How Parisien Street Art is challenging society
The city of Lights has inspired artists for centuries. Whether creating art with oil on canvas or pallets and spray paint on bricks, the final pieces are stunning and worth the time to visit. Traditional artistic pieces are often displayed in one of Paris’s many museums or galleries. However, Street Art, is available for all to see on the walls of buildings and underpasses, the banks of the canals, exhibition displays and sometimes on the street surfaces themselves.
Street Art is vibrant and challenging. It causes an emotional reaction. Sometimes it is a sense of wonderment, at other times, it may lean towards puzzlement or even a more extreme reaction like disgust. Street Art is meant to challenge the complacent opinions of its viewers. It is often a form of social protest, challenging society to change or progress. But sometimes art is just art. With Paris’ City Halls budget participatif, with 500 million euro for murs d’expression (walls of expression) up to the year 2020, Street Art is now available in all 20 arrondissements. However, some regions in Paris are steeped in Street Art. The neighbourhoods of Belleville and ourcq, have some spectacular wall art. Sometimes it is a complete wall, at other localities, the art can be harder to spot. Finding the Street Art, is all part of the fun. The eleventh, thirteenth and twentieth arrondissements also have a substantial wealth of ever-changing Urban Art, on walls, in underpasses and on the banks of the canals.
Some people may dismiss Street Art as graffiti; however, this sub-cultural art form deserves its place in the art world. Art has often challenged societally accepted images and perceptions, and this form of art has the power to create societal change. When exploring Paris, whether deliberately looking for Urban Art installations, or just sight-seeing, try to consider what the artist is saying about our society.