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Graffiti paintings

Carré d'artistes offers you an immersion in the street and pop movements, through a large selection of graffiti paintings . Selected works are unique and from the best contemporary artists.

The contemporary history of graffiti

Although the artistic recognition of graffiti dates from the mid-twentieth century, we have to go back to the prehistoric era to fully understand its origins. The iconic cave paintings in the Lascaux caves demonstrate that the pictorial practice is ancestral. Beyond the paintings that lined the caves, the first men used graffiti to mark their passage in an isolated place in order to alert the various tribes of potential dangers.
The first urban graffiti artists emerged in the second half of the 20th century in the United States. Anonymous artists began to paint their pseudonyms on walls and more widely throughout public spaces. It was at the end of the 1960s, a period marked by protests against the Vietnam War and racial claims, that graffiti paintings multiplied. Out of this emerged street art, an essentially political anti-establishment movement widely condemned by the population.
Attempts to quash it only strengthened and democratized the movement beyond American borders. In France, great artists – such as Blek le Rat or Mesnager – began to paint their works in public spaces.
Violence and hatred against graffiti artists led some artists to paint on canvases, which has contributed to the entry of street art into famous exhibitions. Today, the artistic value of graffiti is widely endorsed, and many artists are perpetuating pop and street culture on the web.

How is graffiti art practiced?

If graffiti were to have an emblem it would have to be the spray can. Valérian Lenud illustrates this trend by drawing the great fanciful characters of pop culture just equipped with stencils and paint spray.
Furthermore, graffiti paintings generally involve several techniques. For example, the artist Graffmat combines spray with acrylic paint to give his works a felted aspect. Others, like Kikayou, resort to an unlimited palette of techniques to depict their universe. He is as comfortable using stencils, as he is using spray or collage.
Graffiti is more about intention than method. The initiative is deeply personal; the intention is for the work to be seen by as many people as possible. Graffiti on canvas shares the same logic. Using all the pictorial means at their disposal, the artists express themselves in the same way, but via a different medium.

Carré d'artistes invites you to acquaint yourself with street art by engaging with the unique works of renowned contemporary painters.

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