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Yannick Boesso

Director of Urban Art Fair

For its third edition from the 12th to the 15th of April, Urban Art Fair welcomes around thirty French and international galleries specializing in urban art at Carreau du Temple.


We interviewed Yannick Boesso, the director of the art fair.


Artsper : What's new about the Urban Art Fair this year?


This year we've made quite a few changes to the layout and look of the fair. It's important for us to offer visitors a new experience. The public will see more installations and immersive presentations, more solo or duo shows organised by galleries from 8 different countries. This year we have collaborated with François Gautret and Urban Film Festival to organise a short film competition featuring forty films about street art and graffiti, show in the Carreau du Temple's auditorium on the 13th and 14th April and there'll be free entry!    


In addition, we're organizing an exhibition at Arte in March with the Art in The Game gallery, the artist Hopare and the 42b gallery are creating the window display at the Citadium Caumartin, and we're in the process of finalising several projects with institutions and partners which will help us expand our audience.


Artsper : Why are more and more people interested in street art?


Once again, this is the most comprehensible movement of our time. We have a permanent link to it through the street which is a great way of discovering this art. Many of the people who have an interest in urban art are quite young and have grown up with it, they can see the evolution, the growing media coverage and the trends that are appearing.


Artsper : Which street artists who stand out in the urban art movement?


It's hard not to mention Banksy, Invader, Shepard Fairey, JR, JonOne, Futura, Ernest Dondi, Ernest Pignon, and Keith Haring. Banksy because of his talent at questioning society, Invader for his game "Flash Invader" and the interaction he has with his audience, JR for his projects that go well beyond the framework of street art and which get people involved in volunteering projects, JonOne for having converted a large number of collectors of contemporary art by using the tag in repetitive way almost creating a new form of abstract art, Futura and Dondi for having been engaged from the beginning research and experimentation that in the context of their time was extremely original. Ernest Pignon Ernest because his work raises awareness of our memories of places and men, and Keith Haring because he is the one who first knew how to reach the general public. I don't mention Basquiat because, from my point of view, he is above all a studio artist.


Artsper : If you could only collect the works of three urban artists, which one would you choose?


Invader, Futura, Dondi White if I had an unlimited budget! But two types of works interest me particularly, the sketches and preparatory drawings used for graffiti on trains, the oldest possible, and the portraits inspired by the inner complexity of people and beings, as is  the case with Shaka, Popay, Nowart and others.


Artsper : Which gallery stands are not to be missed?


There are 33 exhibitors at Urban Art Fair and I urge you not to miss any! Each gallery is selected for a specific reason and I want them all to be discovered or rediscovered by the public.


Artsper : This is the third edition of Urban Art Fair. In three years what changes have you seen in the world of urban art?


When I contacted the galleries for the first edition, many told me they doubted the relevance of an urban art fair, today the applications are done 6 months in advance. Most people understood that offering new opportunities to street artists could only stimulate their creativity, help fund their projects and further develop the interaction between the street and the studio. Many projects and festivals have emerged, and as long as there is quality, passion and respect for the work of artists, the public is interested.


Artsper : Do you think that urban art is becoming more and more integrated in the world of contemporary art?


Urban art is contemporary, so it doesn't need to be integrated as such. One can nevertheless make a few comments on this subject. Either we consider that the movement is so important that it must find its place in history by integrating more international and large-scale international fairs, entering museum and important collections, or we can say that the movement must be shown in its own context, by dividing it into several major themes, for a few years still insist on an approach, even if mercantile, pedagogical and correlated to its history.

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