Category Archives: Festival

Lek and Sowat Sandcastle for the LaBel Valette Festival

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Marking the fifth anniversary of the LaBel Valette Festival in France, artists Lek and Sowat have given a new identity to this 19th century castle, by painting all its surfaces and transforming it into a monumental sandcastle.

Located in Pressigny-les-Pins, around one hour from Paris by train, Château de la Valette sits on just under 100 acres of wooded land and is comprised of the castle, a chapel, and two three-storey dormitory buildings. After the colourful works of Okuda (2018), 3ttman (2019), the giant calligraphy of L’Atlas (2020) and the optical illusions of Astro (2021), this mythical duo open the LaBel Valette festival that will take place on August 26 and 27, 2022.

The LaBel Valette Festival, organised by UAC (Urban Art Crew) and U2A (Urban Art Agency), will take place on August 26 and 27, 2022 at La Valette estate in Pressigny-les-Pins.
The two days programme includes graffiti battles, a musical production competition, live painting, workshops as well as a series of music concerts. Full programme here

Check pictures of the work in progress below:

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek and Sowat were struck by the intense history of the ‘Domaine de La Valette’. Firstly belonging to the estate of a Count and a Countess, it then became property of Franco, followed by the Spanish republicans. It was later transformed into a college, then fell into abandonment. And was bought by an individual. The castle holds eventually a strong position of Street Art in France thanks to the LaBel Valette Festival project.

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

The artistic duo decided to work around the image of the sandcastle, which refers to the ephemeral nature of Street Art, and pixels, which evoke the aesthetics of the 80s.
Using bright blue and neon colours, they painted 10 000 square meters to transform the castle entirely.
Lek and Sowat ’s Sandcastle illustrates this year’s theme of the festival “Believe in your dreams”: A sandcastle can be erased by the rising tide but is rebuilt thanks to the venue of a new artist.  A sandcastle is fragile, requires attention and commitment. It is imagined, hoped for, then built.

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022

Lek & Sowat - LaBel Valette Festival 2022


Toulouse: Rose Beton Biennale Part II

We continue our coverage of the Rose Beton Biennale in Toulouse ( check our previous report here). In parallel to the open air gallery, with street walls being painted throughout the city, the Museum of contemporary art, Les Abattoirs is hosting an exhibition featuring three international artists: Tania Mouraud, Todd James and Cleon Peterson.

Patron of the Biennale,  Tania Mouraud (b.1942) is a French multidisciplinary artist whose practice has been deployed since the late 1960s through paintings, installations, performances and videos. Her distinctive calligraphic style  is highlighted by seven kakemonos from the series Mots-Mêlés  surrounded by a large mural ‘Only the sound remains’, playing between letters, barcodes and graphic design.

Los Angeles based artist Cleon Peterson (b. 1973) painted a monumental and dystopic mural. Using a restricted colour palette, Cleon Peterson depicts a violent and chaotic world, inspired by mythological tales, historical facts as well as the current reality of our world.

New York based graffiti artist Todd James (b. 1969) showcases a series of fierce and acidulous paintings. Inspired by pop culture and action painting, his sexy curvaceous blonde character is playful, and grin in the face of machines and destruction.

Pictures by Prune Mahe for Butterfly Art News

Rose Beton – Les Abattoirs
Until 5 January 2020

Grenoble: Rose Girl Mural by Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey and the Obey Giant team kicked off the start of the Obey 30th world tour in Grenoble, France with a new mural titled ‘Rose Girl’ for the Street Art Fest curated by Jerome Catz.

The mural features a female figure adorned with three roses on her head, symbol of Grenoble. Located between the Alps, Grenoble is a city ecologically responsible and continues to improve upon it. The ‘Rose Girl’ mural is a reminder to preserve the environment and to be at peace between human beings and the planet.

Painted with the Obey Giant team, it can be seen on the wall of the CROUS, in the heart of the students area.

Location is key as it represents hope with the future generations, but it also can be visible from the mountains and gondola lifts.

The Mayor of Grenoble, the Crous director, the Students Union and Jerome Catz, curator of the Grenoble Street Art Fest joined Shepard Fairey to inaugurate the Rose Girl monumental artwork.

In parallel to the mural, l’Ancien Musee de la Peinture de Grenoble is dedicating a comprehensive print survey of Shepard Fairey / Obey Giant spanning over 30 years of resistance with 600 artworks.

Stay tuned as we will come back with further coverage…

Grenoble Street Art Fest
Shepard Fairey – 30 Years of resistance
Ancien Musee de la Peinture
Until 27 October 2019

Auxerre: Florent Maussion new mural for the RADD Festival

Florent Maussion - Auxerre

For the past three weeks French artist Florent Maussion has been painting a monumental mural on the silos of Auxerre (France) for the 10th edition of the RADD Festival opening on 25 April 2018.

Winner of the contest for the RADD 2018 theme “Which School for tomorrow?”, Florent Maussion’s sketch won the public and jury votes. The 600 square meters mural on the concrete silos features a child painting while surrounded by koy carp in a large blue-green background.

Florent Maussion - Auxerre

Some preparatory sketches and colour tests lay on the ground next to a model version of the concrete sentinels. The child portrait is inspired by a picture of the artist’s son.

Florent Maussion - Auxerre

He found his inspiration during his many trips to Japan. “I imagined a child, a schoolboy painting his own world. On his clothes, he wears a leaf of gingko biloba. This sacred tree of the East is a symbol of unity, hope and associated with longevity, it is also called the ‘tree of the grandfather and grandson’ because it carries the hope of continuation of the lineage including a prediction of immortality. ”

The artwork has many symbolics. Florent Maussion indicates “I chose to represent these freshwater fish to make the link with the Yonne river flowing at the foot of the silos. Koi carp are peaceful and familiar fish, peaceful in nature and easily accepting the cohabitation with other species, a symbol of love, virility, perseverance and strength. ”

Florent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - Auxerre

Up 30 meters high, the cherry picker offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city of Auxerre and beyond, but beware of the height and winds which can be tricky as the surface is round.

Florent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - Auxerre

After several days, the work is gradually taking shape with large blue and green trails and koy fish appears here and there.

Florent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - AuxerreFlorent Maussion - Auxerre
Florent Maussion - Auxerre
Florent Maussion - Auxerre
Florent Maussion - Auxerre

View the full set of pics here

Drone video by Martin Millot

Curated by Denis Roicourt, this monumental mural is part of the RADD festival  taking place from 25-28 April in Auxerre. Additional artists are also painting smaller walls through the city.
Full programme here

Interview: Colectivo Licuado

Colectivo Licuado

We followed Florencia Durán and Camilo Nunez from Colectivo Licuado, Uruguay as they painted a monumental mural for the Crystal Ship in Belgium.

Mastering spray paint with a hyperrealistic style, their creations juxtaposes culture and local traditions based on the context and environment in which they are working, adding their own style and a touch of art nouveau: skin tones, drapes, lighting and shadows are surreal.

With their mural, Colectivo Licuado paid tribute to Ostend, the city by the Sea. With two  two women, they wanted to illustrate a balance between the calm and the storm at Sea. The standing tall blond girl represents storms, with a lot of energy, drawing strings of winds, while the seated brunette is peaceful and having a protecting hand on the boat.

Colectivo LicuadoColectivo Licuado

We asked both of them a few questions to find out more:

B: Can you tell us more about your background?

CL: We knew each other studying industrial design 10 years ago. We always made student projects together , so we learned how to work as a team. Both of us always had interests in the arts. So years later we started painting in the streets as a hobby, but it quickly became our passion and our work, and we started to work really hard on this.

Colectivo Licuado
Colectivo Licuado

B: What is the situation in Uruguay towards street art/graffiti ?

CL: Street art is really new, less than 10 years. We are few of us, but little by little growing in numbers (be aware that we are 3 million people in all the country). So we are painting and growing together just to represent our country, because we are all really close.
There are more graffiti writers, they are really active and are also really close together.
In our opinion we need more big walls and more festivals that help us all to grow.

Colectivo Licuado

B: Colectivo Licuado is an artistic duo, so how did it started and what is your creative process?

CL: We started 7 years ago, like a hobby, but after our trip of South America, we realized that we could live from this and travel. So we started to work harder.
Nowadays, we think of an idea or message that we want to make in the wall. Lots of times it is something in relation to the environment of where we are going to paint the wall, some story, character, mythology. Then we always take some photos with a friend photographer, we ask for some of our friends to be our models, with a specific clothes and objects. Later with the photo we think about colours variations.

Colectivo LicuadoColectivo Licuado Colectivo LicuadoColectivo LicuadoColectivo LicuadoColectivo Licuado

B: What influenced you to start painting murals?

CL: We always drew or made something in relation to art, like photos and music. Once we started to paint in the public space it was really amazing to see people’s reaction. It is always a good excuse to share messages or our opinions and different people can see that, it is outside museums and galleries, it is for all and for the city, and it plays with the architecture. Also you always have a free canvas to practice and to show your work.

Colectivo LicuadoColectivo LicuadoColectivo LicuadoColectivo Licuado

B: What do you like/enjoy about painting in public spaces?
CL: We enjoy the opportunity to talk with many people in the streets, we enjoy the city in another way. It is also a chance to know other artists and cities. Each wall is a challenge for yourself and test your patience because are always some kind of difficulty.

Colectivo Licuado