GZUP: The Interview

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This past December when I was in PARIS I came across these seven-legged OCTOPUS dudes and wondered who the artist was. After spotting one after another (but actually), I finally came across one with the tag on it “GZUP,” and then googled who this “GZUP” was. These paste ups were fun and exciting to spot, from Tupac to Minnie Mouse, Spiderman to Johnny Depp, and more, GZUP has taken over the Paris street art scene within the last few years. Luckily, I got the incredible experience to interview this artist and am here to share it with you all! Enjoy kids!

1. You are known for your seven legged octopi that range in characters from Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates to Tupac, and you even create your own characters. First off, how did you come up with creating a seven-legged octopus (is that what you refer to your work as?) and what does it mean to you? I actually make octopus from something I like; I can do a Golgorak or 2Pac’s one but I will never make one with Nicolas SARKOZY or something I hate. I don’t make any concession, I just do it solely for my own pleasure. The seven-legged octopus is based on the Octopus you can find in the game “Wonderboy” on Sega Master System. This one has only seven legs too.

2. Does any of your work differ from the octopi? Or is this creature your signature style? For now I’m focused on octopi and yes that is my signature.

3. I first came across your work in Paris (especially next to a bunch of Invaders – totally awesome/great location). Is Paris your home base? Where else can we find your work? I first pasted my octopi near other figures of street art, (for) now I discover places by myself all over Paris and often with immaculate walls. 
Now street artists paste near me, it’s a sort of recognition. I pasted 446 wood octopi in Paris (July 2013) and you can find my work in Lille, Rennes, Rouen and soon in Caen and Lyon……..

4. Are you solely a street artist? Do you exhibit in gallery shows or one day do you hope to show in galleries? Because some people ask me for some (Octopus) I did a collective exposition last year. I must admit this is not a finality in my work for now. My greatest pleasure is to expose my art in the streets.

How high-Paris

5. From what I have read, you are fairly new to the street art game (please correct me if I am wrong), yet your work is incredibly different, stands out, is friendly, fun, and exciting. Where does this inspiration come from? Are you a trained artist (if so, where did you study and what medium was your favourite in school)? I started pasting my octopi in May 2011. Just before in Fall 2010 I bombed the streets of Paris with aerosol (spray paint – below). And a long time ago in the 90’s I used to make graffiti. Many guys used to be street artists but they don’t keep up their presence in the streets. For me it’s not a fashion it’s MY way of life. You would be surprised how many times I dreamt about pasting up my pieces or just note a spot in my IPhone. It’s like a drug for me! I am determined in what I do. My inspiration comes mainly from manga, comics, and everything from everyday that I like.
 And in terms of schooling, I have no formation in art, I’m autodidactic.

Octopus aerosol

6. Who is your favourite seven-legged friend you have made to date? Is he still around and chilling somewhere for people to spot? If so where can we find this dude? My favorite is always my last one to come. I can tell you I’ve got 10 pieces to paste: it will be the hardest ever ‘LOL’.
For example my first piece I ever pasted-up is still in place. That’s a part of history…But when you come to Paris, there will always be a “GZUP” in the corner. I’m working towards this…

So my friends, next time you are in France, for now primarily Paris, look up at the street corner (signs), for it is rare that you will NOT spot one of these seven-legged octopi. Take a pic, and share with us! Or post your pics with GZUP pasties on his Facebook.

In action

XX, DP

P.S. Rumour has it we will soon be seeing these dudes in London! Tres exciting!!!!

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C215 (Christian Guemy): The Interview

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We here are CultureHe(ART)s could not be more THRILLED than to announce that we got to interview a Street Art LEGEND Mr. Christian Guemy aka C215. He may be from Paris but you can find his works all over the world. From London to Bratislava and more, you may have come across his incredibly detailed stencilled Street Art, mostly of portraits (and cats) that range in subject from his daughter Nina (who too is a stencil artist) to the Old Master Caravaggio. But his work isn’t only on the streets. You too can find it in a plethora of galleries WORLD WIDE (right now he is showing work in London at Opera Gallery).

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Okayyy. Enough of his bio let’s get to the interview!

1.     When did you know you wanted to be an artist? Did you go to school and study art? Your ability to create such intricate and beautiful works is absolutely incredible. I never wanted to be an artist. I did my best not to become one. I studied History in Unversity and never been to art school. People told me I was one, they wanted to buy my works, so i accepted to become one.

2.     Where is your home base? Where can we see a lot of your works on the streets – any favourite city?? I live in vitry near Paris, a city where it is more easy to paint than in the capital. Thats why it is also my favorite city. I am happy to live in street art friendly city.

3.     I see you show in galleries on top of gracing us with outdoor work. Do you have a preference for creating street art or working on canvas? Or any other material for that matter… I do contextual art, so I like to paint on recycled objects, which, as in the streets, provide me a context to interact with.

4.     How did you come up with making stencil creations your main style? How has your style evolved over time? My stencils turned more and more complex with time. I would be bored repeating always the same thing or the same vision.

5.     I see you often depict your daughter in the works, Nina (below). It is as if she is your muse and inspiration. I find it refreshing. How does she feel being the star in your works (if you don’t mind me asking)/are we going to see her follow in her father’s footsteps in the future? Nina is 10, she is a little girl and I can’t really know precisely her feeling about that. We’ll see later what will be her opinion.

6.     If you could collaborate with one artist in the future to make a mural who would it be with (Does not have to be a street artist)? I would love to do a mural with my daughter when she will be older .. who knows ?

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Well guys, there you have it! Check out C215 on Facebook for more details on his latest projects and work and follow his Instagram @ChristianGuemy.

What a BRILLIANT and EXCITING way to start the week, eh?

XX, DP

Dada – The Real Dada, NOT ze Dada Life

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Dada, an “art” movement that was “anti-art.” In terms of Duchamp, (who are friend below will go into detail) a 20th century French artist, had a disdain for the convention of tradition – hence why he turned a urinal into what he titled “Fountain.” Duchamp became associated with the movement in Paris during the WWI, when many Europeans realized that their society was breaking down. So, with a breakdown in society brought about a breakaway from tradition.

Duchamp’s readymades (i.e. “Fountain” and his “Bicycle Wheel”) were in a sense a conscious effort to break every rule of traditional art, in order to create a new type of art – a type of art that engages the mind and provokes the viewer to participate and think. Duchamp came up with the idea to discard art’s most fundamental values of artisanship and beauty. The readymades were the final solution of how Duchamp created a work of art that is not “art.”

Duchamp’s readymades were composed of assemblages, altered images, and prefabricated objects. The manufactured items were normally brought right off a shelf or salvaged, and often unaltered. Duchamp then would put all the pieces he wished together, and gave them abstruse titles, or even inscribed them with a phrase that was absolutely utter non-sense. It was the idea of putting all these random objects together that later artists were inspired from. Duchamp’s use of everyday objects, to create “art” in a sense gave influence to later artists such as Rauschenberg, Johns, and even Warhol. It was Duchamp’s idea that the artist declares what the art is that can be seen throughout all three of the artist’s works mentioned above.

ART IS ART BECAUSE THE ARTIST SAID SO. GENIUS.

XX, DP

More East End Adventures – Beauty in “Vandalism”

Although I must admit, I was not a fan of the “East End” in London at first, I have come to find some true, rare, street art treasures that make me want to go back more and more! Not only did I come across a CLASSIC example of a  Space Invader (above) but I too came across a new artist that I find truly inspiring: C215.

C215 is Christian Guémy, a French stencil graffiti artist that creates such intricate works, in this particular case, on such a small scale. The detail, colour, shading, everything – is just so magnificent. I hope to be seeing more of his art pop up around Europe.

Below is C215’s work – both happened to be found on random doors on the main street (in East London). This is incredibly atypical. When you think of graffiti, you think of it being found in discrete locations, or in alley ways, on top of buildings, or even on designated mural walls (which sometimes have even been pre-arranged LEGALLY with the city council), etc… but this dude has HUTZPAH to create such detail oriented works in incredibly public places where he could be stopped at any second for “vandalizing.” Blah blah blah. Vandalism? Really?

It might be vandalism. But it is beautiful nonetheless. See the beauty in art. Find the beauty in your he(ART). And FYI, he is not only a street artist, his work too can be found in commercial galleries (apparently these works are created in various sizes, and by various I mean up to heights of 81″ – perhaps even more). How MAJOR!

Keep your eyes open! You never know what you’ll come across. It’s those little things in life that we find that make our days that much more exciting!

XX, DP

GZ UP

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Wondering around the streets of Paris over December break, we came across these 7 legged octopi – although they normally have 8 legs, FYI. From Tupac (sorry for the blurriness – bad angle but HAD TO CAPTURE) to Johnny Depp, this Parisian has got it covered. But he does not only create celebrity creatures of the sea, he too creates his own characters. GZ UP is the name of ze artist. Although he currently can solely be found around France’s capital, keep your eye out for him. Coming soon, to a location near you.

xx, DP