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The Art of Graff


  
2016 was a great year for Street Art in Toulouse. Last june in La Ville Rose, took place the event Rose Béton. Many famous persons were invited such as George SHAW the creator of the Spectrum Festival in Christchurch New-Zealand. At the same time, was released a book about Truskool the French graffiti crew : “Truskool, a story of graffiti in Toulouse” by Olivier Gal and Etienne Bellan-Huchery. That was the opportunity to meet taggers professional or not and art galleries specialized in Street Art. 


Off the Wall

Originally Street Art can be defined by all the pictural artworks made on walls or equipments of a city. It goes from tag, a simple signature, to elaborated graffiti and up to mural paintings. Street Art covers technics as different as painting with color bombs, patterns, poster, low relief or engraving. Street Art is an Art Brut constantly transforming. The works are fragils sometimes secrets sealed between buildings like treasure in an Egyptian grave.

Tilt, Toulouse, 2010

In the Street


Modern towns are dedicated to car traffic. Streets are transit spaces. The authorities organize circulation, channel people as if they could manage destinies. Every one has a defined place to be. Town assignes individuals inside walls leading to a no-face community. At the same time, graffiti are like wild grass. As soon as a place gets free, people reappear outside, reassert themselves in diversity and anarchy despite desires of control. Street Art seems to scream freedom against mass' domination refusing to be absorbed by the traffic.

à Toulouse, 2010

Graphic act

Street Art is a subversive social act against private property. The artist reappropriates Town for himself and creates dialogue with the street.
An approach which can be related to the first societies which are strongly linked to their environment. In the film Trumac**, someone in a street of NY says talking about graffiti: 'We unify the world'.

That’s why what is going on between graffiti and walls is essential. Street art is not pinning-up a frame on a wall : it doesn’t work. Graffiti is to take over the wall, making up something with it, playing with it. The artist is connecting with this medium to say something to the public.

à Toulouse, 2010


Jumping over the wall

Crews of taggers share the same way of living the present. Their way of life and creating implies also body challenges such as getting to inaccessible or private places and risking confrontation with the police.

à Toulouse, 2011
Poetic Break


Graffiti 
is something's getting into the overdetermined daily vision’s field of the passer-by. The city life is on the move, the tag makes you stop.

Tilt, Alix sofa, 2013.
To recognition


This free activity fighting against the established power and not dedicated to museum has reached an artistic maturity noticed by galleries. Besides, in cleaned-up city centers in a gentryfication process this art of sauvageons anti-bourgeois has been ennobled by authorities and now take place officially into the urban space.



The reapproprioation act is fading for hypperealistic monumental paintings technics. Street Art is now much more a question of lettering, flat tint, perspective, characters than a life style. In galleries, Street Art is talking about urbanity, recalling of the graff power without capturing its prime energy.




TILT, Christchurch, 2016.
Urban Symbol


If one can regret Street Art has lost its subversive power, it has surely became a symbol of urban vitality. That’s what the event RISE led by the OI YOU Association of  George SHAW showed  in New Zealand. In Christchurch this town devastated by two hearthquakes, with over 8000 homes being lost, the authorities has bet on Urban Art, included graffiti, to regenerate this city and bring people back. Street Art appears like the  mark of individuals in the urban dynamic. Thanks to Street Art in Christchuch, the no man’s land has became a human’s land again proving the importance of Street Art in collective imaginary. Now walls have their taggers.
  







*Editions ATLANTICA, 2016.

**Trumac, Third Millenium, film réalisé par ATN, 2003.
More photos of tags in Toulouse

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