Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Faces of Gregos

Roaming in the narrow dirty street of Montmartre, one may experience the strange sensation of being closely observed. Looking around, one notices that except for a cat and a few empty bottles of beer, there is not a single soul. Alone. A perfect victim. A chill freezes one's spine. The presence keeps starring. Where is it ? Paranoïd. One's sweaty head starts aching. Spinning. Then it occurs to one that the presence might be in the wall. It can't be. Summoning every ounce of courage one still has (i.e., not a lot), one approaches the silhouette that now seems to be detaching from the wall like a ghost. The ghost is on the verge of surging all over oneself when it eventually occurs to one that the presence is actually a face glued on the wall*. 

A weird experience don't you think ? Yet, really unique and amusing. 

I first came over one of these faces, that one will mainly spot in Montmartre (the artist leaves there), almost two years ago in Saint-Michel district, near the Notre-Dame Cathedral. 

Artist - Gregos

I remember enjoying and sharing this finding with friends and amateurs of the genre but forgot about it until very recently when a friend came from Mexico City to visit. Armed with our cameras, we headed to Abbesses ready to shoot. There are many stencils by Miss-Tic in the area and we knew that we would find what we were looking for. We walked for a while when I spotted the face, Passage des Abbesses. Obviously, we stopped to admire, share impressions and, of course, snap some pictures.

Those of you who are familiar with this artist's work know that these faces are actually a mold of  his face that he glues randomly in the streets of Paris, although Montmartre seems to be one of his favorite playgrounds. 

When the faces are not vandalized, one can enjoy the various moods of Gregos whose itinerary is inspiring. 

Delivery Man to earn a living, Gregos is essentially an artist in motion. He started sculpting and molding in 1997 after spending a few years in Greece to fulfill military duties. Five years later, he moved to Boston with his girlfriend who was then preparing a PhD. During this 3-year period, Gregos enjoyed his free time to study oil  and acrylic painting. When he eventually got back to Paris in 2006, he came up with this idea of molding his face, using all the techniques he had learnt, and then gluing in the streets of Montmartre. 

Since then, more than 500 faces haunt Paris and other French and foreign city streets.

So if you don't leave in Paris, don't be too sad because Gregos glued his face in Berlin, L.A., Athens, Kyoto, Tokyo, Sao Paolo, Portland, Seattle and other cities that are listed on his website which is definitely worth checking. 



PS: *Stop watching S.A.W.!

Painter in Montmartre at Work

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Roma Ladies

Jef Aérosol and Airnadette

Recently, on my way to the Airnadette* show at L'Européen theatre, I came across some stencils by Jef Aérosol.

 You can see these Rue Biot, Paris 17th.

The talent of the Airnadette band is reason enough to attend this crazy funny show. But, if you need any other reason, the stencils will give it to you.



*PS: For those who don't know who are the Airnadette guys and what they do, check this :


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Valloton's Exhibition: A Must See !

Nude With A Green Scarf - 1914

Last week-end, enjoying an extra-day off I headed to the Grand Palais firmly decided to camp in the line until I got in the Braque’s exhibition.  Well, I had reckoned without the unbearable screaming children and the rain, my “not-not hair” (not straight – not curly) best enemy.

Braque could wait; my hair and my nerves, no.  So to preserve my brushing remains and my cheerfulness, I found a shelter at the Valloton’s exhibition, on the other side of the museum. 

There was nobody in the line.  At least, I was ensured that I could plainly (meaning without kids and groups of glued tourists) enjoy the show.  I got in pretty quickly thus avoiding a rain shower.

Félix Jasinski Holding His Hat - 1887

At this point, I must tell you that until the moment I entered the first gallery I had no idea of who Félix Valloton was or what was his work like.  So when I spotted the paintings on the walls, what a shock!  The preciseness and sharpness of the lines left me speechless.

Not to mention the weird fascination I felt for Félix Jasinski’s portrait and more precisely for his hands and how alive and material they look. The subject seems to be alive; the blood seems to be flooding through his blue veins. It’s quite disturbing.

The paintings were just the beginning of my dive into this polyvalent artist’s world.  Not only was Valloton a painting maestro but he was also a drawing virtuoso.

In the form, Valloton’s black and white xylographs are ancestors of contemporaneous cartoons to the point that you may find a strong resemblance with Marjane Satrapi’s drawings. 

The Lie 

When it comes to describing their content, I would say that these drawings, looked at together or separately, are like a cynical photo-novel about marital life (an ancestor of trash magazines?). The torments of marital and family life, women and their bodies, the strange and undisclosed ties that may exist between two women, are all themes that are present in most of Valloton’s work.  His eye is cruel but yet amusing. Although time is passing us by, some things appear to never change especially human behavior.

As I am writing this post I am already planning on visiting the exhibition once again to enjoy a little bit more of Valloton’s treasures.  

So if you are in Paris, this is a “MUST SEE”!  If you are not you can enjoy a bit of the show on the Grand Palais' website.

Alda Mori

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Doors

Jorge Rosa - Rua Dos Barreiros n°13

Not all artists are as gifted as "Bankirst" to self promote their work. Sadly. 

While in Funchal, walking down the streets, which by the way are really too clean for me, I found out about this awesome art project called "Projecto Arte Portas Abertas" (Open Doors Art Project) in Santa Maria Street.

This project launched in August 2010 consists in bringing back to life old (and most of the time deteriorated) doors by using them as a medium for artistic expression. In other words, doors in ruin are used as canvases by artists to paint, draw and sculpt.

The result is amazing and definitely inspiring. Here are some of my favorite ones.

Rua Santa Maria n°135 - Frederico & Joao
Rua Santa Maria n°37 - Roberto Macedo Alves
Rua Santa Maria n° 47 - Rodrigo
Travessa Joao Caetano 2A - Sergio Nobrego Artesao

Rua Santa Maria there are no policemen guarding these little treasures. On the contrary. You may enjoy a good bolo do caco (a local speciality made of bread, butter, garlic and herbs) while seated at a table contemplating your favorite tableau. Free art.

In case, you would like to see more doors and discover new artists you can check this website (there is an English version) :

There are many doors left to express oneself. 

So Banksy, or Bankirst, or whoever you are, if you read this (I am dreaming aloud, ok ?) I would be curious to see what crazy work of art you could perform. Instead of promoting street art in a city already full of it, come visit your portuguese friends. 



Julie Roma Lisbon

M. Chat Paris Lisboa

Azulejos Tuk Tuk

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Desentop Coraçao Independente

Desentop  ("Unclog")

Coraçao Independente ("Independent Heart") - Ruina

Alda Mori

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fish Kon Shoes

Paris Fashion Week is ending today.  Of course, I could write about:

1) Fashion Industry Personalities

Suzy Menkes (NY Times) and Anna Dello Russo (Vogue Japan)
Franca Sozzani (Vogue Italy)

Nina Garcia (Marie Claire US) and Joe Zee (Elle US)

2) Fashion Photographers

3) Canine Photographers

4) Beautiful Models

5) Beautiful People

Elettra Wiedemann and Olivia Palermo

6) And many other nice things...

Instead, let's talk about fish Kon shoes. 

If you have read my post about Kumagai, you have probably understood that I have a thing for shoes.  And if you (religiously ?) follow my blog, you most certainly know by now that I am passionate about Photography.

In case you don't, boohoo!

Very recently, while reading a book about history of Photography I found a very interesting photograph of a Converse shoe. Please, have a look.

Do you notice something ?  No.  Look closer.  


Yep!  There you go. These sneakers are actually made of fish and the laces are made of squid tentacles.  One can almost have the smell.

This interesting photographic composition titled Cuttlefish and Sneaker belongs to Michiko Kon, a japanese photographer who uses organic matter to create beautiful and poetic but yet disturbing images where Life confronts Death. 

For instance, Kon covered the boot below with wispy shrimp, rosebuds, and fish scales. 

The beautiful shoe below is covered with salmon skin. 

Not wearable. I agree. But definitely an interesting idea that Kon also applied to clothing and notably to lingerie. 

Gizzard Shad and Brassiere (Bra made of fish-skin)
Who knows, maybe one day we will see Gaga wearing a sardine bra or salmon shoes ! She already tried meat, why not fish ?

In any case, if you find Kon's work interesting you can purchase the book Still Lifes by Michiko Kon.


Alda Mori