Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The Art of Innocence

There has been much discussion recently on the movement of street art from its spiritual home on the walls of the city into a warmer, more comfortable home on the walls of art galleries. I previously wrote about an exhibition of street artists taking place in the 20th arrondissement, whilst Peter wrote this week about artists selling prints outside a bar in the 13th arrondissement. In the more official, organised art world, there has been an exhibition of Tags at the Grand Palais this year, private galleries are becoming specialists in the genre, and the first Street Art auction is soon to take place in Paris. Given this move towards restrictive conformity, what future is there for the genre?

I was delighted therefore to return home one evening, and discover three tiny pictures pasted on to the wall of my apartment building. Clearly created by the hands of children and placed down at their level, they were a tryptich of pure joy. They didn't last long in their temporary gallery, but shouldn't all street art be ephemeral? We can hardly talk of art in this case, but the simple pleasure of creating and sharing is a message to us all.

And on the subject of messages, here is another in my unofficial series of what Gina has helpfully labelled for me as 'drainpipe art'! She has a fantastic example on her site, whilst mine is just purely enigmatic. Who is this 'Jeune femme polonaise' and what was she proposing? The service was obviously an attractive one, as all the tear off contact details have been removed. It's just another mysterious, temporary message written on the face of the city, and one that could never be transferred to a gallery wall.


8 comments:

Starman said...

If street art appears in galleries, is it still street art?

Peter said...

I (think the question is not there any more; the urban art is now inside even official buildings, in galleries... As you may have understood, I'm quite fascinated by these artists (some of them), but I find it quite normal that they also try to make their living out of their art and what they produce in the streets is mostly free of charge.

ArtSparker said...

I would love to come on one of those, I don't think any of them would lose by being blown up to the size of doorways.

Tim said...

Banksy has also moved indoors. Some fantastic exhibits (I particularly like the butchered Picasso quote)...

Gina V said...

Thanks for the kind mention, Adam!My very first post on ParisPrimitif [that really inspired me!] was just such a "massage-message" on a drainpipe "par Madame Chinoise 43 ans"...I even wrote an extended message-poem in her voice!! There was just such a poignancy and tender desperation in her script and mis-spellings [and the abstract raggedness of the all torn off paper strips!] that caught my eye...

Adam said...

Starman + Peter: Street art or urban art...the problem for me is calling it art in the first place! This is why I almost don't make a distinction between a picture on a wall and a random message on a drainpipe. For me they are all messages and forms of communication, and totally of their environment. Picking something up and moving it into gallery both takes it away from its natural environment (and away from people) and its message as well. For me it becomes a little like going to the zoo or collecting stuffed animals. However, that there are people involved with talent who want to make a living, sure I can understand that, but they should produce something a little different, something that would be designed to sit statically on a wall.

Owen said...

Love your rusty downspout here Adam... and the jeune femme polonaise adds a sublime air of mystery...

Nathalie said...

That "jeune femme polonaise"... piece of paper is such a great teaser !

Fantastic find!

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