I love street art, graffiti if you will, but I prefer to call it street art. Calling it street art makes it sound better, less rebellious I’ll grant you, but to me it gives it an air of artistic loveliness. Less Street, but better, full stop. I love finding a hidden gem round a corner, I love finding a giant, Godzilla sized Blue Tit on taking up the whole side of multi-storey building in Manchester, I love it. I love the way it brightens up an otherwise dull, fading industrial area of a big city with bursts of unexpected oddness. What could be more arresting then finding a semi-naked woman in a police hat and enormous smile on the shutters of a restaurant. No? It makes me smile, but then, it would.
So there I was, swanning and swanking around Gay Paris, lost in the wonder of the Haussmann architecture, the undisguised loathing of the waiting staff, the Art Deco glory of the Metro signs and then I caught my first sight of my street art. It started with the odd gem; a flying cat, a smoking skeleton or a star gazing figure in another body in Montmatre. The more I looked, the more I found and the more I found the more it started to change. To my dismay, what had started as clever, witty and engaging French art quickly descended in to random written scrawls and scatter gun approaches to street decorations that left no space uncovered. Hell, they’d even painted an entire van in childish bubble writing.
I even, very nearly put my camera down, but then, just around the corner, my faith was restored. A white, slanty, wonky woman that looks like a melted, mouldy horse in lipstick saved my faith in the French and in street art. Only the French would have graffiti in an impressionist style.