art adventures!