Yannick Boesso


For its second edition from the 20th until 23rd April, Urban Art Fair welcomes around thirty French and international galleries, specializing in urban art at Carreau du Temple. Two days of film projections, a retrospective and a non-residential journey with the « Cannot be Bo(a)rdered » exhibition from the 21st April until 7th May at Espace Commines.

We had a discussion with Yannick Boesso, the General exhibition commissioner.

ARTSPER : Urban Art Fair is a recent contemporary art fair, could you tell us about it?

The first edition of the Urban Art Fair took place in 2016 at Carreau du Temple in Paris. Indeed, it’s a new event as we’ll be organizing the second edition in a few days, but I think one can say that the Urban Art Fair has become an important date for urban art. This Fair has two aims: assemble all the actors of the urban art market at a converging point but also give essential information to the public, who don’t always know why street art is represented in an art gallery or at a contemporary art fair. We wish to create an ecosystem which allows complete immersion in the past, present and the future of urban art.

ARTSPER : Could you tell us about the new features of this second edition at the Urban Art Fair?

For the first time this year, we have organized a series of projections which revolve around the history of street art, they will be held on 21st and 22nd April at Carreau du Temple auditorium: a choice of 8 movies with a free entrance, the initial steps of urban art (with the documentary Wall Writters by Roger Gastman), contemporary muralism (with the documentary Sky's the limit by Jérôme Thomas) not to mention Arab Spring (Art War by Marco Wilms). On level -1 of the Carreau du Temple, there is a wonderful exhibition called "The Covers Collection", 11 creations which made it on the front page of Graffiti Art Magazine but
also an installation, enlarged by Mathieu Dagorn by the 9th concept. Moreover, we have also organized a
non-residential exhibition at the Commines Espace with a free entry from the 21st April until the 7th May called "Cannot be bo(a)rdered", this exhibition explores the artistic expression of the skateboard culture: 35 artists worked in a skateboarding environment of the Asian culture, in order to experience the emergence of art in the underground background and the risks taken by the artists when they do street art. Last but not least, Erell depicts his abstract patterns outside and inside of Carreau du Temps, he transforms and includes them as a whole.

ARTSPER : You’re obviously a fan of urban art, who are your favorite street artists at the fair?

Indeed, I am a fan, but I think I am as much a fan of the work of the galleries as that of the artists. Taking on the role of an adviser isn’t easy when one represents a fair. Of course, I am touched by some artists more than others, but it’s difficult to place Ramellzee, Keith Haring, Blek Le Rat, Banksy, Cranio, Renk, Popay, Futura, Kraken, JonOne, Hopare, Lek, Gris One, Zenoy, Obey, Kan, Romain Froquet, Hendrik Czakainski, Nowart, les MonkeyBird, Bault, Seen, Jef Aérosol and many others in the same category. Each artist has their own history, technique, it’s just that their artistic approach is completely different. One can obviously have favorites, as I often do and it’s a pleasure to share them but the most important is for each visitor to have a favorite and find his very own analysis.

ARTSPER : Which stands are a must-see?

Like last year, the 42B gallery (with GrisOne and Joram Rookes) but also Urban Spree (with Hendrik Czakainski) portray installations which brings them together and I’m just delighted. I am also looking forward to the collaboration between Zenoy and Blek Le Rat, but also "Chapelle Banksy" offered by Bel Air Fine Art, a creation of Felipe Pantone, presented by Avenue des Arts gallery, which will be placed at the entrance of the fair or even “Nocturne” the title of PDP gallery’s exhibition. They are the only ones who named their hangings. The gallery of the day, Agnès B should also be discovered, as they’ll be presenting Futura’s works this year, Cranio a Brazilian artist will also be present at the stand of Vroom and Varossieau. There will be signing sessions at the Criteres Edition stands and Joël Knafo Art gallery, the performance of Noé Two during the private viewing of the Bartoux gallery stands and many more...Each stand is unique, we haven’t chosen many exhibitors and this is the reason why, all of them should be seen.

ARTSPER : What is street art’s position in a fair?

Urban art is logically practiced in the street, difficult to say the opposite, but one often tends to forget that it’s a movement as well. A movement which is made up of codes, techniques and various approaches of artists. Street art has begun to assert its position in galleries but also in art fairs and this proves the importance of their evolution from one movement to another, it’s equally important to observe their passage from one to the other, mainly because it gives the spectator the opportunity to become an integral part of this movement, having already observed it in the street, and for once they go beyond the institutional vision of its position in our society.

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