Nov 25, 2014

Pax Leopard - a multifaceted project - first interview

Today's post is very special, because I'd like to present an artist whose work is very interesting (why, you will know after reading the interview below) and polyvalent at the same time. Second, because it is the first interview with an artist I have ever done so far. Third, because his art is very much correlated with the music, which I just love in arts.  

His pseudonym is Pax Leopard (his website here - enjoy watching the video!) and he's a young artist living in Paris (btw. he become a dad recently - congratulations once again!), trying to create out of his art an experimental field, which will combine pictures, videos, music, maybe even dance - all together. However, it doesn't mean that these units can't exist independently of each other at the same time. 

Here's the first question I asked Pax Leopard (Facebook fanpage here):
Is your street art about your music only? If yes, how did you figure out this interesting concept of auto-promoting? Is there some other concept in it, as well?

Pax Leopard: I would say it's a multi-faceted project. Sort of mix and link of a different art forms, with elements that complement with each other, but which,  still, can be viewed, heard or experienced separately. I wanted, in this way, create the interaction with people, so they could be the actors at the same time as the listeners and the observers. To create a link between outside and inside. To get a person to move, who discovers our universe in front of his/her computer, to go explore the streets and find us there; or on the contrary, to get to move those, who would usually crossed our characters on the street only, to go find us on the web, to discover our universe right there, through an interactive website. I try to break a bit some barriers and bring together the arts, that a priori, don't have that much to do together.

Why are your characters wearing stripes black&white and having the geometric shapes? Once again, is there some correlation with the music? (video on Vimeo here)

P.L.: These characters are directly inspired by a Native American tribe, decimated during the nineteenth century. The Selknam people. I'm completely fascinated by the beauty of the costumes they were wearing during their initiation rites. Therefore, I wanted to pay tribute by letting them reborn in this form. For the beginning, I have interpreted and manufactured their costumes myself, then, I have invited some friends for costume dance session that we filmed entirely. The positions of the characters that you can observe on the walls, are taken from this dancing session. As the story to tell, becoming recently a father, I feel, somehow, that I paid tribute to Selknams' tradition by celebrating in this very special way my own transition from adolescence to adulthood.

How many of you are involved in this project (if it's a case)? Are you French and living in Paris?

P.L.: I'm the only official representative in this group… Though, it happened that some friends helped me. For instance, one friend is coming to help me paste the posterts from time to time. Once, I even took my wife with me, 8 months pregnant at the time (!!!), to paste on the wall two big characters, at 6 o'clock in the morning. Moreover, I worked also with a team of film makers to do a clip, as well as with the web master to create the site. Both are based in Rouen, Normady. As for me, I live in Paris.

What kind of music are you doing and can we find somewhere more examples of your work?

P.L: For the moment, there's one available to download for free on the web site. And nothing else. I think there will be more coming, but I don't know when exactly. Nor do I know what form will it take. Now, if I would try to describe the style of this piece, I would say it's rather minimalist synthetic, warm and sensual.

Could you shortly describe you as a group and your creation? (his Instagram account here)

P.L.: It's a young project that, I hope, will develop slowly but in the long term. I didn't put any pressure on timing or productivity. I just would like it to be a field for experimentation, sharing and collaboration. Pax Leopard should remain free to roam where he wants, how we wants and when he wants.

This is all, what Pax Leopard told me about his art, works and plans. Many thanks for this interview!

Below, two last photos showing one of his characters in two versions... 

One on-line shop (Boutique de la Dix-Neuvieme planque) decided to use his character as a perfect background to advertise theirs clothes.

 And what do you prefer? With our without T-shirt?...

Oct 9, 2014

IT'S TIME to DANCE! project by SOBR

In the end everything is about the music - that was the first idea for the title of this post, as I was going to prepare the post about two different artists connected by the main link: music. Finally, I ended up by dividing them into two independent posts, because the second artist will be interviewed by me soon, but for that, still,  we need more time. 

Back to the artist from today: he's pseudonym is SOBR, or Sobre. Although he is French, his area of creation is pretty wide: Berlin (mostly), French cities like Marseille and Paris, Lisbon, Bucharest, Rome etc... On his website, we can find no information about him, but photos of his works, projects and the place given to it.

Nevertheless... After digging up the internet, I found out, that I wasn't the only one complaining about the lack of information about SOBR. Mogli Oak was also, just finally he did an interview with this artist, so now we can know more. I will quote this interview here, as I find it short yet comprehensive.

SOBR is actually involved in two projects. One called Tekno Painting (Facebook page here) and second one: IT'S TIME to DANCE (FB's page here). The latter is the leading one for the moment and there's plenty of paste-up showing girls while dancing. Why? What was the idea?

In his interview with SOBR Mogli Oak says that: "[...] he likes to party and his work is a reflection of this. He especially likes raves and free parties and he says these “counter-cultural” non controlled parties are what touches him the in our society. He says that “on the dance floor there’s a complete freedom and a real connection between people” and this is what led him to spread the joy of partying to the streets with his It’s Time to Dance Project."

On his FB's page, in the "About" section, there's a phrase: "Du mur d'enceintes aux murs de la cité", which we can translate: "From the speakers' walls on the walls of the city". It explains everything about the idea of his "dancing" street art and importance of the music during the process of its creation.

Very often there's additional element behind these dancing silhouettes. Either yellow tape saying "IT'S TIME TO DANCE" or a rectangle picture, made out of lines and shapes, reminding me a bit a labyrinth, tribal pattern or, finally, the (nowadays omnipresent ) QR Code. SOBR says that it is inspired by the repetitive aspect of the techno music. Like a try of its visual transcryption. 

Quote from the interview: "The pictures he pastes up as part of this project are of people he has photographed at techno raves and parties around Europe. His criteria for subjects is, for one, that they have to show a real love of dancing, but who must also show “grace” whilst doing so. Then it simply comes down to the technical matter of lighting and to whether it is possible to create a stencil from the photograph".

The colours are rather minimalistic, two, maximum three each time, with quite big dose of grey. I guess when the photos are being taken by night in the clubs, during dancing and accompanied by the dim light, we don't see much more than this. 

Obviously, in the end, it's expression of the body that became a main tool of the ubiquitous (in this very moment) music...

Below: a dancing girl with the company of Fred le Chevalier's colleagues.
Let's leave them dancing then...

Sep 2, 2014

The largest mural in Europe by Pantonio / Galerie Itinerrance

In June this year, Pantonio (Antonio Correia), Portuguese artist, created the highest, as far, mural in Europe. Pantonio has always been the part of artistic exhibitions, urban art festivals and even called once to go to China to design a giant mural, consisted of animals culturally relevant to China (more details and photos here). 

The animals and characters designed like if they were the photography's negatives, by use of the very flexible and soft lines, presented in motion that resembles the current of the river, are "swimming" on the walls. Sometimes lazy, sometimes more lively, Pantonio's incredibly soft compositions magnetize our eyes. Minimalist colours are the must. White, blue and black, sometimes pinch of red or yellow, to not get lost in this labyrinth of silhouettes... 

Whirlwind of the fish - Pantonio

This largest mural in Europe, was unveiled in 13th district in Paris, on Thursday 19 June 2014. On the website of Galerie Itinerrance, which is the official patronage of this urban series of paintings, we can find few informations about it. Namely, Pantonio was working on this fresco one month long and it has (the wall of the building actually) 66 meters high and 15 meters wide.

Whirlwind of the fish - Pantonio

Whirlwind of the fish - Pantonio

There's a documentary book by Jerome Thomas "Sky is the Limit, the painters of the extreme", where we can find this and much more other photos about "making-of". 

Whirlwind of the fish - Pantonio

Just next to it, on another building, there's a huge mural done under the patronage of Galery Itinerrance as well, ordered by the Town Hall of the 13th district of Paris. 

Stewearth (I already did a post about him) is the artist, who is often inspired by Japanese culture and even (if we can say so) invented his own world, populated by birds, fish, samurai etc... 

Pantonio whirlwind and Stewearth's Blue Heron

Wall's surface of 52 per 14 meters, 30 litres of paint, 100 aerosol cans and 60 hours of work to create this giant Blue Heron...

Blue heron by Stewearth
Blue heron by Stewearth
What will be the next mighty animal to inhabit on of the walls in this district?

Jun 26, 2014

Amazing murals directly from Poland (Szczecin) (guest post)

Once again some guest post from Poland, as I went there for a weekend. This time I just couldn't take my eyes off this murals... Both the technique and the valuable message form an amazing work of street art! I wouldn't mind to have a smaller copy at home...     

Unique, vivid details, sense of proportion and movement, which is so hard to capture correctly on such large surfaces are one of the biggest attitude of this murals in city of Szczecin

First one was created by the artist, originally from Wrocław city in Poland, named Cekas vel Ceka 100. The light, skinny, dancing-alike silhouette with a big, heavy, colourful and rich in detail head , hunting for a fly reminds me a bit a monster that we could watch in a movie Le labyrinthe de PanA duet of a grim reality from one side and a cruel world of fantasy from another, with a pinch of poetry. Breath-taking!



Both of these murals were created in 2011 from the initiative of Eco Jam Graffiti vol. 4, a part of the project "Projekt EGOS", which promotes environmental activities. Eco Jam Graffiti has the idea of aesthetic transformation of the the neglected, disturbing, dirty places, through the artistic interventions, so the could become friendly, eye-catching and "renovated". 

Mural presented below was created by three artists together LUMP(from Szczecin), CHAZME and SEPE (from Warsaw). The colours, the details and the concept are amazing. LUMP says: "Murals are an alternative for banners and disturbing city-lights. They destroy the visual centre. Street art is not the closed part of the gallery, where "you can watch, but don't touch". Urban art meets people, has a wide range and forces the viewer to change his perception of public space". 

"This painting (below) is part of the context of the city and enhances its diversity. At the same time it becomes its representative. The idea of this mural is to ask a question: to have or to be. If you don't perceive the real values, you lose the sense of existence" - adds Ceka100.



Another mural of these authors, turned into an animation to watch here

Apr 27, 2014

Concrete-brick jungle

Animals, after people, are one of the most gripping subject for the street artist. No wonder as what else could bring more life to the grey street than a wild animal? Serious, with a wink, grotesque, funny, scary or very sophisticated- Parisian jungle lives its own life in hundreds of ways.

Below, first two pictures present the art works of the artist called Bonom. Creating mostly in Paris and Brussels, Bonom likes to make us felling uneasy with his sprayed works, that occupy the highest parts of the buildings, like if they were "floating close to the sky". A nice article about Bonom you can find here

Below: boar on the spit. Scary, bit gory piece of art arranged around the technical ladder fixed on the wall. He uses very often this element of the building as an integral part of his graffiti. Very, very impressive...

Boar on the spit by Bonom

Rummaging in the web I found few short movies showing the way he works. How he climbs the high buildings to create his most remarkable graffiti and looks for some adrenaline at the same time... 

Gare au Gorrile Street artist Bonom painting a gorilla in the center of Brussels
Bonom about being more than a street artist and criminalisation of the street art

Fish by Bonom

Monkeys by artists: Kouka and Ponz. 


Stencilled green jaguar, artist unknown.

City of Paris is full of little stencilled animals everywhere. Usually black sprayed, little fellows roam free, without an owner.

There's a group of animals that makes us smile and/or actually smile to us, too.

Smiling panda by Sheez

Dancing, a little bit satanic-like goat...Is it for fun or is there some message behind?

Little red fox carelessly sprayed in the 3rd district of Paris.

If we talk about the animals, we couldn't not mention about Codex Urbanus. The number of his bestiary is growing really fast. My previous post about him to be found here

Fig 76 - Saurus Cervus by Codex Urbanus

Fig 204 - Eliphas Axolotl by Codex Urbanus

Some animals are bored to be constantly exposed, so they simply descend the walls and go somewhere else, leaving the traces behind them. 

Seal by Burins

"Kraken - Je t'aime", "Kraken - I love you", artist unknown, is to be found near the Republique in Paris. If someone is interested to find out more about this legendary giant squid, or is in love with it as well, can read more about it on Wikipedia

Kraken, je t'aime - Kraken I love you

The last presented group of animals is treated in a very artistic way with a kind of wildness preserved, which is hard to see at first glimpse, but we feel it very well. There are the beautiful compositions taking the final form of the animals, as well as the animals that are more or less "anthropomorphised". Picture below, forming a tiger's head, probably is made by an artist called Dourone, but I'm not entirely sure.

Another tiger made by Fred le Chevalier, a Parisian favorite as a street artist. Actually, Fred's tiger is transformed to represent a daemon. More about him and his numerous characters created with the pinch of onirism to be found in my previous post about Fred le Chevalier.

And here the brick jungle ends.

Mar 16, 2014

Road sign's street art, vol. II.

Exactly one year ago I have posted the photos about road signs, plate's stickers etc. Today I'm doing it again, as the amount of the new street art pieces on the traffic signs and plates is growing fast every day and the artists are getting more and more creative!

Below: author unknown

No thoroughfare road sign originally retouched by Clet Abraham, was, in my opinion, enhanced once again, but by another artist, who pasted the eyeball instead of the head. Moreover, this eyeball sticker is reflective, which gives different effects with and without a flesh (made by night ).

Clet Abraham again.

Here Clet Abraham, of course, and just below the work of Leo'n'Pipo - enhanced road sign about bicycles.

Liberte - freedom. In my post about London, you can see an English version of this traffic sign.

About the last two photos, I'm not sure, whether they belong to Clet Abraham, or not, but the last one made me a big smile whilst the morning rush to work


Leo'n'pipo below

I also found a bicycle (I'm not sure though, whether was it really bicycle or not...) frame, attached to the wall, with the RIP sprayed behind it. Apparently, for some people the feelings don't need to be addressed to the human/living beings only.