A concentrate of Street Art in Aubervilliers that awakens the senses! A must-see spot!27 February 2021
As for the atmosphere, it is rather peaceful, as some of the banks have benefited from significant improvements. You can oscillate between modern constructions, works and small obsolete locks straddling the Canal… You can even sit on a lawn to have a snack! When you see my photos, you will have only one desire: to go for a Street Art walk in Aubervilliers 😉
A “National Street Art Portrait Gallery” located under the Paris ring road.
As soon as I saw the first faces of this gallery, I thought of a tribute to Japan and then I came across the graffiti “Shinjuku, Brooklyn, Barbès; here or there same fight”. The style of these faces immediately reminded me of the artist Jon Buzz who made some portraits under the bridge of the Porte des Poissonniers. I wasn’t mistaken; this is indeed a work by the artist which is part of his enigmatic project 451… A mysterious project whose name is only known, but which gives us a glimpse of some magnificent achievements.
The 8 massive posts supporting our horrible ring road are the support for these sweet faces. The atmosphere emanating from the whole is very zen. One finds oneself propelled under the brutality of the city in an enchanted bubble, an invitation to travel.
Beyond its admirable aesthetic side; it would seem that this project 451 is being undertaken because we find on the backs of the posts some expressions referring to the crisis situation, others to tolerance. These expressions are roundabout and often full of humour… namely “So far so good”, “So I spend so I am”, “Pine and birch”, “The making of consent”, “What’s the next step before space invasion”, “All parents – All different”…
Of course, a few local graffiti artists & graffiti writers, like Dawal, came to put their signatures on these magnificent posts; which doesn’t take anything away from the poetry of the place!
All that remains is to reach the other bank of the Canal Saint Denis via the Boulevard MacDonald bridge – a small incursion at the gates of Paris before plunging back to the banks of Aubervilliers!
Graffiti & Blazes slamming on this short stretch of the Canal Saint Denis
Have I stumbled upon a Hall of Fame of the Blazes of 93?
Very sincerely I believe that it is a wall among many others in the North of Paris; but all the same, beautiful signatures (Blazes) and beautiful techniques, we are very well served on the banks of the Canal Saint Denis! Impossible for me to recognize all the signatures. I still managed to identify the graffiti artists Deace.one, 90dbc_roner, Skout & Xare ; and of course if you know the others don’t hesitate to leave me a little comment 😉
A little nod to the Street Art Avenue artists who punctuate this miraculous spot!
I must confess to you, the day before I had gone to a much higher spot on the Canal Saint Denis to write you a lengthy article, of which I have the secret, on this Street Art Avenue that I thought was explosive… In fact, after three hours of walking, I felt a bit frustrated… So I decided to start again in the other direction and that’s how I came across this spot which deserves an article of its own and above all which allows to understand the richness and diversity in Urban Art that the north of Paris offers. Of course, I’ll write an article about Street Art Avenue which is a beautiful project in the making 😉
On the other side of the magnificent portrait gallery; the posts of the bridge are included in a work area where nobody works… You can see some works by Guaté Mao, one of which has been cheerfully toyed with!
The work that best fits into this poetic and chaotic landscape remains that of Seth, who continues his work on the theme of childhood and who has a stone’s throw from the lock, depicting children playing with a paper boat overturned on them. It is a little as if this work is part of the landscape. It is very likely that it will disappear because this little walk on the quays is beginning to attract property developers in a very dangerous way.
I’m closing this more conventional parenthesis here because the time has come to discover the most incredible street of this spot!
What if the Street Art of Aubervilliers became a rival for the Bushwick Collective of Brooklyn?
I can already see you sketching a mocking smile! You tell yourself that I fell on my head or that confinement has had a very negative effect on my mental health 😉 No way! Rue Pierre Larousse in Aubervilliers gave me the same feeling as when I found myself for the first time in the heart of the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn!
You will find here masters of XXL format graffiti. Powerful works, most of them were created for the Auber Graffiti Show of 2019 organised by Street Art Avenue 😉 If you linger on this “Pit Blues” made by the artists Lord URB1, Eaj, Moyoshi and Weis; you will understand very quickly that this work has nothing to do with a simple Blaze. The 3D calligraphy, the geometric cuts and the incredible reinterpretation of the Pit Bull give the work a dynamic and beautiful balance. I’m telling you, these works are on a par with those from Brooklyn!
What a pleasure to find a work of the artist Crey132! The first time I saw his work was in Street Art City and I had already found it very powerful. In the meantime I have had the chance to see some of his hyper worked Blazes, but this is the second work I discovered and the feeling is exactly the same: strength, delicacy and precision of the lines… A pure lettering that slams with its blood red comes to support a simple and strong message. Zoom on his shoulder at the level of the splashes of paint… The words delicacy and perfection of execution will jump out at you!
Watching the little live feed I gave you on Facebook during my visit, I understood why this place made me think so much of Brooklyn. The power of the works, the diversity of styles, colours, techniques… So many signals that bring me back to this mythical place that is the Bushwick Collective! Just look carefully at the work of BABS, its unique cybernetic style is recognizable among all and above all inimitable! His neo-graffiti universe is his signature. You can see monsters, crazy machines, the end of the world or simply a landing on Mars! So many works that open the doors of the imagination!
It’s impossible for me to show you all the works from this street; but I can’t talk about this incredible spot without mentioning the Hoops Factory which is THE “Made in France” Basketball Academy for children from 4 to 14 years old; when you enter the street, you’d think you were next to the Los Angeles Lakers Staples Center… Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit 😉
The wall facing these XXL works is also graffitied on all sides, we find the world of graffiti in all its forms, Bubble Letters, Block Letters, and a lot of graffiti of American inspiration… Of course the artists are perhaps less known but deserve that one lingers on their Blazes or some more complex essays.
Is it necessary to cross the ring road to discover Street Art in Aubervilliers?
To this question; I’m going to start by tackling my Parisian friends who are constantly complaining about the closure of museums! There are treasures on the other side of the ring road; don’t be afraid, it’s much safer than you think and even more welcoming than some Parisian neighbourhoods… Get moving, there are things going on Aubervilliers you don’t even know about!
In fact, if you walk towards the City of Science and Industry of La Villette, you just have to go up the Canal towards the North to reach this spot of the 93. Otherwise, there are two points of reference to discover it: The Hoops Factory and the Appolo Sporting Club located on the Quai du Lotissement in the 19th district of Paris, a few metres from the magnificent portrait gallery.
If you want to continue exploring the surrounding area, you can then retreat to the Canal de l’Ourcq which has some beautiful works of art in store for your eyes. And if by any chance discovering the Ile de France in a different way seduces you, I strongly advise you to take a trip to Vitry-sur-Seine, there’s plenty to feast your eyes on.
And as I’ve been telling you about the Bushwick Collective all the time, I invite you to go there virtually before you can visit it in real life when this damn Covid will leave us alone.
For my part, I’m going to put my trainers back on and set off on new Street Art adventures.
See you soon and take care of yourself.