One morning, when JR awoke, an image lingered from his dreams: The wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and above it a young kid peering curiously over.
A child just 1 year old, who has “no idea that’s a wall that divides people — he has no idea of the political context,” JR imagined. “What is he thinking?”
He had no answers to his question, but the question stayed with him — and eventually, the French street artist decided to give it form. This week, within days of the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protecting 800,000 immigrants, JR erected a massive artwork towering dozens of feet above the existing wall.
Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)
“Le Pont L'Europe” (1876)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Musée du Petit Palais, Geneva, Switzerland
The image shows pedestrians in the Place de l'Europe in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The plaza is a large bridge joining six avenues, each named for a European capital, over the railroad yards at Gare Saint-Lazare. The view is from the rue de Vienne, looking towards the center of the plaza.
Street art may not be the first thing you associate with Lexington, Kentucky, but given the importance of Bourbon and the checkered history of Prohibition, it just kinda makes sense that PRHBTN was launched in 2011 to celebrate “art forms that have been criminalized, marginalized, and under-appreciated in the mainstream.” In a quiet city as yet uncertain about its embrace of street art French artist MTO’s 2014 visit pushed the envelope for some residents. MTO’s standard offerings, painted around the world, are large murals spelling out his initials. At more than 20,000 square feet however (MTO’s largest ever), the huge hands reaching through bars of this Manchester Street mural, have been interpreted by some as gang signs and elicited fear of gang activity among a few neighbors. MTO is not unhappy to have provided a catalyst for conversation among Lexington residents—hopefully it continues to do so. @mtograff@prhbtn
This piece of art - amongst several others publicly exhibited - is the work of French street artist Christian Guémy who goes under the pseudonym of ‘C215’. Guémy has been described as being akin in style and popularity to British street artist ‘Banksy’ and his stencil art murals can be seen worldwide, from Marrakech to New York.
Guémy’s technique is to stencil close up portraits of the forgotten individuals of any given city, be it the homeless, street kids or refugees. In this way, we remember their faces as we walk down the street. I spotted this piece in the souk’s, on the door of a local tangia cooker only a few minutes walk from Riad’s Cinnamon and Papillon. I asked him how he felt about and the image of the small girl being showcased on his front door and he told me was delighted.