My Paris By Blek Le Rat

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Parisian street art pioneer Blek Le Rat goes stenciling in the city.

1. Beggar in Paris
Rue Béranger is located behind Place de la République, and it’s where the headquarters of the daily French newspaper Libération are located. When I pasted up this poster of a beggar during the night, I was being insulted by a man right from his balcony.

2. Jesus Christ
Situated in Saint-Germain-des-Prés next to the café Les Deux Magots, where the surrealists used to go “to remake the world.” The church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is opposite my Jesus Christ image and they’re perfectly integrated in this urban context.

3. Cosmonaute
This is at Quai Louis Blériot on the Seine River, where I lived during my childhood. Louis Blériot was the first aviator to cross the English Channel, and this image is a tribute to him.

4. Rue Desnoyers
This street, Rue Desnoyers, is in the cosmopolitan quarter called Belleville, where Chinese, Arabic, Jewish, and African people live peacefully together. This is the only wall in Paris where it’s legal to paint graffiti. The images on the wall change everyday.

5. Fortune Teller
There are very few spots in Paris where one can paste up posters and have this great view. This is why I won’t tell exactly where it is located. This is a self-portrait of me disguised as a Chinese fortune teller.

6. American Soldier
This image was taken on Blvd. St. Germain, one of the most famous boulevards in Paris, during a demonstration against the war in Iraq. While I was wheatpasting, the chief of the police came to ask me if I could give him a poster of the American soldier because he wanted to put it in his office. Strange, isn’t it?

7. Napoleon
People who live or pass through Rue Desnoyers are always a bit extravagant, like this man, who kindly posed for his photo next to my version of Napoleon.