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French Street Artists

Their works decorate streets, buildings, and our global urban environment. Longtime regarded as vandals, graffiti artists are now appreciated for their true worth in France, and their work is exhibited in some of the most prestigious cultural institutions and art galleries. 

So, who are the artists who changed the people's attitudes in France, and who are their successors?  Contrary to popular belief, street art is nothing new to art history, archaeologists have even graffiti when excavating Roman ruins. However, the movement as we known it today was born in the 1960s in Philadelphia and quickly spread to the concrete jungle of New York, which became its epicenter. In France, the student revolts of May 1968 marked a turning point for the practice, as it became a tool for spreading their opinions. Using slogans and catchphrases, protesters used the walls as their canvas in order to broadcast their ideas to the whole population. 

However, it was not until the 1980s and 1990s, decades of more intense urbanisation, that street art truly took off in France. For example, Blek le Rat and Jérôme Mesnager's poetic characters started invading the capital's streets. Through their work, they highlighted social issues and condemned inequalities. Street artists had to operate in secrecy and with the greatest discretion as the police actively looked for graffiti artists and often issued hefty fines if they caught one. In the 1990s, artists developed new techniques to be as efficient as possible; stencils, spray paint, collages appeared. 

Street artists quickly started developing their personal style, and their creativity is limitless. Each artist has their own codes, their favourite "spots," and their fans. At the beginning of the 2000s, Street Art starting becoming institutionalised. For example, Paris' city council put 80 street artists from the MUR collective (Modulable, Urban, Reactive) in charge of creating murals for several billboards on the Oberkampf Street.

Today, street artists have had the opportunity to show their work many times, and in some of the most prestigious museums in Paris, including the Le Grand Palais, Le Palais de Tokyo, le Centre Pompidou... Some are even becoming genuine celebrities, and the prices of their artworks are constantly increasing. 

Among the most famous artists, there is French Street Artist Jef Aérosol who is inspired by his passion for music. As he stated himself, the punk movement inspired his signature black and white characters. These can be found in the  streets of many French cities, as well as in London, Roma, and Lisbon. Jef Aérosol's work is always easily identifiable because of his signature red arrow, his way of signing the works. 

Jeanjerome, uses random objects that he finds on the street, such as sneakers or skateboards. By mixing the curved forms of the Art Nouveau with the energetic Street Art style he creates colourful, psychedelic artworks.

Miss TIC's stencils have decorated Paris' walls for decades now. With her sensual and rebellious feminine figures, she plays with gender stereotypes and questions the place of women within society. 

Alongside artists working predominantly with painting, there are also photographers to be counted amongst the most influential French street artist. For example, JR an artist who immortalises the faces people from a variety of countries and ethnicities with his gigantic installations. 

You'll find street artists' artworks all over Paris and other cities in France. Explore some of France's most famous street artists on Artsper today!

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Our recommendations Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Wagner, Drawing

Ernest Pignon-Ernest

Wagner, 1988
14.2 x 15.7 inch
Drawing

$ 14,765

Our recommendations Floe, Bazdo, Painting

Floe

Bazdo, 2019
39.4 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$ 1,476

Kenny Random, Invader Portrait, Print

Kenny Random

Invader Portrait, 2018
27.6 x 19.7 inch
Print

$ 5,537

Mr Bonheur, Boobagump, Painting

Mr Bonheur

Boobagump, 2016
51.2 x 78.7 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$ 5,537

Speedy Graphito, Coffret Figure, Print

Speedy Graphito

Coffret Figure, 2014
13.6 x 10.8 inch
Print

$ 3,076

Our recommendations JR, New York city ballet, paper interactions 13, 2014, Print

JR

New York city ballet, paper interactions 13, 2014, 2017
39.4 x 27.6 inch
Print

$ 1,255

Jef Aérosol, Nina Hagen, Painting

Jef Aérosol

Nina Hagen, 2017
43.3 x 43.3 x 1.2 inch
Painting

Sold out

Levalet, Bad News, Print

Levalet

Bad News, 2017
27.6 x 19.7 inch
Print

$ 283

Speedy Graphito, Comic Comics, Print

Speedy Graphito

Comic Comics, 2017
16.9 x 12.6 inch
Print

$ 246

Our recommendations Ziegler T, Anachrist, Print

Ziegler T

Anachrist, 2013
22 x 15 inch
Print

$ 185

Tarek, Sans titre 3, Painting

Tarek

Sans titre 3, 2017
15 x 18.1 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$ 615

Miss Tic, La Vie Est Porcelaine, Painting

Miss Tic

La Vie Est Porcelaine, 2016
19.7 x 24 x 2 inch
Painting

$ 5,537

Our recommendations Fat, The Pink Panther, Painting

Fat

The Pink Panther, 2019
45.7 x 35 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$ 4,676

Eugène Barricade, Stormtrooper 1, Painting

Eugène Barricade

Stormtrooper 1, 2016
28.3 x 27.6 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$ 1,476

Our recommendations Jéko, Disc, Painting

Jéko

Disc, 2020
25.6 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch
Painting

$ 738

Chanoir, Cha Du Printemps, Painting

Chanoir

Cha Du Printemps, 2019
39.4 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$ 6,767

Vincent Bardou, La Bagarre c'est pas facile, Painting

Vincent Bardou

La Bagarre c'est pas facile, 2019
39.4 x 31.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$ 3,138

Our recommendations Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Etude pour Extases (Catherine de Sienne), Print

Ernest Pignon-Ernest

Etude pour Extases (Catherine de Sienne), 2015
29.5 x 41.3 inch
Print

$ 1,784

Chanoir, Degradation Militante, Print

Chanoir

Degradation Militante, 2017
27.6 x 19.7 inch
Print

$ 554

Benjamin SPaRK, On-side-out-side, Painting

Benjamin SPaRK

On-side-out-side, 2007
39.4 x 31.9 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$ 3,384

Kurar, True weapons, Painting

Kurar

True weapons, 2018
38.2 x 57.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$ 4,799

Hope 1393, Anna#1, Painting

Hope 1393

Anna#1, 2019
51.2 x 38.2 x 0.6 inch
Painting

$ 1,476

Kurar, Heritage, Painting

Kurar

Heritage, 2018
47.2 x 39.4 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$ 4,060

Blek Le Rat, La Madone, Print

Blek Le Rat

La Madone, 2016
15 x 11 inch
Print

Sold out

C215, Killing you in my mind, Print

C215

Killing you in my mind, 2018
23.6 x 15.7 x 0.1 inch
Print

Sold out

Our recommendations Tarek, Tout n'est que jeu, Painting

Tarek

Tout n'est que jeu, 2019
25.6 x 19.7 x 0.2 inch
Painting

Sold out

Invader, 3D Invasion Kit #14, Sculpture

Invader

3D Invasion Kit #14, 2008
7.1 x 9.4 x 0.4 inch
Sculpture

Sold out

Vincent Bardou, Grevy's Zebras, Painting

Vincent Bardou

Grevy's Zebras, 2018
47.2 x 31.5 x 1.6 inch
Painting

Sold out

Our recommendations Nasti, Noir Blanc Cuivre, Painting

Nasti

Noir Blanc Cuivre, 2019
37.4 x 37.4 x 1.2 inch
Painting

Sold out

Capocci, Marilyn, Painting

Capocci

Marilyn, 2018
59.1 x 39.4 inch
Painting

Sold out

Princesse Ficelle, Soyez irrévérencieux, Painting

Princesse Ficelle

Soyez irrévérencieux, 2019
44.9 x 57.5 x 1.2 inch
Painting

Sold out

Mosko, Panthère Mauve, Painting

Mosko

Panthère Mauve, 2019
15.4 x 15 x 1.2 inch
Painting

Sold out

Toctoc, Hulk Duduss, Painting

Toctoc

Hulk Duduss, 2019
11.8 x 7.9 x 1.2 inch
Painting

Sold out

Eric Vilarem, Martine, Painting

Eric Vilarem

Martine, 2016
19.7 x 47.2 x 0.8 inch
Painting

Sold out

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