Rue de Menilmontant (1)

I have been showing quite a bit if “urban art”, “street art”, “graffiti” - or whatever you call it - in previous posts. I could not omit visiting an official and indoor exposition of some of the most famous urban artists with works visible all around Paris, more particularly Nemo, Mesnager, Mokko & associés.

To reach it, I walked up the steep Rue de Menilmontant, passing by some of the more spectacular official wall decorations by Nemo and Mesnager which I illustrated already in a previous message about the Belleville / Menilmontant area. Here I have added another complete wall illustration by a famous French cartoonist, Trez (actually in one of the smaller sidestreets).

So, when you reach the top, behind an - of course - illustrated wall, you will find a building which differs a lot from the surrounding more normal or modest buildings. This is where the exposition takes place (until end August).

There used to be lot of mansions like this around Paris, in what was then countryside. They were called “folies”, certainly something extravagant for wealthy people, maybe a place for permanent living or just for the "weekend". This one has its origins from the 18th century and is named “Pavillon Carré du Baudoin”. It was for a long time inhabited by the Goncourt family, a name linked to the leading French yearly literary prize. It was later taken over by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul it and served, with annexes, as hospital and a place for medical help until the end of last century when it was taken over by the City of Paris. It was reopened quite recently and serves now as a place for exhibitions and other cultural events. The little park in front of it is now open to public.

You can see that Mesnager has made his own version of Botticelli’s “Spring”.

It’s normal that these artists exhibit here; they have been very active in the area.

Around the mansion, there are some very nice little streets to which I will revert on Friday, but part of the area is under renovation. This has given the opportunity to some more anonymous graffiti artists to excel. Here you can see one in operation, actually on the wall of a small theatre or club, called “Studio de l’Ermitage”.

The renovation of the area is obviously also the reason for what you can read on these mailboxes: “Mail for nowhere”, “To Monsieur who has left without leaving his address”.

The area has some old cultural background. Still on the top of the hill, you can find a big complex called “La Bellevilloise” which still offers a lot of cultural activities (and bar and restaurant). It was founded in 1877 as a cooperative to give people of more modest origins living here a chance to open to culture. It’s neighbour, “Théatre de Menilmontant” also dates from 1877 and is still very active with interesting performances. A lot could be said about these, but maybe another time. Very close you can also find “Le Vingtième Théatre”.

I got another award, by James, "Blog de Ouro". Sincere thanks! I should forward it, but as always have difficulties to do it personally - too difficult -, so once more I will not follow the rules! (Hope James doesn't take it back!


Virginia said...

Well I"m first!! What can I say, but how have you managed to find so many wonderful examples of the urban art that I find "acceptable"?? :) I promise not to rant here about the other kind that you know I DON"T appreciate. I 've held onto my photos because you've done it so well, I"m thinking mine are just going to be anticlimatic! My personal favorites are Mesnager's and Joe Aerosol's. You've found quite a collection here Peter. If you put them all together, I'd think you've have the makings of a wonderful book of Paris urban art! Bravo

James said...

Hi Peter I love this urban art, I saw some in Philadelphia this weekend too.
I totally understand about the award rules, I'm just glad that you accept this token of my appreciation for your outstanding blog. :-)

Thérèse said...

Admirable Peter! Je pense que ceux qui n'aimaient pas regarder le "street art" changeront peut-être d'opinion.
Boticelli's spring is fabulous. Mosko et Associés too.

Thérèse said...

Je voulais dire:
Admirable, Peter! Mais je dis aussi "l'admiralbe Peter." lol

Olivier said...

"Ménilmontant mais oui madame
C'est là que j'ai laissé mon cœur
C'est là que je viens retrouver mon âme
Toute ma flamme
Tout mon bonheur...
Quand je revois ma petite gare
Où chaque train passait joyeux
J'entends encor dans le tintamarre
Des mots bizarres
Des mots d'adieux
Je suis pas poète
Mais je suis ému,
Et dans ma tête
Y a des souvenirs jamais perdus
Un soir d'hiver
Une musique
Des yeux très doux les tiens maman
Quel beau roman d'amour poétique
Et pathétique
Ménilmontant !"

Un vrai musée toutes ces peintures murales, c'est magnifique

alice said...

Ouha! Ca grimpait dur encore ce matin, j'ai du mal à te suivre! Bon, enfermer l'art de la rue dans une exposition peut paraître un peu étrange mais chacun peut voir qu'il reste bien vivant aux alentours... Et bravo pour cet award, l'auteur du blog aussi est en or! :-))

claude said...

Félicitation pour ce nouvel award Peter.
Dis ! Elle monte la rue de Ménilmontant ! Tu vas me dire que'elle descend aussi.
Il y a plein de choses dans cette rue.

Adam said...

Wow, you've covered a lot here in one post!

I've been a couple of times to this exhibition now. It's interesting and worth seeing, but what is striking is what you have shown here. Inside the gallery the art is pretty, but rather conventional, but outside the art is exhuberant and alive!

Cergie said...

Je dirai juste que ces artistes ont commencé chacun dans leur coin et puis ils se sont reconnus, ont collaboré et ont été imité. Nemo a débuté sur Belleville pour réhabiliter un peu des murs qui allaient à vau-l'eau. Ces fresques sur les murs (pochoirs) sont vivantes, il leur arrive de changer. C'est un art de la ville, c'est un art de la vie. C'est un art de la ville qui vit.

hpy said...

Félicitations pour l'award (mais tu devrais faiore un effort pour les distribuer, par ordre alphabétique si tu n'as pas d'autre idée) et félicitations pour avoir grimpé toute cette cote. Un quartier extraordinaire.

Inday said...

Beautiful and interesting. I agree with you about the blog award. I went ahead and chose 8 people first because I believe others will have their chance later. Great works here.
Cherio from Down Under.

By the way, I learned about your blog from James.

Anonymous said...

I like Mesnager's work. This is a nice post and quite a collection. Good job Peter.

Blind Fly Theater said...

I have to say, Peter... this is very satisfying for me. Of course, you know I love this type of urban art, and Paris has the best (Rochester just seems to get simple, and ugly, tagging). I also knew that some of these artists would become "legitimized" because of their iconic nature.
Thanks so much for the informative lessons you give!
Congratulations on the most attractive award I've seen so far... I haven't been responding to awards, but maybe I'll do what you do, position it within a post and leave it at that... This way I'm not offending by not receiving... Very smart, Peter!

Anonymous said...

merciiii :)

Leena said...

Of course you had again a wonderful post, when I at last got time to visit here. Good to see those well done paintings compared with some smudgings here.
Warm greetings from a little autumn like Joensuu - a coming weekend will be a summer again :)

Virginia said...

Hey Peter!
I'm sending my readers over to your blog today so they can see for themselves the Palais de Tokyo you featured so well on a previous post. It was the answer to my latest Paris Puzzle. They won't get in the way, and they'll behave themselves while they're here (I hope)!

Carole said...

Menilmontant, comme son nom l'indique...elle monte : mesnil-montant et pourquoi ne s'est-elle pas appelée menildescendant, hein ?
A bientôt Peter pour un nouveau quartier !

Alain said...

Cela me rappelle bien des souvenirs.

Cheryl said...

I can sympathize with graffiti artists, getting their work seen by the public without the official sanction of galleries. But official or not their work is amazing. I especially liked the wall by Trez and the silhouettes.

Bettina said...

Congrats on the award, Peter ;-)

Great photos and captions as always !!!

Nathalie H.D. said...

Un post comme je les aime avec du charme plein les rues et des graffitis extraordinaires. Un vrai régal !

Nathalie H.D. said...

Et merci à Catherine de t'avoir "donné" l'idée des Poulbot, j'ai trouvé tes photos absolument épatantes. Les copie de Poulbot qu'on voit en carte postale ou peints à la chaîne à Montmartre sont généralement assez moches, mais ici j'ai été très agréablement surprise par la qualité du dessin.

Encore un endroit de Paris que j'adorerais découvrir avec toi un jour !

L. Neusiedler said...

amazing! these people are true artists!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Thisis an excellent post and I need more time to study it over...
I have not been to Menilmontant, but have been meaning to go

Shammickite said...

These examples of urban art are quite fascinating, I especially like the bicyclist balancing on the tightrope. These are examples of graffiti and design that I can appreciate.
But I think that much of the scribbles and "artwork" that I see on walls and trains and bridges around here are nothing more than eyesores.

Unknown said...

Fantastic collection of paintings! I especially like Botticelli's new version.

Escapist said...

Hiya ! Peter ....great urban art ....n yap rules are always to break !!!!


PeterParis said...

Too many have already published books I'm afraid! :-)

PeterParis said...

Thanks once more, I really appreciate! :-)

Tu es bien admirable aussi! :-)

Merci à toi et à Charles! :-)

PeterParis said...

... et il faisait chaud en plus!
Oui, l'art urbain rentre dans les salons! :-)

Oui, ça monte et ça descend. Oui, il y beaucoup à voir. Je suis retourné ce soir pour un concert... et j'ai vu des peintures que j'ai raté! :-( :-)

I knew you had been threr, but you have been back several times? Really interested in these artists! :-)

PeterParis said...

Je crois que tu aimes bien le quartier, toi aussi! :-)

Tu veux le prix? Je te le passe avec plaisir! :-)

Bonnie Bonsai:
Thanks for coming here! ... and once more thanks to James! :-)

PeterParis said...

Thanks! I do my best! :-)

Maybe it is that in Paris, urban art has been accepted and officialised at certain places. Unauthorised tagging is cleaned on request of the house occupants (free of charge I believe, payed by the city). :-)

De rien! Bien mérité! :-)

PeterParis said...

Of course, summer can't be over already. It will last another two or three weeks in Finland I hope! :-)

Good manners are important! :-)

Oui, à bientôt, j'espère! :-)

PeterParis said...

Je ne suis pas étonné! :-)

Artists seen by another artist! :-)

Thanks! See you again soon? :-)

PeterParis said...

Je t'attends pour des promenades ou tu veux! :-)

Yes, they are! :-)

So, Menilmontant next time. Together if you want! :-)

PeterParis said...

Yes, the continued debate about what is urban art, what is graffiti, what is tagging! :-)

Simplified but nice Botticelli! :-)

Welcome here! Happy to see another Indian visitor! (Just back from a sitar concert so I'm in Indian mood!) :-)

Mandy said...

I like the Mesnager version of Spring! This is a lovely post - I love this urban art!

krystyna said...

I like Paris with its arts and artists. Those walls with graffiti artists are amazing!

Congratulations on the Award!!!
Btw, this Award is really Wonderful, as your job, as Paris, as you!

PeterParis said...

Happy if you appreciate! :-)

That's too much!! :-)

Claudia said...

I love those "Mail for nowhere" mail boxes! Congrats for the award, well deserved.

GMG said...

I definitely have a destination for my next (when?) visit to Paris!!!

Unknown said...

Our metro is running later during weekends, but never the whole night..

Are you scared to be alone at home need security