It is the work of a young artist called Yola (Jola Kudela), who is an atypical street artist for several reasons, and not only for the size of the creations. She's female and originally from Poland, although today she divides her time between London and Paris, and is a recognised compositing artist with credits including the special effects on one of the Harry Potter films!
The circle is an important theme in her work, and historically an important theme in Polish culture. She has linked this particular creation to the 'infernal circular dance' of people who have no nation, seeing in these faces the dreams, desires and frustrations of individuals who have come to Paris to find a a new life, or simply to survive.
The building has been empty for as long as I remember, and the work was first placed there to coincide with the Nuit Blanche event in October. Bringing life to abandoned spaces and linking them back to the community in which they are situated is also one of Yola's leitmotifs. "I don't want to vandalize" she said in a recent interview, "but to add something to a worn space".
Winter is beginning to fall on Paris now, and small corners of this creation are starting to peel away. Snow, frost and rain will probably remove the rest, if it is not bulldozers coming to pull down the building. From its ruins, something new will rise, completing the circle of city life.
More information on the artist can be found here: http://yolart.net/