Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hope? Change? or the Alternative?

I've posted photos of these guys before because you find them all over Paris.  They look like stencils but they're individually painted by Jérôme Mesnager, a graffiti artist who has achieved a relatively high degree of respectability, with gallery shows and private commissions.  He calls the figure "le Corps Blanc"("The White Body") and has several books out detailing the adventures of this ubiquitous image.  The latest is called "Il court toujours - 25 ans du corps blanc" ("He's still running - 25 years of the white body").

The one above says "Draw a democracy for me".  Notice the figures are holding hands; democracy is a joint project.  Next to it is this one:

It says "Together".  The figures seem to be in free fall, but they're still holding hands, joined now by others, and forming a star.

The final one of the series seems to me to indicate what happens if the project fails; we must work together even to escape from the emergency exit.

Mesnager's white bodies, with their vision of possibility, seem to me a lot more hopeful than this other graffiti I saw today.

A slaughtered bull, looking like something out of Picasso's Guernica, hanging as if on the butcher's hook.  A darker vision, but we're in a dark world.  I hope Obama earns that Nobel Prize.


Anonymous said...

Oh hey! That last photo -- is that off a side street from Quai Jemmapes in the 10th? I saw that earlier this summer, I think, when I was walking down the Canal Saint-Martin. I remember thinking, "What the heck?" and wanted to snap a photo of it, but could not get a good angle on it. This is really interesting!

There is SO much street art here, I am amazed. And it's serious art, too, not just tagging. I found an alley in Belleville where active wall and street art was being made as I snapped photos. I'm pretty fascinated with this. One more thing to enjoy here in the city! :) Thanks for sharing about Jeröme's work. I am going to keep an eye out for this stuff!


Karin B (Looking for Ballast) said...

Guess what? I found the photo of the building art that I took: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karinlynn/3684001326/

It's got to be the same artist who did the one of the bull that you got! The one I got is a rooster, looks like. This was in the 10th near the Canal St Martin.

Shelli said...

Karin, your rooster is very cool! I think possibly another by the same artist is here:

That one was on rue de Bretagne in the 3rd. My bull was in the Marais, can't recall the street.