Street Art walk in the streets of old Sète in South of France14 November 2021
When you go hunting for street art in the streets of Sète France, one thing is certain: you need very good shoes! Of course, there are many works of art on the slopes of the old town; but after 14 years of the K-Live Festival, urban art has invaded the daily life of all the inhabitants of Sète and this in all the districts.
When you think of Sète, the port comes to mind first; its charming, old-fashioned canals that simply make you want to stroll. One also thinks of Georges Brassens, a french singer, who was born here and even has a museum named after him! Of course, it is the largest French fishing port on the Mediterranean sea, but what is less well known is that the Villa Saint-Clair, located in the Beaux-Arts, is home to the oldest “Art” preparatory class in France. It is also on one of its hills that Pierre Soulages, master of the “outre-noir”, continues to paint from his studio. In fact, the ideal starting point for a Street Art walk in Sète is the entrance to the Beaux-Arts perched on Mont Saint-Clair!
Street art with a view of the Mediterranean Sea.
We start this descent with a declaration of love painted by the French artist Kashink on the somewhat tired wall of the Beaux-Arts. As soon as I saw this little phrase on the wall I couldn’t help but think of Edith Piaf and when I discovered that the name of this work was L’hymne à l’amour I couldn’t help but smile. So I begin this descent with a smile on my face and a little tune running through my head.
As I walk down the slopes of Mont Saint-Clair, one of Seth GlobePainter‘s little men jumps out at me… I see in it the thoughts and dreams of a child flying out of a magic hat; but the reality is quite different and my imagination has taken me a little too far. This is Monsieur Tielle, made in 2014, which refers to the small pie with octopus spices that is THE speciality of the city 😉
My descent continues and it is a work by Arthur M. alias Ratur that jumps out at me. In the distance there is the port of Sète and then in front of me this huge fisherman with binoculars. This French artist, born in Le Havre, never ceases to amaze. Now living in Vancouver, he often works with four hands, as is the case for this work with his brother Oscar alias Sckaro. Whether solo or in duo, his work evolves with a strong creative energy, marked by nature. An artist to follow seriously, solo or with his brother 😉
There are sometimes magical moments in these wanderings! You, like me, might never have visited the Paul Valérie Museum in Sète! Some urban artists like Andréa Ravo-Mattoni have the magic to make us rediscover forgotten museum works like this “Sack of Rome” painted by Joseph-Noël Sylvestre in 1890. This work, which represents a scene of the sacking of Rome, has an unsuspected importance: that of the end of antiquity and the transition to the High Middle Ages!
Below this monumental work, and outside the “official” K-Live Festival route, the Sète graffiti artist Depose occupied the space! And I must admit that I like it 😉 If you keep your eyes open in Sète, you will find his works and his Blaze all over the city!
I continue my wanderings towards the south of the city. Still a little perched on the heights, I have to admit that Street Art hides mischievously in the small streets, such as this impressive Minotaur by the artist Bault or this surge of love by the artist Sunra.
Street Art in Sète offers an amazing variety of works!
The more I walk through the alleys of the upper quarter, the more charming I find them. I am also surprised by the different styles on offer. Of course, the theme of the sea in the broadest sense is often addressed, as with this old wolf made by the artists Swed and Vizir in four hands.
Other, more graphic works easily fit into the landscape without really knowing why. I loved the humour of the very unique world of Dr. Ponce‘s “Cool Tales of the Junkyard Dogs“. It looks like the cover of a picture book for naughty children 😉
And in an even more graphic style, in a steep and above all very narrow alley, I discovered the fresco of Jonas alias Sun7. I must admit, it doesn’t touch me much; but I find interesting his marriage of automatic writing to geometric forms. As art, even street art, is felt in a very personal way, don’t hesitate to give me a feedback on this work 😉
The work I found most inspiring in this High Quarter was done by French stencil artist Christian Guémy aka C215. If you follow the blog, you already know that I appreciate his work and his humanism. But with time I sincerely find that his large format works leave an indelible mark on my memory. I was speechless in front of his thinker! His look, his attitude, the fabric that surrounds him… this thinker could be a migrant, a sailor or just a dreamer…
Head to Le Café Social for a graffiti festival!
Talking about Street Art in Sète is also talking about graffiti. I recommend this place in town for two reasons: the Café Social which is a good spot to nibble on good tapas during your walk and the square just below the café where you will find the works of local artists. There are beautiful blazes, colour, it’s a good dose of Free Style before heading back to the big murals!
There are, of course, works by Depose, and you can recognize some signatures like Amonalis or KUG. But even if I’m passionate about urban art, I’m not an expert and unfortunately I still don’t know much about the graffiti crew in the region!
Going down the slopes of the district, I arrive at the Macaronade staircase in which an astonishing work has been created by Eric Lacan. I hope that this fight between roosters and crows is not a bad omen for the rest of my adventure!
Head for La Pointe Courte, without which Sète would not be what it is!
La Pointe courte is quite simply a unique place where time has stood still. In fact, you should take the time to stroll around to smell the perfume of the past. This little fisherman’s quarter has stood the test of time! Immortalised by the director Agnès Varda in 1955, it has remained as it was. The streets and crossings will of course allow you to discover works of Street Art, even if some are damaged. But above all, it is the characters that you will discover! Former fishermen, eccentric artists, sometimes loud; they are the soul of this district. In fact, if the Pointe Courte did not exist, the city of Sète would have less flavour. Without highlighting any artists, I have tried to make a mosaic of images that I hope will make you feel a little of this exceptional place!
So we go to Sète?
Discovering Street Art in Sète is like travelling back in time. This city is the anti bling-bling of the Mediterranean! It’s a great place to stroll, to go and taste oysters on the Thau lagoon at sunset, to get lost in its charming alleys to discover magnificent works of art!
If you don’t want to get too lost, an interactive map will help you find all the Street Art in Sète. It is on the K-live Festival homepage!
I hope you enjoyed this new Street Art walk in the streets of Sète. Personally I don’t know why but I love these discoveries along the water… The one in Boulogne-sur-mer was also a nice discovery! Can’t wait for Barcelona 😉
So I’ll put on my trainers and head off on a new urban adventure and leave you with the little live I made when I was in Sète.
See you soon & take care!