Did you know that Paris is home to some of the most exciting street art in Europe – even the world?
One of our favorite Street Art Paris district (by quantity and quality) is Paris 13. Traditionally a ‘grey neighborhood,’ Paris 13 is today in continuous transformation. Its once characteristic ugly towers or streets without any charm are now highlighted thanks to street artists from around the world.
The great culprit of the Paris 13 District’s transformation is its mayor, Jérome Coumet, and his team. The socialist at the head of Mairie Paris 13 since 2007 is especially interested in street art. With this spirit and enthusiasm, Paris 13 is using Street Art to heal its image and attract young people proposing to them a cool neighborhood to live in.
Street Art in Paris 13 – Main Locations
Paris 13 is a huge district with different areas and atmospheres. Fortunately for us, Street Artworks are concentrated in three main areas:
BUTTE AUX CAILLES
This calm and picturesque quarter combines pretty cobblestone lanes with interesting graffiti Street Art.
A Street Art stroll around Butte aux Cailles is a fun way to discover this quarter while following talented artists. Butte aux Cailles is also an excellent place for a drink or a nice dinner, especially when the weather is good and you can sit outdoors.
LES FRIGOS (THE FRIDGES)
This huge hangar with many refrigerated rooms was built after WW1 to stock all the products transported by train from the countryside to Paris before going to the different Parisian markets. Abandoned since the sixties, in 1980, the SNCF (the French National railway company) rented out parts of the warehouse to artisans and artists.
Today Les Frigos hosts 87 workshops in a very special atmosphere. The frigos’ external walls (but also inside) are covered with interesting graffiti street art.
THE GIANT MURAL PROGRAM
Paris 13 managed to attire famous street artists doing high-quality giant murals which cover some huge buildings without character. When street artists have permission and don’t need to hide from the police, they can do something wonderful. They can take their time and make it great. And actually, that’s what happened in Paris 13 with the city council’s support.
Best Street Art in Butte aux Cailles
Closest Metro Stations: Corvissart, L6 or Tolbiac, L7
This quarter has a very charming countryside atmosphere. The street artworks here are small, a scale that fits very well to its narrow and winding lanes. The most famous street artists in Butte Aux Cailles are Miss Tic and Jef Aerosol, both French artists.
Miss Tic Street Art has literally invaded the quarter with her B&W graffiti, always expressing her ideas through poems and wordplay. What we like from Miss Tic is the wordplay in her work, but if you don’t speak French, maybe you will appreciate her work less.
- 1- Alerte à la bombe by Miss Tic – rue des Cinq-Diamants /rue Butte aux Cailles
- 2- Un homme peut en cacher un autre by Miss Tic – 30 rue des Cinq-Diamants
- 3- Je ne brise pas que les coeurs by Miss Tic – 27 rue des Cinq-Diamants
Jef Aerosol also works in B&W. He has created many portraits of famous people like Elvis or Gandhi. Still, the main part of his work is dedicated to the anonymous people on the streets: musicians, beggars, children playing… It is very easy to recognize Jef Aerosol’s work because he always signs with red arrows.
- 4- La musique adoucit les murs by Jef Aerosol – 21 rue des Cinq-Diamants
- 5- Baisers by Zaira – 44 rue des Cinq-Diamants
- 6- Lézarts de la bièvre by Jana & JS – 2 rue de l’Espérance
Best Giant Murals in Paris 13
Closest Metro Stations: Nationale and Chevaleret, L6 /Porte d’Italie and Porte de Choisy, L7
Huge murals by famous street artists worldwide have invaded the biggest avenues in Paris 13, and now street art is part of the landscape.
Some people define Boulevard Vincent Auriol as ‘the Champs Elysées of Street Art.’ Along this wide avenue crossed by the metro and its surroundings, it’s where you can find most of these giant murals. The cool thing about Boulevard Vincent Auriol is that the metro (L6) rides by so you can see these murals from different points of view. Other interesting murals are located between Avenue de Choisy and Avenue d’Italie.
The main authors of these giant murals are Sainer and M-City (Poland), Vhils (Portugal), Kislow (Ukrania) OBEY (US), Inti, Maher, and Aner, (Chile), Ethos (Brazil), ZED (Tunisia + Morocco) and Jana & JS (France-Germany).
France is represented by Seth Street Art, Babs, Rero, SteW, and C215. C215 is one of our favorite French street artists, his work consists mainly of close-up portraits of people usually forgotten by our society: beggars, homeless people, refugees, street kids… He also likes to feature cats and his daughter Nina. He has a very defined style and you can also recognize his work by his signature, a dice with C215 inside.
Boulevard Vincent Auriol Self-Guided Walking Tour
This is only a selection of what you can see in this area. If you follow this walking tour, you will find along your way other murals and graffiti. This area is full of nice surprises!
- A- Inti (Chile) – 81 Boulevard Vincent Auriol
- B- ? – 120 Boulevard Vincent Auriol
- C- C215 (France) – 141 Boulevard Vincent Auriol
- D- OBEY (US) – 93 rue Jeanne d’Arc
- E- Seth (France) – 110 rue Jeanne d’Arc
- F- Jana & JS (Germany and France) -110 rue Jeanne d’Arc
- G- Inti (Chile) – 13 rue Lahire
Avenue de Choisy /Avenue d’Italie Self-Guided Walking Tour
- H- Inti (Chile) – 129 Avenue d’Italie
- I- Pantónio (Portugal) – Avenue de Choisy / Place de Vénétie
- J- Stew (France) – Place de Vénétie
Other Interesting Street Art in Paris 13
The following street artworks are located outside the above-mentioned areas, but some of them are so beautiful that they are worth a detour.
- K- Seth – 2 rue Emile Deslandres; M. Les Gobelins, L7; Velib Station #13.005
- L- Danse de la fontaine émergente by Chen Zhen (China) – Place Augusta Holmes; M. Quai de la Gare, L6; Velib Station #13.020
- M- Blowin by c215 (France) – Entrance Hall Hospital Pitié – Salpêtrière, 83 Boulevard de l’hôpital; M. St Marcel, L5; Velib Station #13.103
And there you have it, the best street artworks in Paris13 and where to find them. Have you seen any of our favorites?
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