“This is Street Art” Vol. 4½

Hot on the heels of my last installment of Paris street art, I give you another two dozen intriguing, provocative, and whimsical examples of this most public — and sometimes ephemeral — art form.

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words : Street Art, Vol. 4

I haven’t been writing much lately. I’m not sure why that is; simply put, I just haven’t felt very inspired these last few weeks. This too shall pass, of course, and I’ll probably be back with a vengeance, publishing three or four articles a week. In the meantime, since I can’t seem to give you any words to read, how about some pictures to look at? If a picture is worth a thousand words, this post is worth about 24 grand. It’s a new collection of street art photos I’ve collected from all over Paris since my installment in June. Continue reading A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words : Street Art, Vol. 4

Meerkat to Marilyn: Street Art, Vol. 3

It’s been quite some time since I last posted some Paris street art for you. The last collection was pretty somber, too: shades of gray and dingy earth tones were predominant. It was appropriate, though, for the dreary Parisian winter we just endured. Now that spring has finally made her long-awaited appearance (just in time for the summer solstice), it’s high time that I publish this slightly more colorful collection. I do hope you enjoy it — and keep an eye out for the next installment. There’s always more to be seen … Continue reading Meerkat to Marilyn: Street Art, Vol. 3

From a South Carolina Sidewalk to a Paris Museum

I am absolutely intrigued by Paris’s street art: those sometimes ephemeral, sometimes witty, sometimes political, but always free exhibitions that are found on almost every city block in this Mecca of artists. In fact, this is my third post on je parle américain about street art in as many months because I’m constantly stumbling across new pieces. A few weeks ago, though, I started to ask myself whether this love affair with street art has deeper roots than just my experiences here in Paris. Continue reading From a South Carolina Sidewalk to a Paris Museum

It caught my eye …

Street Art, Vol. 2

Today, I was feeling pressure to produce something for you, but the spring semester is off to a busy start, and I haven’t had much time to collect my thoughts and write something evocative, informative, or entertaining for you. I asked myself what I could possibly send your way in lieu of a great historical exposition or witty observation about French culture but I was at a loss. Then it struck me that I’ve been hanging on to a collection of street art photos for the last few months. Perfect! Volume II of the Paris Street Art Collection coming right up … Continue reading It caught my eye …

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