street art / travel

Art Liberté: Berlin Wall Street Art Exhibition at Paris Gare de l’Est

When my husband recently went to France for work and had to change trains at Paris Gare de l’Est, he came across a big free street art exhibition just outside of the station called Art Liberté. Being the good husband he is, he documented it for his street art-obsessed wife on his phone while dragging a suitcase and guitar through the busy Parisian streets. (Thanks babes!)

Art Liberté, or Art Liberty as it surprisingly is called in English, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. It’s a follow-up to the exhibition curator Sylvestre Verger put together for the 20th anniversary in 2009 with artwork from his personal collection that were created from fragments of the original Berlin Wall. For the current exhibition he invited 30 world-renowned artists to create works on thirty fragments of the Berlin Wall Sylvestre had preserved. Among these artists were the two Frenchmen who famously painted the first (illegal) murals on the Wall in 1984, Christopher Bouchet and Thierry Noir.

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est

While crossing the road in order to get to his connecting train my considerate hubby took lots of photos of the exhibition for me and gave me permission to claim them as my own and post them online. Although I put my name on them in big letters, I am an honest soul and admit here that the photos were all taken by my husband Robin Rimbaud but were edited (the most crucial part of course) by me. 🙂

Click on the photos for larger versions or view my Flickr album Art Liberté Paris Gare de l’Est.

From left to right: Climate Change by guerrilla 1Up graffiti crew (Germany), Évasion by illustrator, graffiti & tattoo artist Franck Pellegrino (France), Espoir by street artist and muralist Mesa (Spain) and Hommage to Gorbachev by King Sone (Germany).

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est 1Up Franck Pellegrino Mesa King Sone

From left to right: Les Clefs de la Liberté by pioneering Berlin Wall graffiti artist Christophe Bouchet (France), Enfant Roi by Kiddy Citny (Germany), one of the original Berlin Wall artists, Chorus II by sculptor Peter Unsicker (Germany), Positive Vibration by philosopher, doctor, journalist and eminent photographer of the Berlin Wall Heinz Kuzdas (Germany), Le Mur au Paradis by Indiano (Germany), Victory by one of my favourite artists, creator of epic murals all over the world, Faith47 (South Africa), Oeil by graffiti writer Crashmatos (USA), I love Shoreditch by fellow Londoner John Dolan (UK) who happens to live near me, sadly he lives on the streets and finally Continental Climate C by another favourite artist of mine and the spouse of Faith 47, DALeast (China).

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est Christophe Bouchet Kiddy Citny Peter Unsicker Heinz Kuzdas Indiano Faith47 Crashmatos  John Dolan DALeast

From left to right: Sans Titre by Gilbert (Togo), Falling Man by Fi Re (China), Sans Titre by Jean Faucheur  (France), 1989-2014 La trace by architect, artist and street artist PHA (France) and Sitting Kid by Jef Aérosol (France), who was previously an English teacher, musician and now street artist.

Art Liberte Gilbert Fi Re Jean Faucheur PHA Jef Aérosol

Bons baisers de Russie by French artist C215 of kissing soldiers couldn’t be more fitting for today as it’s London Pride today and it’s also day that America’s Supreme Court legalised gay marriage. As so many London street art enthusiasts, I’m a big fan of C215 and am lucky to see so many of his works in the area. Read the moving story on his personal life here.

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est C215

No Man’s Land by Mexican artist Pablo Delgado. I had heard of him before, but I first came across his work at Howard Griffin Gallery last year when he had a solo show there. I am sure the streets of London are filled with his work, but I have never been able to spot them because they are so tiny! The Howard Griffin Gallery has previously also exhibited works by Thierry Noir and John Dolan, who are also in the Art Liberté exhibition.

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est Pablo Delgado No Mans Land

Close-up of the artwork by Jef Aérosol.

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est Jef Aerosol

Paix, Amour: Colibri blanc! by Brazilian artist L7M. I’ve been lucky to have seen some of his works in Shoreditch, but you should really have a look on his Facebook page as he creates truly beautiful work.

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est L7m

Close-up of Jean Faucheur’s artwork.

Art-Liberte-Jean-Faucheur

Peter Unsicker’s work in more detail.

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est Peter Unsicker

Left: Best Thing by 17-year old artist Jack Fox (South Africa). I can’t stand young talented people!! 😉
Right: Green Fuzz by Kriki (France).

Art-Liberty-Jack-Fox_Kriki

Mon Dentiste Habite de l’Autre Côté du Mur, Je Dois Improviser! by Thierry Noir (France), one of the very first artists to paint on the Berlin Wall. The London branch of Howard Griffin Gallery put on a retrospective on him last year where they recreated his Berlin Wall artworks. You can read my article about it here and see photos of it in my Thierry Noir Flickr album.

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est Thierry Noir

Besides the 30 paintings and sculptures there are also three Trabants in the exhibition. These cars are symbolic of former East Germany and are fittingly painted by the three iconic Berlin Wall graffiti artists (from top to bottom) Thierry Noir, Christophe Bouchet and Kiddy Citny.

Art-Liberte-Thierry-Noir-1-Trabant

Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est Christophe Bouchet Trabant
Art Liberte Paris Gare de l'Est Kiddy Citny Trabant

Other artists in the exhibition are: Jim Avignon (Germany), Borondo (Spain) (again big fan of this artist!), Clet (France), famous for his ‘pimped’ traffic signs, Australian artist Dscreet who currently lives near me in East London (at least I think so), Jérôme Mesnager (France) and Italian artist Run who’s also currently based in London. (As if there’s any other place for prolific street artists!)

The exhibition’s pièce de résistance is located on Rue d’Alsace, a street 500,000 commuters pass through daily. Here you can find a 47-metre long fresco painted by Thierry Noir, Christophe Bouchet and Kiddy Citny, alongside a 15-metre long work by L7M. No photos of this massive mural though, but here is a short video of the work in progress. I must have a word with the hubby about the lack of photos! 😉

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like these ones:

Retrospective of Thierry Noir, pioneer of the Berlin Wall illegal painting

Thierry-Noir-A-Retrospective

A Modern Bestiary by Street Artist Phlegm

3 Phlegm_entrance

Street Artists Unveiled #3 Interview with Animator and Street Artist Dr Cream

Dr-Cream-portrait

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2 thoughts on “Art Liberté: Berlin Wall Street Art Exhibition at Paris Gare de l’Est

  1. Thank you! As always, I truly enjoy these posts about graffity!
    Great that Robin took the photographs for you!
    Love, Esther

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