Thursday, June 30, 2016

Marais: Street Art

Street art by Konny Steding
Street Art. Visual artists everywhere lack for galleries. When artists in Paris have that problem, they say "No problem," and put their stuff out on the street -- creating a changing exhibition space out of mailboxes, lampposts and any other surface they can find. Yes, I know, artists everywhere do that, but not to the sheer density as they do in Paris. The walls are thick with multilayered expression: cryptic stickers proclaiming "J'Existe," mocking distortions of street signage, sad-eyed women crying bloody tears. That dolorous image is ubiquitous in Le Marais -- high-speed brushwork on huge paper posters signed Konny. Who the heck is Konny? Well, in an unlikely chain of events, I wind up talking to Konny and Jacques Halbert (our mutual neo-Dadaist friend) at an iron-wrought table in a French pizza place. (I'd admired her art; suddenly I'm talking to the actual artist. What are the odds?) So I grill her. You've got a fluid style, but the proportions are perfect. How do you do it? A pencil under-sketch? Some kind of grid? Or is this all just brilliant freehand? Not willing to spill her secret, Konny pretends not to understand the question.

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