Hell’O Monsters (Belgium)
Hell’O Monsters collective emerged in the late 1990s as a result of the meeting between Jerôme Meynen, François Dieltiens and Antoine Detaille. They quickly left behind wall art, graffiti letters and spray paint in favour of paper, characters, ink drawings and paint, moving on to sculpture, installations and wall drawing. They developed a unique graphic vocabulary that is complex and ambiguous, which they continue to expand in the course of their creative output, customising many recurrent elements, which they combine each time with new characters, or incorporate into unusual settings.
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A text exists only through the interaction that it creates with its interlocutor and/or the context in which it operates. RERO has established his work through his innovative approach to street art. Though introduced to the street through graffiti, working for a time under the name Aurer, he eventually felt limited by a spray can. He then began exploring imagery through the use of typography, while retaining the same values of graffiti. With his distinctive visual style, RERO often inhabits disused and dilapidated spaces to explore the concept of “negation of the image,” presenting minimalist statements that combat our modern overdose on images and messages. He achieves this through the use of words and phrases with a stark black line crossing them out. RERO is artist in Residence at Studio 13/16 of Centre Pompidou from April 13 to 21.
Joshua Frankel is an animator, filmmaker and visual artist, grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City in a building filled with musicians, actors and dancers. Originally trained in painting and drawing, Frankel began creating in 2001 animation and visual effects, mostly for TV commercials, and has been working in a variety of media, attempting to use the powers he has acquired in advertising for good, rather than evil. Frankel has collaborated with his wife, Eve Biddle, to create a series of enormous murals in New York City, Philadelphia and Indianapolis that implant a sense of boyish wonder onto massive walls in public spaces using subject matter ranging from jellyfish to rockets. Frankel’s work has shown in galleries and festivals around the world. Please visit artist’s website or follow his Tumblr for more work.
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Agathe de Bailliencourt (b.1974, France/Germany)
Oh Mon Dieu!. Realized with Skudi Optix for the “Paint My House” project, projection of a drawing on the Berliner Dom in Berlin (2008)
Light Installation. Realized with Skudi Optix for the Festival of Lights in Berlin, Projection of a drawing on the IHZ-Building near Friedrichstrasse (2007)
Agathe de Bailliencourt is a painter, born in 1974 in Paris and currently based in Berlin. She works on canvas and paper, as well as in public space and architecture. Although her drawings and paintings are rather abstract, her work is characterized by a more or less aggressive pressure to be as tangible as possible. Agathe de Bailliencourt is interested in the act of painting within a concrete context.
On canvas and paper, she is concerned with the creative process of attaining a certain kind of depth. Here, Agathe de Bailliencourt speaks about her personal experience, her own freedom and its constraints, in a direct and spontaneous way. she attempts to show a total sincerity of the self, which also includes incidence and failure. Regarding the installations, Agathe de Bailliencourt develops her work directly within the perspectives of the urban landscape, within the everyday reality of people. The installations do not follow a precast plan but emerge in the actual occupation of the space when she starts working. Although the starting points are different, artist’s motivation and ways of researching are the same inside or outside the studio. Primarily, she is interested in personal freedom and liberation. Therefore, the integral elements of her work are figures of contradiction and repetition, patterns of continuous, countless, irrepressible approach.
Dihzahyners is a lebanese team of inspired, driven & passionate artists/designers, aimed at creating initiatives to make Beirut brighter & more beautiful, through color “Paint Up!” Their “Paint Up V.4” project on Mar Mkhayel gathered a community of artists and enthusiasts to color steps around the city - one piece completed by a dozen designers covered 73 steps and took 7 hours - resulting in a burst of polychromatic imagery brightening the urban landscape. Please visit Dihzahyners’ Facebook or follow Tumblr for more news!
Eime is a graffiti and street-art artist from Porto, Portugal. He combines the stencil, the dripping and the realism to showcase strange characters and enigmatic portraits. The art that he builds is somehow dramatic, having a clear connection with the scenography and the theater. Please visit his behance or follow his Tumblr for more work.
The list of the places where Blu has left his trace is as long as his collection of sketchbooks which contain sketches, thoughts or simply visual notes. Often these drawings function as a script for his improvisations on walls. His graphic mania is directly proportional to the epic scale of his murals. His paintings seem to interpret the architectural language of public spaces and reinvent them into new shapes. Thus, his murals are never detached from the places where they were conceived because Blu is a painter in the landscape, urban or industrial. He always tries to communicate with the society which inhabits those spaces, searching for the uniqueness of each place. (…) The recurring themes of his imagery play on the distortion of the human figure. He speaks a pop vocabulary which resembles the automatic writing process of the surrealist tradition with purely rhetorical processes. (…) Blu’s aesthetic search is motivated by a belief in an open source philosophy, persistent in its anarchical revolt against contemporary art conventions and unique in beauty. (cf. Wikipedia)
Belgian street artist, Roa, is well-known for his giant black and white animal street art: “Painting walls is fascinating because they aren’t rigid or outlined; you are free to do whatever you want. Despite my appreciation for abandoned spaces; I do like painting in the city, too. I find it a completely refreshing experience to see and paint animals “in the wild”, but they also invade urban areas, just in a different way. The animal paintings are much more eye-catching on the streets through my modifications of their proportions. It must be strange for a four year old to see a pig on the street four times its natural size. In a way these paintings are inappropriate for the city and maybe even irrelevant; and that is exactly why I find that interesting. I like the needlessness and spontaneity of these kinds of acts and it goes without saying that I like animals, too.” (cf. Artist Playground) You can visit his Flickr or follow his Tumblr for more works.
Spanish street artist, Liqen, paints massive murals with very elaborate details. His work, often thought-provoking and eye-catching, tells always a story: ”Elotl in pre-Hispanic Nahuatl language, corn (maize cob) is the staple food of this nation, I wanted to join the idea of how strong the family is here, making each grain a person or animal, as a unit of a set. For some time I kept this idea to represent Mexico.” You can follow his Tumblr for more work and news.
“I would like to bring art to improbable places, create projects so huge with the community that they are forced to ask themselves questions.” says JR in the interview published in Beaux Arts Magazine. For the project Women Are Heroes, JR slipped into fantasmatic places, the ones you see on TV when there is violence, the ones you might go close to but never enter and that you will not find on any tourist guidebook tour. Women are Heroes introduces women who sometimes look death in the face, who go from laughter to tears, who are generous, have nothing and yet share, who have had a painful past and long to build a happy future. In seeking what is common in their gaze, JR tried to get closer to what is universal: the human being. (Excerpts from the book Women Are Heroes, 2009)
View also the video JR expo Paris de Women Are Heroes
Spanish street artist, Escif, paints murals that have a lot to say. With a very simple graphic style, he expresses his political, cultural and social perception in an ironic but poetic way, by creating surreal and humorous situations. The vision that he gives to the viewers is often enigmatic, sometimes ominous, always elegant: “I try to focus my work around concepts, not just shapes. I try to found my style like the consequences of my own ideas. I understand the painting as an exercise of reflection that can be shared with people. I’m not looking for decorative paintings, I try to wake up viewers’ minds.” (cf. The Escif Interview at Unurth)
Christian Guémy aka C215 (France) - K-Live festival, Sète, France (2012)
C215, real name Christian Guémy, is a French street artist hailing from Paris who has been described as “France’s answer to Banksy”. C215 primarily uses stencils to produce his art. His first stencil work was put up in 2006, but he has been a graffiti artist for (as of 2011) over 20 years. His work consists mainly of close up portraits of people. C215’s subjects are typically those such as beggars, homeless people, refugees, street kids and the elderly. The rationale behind this choice of subject is to draw attention to those that society has forgotten about. C215 is a prolific street artist and has practiced his art in cities all over the world. Guémy’s daughter Nina is a popular subject of his stencil art. She has also become a stencil artist in her own right. (cf. Wikipedia)
“I was drawn to the beauty of old surfaces and I wanted to blend photo realistic images of anonymous locals to question the controls imposed in public space, and the use and abuse of iconic faces to sell us products and ideas. I decided to apply the same approaches used by advertising, such as strategic positioning and size, but with the intention of creating a poetic counter commentary that fades away with beauty. The Identity Series is about initiating a dialogue with a local community through art. These portraits transformed local, anonymous residents into social icons, giving relevance to an individual’s contribution to the community and touching upon the legacy that each life has to offer”. - Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada