Spot 13 : This underground Street Art spot in Paris became the most fashionable place in 3 months16 May 2021
This Street Art Spot 13 started its career very smoothly. In January I started to see on Instagram works located in a place I didn’t know in the 13th district, not far from the Urban Art galleries that crisscross the neighborhood… The posts started to seriously intensify in March; and my desire to discover the place turned into impatience… But here I was in Dax, a city that offered me some nice works in passing 😉 So I had to wait until I got back to Paris to finally live the Spot 13 experience. During this time the place was not hidden anymore since its mediatization had exceeded that of the social networks to be in the press!
The Street Art Spot 13 : a Street Art wasteland as we rarely see in the heart of Paris
Quite sincerely, apart from a few spots in the North of Paris and old wastelands near Aubervilliers, Paris has rarely offered us a place as exceptional as this one. Atmosphere of wasteland, abandoned works, atmosphere of another world in the middle of Paris. The Spot13 offers a real immersive experience that begins with a descent of stairs that takes us who knows where!
I know that you are already impatient to know the exact location of this staircase! Well, it is stuck to the gallery Le Lavo//Matik which, just before the descent, offers us two very beautiful works of its artists Rast & Sax.
Once you have descended the stairs, you are there and you don’t know what to do! Several galleries in ruins offer themselves to you, but also palisades, external walls, posts. Tags are mixed with Blazes, stencils with giant murals. The whole is a succession of universes which are however rather well defined and organized by the team of graffiti artists who take care of this spot.
The Street Art Spot 13 : a succession of ephemeral open-air galleries
As I write these lines, I already know that some of the works I’m going to show you have left their place to others! The Spot 13 is the ephemeral in the ephemeral because in a few months buildings will have grown! Each gallery has its share of surprises.
Entering the 1st gallery I am surprised by the number of works and especially stencils that punctuate the walls! And at the same time happy to find the touch of artists who are familiar to me as the stencil of Raf Urban representing the face of the militant Angela Davis or this face of child so striking realized by L’empreinte Jo V.
This gallery is full of small works and we can find alternative artists of the 80s like Kristx Emeriat who rubs shoulders with newcomers of the Street Art scene like Befa or The end of animals. It has a fresh side that you don’t necessarily expect to find in a place like this.
The galleries follow one another and do not look alike; I will not give you a guided tour of each gallery, it would spoil the surprise if you go to this Street Art spot in Paris! Just a selection of works chosen for their diversity and also not to forget them since these works are all doomed to disappear if it is not already the case for some.
These works that make the spot 13 a place not to be missed in Parisian urban art
- I start with the fresco that surprised me the most and provoked the most questions. Directed by Aurélien Ramboz alias S7T RBZ this scene is impressive on many levels. Powerful, soft and marked by a dull violence, it provokes in us opposite emotions. A work magnificently realized with a technicality that we are not used to see on the Street Art scene. For me it is what we call a “Masterpiece”. A huge thank you to the artist for this gift!
- The atmosphere that emanates from the four-handed work by Jomad and Andrew Agutos is quite amazing; I immediately thought of a reinterpretation of the Tahitian myth of Gauguin, a modern version, sporty with a touch of RnB. These “Joyeusetés” – Arearea- of Paul Gaugin find themselves propelled into a new era that suits them well. It is always a real pleasure to observe how many bridges there are between classical painting (even impressionist) and Street Art. I had loved reading the book “Under the Street Art, the Louvre” by Cyril Gouyette and this work brings me back to it. I sincerely think that it would have had its place in this magnificent book.
- The faces blend together and the intensity of the glances gives us to imagine various moods and feelings. This work created by the duo of brothers Ensemble réel is the largest of their career. We find in their work this same attention to the gaze that is posed in the distance and their color palette is quite regular with assemblies of purple, mauve and blue that we are not used to see in Street Art. A sibling to watch closely!
- This tiger with its gaping mouth and blue plumage exudes an incredible power. An astonishing contrast with the softness of the realization that one would almost take for a watercolor painting so much the gradations are little marked by the paint bombs. This work by Licea is a striking contrast. I do not hide you that it is the 1st time that I see his work and I really look forward to discover other works. A young artist to follow seriously.
- Elgee is a young artist and it’s amazing because her pictorial style reminds me of the frescoes of the West Coast of the United States a few years ago. In fact, she gathers in this fresco the evils of today’s world: the city and its pollution under a bell, the sky of fire which makes us think of the inexorable global warming. And in counter-fields she invites us to travel, provokes in us a desire for nature,… everything we dream of since the beginning of this pandemic that has made us all claustrophobic. The piercing look of her young girl is a bit like a “follow me” towards new horizons. A fresco more than interesting in its composition. I had only seen two portraits of this artist and am happy to have discovered a little more of what she has to offer.
- I chose to finish with this wall because it is perhaps the most emblematic of the place. The graffiti artists have the habit of working in crews and of creating large formats with several hands. It is a real community, welded and which proves to be of an incredible generosity; the only visit of the Spot13 proves it to you. This wall, located at the end of a vacant lot, reflects a world that is often denigrated but so rich and inventive. You will find from left to right the signature of the artists Pesca, Djalouz, Petri and Dirtysix. And don’t imagine that this wall was made by young people who are at their first try; the technical level is high! For the anecdote, Djalouz is the only French artist who put his signature on the mythical 5POINTZ in Queens and he is also present at the MOSA Bowery – Museum of Street Art in New York – Only that!
Hurry up before the shovels destroy everything!
Whether it’s on foot, by train, by RER, or on a scooter, hurry up because time is against this free, spontaneous, colorful and style-rich place. A little advice though, as it’s the latest Street Art spot in Paris, it’s better to go in the morning to enjoy the works without wild influencers! As I said, there is no other place with such an atmosphere; for me the only places that can come close to the universe of Spot 13 are located either in Aubervilliers, or much further in Queens with the Welling Court Mural Project. And for those of you who really can’t come and visit; here is the little live shot I made that will give you a better idea of the atmosphere than these few lines.
It’s time for me to put on my sneakers for a new adventure 😉