Tag Archives: France


The next time I’m in Marseilles, in the south of France, I’m definitely staying Au Vieux Panier, a 17th Century Corsican marketplace converted into a hotel that caters to design lovers, offering lovely accommodations in various works of art. Each room has it’s own theme and has been painstakingly designed by an individual artist. The rooms usually change yearly, so you never stay in the same room twice, creating a truly unique experience.

Current artists include: Avexciters, Julien Colombier, Pascale Robert, Thomas Canto, and Pixtil Studio.

For bookings, or other information, check out their website.

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The streets of France are always peppered with really amazing street art by artists from around the world, but Mademoiselle Maurice stands apart from the rest with her distinct style of creative urban installation, not only with the works themselves, but because she involves the community in the process. She brightens up certain neighbourhoods with splashes of bright colours and engages the viewer with inspiring messages made of origami elements. She’s decorated everything from staircases, schools, sidewalks, community centres, buildings, and most notably, even a prison.

Recently, she was a participant in France’s 2013 ARTAQ Festival, and every Tuesday she would lead workshops for all ages and demographics that brought people together to work on large-scale public installations in urban areas. Over several months, in almost 20 locations, they collectively constructed origami works that involved over 30, 000 folds, and revived urban landscapes, as well as creating a deeper link between individuals and their community.

To see more, check out her website.



Internationally-reknowned graffiti master Stinkfish isn’t interested in the art world. His feet are firmly planted in the realm and purpose of graffiti – to vandalize an object is to subvert an underlying agenda.  The bulk of his work revolves around the people who live in the areas where he works. He wanders the streets, photographing the people that pique his interest without their knowledge. Then he translates their essence into a singular work, never to be reproduced again. Like snowflakes – like humans, really – they are all independent and characteristic of themselves, and exist nowhere else in time and space.

Born in Mexico City, and currently residing in Bogotá, Colombia, the busy urban environment is where he dwells. Surrounded by chaos and crowds he draws inspiration from everything around him.  Evolving out of trial and error, he focuses his efforts on illegal surfaces – permission walls have no business being a part of his execution. He likes them to be clearly visible, accessible to all, and most notably, located next to something you are forced to look at every day, such as a street sign.

His approach is pure expression. Bold explosions of bright colours and patterning – almost psychedelic – with an untamed style that is both random and well-thought-out. No two works are alike, and he continues to grow and adapt to each piece as he delves deeper into experimentation.

His work can be seen all over the world, most notably in Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Guatemala, Spain, Germany, UK, France, Holland, Austria and Nepal.

To see more, check out his website. Or view his Flickr gallery.

There’s also a great interview with Stinkfish on Bombing Science’s website that’s worth reading.

Check him out in action:

OFFPROJECT Presents: Stinkfish

ALMA INK x Saks & Stinkfish // 2013

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Hailing from Nice, France, Flow is one of the awesomest graffiti artists, specializing in really gorgeous portraits of popular icons. Not much is known, other than the fact that he is a member of the popular TWE crew. Let’s keep it that way. 😉

Check out his artist page on Fat Cap.

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Belgian jewellery designer Liesbet Bussche made a bold move from creating a typical accessory collection and took to the streets of Amsterdam and Cagnes-Sur-Mer in France, adding oversized jewellery accents to the usual city accoutrements. Transforming grimy, mundane urban elements into objects of class and distinction creates a sense that each city’s characteristic elements are unique and why not accessorize them, as we do ourselves?

Bussche’s urban jewellery consists of huge baubles and charms are placed in unexpected locations, adding a touch of whimsy to the city environment. Toying with scale, butterfly earring backs, spring ring necklace clasps, and woven beads are added to existing elements, transforming their everyday context into something more imaginative, and extravagant.

Her exhibit in the lovely streets of Cagnes-Sur-Mer is a reflection of the infamous 1930’s-1940’s Parisian icon Suzy Solidor – nightclub owner, model, singer, writer and actress. The collection of enormous charms and pendants mirror the extravagant urban chic lifestyle which she was most famously known for flaunting. Larger than life, her impact on the fashion and art of the day transcends into contemporary society.

Visit Liesbet Bussche’s website to learn more.


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ImageFreelance graphic designer and illustrator Florian Nicolle hails from Caen, France – a Northwestern city on the coast near Le Havre that was all but destroyed during WW2’s Battle of Normandy. His work is as dynamic and spontaneous as the modern street art movement that’s invaded Europe over the past couple of decades – fresh, bold strokes, splashes of realism that fade into abstraction, and simple, raw expression.

His talent hasn’t gone unnoticed – he’s got a huge client base now, with top guns such as Nike, Puma, Nokia, ESPN classic, EA Sports Games Studio, Los Angeles Times, Warner Bros, Harajuku Lovers (by Gwen Stephani), KHL, Tanishq… just to name a few. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this young talent.

Check out his website to see more amazing work.

Also check out his gallery on the Behance Network.


German graffiti artist Mad C started bombing in the late 90’s and has spent much of her life traveling the world and leaving traces of herself behind in the form of art – Sweden, France, USA, United Kingdom, Lebanon, South Africa, Bolivia, Hawaii, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Norway, Poland, Russia, the list goes on. She is also a member of the Bandits crew (GER/F) since 2001, part of the Wallnuts crew (USA) since 2007 and member of SUK (planet earth) since 2009. Her biggest fait accompli to date is her 700wall – a 700 square metre wall she painted using only a ladder in 2010, which tells the story of a graffiti writer, with her name interspersed throughout in more than 100 diverse font styles. So it’s no surprise that concept walls are her ultimate forte, and she continues to impress with her newest addition – The Jurassic Park Wall.

The wall measures 14 metres long by 6 metres tall (84 square metres), and it was the first chance Mad C had the opportunity to use a lifting platform to help her out. The story she weaves is one of life living beyond the point of extinction – based on a quote by Dr. Ian Malcolm (the main character from Jurassic Park). I love the extreme realism and detailed illustrative qualities that Mad C incorporates into her works, and the fact that she always has an impactful statement to make. I can’t wait to see more impressive works from her – makes me want to start saving up so I can travel the globe and try to spot her mark…

Check out her blog to find out more about Mad C.

Additionally, you can check out her published work “Street Fonts”, published in 2011 by Thames & Hudson.

Also check out her videos on Vimeo. And the making of the Jurassic Park Wall on YouTube.

Often times, when we think of art and design, the man-made world dominates our thoughts, – but nature gives us the greatest inspiration to create above all else. This world is in a constant state of creation and degeneration, of evolution and extinction, which gives us an entire spectrum of beauty and abomination from which to glean our ideas. Nothing is weirder than what nature can create – in fact, we spend generations trying to grasp exactly why things occur. We need to quantify the existence of the natural world to feel somehow in control. Why not let go and let your imagination soar with the amazing world that surrounds us? Let’s start by looking into our own backyards.

Lately I’ve been fixated on the strangest and most bizarre elements that our natural world has given us and I’ve recently come across some incredible images of odd trees from around the world, so I thought I’d share.

My all-time favourite is the Baobab. I would love to have the chance to visit Madagascar and see them towering over the landscape. To me, they are one of the most magical-looking trees on earth. Baobabs reach heights of 5 to 30 m (16 to 98 ft) and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 m (23 to 36 ft). Baobabs store water inside the swollen trunk (up to 120,000 litres / 32,000 US gallons) to endure the harsh drought conditions particular to each region. Some hollowed out baobabs have been used as anything from prisons to wine bars, and one was even converted into an outhouse!

The Dragon Tree, found in the Canary Islands is also really cool looking. When the bark or leaves are severed they secrete a red resin, one of the sources of the substance known as Dragon’s blood, used to stain wood, just like that used to stain Stradivarius violins. It also traditionally has numerous medicinal uses.

The Silk Cotton Tree in Cambodia is an incredible sight to behold. It consumes buildings and many specimens have grown to gargantuan proportions in both height and width. The temple of Ta Prohm is the most popular place to view these tentacled giants.

The Tree of Life resides in Bahrain and is around 400 years old and boasts one of the deepest root systems worldwide. The Mesquite tree is now a local tourist attraction, as it is the only major tree growing in the region and is viewed by approximately 50,000 tourists every year. It is also believed to be the site for cults practicing ancient rites.

El Arbol de La Sabina is in the Juniper family, which, when distilled, provides us with gin. This specific tree can also be found in the Canary Islands, an autonomous region of Spain. The wood is really compact, fine-grained, super tough, yellowish-brown or reddish and extremely aromatic. It can grow in most soils and climates and gets its appearance from being pushed over by the rough winds that cross the ocean.

The Tree of Tule is a Montezuma Cypress tree. It has been said that it has the stoutest trunk of any tree in the world. Located in the church grounds in the town center of Santa María del Tule in the Mexicanstate of Oaxaca, in 2001 it was placed on a UNESCO tentative list of World Heritage Sites.The age is currently still unknown, with estimates ranging between 1,200 and 3,000 years. One claim of 6,000 years has also been made.

The Bottle Tree is a strange poisonous one that grows along the rocky hills of semi-deserts, such as Namibia. It has a weird bottle shaped trunk and very few branches covered in thorns up to 30 cm long. It was widely used as a blinding toxin for arrow tips while hunting.

To see the 50 weirdest trees in the world, check out this site.

Bukisa also has an interesting article on strange trees from around the world.

Here are some more interesting trees that have been manipulated by man:

The Oak Chapel Tree, Alouville, France

Axel Erlandson’s Circus Tree, Santa Cruz, California

Axel Erlandson’s Arborsculpture, Santa Cruz, California

The Chandelier Tree, Leggett, California

King’s Gardens, Copenhagen

Street art and graffiti have almost always received a bad reputation for tarnishing the urban landscape. Most artists have to conceal their artistic process by cover of night, and try to maintain anonymity for fear of prosecution. The existing laws worldwide are harsh on street artists and the punishments are exceedingly excessive, and thus creates a criminal stigma that pervades the practice, forcing it to remain below the surface of accepted society.  Street artists and graffiti writers are starting to take a stand – if they can’t paint on public surfaces, they’ll create surfaces on which to work themselves – and Cellograff was born.

Stringing cellophane between trees, poles, light posts, pillars, and any other form of structure creates a fresh canvas that incorporates itself into the urban landscape without damaging the surroundings. When you remove the vandalism and damage to public property, you remove the criminal element, and make it safer to create street art outside during the day. Take that, law enforcement!

I’m not sure exactly how this phenomenon began, but it is said that in 2006 Kanos and Reci Xelecce formed the Politically Correct crew and wanted to add their artistic mark to the streets of Paris without vandalism or permanently scarring the environment. They decided to string up temporary canvas using cellophane and began the trend. Kanos was later joined by Astro and took a more graffiti oriented slant to their work. Several crews in Europe are spreading the technique around so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this in the near future. It’s amazing what they can create and the possibilities are virtually endless! What I’d love to see is more work that includes the landscape around it as an artistic element of the piece itself – wouldn’t that be cool!

To learn more about Kanos & Astro, and to check out more of their work, visit their website.

Here are some great examples of cellograff (most are from Paris)…

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