The Street Art Phenomenon Sweeps Paris

Carol Berens

Editor’s note: We have featured a few articles about the current “street art” trend sweeping the world. Highbrow Magazine contributing writer Carol Berens recently returned from Paris, where she captured numerous photos of colorful art adorning the streets and neighborhoods of the French capital. 

 

 

 

About three short blocks from place Fréhel, an empty lot on rue Ramponeau is surrounded by a former factory that contains artist studios and is now known as La Forge or La Kommune. The surrounding walls are constantly changing canvases whose styles and images cacophonously overlap. Upon close viewing, however, individual talents and messages emerge.

 

The “Belleville Zoo” consists of an overlapping montage of images each vying to be on top. At first, the wall appears to be a mass of color, but individual characters shine through.

 

 

 

 

Walking further down rue Romponeau, we come to rue Denoyer where all the storefronts are covered in painting, collages or posters—sometimes all at once. Some areas of Belleville are now tourist attractions where on a quiet Sunday morning photographers seem to outnumber the artists.

 

 

On the rue Denoyer, art serves commerce. 

 

 

 

Jérôme Mesnager’s stencils of  his “man in white” has been portrayed in motion since 1982 and is seen throughout the area and indeed the world. His work has expanded to include a website, books and gallery shows.

 

 

 

Author Bio:

Carol Berens, a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine, is an architect and writer in New York City. Her most recent book is Redeveloping Industrial Sites (2010, Wiley). She also writes for UrbDeZine, a website that revolves around urban design issues. Her website is www.carolberens.com.

 

​Photos: Carol Berens; photo on main page: Christian Aldersberger (Flickr - Creative Commons).

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