Street Art in the Butte aux Cailles – Paris: a festival of colours and styles6 May 2022
A few decades ago, my age allows me to affirm it, Street Art in the the Butte aux cailles was limited to a few tags and if you were a bit lucky you could discover one or two stencils by the artist Miss Tic. Then the Street Art craze invaded the 13th arrondissement of Paris and the Butte aux Cailles started to be covered with colours… The artist Seth made a large contribution to this boom. He is joined by the great names of French street art, such as Jef Aérosol, Philippe Baudelocque and Kashink. What is really interesting in this little village far from the Parisian hubbub is the emergence of new artists and in particular an impressive wave of committed female artists; which is not the case in all the capitals of the world! I will therefore try in this new article to offer you a panel of the artists you could discover if you venture there… without forgetting the current events of the place of course!
The Butte aux cailles in the colours of Ukraine.
If I used the work of Seth GlobePainter on the cover of this new walk, it is intentionally, since he was one of the first French urban artists to manifest himself at the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Moreover, this work was printed in open offset and raised funds for two associations helping the Ukrainians. The famous artists of the Butte took their yellow and blue bombs in the colours of the Ukrainian flag and literally transformed the Place de la Butte aux Cailles.
On this Butte aux cailles, we feel sadness, anger but also hope. The works of Jef Aérosol, Kelu Abstract, Emyart’s, l’Empreinte Jo.V, Nô or Carole B. bring us back to a sad reality; and I admit that it’s also good not to forget it when we discover funnier, lighter works or works committed to other struggles.
Seth and the rise of Street Art in the Butte aux cailles
How could I not present Seth‘s work in this article! Honestly, it would be indecent to talk about Street Art in the Butte aux Cailles without mentioning the incredible number of works he offers us to see. Moreover, his works representing children playing fit perfectly with the morphology of the place and we can easily imagine children having fun in these winding streets. I won’t dwell on the work of this artist, whom I have already introduced to you many times, but just share with you some of his works on the Butte 😉
I love the pointillism of LadyBugNantes!
As you already know, every time I share the discovery of a Street Art spot, I try to show you all the styles, all the techniques and all the trends of the place. But of course my sensitivity plays tricks on me and even if I love urban art for its immense freedom and accessibility by all for free, I still sometimes have crushes! This time it’s a portrait by LadyBug that won my heart! Done in pointillism and spray paint with a lot of talent and feeling, this portrait gave me a boost and put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. Pure happiness!
Her very personal stencil technique illuminates the faces; she manages to convey a multitude of expressions and feelings in black and white. Lucky for us, she spent some time on the hill and left us some nice gifts!
The iconic Miss Tic is always there
Her stencils have stood the test of time and her acidic little phrases with a feminist bent never cease to evolve. Miss Tic wields the pen, Miss Tic stings, Miss Tic criticizes, she enjoys life and continues to wake us up since the 80s! Her messages haven’t lost any of their peachiness and finding her in a high place of Parisian urban art like the Butte aux cailles is an obvious choice!
When the Butte turns into an urban jungle!
I tend to ramble on about this subject, but it is true that Urban Art is a wonderful bestiary and that more and more wild animals are taking over the streets of our cities. Some artists like to paint them for their beauty, others to alert us to endangered species. To each his cause, to each his animal!
The incredible portrait gallery of Nô
What strikes you very quickly about Street Art in the Butte aux Cailles is the repetition! When I say repetition, it’s because you get the impression that the artists who come to paint in this pretty village are overwhelmed by inspiration and can’t stop painting! The number of works produced by each artist is more than astonishing. The best example is the work of the Nô. I honestly did not expect to see dozens of portraits, so different, so expressive. The National Portrait Gallery in London has a lot to worry about 😉
A wealth of works for such a small and charming village of Paris!
It’s impossible for me to share with you all the works to be discovered at the Butte aux cailles, but I can’t ignore a large number of artists either… I feel guilty! How can I not mention the ultra-feminist wall created at the initiative of the Colors Festival which brings together Anna Conda, Annapolis75, Yoldie, Poulain, Miss Me,… How can I not mention the artist Kashink who has created long walls on the Butte, or Dante and his works with bluish atmospheres. And then the soft faces of Clément Herrmann who contrasts furiously with the universe of Temponok. In fact I have to leave out some artists, but I promise they will be in the next articles!
Here are some clues to help you find the street art in the Butte aux Cailles!
In fact the Butte aux cailles is a pocket handkerchief, a real small village, adorable, far from the usual Parisian tumult. But here’s the thing: by going up and down, you get tired very quickly and you easily miss some beautiful works. To help you in your quest, I will give you the names of the streets in the area. The highest point, called Place de la Butte aux Cailles, is in fact called Place de la Commune de Paris. From this pretty little square starts rue Buot, which will surprise you at every step. But you will have to walk around this square to discover everything! The streets: Michal, Gérard, Barrault, Alphand, des cinq diamants, Jean-Marie Jego, Simonet, Vandrezanne,… as well as the passages Sigaud and Boiton will hold just as many wonders for you.
If you’re in shape, a few steps from the Butte, you’ll find a bar that was transformed into a real street art spot a few months ago. And if you feel like facing monumental works of art, the Boulevard Paris 13 open-air museum is only a few steps away! If you spend a whole day in the 13th arrondissement, you can also discover Spot 13, an ephemeral spot that never ceases to surprise us. As usual, if you liked this discovery, please share it on your favourite network! You can also follow my adventures on Facebook, Instagram and now Twitter! Or simply subscribe to my French newsletter which will arrive in your mailbox only every two or three months 😉
As for me, I’m going to look for a new spot, which will certainly be outside Paris this time!
See you soon for new Street Art adventures!