Portraits of illustrious men and women painted by the French street artist Christian Guémy, better known as C215, adorn the French National Monument Pantheon and surrounding streets in the fifth arrondissement of Paris until 10 October.
This year, the Centre des Monuments Nationaux is presenting “Sur les murs, histoires (s) de graffiti” on nine monuments of its network (see our previous coverage here). On this occasion, the artist C215 was invited to make portraits of men and women honored at the Pantheon, and thematic visits are also set up in the monument, to discover the many historical graffiti present in the heights of the monument, spaces usually inaccessible to the public.
Christian Guémy pays tribute to the figures of the resistance, like Brecht, Zola or de Gaulle, whose names are associated with streets, squares and institutions. In all, 28 portraits of historical personalities, some of which are buried inside the Pantheon, are painted on the walls of the 5th district.
The tour titled “Illustres! C215 autour du Pantheon ” begins in the crypt of the monument, which hosts an exhibition of the artistic approach and the techniques used by the artist to create these colourful portraits: stencils, blades. A series of photographies illustrate the artist’s creative process, while a movie presents an interview of the artist.
Within display cabinets, C215 is creating a dialogue between the illustrious portraits and symbolic objects. Thus, literary works, handwritten letters, and professional objects of Marie Curie, Germaine Tillion, Andre Malraux, Victor Hugo or Antoine de Saint-Exupery are exhibited and highlight the area for which these illustrious people are honoured.
Punctual visits to the upper parts of the Pantheon allow the public to discover some of the historical graffiti.
At the same time, C215 painted 28 portraits in the streets of the 5th arrondissement surrounding the Pantheon and invite the viewer to discover the lives of these extraordinary personalities.
For example a huge portrait of Marie Curie adorn the walls of the Institut Marie Carie.
A full map of the C215 Illustres tour is available here
Illustres ! C215 Autour du Pantheon
Until 10 October
Place du Panthéon
CMN ‘Sur les Murs, Histoire(s) de Graffiti’