Since 2009, the 13th district hosts for Parisians and tourists a route of frescoes realized by French and international artists. Introduced by the Gallerie Itinerrance, in partnership with the 13th district’s city hall, this artwork was thought as a sort of open-air museum. By offering a place of expression to major urban design artists, this district writes one most pages of the history of Street Art and offers to the district an international fame.
The big frescoes imagined and created by invited street-artists from around the world go a long way in revitalizing an environment by suggesting strong artistic trends inspired by the environment of places.
To give color to streets which can sometimes feel a little lifeless, the mayor called artists specialized in large-scale frescoes such as Tristan Eaton, Invader, Inti, David de la Mano, D*Face, C215, Maye, Faile, BTOY or Obey.
A successful bet. In nine years, more than 50 art pieces were created. They cover entire sections of wall, and it’s very impressive! This explains why the most used hashtag on Instagram in the 13th district is #streetart.
You also must know about “Les frigos” (refrigerators in French), a place that became the city of Paris’ property in December 2003. Buildings are built in close collaboration with artist studios representing diverse professional activities. However, this urban and cultural site knows has a slightly darker past before this rehabilitation which today allows it to be considered an artistic place of production. At first under the ownership of the SNCF (French National Railway Company) since 1945, the railroad become a cold storage plant for a former industrial site before being occupied in the 1980s by a new population of artists and architects. Often threatened by demolition, “le frigo” built.
It can also be worth your while to have a walk in the district of “Le Marais” where you can find every kind of art alongside the small alleys and the narrow passages. And at 59 Rivoli Street, you can explore a kind of gallery in a building which has been abandoned by the Crédit Lyonnais (a French bank) and the French government for 15 years. A dozen artists have shown up to lend a hand in the clean-up of a public place which was a mess full of dead pigeons, syringes, rubble, etc. The purpose of this operation was threefold: revive an unused and empty place, create a place for artists to create, liven, and expose and prove to the general public the validity of a cultural alternative.
Here is some art that I was able to capture: