Tag Archives: Dran

CAPITALE(S) 60 Years of Urban Art in Paris

Butterfly Art News is pleased to partner with the Ville de Paris for the Exhibition ‘CAPITALE(S) – 60 ans d’art urbain’, hosted within the Hotel de Ville, Paris City Hall, and running from 15 October until 3 June 2023. Free entry, but booking is essential here

Through the creations of more than 70 artists, works from prestigious collections, archive documents, photos and videos, in situ interventions, painted walls throughout the city, CAPITALE(S) presents a wide panorama of the Urban Art Movement and the importance of the Parisian scene spanning across the past 60 years.

The exhibition starts with pioneers from the 60’s and 70’s like Jacques Villegle, Raymond Hains, Ernest Pignon-Ernest or Zlotykamien.

Then the early 80’s feature the white man figures of Jerôme Mesnager, robots by Speedy Graphito and the proliferation of stencils by Miss Tic, Blek Le Rat, Mosko, Jef Aerosol, Epsylon Point.

This period of intense urban activity allows the emergence of artists’ collectives such as VLP (Vive la Peinture) affiliated with the punk culture or the Ripoulin brothers.

French-American teenager Bando (b. in 1965) introduced graffiti in France after writing in New York, followed by the New York City Rap Tour in 1982. Graffiti writers invade the banks of the Seine and adorn the palissades of the Louvre construction site. Stalingrad, a spot found by graffiti writer Ash, becomes the Hall of Fame for the prolific graffiti scene until 1989, featuring writers like Mode2, Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman, Lokiss, Nasty, SKKI and numerous graffiti crew. In parallel  Psychose paints in the catacombs and the underground sewers system.

In 1987 Keith Haring paints the emergency staircase of the Hopital Necker to provide hopes of brightening the spirits of sick children in the world’s first pediatric hospital.

Like in the US, graffiti was severely repressed in Paris in the early 90’s. American artists like Futura, A-One or even Rammellzee gain recognition from the European artistic community and present their works in galleries and museums in Paris.  JonOne will settle permanently in Paris.

In the 2000’s, urban art has become a global movement with a multitude of techniques: from graffiti to street art, paste ups, stickers, stencils, mosaics and more. International artists are coming to Paris to leave their mark:  Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Banksy, Vhils.   

French artists have also gained international recognition: Andre, Invader, Zevs, JR, Dran, Lek and Sowat, Seth, L’Atlas, C215, Ludo, RERO, Philippe Baudelocque to Levalet.

Specially for CAPITALE(S), Invader has put two new aliases to be flashed for all the Flash Invaders addicts and shared a fully updated map of his invasion of the streets of Paris.

The exhibition presents also immersive and playful experiences.

Kashink, Kraken and Madame have created 3 entirely virtual works, hidden in a secret room of the exhibition: “The Fifth Wall“. A hunt for clues in Augmented Reality can be found through QR codes to be scanned under the works.

Visitors can try out graffiti with a digital spray can through GRAFFITI DIGITAL Picturae.

Artist Cristobal Diaz has created a GRAFF BOX, an immersive experience combining urban calligraphic production with playful digital devices featuring 250 artists.

While it is difficult to include the full scope of artists that have been active in Paris in the past 60 years within the City Hall, the four curators Magda Danysz, Elise Herszkowicz, Nicolas Laugero Lasserre and Marko93 have gathered following artists:

• Jacques Villeglé • Zlotykamien • Ernest Pignon-Ernest • Surface Active • Captain Fluo • Edmond Marie Rouffet • Blek le Rat • Miss.Tic • VLP • Speedy Graphito • Jean Faucheur • Mesnager • Mosko • Jef Aérosol • Bando • Ash • Jay0ne • SKKI • Keith Haring • Mambo • Nasty • Slice • Psyckoze • Lokiss • Shoe • Futura • A-One • Rammellzee • Jon0ne • André • Zevs • Dize • Invader • Shepard Fairey • JR • Vhils • Swoon • Banksy • C215 • L’Atlas • YZ • Seth • Tarek Benaoum • eL Seed • Ludo • Rero • Dran • O’Clock • Tanc • Lek • Sowat • Cristobal Diaz • Philippe Baudelocque • Levalet • Madame • Kashink • Vision • Pest • Greky • Sébastien Preschoux • Romain Froquet • Kraken • 9eme Concept • Les Francs Colleurs • Saype

There is also a prolific programme throughout the exhibition:

  • New murals will be painted at the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin and in several Parisian districts,
  • A selection of pictures will be featured on the gates of the City Hall,
  • Workshops, conferences and screenings of films and documentaries.
  • A book accompanying the exhibition is available at Gallimard / Editions Alternatives

Big thanks to all the teams, artists, photographers, lenders and institutions that have participated to the exhibition, specially Clemence Demolling, as well as all the artists that have contributed to the scene over the past 60 years.


PARIS HOTEL DE VILLE ( Paris City Hall), 5 Rue Lobeau 75004 Paris

15 October – 3 June 2023

Free entry, but booking is essential here


Toulouse: #Creve Hivernale / Decembrrrr 016


December 2016.  A wasteland surrounded by barbed wire with a view on passing trains, home to travellers and less fortunate people. This is not a picture taken in a distant country, but actually in the center of Toulouse, France.

With Creve Hivernale / Decembrrr 016, local and international artists continue to raise a red flag and highlight the urgency of the current situation and socio-political climate in Europe, this time by gathering outside in this wasteland and creating immersive installations, visual and audio performances, as well as artistic collaborations with children and families living there .



NADIA VON FOUTRE (Toulouse) – JEAN DENANT (Sete) (?) – MANUEL POMAR (Toulouse) – A4 PUTEVIE (Toulouse) – MADEMOISELLE KAT (Toulouse) – SID POLIEKOFF (Toulouse) – MATHIEU TREMBLIN (Strasbourg) – TILT (Toulouse) (?) – MARDI NOIR (Rennes) –  UPGRAYYDD RECIDIVE (Toulouse) – MOLO MOLO (Toulouse) – CLAIRE SAUVAGET (Toulouse) – BERTRAND FRAYSSE (Toulouse) – DON QUICKSHOT (Toulouse) – LURK WARM (Toulouse) – BUTTERFLY (London) – SOPHIE BACQUIE (Toulouse) – LUCIE LAFLORENTIE (Toulouse ) – /+ OFF/ … ANNLOR CODINA (Toulouse) – NATALIE SVIT-KONA EIFYRAN (Toulouse) ) – /+ OFF/ …

From 16 Dec with ongoing interventions until the end of the year

Next event: 29 DECEMBER FROM 17:00

GPS  Location  : 43.632685, 1.475884


Creve Hivernale - Toulouse

Release: Underground Does not Exist Anymore


Fresh from their return from their one year artistic residency at Villa Medici, Lek & Sowat present their latest book  ‘Underground Does not Exist Anymore‘ together with curator Hugo Vitrani. The book retraces the events between December 2012 and June 2014, where the two artists supported by curator Hugo Vitrani invaded the Palais de Tokyo through various official interventions, secret or ephemeral .

What started out as a mural on a peripheral space of the institution then evolved into an ambitious long-term project. We look back at the project in more details, as we’ve been keeping the secret for a very long time…

John Giorno x Lek X Sowat - Palais de TokyoJohn Giorno x Lek X Sowat - Palais de Tokyo     John Giorno x Lek X Sowat - Palais de TokyoJohn Giorno x Lek X Sowat - Palais de Tokyo     John Giorno x Lek X Sowat - Palais de Tokyo

After a first collaboration with the American artist John Giorno ( see more here) Lek and Sowat were invited a second time to the Palais de Tokyo in December 2012 to paint on the walls of an emergency exit overlooking the technical premises of the museum. Rather than acting as a duo on the agreed space, the artists invited a dozen of graffiti artists including Dem189, Sambre, Wxyz, Katre, L’Outsider, Swiz, Rizot, Legz, Seth to join them and created an immersive installation by painting from the floor to the ceiling and began an urban exploration of the building.

Palais de Tokyo - ParisPalais de Tokyo - Paris    Palais de Tokyo - Paris      Palais de Tokyo - Paris     Lasco Project - Palais de Tokyo

In October 2013 with the complicity of the president of the Palais de Tokyo, Jean de Loisy, new spaces were made available and the project now titled ‘Lasco’ in tribute to the prehistorical cave paintings, the first wall paintings. Curator Hugo Vitrani with Lek and Sowat decided to pay tribute to French graffiti writers with individual dedicated spaces featuring Azyle, Bom.K, dran, Monsieur Qui, ….

In parallel to the authorized areas,  Lek and Sowat as well as invited artists like dran, Alëxone, Kan, Blo, Evol, Cleon Peterson  would also discreetly wander corridors, push doors, paint unofficially and create hidden or ephemeral installations,  illustrating the evanescent nature of graffiti and its ability to penetrate everywhere.

Palais de Tokyo - ParisLasco Project - Palais de Tokyo  Lasco Project - Palais de Tokyo  Lasco Project - Palais de Tokyo

The results can be seen within the video ‘Invisible Vandalism’.


Traces Directs / Direct Outlines

The book also features all the artists ephemeral interventions on a blackboard ( see our coverage here) from Philippe Baudelocque, Wxyz, Alëxone, Smo, L’Outsider, Sowat, Babs, Skki, Jay one, Tcheko, Apôtre, Kan, Seb174, Sambre, Nassyo, Popay (pictured below), Spé, Fléo, Lek, Dem189, Swiz to  Jacques Villeglé.


The short feature film Traces Directs is now part of the permanent collections of the Centre George Pompidou.


La Trappe 

Pushing their exploration of the building further and further, Lek and Sowat discovered a hatch leading to the ventilation lines underneath the Palais de Tokyo.

This is the epilogue of their artistic journey. Lek and Sowat adorned the narrowed and out of reach spaces with graffiti and with curator Hugo Vitrani invited legendary Mode2 and Futura to paint using ochre, black and white colours, reminiscent of the sacred prehistorical paintings in the Lascaux caves.   Large graffiti letters by Mode2  form the sentence  ‘Underground doesn’t exist anymore’.

Lasco Project - Palais de Tokyo                  Lasco Project - Palais de Tokyo Lasco Project - Palais de TokyoLasco Project - Palais de Tokyo     Lasco Project - Palais de TokyoLasco Project - Palais de TokyoLasco Project - Palais de Tokyo

View the full set of pics here

Due to the nature of the space and for security reasons, the Palais de Tokyo has now closed  the access to the hatch permanently. While these paintings will never be accessible to the public, they have been documented in the following video.

Underground Does not Exist Anymore by Lek &Sowat and Hugo Vitrani
ISBN: 978-2-91-917217-81-8
340 pages – Format 17 x 24 cm
Editions Manuella
€ 30 Available here

In parallel Le Palais de Tokyo just released a special issue  Palais Magazine #24 focussing on the urban interventions together with artist interviews from Andre, Azyle, dran, Craig Costello, Futura, Mode2 to Os Gemeos.


Palais Magazine # 24
ISBN: 978-2-84711-071-5
216 pages – Format 22.5 x 28.5 cm
€ 15 Available here


Brussels: dran ‘Tiens’ @ Adda Gallery

dran 'Tiens'

Six years after his last major solo show at POW, French artist dran comes back to the scene with a comprehensive solo exhibition ‘Tiens’ curated by Adda Gallery in Brussels.

‘Tiens’ presents an ‘ABCD’aire’, an A to Z series of canvases illustrating anecdotes, popular expressions and tales,as well as drawings, earlier artworks on cardboard ,  hand finished prints and a new book. We can see the evolution of dran’s mood from the past two years throughout his paintings.

In the entrance large monochrome free-hand paintings remind us of his installation at Palais de Tokyo in 2014. A wink to his 2015 London performance ‘Public Execution’ (covered) is shown with the maid sweeping all the questions, and ‘Execution‘ featuring a painter being shot by red dots.

dran 'Tiens'    dran 'Tiens'
Dran - Public Execution Show  dran 'Tiens'  dran 'Tiens'
London 2015                       Brussels 2016

Apart from a few grey tones canvasses,  dran sets the tone with ‘Tiens’ featuring a depressed arlequin sitting down approached by a little girl who gives him a coloured card to inspire him and cheer him up.

The ABCd’Air series starts with a breadth of fresh air (bol d’air), with a cloud having breakfast. Many of the depicted characters are happy, screaming with joy and open arms in the air from ‘aaaa‘, a little boy standing on his bed,  a cry from the heart, a little girl smiling under a shower of coloured paint to the series of 88 hand finished prints.

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Topics include the everyday life: addiction to social media, education, house hunting, environment issues with ‘La Semeuse’, French traditional symbol, seen polluting by throwing away batteries, love (X croisement), trust (Pont)…

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Animals have anthropomorphic features. A lion puts some make up, lipstick and glitter to disguise as a zebra. ‘Faire le zebre’ means ‘fool around / put up a show’. The world is upside down, when a bear contemplates his profits selling his own skin, while a rabbit is taking revenge on hunters on the run.

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In ‘Urgent’ a grim reaper is laughing out loud (Mort de rire) while ‘Graffiti’  plays on the art of buffing and the various shades of grey. ‘Toile’ may come as a surprise but it is a witty trompe l’oeil featuring the back of a canvas with the signature of Elmyr, an hommage to the infamous forger Elmyr de Hory, who forged over 1000 canvasses from Matisse to Picasso and are exhibited in museums worldwide and still not identified. While Elmyr was imprisoned and committed suicide in 1976, no one knows his real painting style.

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A second room presents earlier works, drawings, artworks on cardboard as well as 88 hand finished prints. The Thinker is wrapped with fragile tape.  A large scale canvas ‘Ciao’ featuring a mouse leaving a big boat sounds premonitory of the current Brexit situation.  Last but not least, energetic characters like a little ballerina full of colours thank the audience.

View the full set of pics here

dran ‘Tiens’
Until 10 July 2016
ADDA Gallery
51 Rue de la Madeleine

Toulouse: Subcultures @ Espace Croix Baragnon – Part I

Subcultures - Toulouse

The museum ‘L’espace Croix Baragnon’ in Toulouse is celebrating the underground cultural scene with a new exhibition called ‘Subcultures’.  The city of Toulouse is the cradle of many renowned artists from Miss Van, Fafi, Reso, Tilt to dran, but the artistic scene is even more prolific, mixing popular cultures (rock music, punk, goth, hip hop, experimental … sci-fi, comics, movies, skateboarding, tattoo…) revisiting modern art movements (surrealism, Dadaism, pop art, poster-art…) as well as post-modern art forms (lowbrow, graffiti, street art,…)

Curator David Pujol has been observing the local underground culture for several years and presents ‘Subcultures’ featuring 10 established and emerging artists, with their influences and distinctive style on the local and international scene: Amandine Urruty 100TAUR (covered)A4 Putevie (covered), Mathieu Bourrillon, Nicolas Delpech, Fräneck, Herbot, Kinder K, Arnaud Loumeau and Benjamin Stoop.

Although not listed in the official artists roster, enfant terrible dran (covered) makes several appearances with a brand new canvas and stickers and flyers throughout the exhibition space.

Subcultures - Toulouse    Subcultures - Toulouse
Subcultures - Toulouse  Subcultures - Toulouse  Subcultures - Toulouse
Subcultures - Toulouse     Subcultures - Toulouse

Huge crowds and artists turned out for the eagerly awaited opening including anonymous artist <++ (covered) who also made a live performance.

Subcultures - ToulouseSubcultures - Toulouse

Through his drawings and sculptural installations, artivist artist A4Putevie (b.1980) illustrates the thirst for freedom within the urban environment, his thoughts and distress about the current politic affairs, war and surveillance society.

Subcultures - ToulouseSubcultures - Toulouse    Subcultures - Toulouse   Subcultures - Toulouse    Subcultures - Toulouse
Subcultures - Toulouse  Subcultures - Toulouse  Subcultures - Toulouse

Inspired by nature, religious art, Japanese culture and mythology, 100TAUR (b.1982) explores the concept of imperfection, creating a universe populated by fantastic creatures, distorted hybrids humans and animals with a sacred touch. Anthropomorphic fishes are adorned with a golden aura, while his signature character ‘Slug’, symbol of resilience is omnipresent within his compositions.

Subcultures - Toulouse
Subcultures - Toulouse     Subcultures - Toulouse
Subcultures - Toulouse     Subcultures - Toulouse

Kinder K. (b.1984) oil paintings play with medieval imagery and religious iconography to question our faith in life. Her colourful compositions illustrate empowered female characters with an erotic touch, whether Lolitas dancing and being seduced by the devil, or a man-eater she-devil.

Subcultures - Toulouse
Subcultures - Toulouse  Subcultures - Toulouse   Subcultures - Toulouse    Subcultures - Toulouse     Subcultures - Toulouse

Fascinated by video games, Arnaud Loumeau (b.1978) draws kaleidoscopic shapes on paper. Using mathematical precision, patterns are repeated in a loop like in a computer and coloured with marker. Underground illustrator Franeck painted a mural inside the gallery space with a series of small black and white drawings featuring his signature humorous round shaped characters within architectural landscapes.

Subcultures - Toulouse
Subcultures - Toulouse Subcultures - Toulouse     Subcultures - Toulouse

View the full set of pics here

Stay tuned for the rest of the coverage soon with our Part II

Until 18 June 2016
Espace Croix-Baragnon
24 rue Croix-Baragnon
31000 Toulouse (FR)