Street Art

One of the things I love about Paris is the ubiquitous street art.

“But what is street art?” you might ask.

Well, simply put, it’s visual art in public spaces, usually unsanctioned by local authorities. Typically, the term is used to distinguish contemporary public-space artwork (like traditional graffiti, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheatpasting, video projection, art intervention, sculpture, and street installations) from territorial graffiti, vandalism, and corporate art. I don’t want to get into definitions of what constitutes street art, debate whether street art is really “art” or “vandalism,” or expound on the history of Paris street art and its notable artists. I just want to show you some of my favorites that have caught my eye over the last three years.

As you’ll see, street art can be an expansive mural overlooking a public park … or just a single word in an obscure location; it can be a critically acclaimed work by a world-renowned artist … or just a fleeting notion scribbled with a magic marker. What they all have in common is that they’re intended to communicate something to the spectator: provocative, inspiring, or fanciful. And they’re all ephemeral, too. These works exist at the whim of the authorities — or even the weather — who can “clean them up” at a moment’s notice. So, keep an eye out for these unexpected little art exhibits and enjoy them while they last … they could be gone tomorrow.

You can also check out other volumes in the street art archives.

To open the gallery, simply click on one of the photos below (or on a white space if nothing appears). You will then be able then scroll through all of the photos in a larger format.

© 2012 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

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10 thoughts on “Street Art

    1. Thanks! This was a fun piece to write and put together. It involved going through A LOT of old photos to find the best ones (and unfortunately, some aren’t the best quality photos), but this will most definitely be a continuing project. Almost everyday, I stumble across another cool piece of Paris street art!

  1. Looks like a lot of fun! I was in Paris earlier in the year travelling to and then back from Perpignan in the south and some of the art is incredible! Much more than what you can find in London, will keep an eye out for more of your stuff!

    1. Paris does have an amazing assortment of street art. It seems I come across something new everyday. Definitely stay tuned, as I’m sure I’ll be updating periodically. Who knows? If I reach a critical mass, I may have to post a “Volume 2” post.

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