As we are both living in Paris full time since 2006, (Steve was in Syndey just before, and I was in London) we know pretty the arty scene in the capital of love & lights. Here are some of the good artistics spots to visit if you are coming/sraying/living in Paris and fan of street art & graffiti.
As all big cities, the walls are changing very often and the pieces – most of them- unfortunately don’t last very long. Paris is not recognised to be an open-mind destination for artists. Well this is our point of bview if we comapre it to Berlin or London.
our best week-end pastime is to wander around Paris with our cameras in hand. And to make our foreign friends discover the city with this arty look.
Let’s go for a Paris street art tour, it’s gonna be colorful!
Paris 4 – Le Marais
I am gonna start with this area, beacause it is our beloved area and we lived there for 10 years. centra Paris is great. Very animated, accessible from and to everywhere and lively. Le Marais has also this ‘village’ touch very nice.
This is here where a lot of artists starts when they go to paint the walls… a good staring points then to discover who’s in.
When we were living there, we were excited to come back hom passing a white wall, and waking up the day after saying: « of Gregos came this night to paste a new face! » (for instance). In terms of artists, you will easily find: Invader, Mimi the Clown, Gregos, FKDL, Ender, Monsieur Chat, Jef Aerosol, CLET (an italian artist who did a lot of work when he visited), Pimax, … and much more.
What I most enjoy in this hood is that for a same walk, you will find many purposes: shopping, eating, street art, etc…
Still in place since end of 2012, a huge mural on the metal doors of the shopping mall BHV/Marais done by Thomas Vuille aka Monsieur CHAT.
« Monsieur CHAT » – literally Mister Cat in English, is the name of a famous graffiti artist who is painting a yellow cat on the walls since 1997 – firstly in Orléans, one hour away from southern Paris.
Paris 5 – Rue Mouffetard
We rarely go there, unless we have a meeting for work or an appointment with friends. So each time, we try to go earlier to go and visit around.
And we always like to see (again) the pieces of Janaundjs which are very poetic and detailed. This hood is changing a lot, thanks to an event organised each year – les Lézards de la Bièvre that invite numerous artists to paint on walls creating a tour. It’s gonna be easy to find the following artists: Jef Aérosol, Speedy Graphito, Mosko & Associés, Jace and his Gouzou, Seth the Globepainter, Jérôme Mesnager, Invader, Miss.TIC, RNST, Kashink, Artiste Ouvrier, Urban Solid, …
Paris 7 – Rue de Verneuil
At the number 5bis Rue de Verneuil you will find the house of the French singer song-writer Gainsbourg – a tribute is still available for all his fans. Here is his last home, an old private hotel. Even when he was still alive, his home’s walls were full of fans messages, … so imagine how it looks now he died. A huge mural, with always more paintings, tags, paste-up, … all famous urban artists came to contribute!
Gainsbourg was born Lucien Ginsburg on the 2nd of April 1928 in Paris and died on the 2nd of March 1991 in Paris. He was singer song-write, but not only: also a good pianist, scenarist, producer, writer, actor and involved in the movie industry. It gonna be 30 years he died (in 2021)! Unbelievable…
As everyone is putting an art piece on the wall, sometimes it looks more to a big junk wall… but you can find some very good artwork! There is a Space Invader not to mention all.
I recognised a drawing of Joann Sfar, well know by comics fans, and author of the biography filmed about Gainsbourg’s life and released on Jan 2010. (info on Allociné).
Here is a video very interesting that tells the story of the last 5 years of the wall: Rue de Verneuil filmed by Arnaud Jourdain.
Paris 10 – Mix of cultures and art
We began by the Rue des Pyrénées, Rue Couronnes, Rue des Cascades and then Avenue de Ménilmontant and they were full of art. After, we went through Belleville, then we took Rue Ramponneau to see the lastest artworks at Kommune… and finally discover the new artwork in Desnoyez St. (that is now demolished at all).
To finish our tour, we advise to walk along Rue Jean Moinon and futher down to Place de la République.
In that area, you will find: Invader, Ben, JPM, Philippe Hérard, No Rules Corp., …
Paris 11 – Popular artistic hood
Le M.U.R. Oberkampf
Rue de Scarron
We sent from the Marais, up to Place République (10th) to check out Canal St Martin, plus little streets we know, famous for cool street art pieces.
We finally found a very nice place where a lot of amazing artists painted a short while ago. I hope it will last a long time because the pieces are awesome. There, you will find the following artists: C215, Nick Walker, Sten & Lex, FinDAC, Reka12, Stinkfish, …
Rue de la Folie Mérincourt and Rue Saint Sébastien.
A lot of text stencils by JPM give the mabiance of the area… to then discover a whole wall painted by Nice Art.
The 11th district in Paris is very artistic and vibrant. A lot of shops security grills have bveen painted out. The first street was Rue Faidherbe and then Rue de la Folie Mérincourt. The local Town Hall is definitely dynamic!
15 shops owners agreed to have a piece of afrt on their shops grill – done by the collective of artists who did le M.U.R.
So best is to visit on a sunday of a bank holiday in France to see them all
You will find: Ella&Pitr, No Rules Corp, Artiste Ouvrier, Sixo, Astro, Chanoir, Gilbert, Nice Art, RCF1, Stoul, Teurk et YZ !
Paris 13 – China Town and giant murals
It is one of the most animated hood in Paris, thanks to the owner of Itinérance gallery who is organising a lot of projects everywhere in the hood. Mostly big murals like anywhere else in the French capital. So you must go and check out! You can better see some of them from the metro line 6 (outside line) going towards Champs Elysées from Nation.
You will find a lot of C215 pieces, big-big space invaders by Invader, Obey, Janaundjs, Miss.TIC, Roa, Stew, REKA, M-City, … and Nasty who we like very much and coz he actually lives in the 13th!
The big murals will be around what we call China Town (which is nothing compared to London or Montreal) and there is also a very cute area to visit which is La Butte aux Cailles were Miss.TIC did a lot of stencils, and others. Very cool to hang out there – it looks like a tiny village with a cool atmosphere and friendly coffee places to enjoy the sun in Summer.
Paris 14 – Rue des Thermopyles
We enjoyed our lunch time in the 14th disctrict of Paris walking around the Rue des Thermopyles… where I knew we would find some street art!
By the way, the area is nice and we had a lovely lunch on a cute terrasse 🙂
I don’t know why, but we mostly found “animals” art pieces like fish, cats…painted on that street. You will be able to find a lot of security grills done by the graffiti artist: Katre.
Paris 16 – The historic Molitor public swimming pool
… now becoming a luxury hotel owned by M.Gallery and named after the previous historic pool place (with a very cool art deco style) – Molitor.
The place still holds some good street art artworks.
But it used to be a very cool spot for artists, forbidden and closed to public place though. But we had the chance by 2 times to get in, meet some artists, and see a good range of art inside! We missed a huge Gouzou painted on the floor of the inside pool… Shame! Please read the article the swimming pool of Molitor.
The « Swimming pool of Auteuil-Molitor« , drawn by the architect Lucien Pollet, was inaugurated in 1929 and is still famous for its Art Déco style. It closed in 1989. This swimming pool has been classified an historic monument. The complex is composed of 2 pools and a gym room, one of the pools is a covered 33 meter pool and the other an olympic 50 meter open air. Since the year 2000, different groups have used the space, which is currently being used by the « Maîtres Nageurs de Molitor« .
Then it has been used by artists from the street art and graffiti scene and became a famous urban art hotspot with: No Rules Corp, Monsta, Kashink, HEC crew, …
Paris 18 – Historic and touristy area of Montmartre
A neighbourhood where we rarely go unless we have friends and family visiting as they want to see Sacré Coeur ahaha and the view over Paris. Of course it is gorgeous but it is so crowded and touristy that we try to avoid, and this is not really one of our favorite hood. Anyway, a lot of artists nare playing tehre and t-it is always cool to spend a full day wandering around. Gregos is a local and paste a lot of his faces around, FKDL also, Nowart is keen on the 18th, Miss.TIC, Invader, Monsieur Chat, and a lot more…
Passage des Abbesses is a must-see.
Paris 19 and 20 – A graffiti hotspot
Dacruz is very well represented on the walls, as well as Artof Popof.
We also found a lot of C215 stencils – essentially portraits and cats 😉
Further away from Paris, 94400 Vitry-sur-Seine
A couple of RER stations later from central Paris (line C in dark yellow), you will easily find this vibrant artistic scene mainly animated by the local and famous artist Christian Guémy aka C215.
he inivited a lot of artists to paint his hood such as: Finbarr, Pixal Parazit, Dale Grimshaw, Indigo, Alice, dan 23, Ortica Noodles, Btoy, Shaka, Joseph Loughborough, Epsilon Point, Kostar, ERgo, Snik, Specter, PixelPancho, Kostar, … you definitely MUST-SEE this area – a good day out of the city.
93 Montreuil and 94 Vincennes
Street art tours are organised by the Tourism office located on Avenue de Paris in Vincennes – metro line 1 (yellow line) way out at Château de Vincennes. There you will have huge Space invaders that worth 100pts and C215 on mail and EDF boxes.