Paris – Street art in Vitry-Sur-Seine
The last time I visited Vitry-Sur-Seine for its immense street art was in 2010. At that time I was already amazed by the amount of art on the streets. Last week I revisited Vitry for the 3rd time and the amount of art has grown very very fast throughout the years.
Most people now know Vitry because of it being the hood of French stencil artist C215. He moved there in 2009 and ever since the neighborhood has become one of the most well-known spots for street art. It started with him painting his art outside on the streets and gradually he invited artists to come and paint in his hood. I have no idea how many artworks there are exactly, but I am guessing that Vitry hosts around 200 artworks by a lot of different artists.
Vitry-Sur-Seine is a suburb of Paris; it is located approximately 7.5 km from the city centre. You can easily get there from the centre by RER line C. That is precisely how I moved myself to Vitry. Even though I have visited this French capital of street art before and I kinda know my way, it is a good thing that someone created a Google maps (see bottom of article) with locations of where to walk to. I am convinced that otherwise I would have missed a lot of great artworks.
When walking out of the Vitry-Sur-Seine station you are being ‘welcomed’ by a large Pixel Pancho mural artwork. It was painted in 2010 and quite possibly one of the first larger artworks to appear in Vitry. A lot of older artworks are located around or near the station. Under the bridge artists such as Findac, Snik and Sly2 painted there as part of a Vitry jam in 2010. Unfortunately their art is slowly fading away or it has been tagged. Even though I knew that I was gonna see a lot of C215 artworks, it made me happy to spot one next to the entrance of the station, painted on a typical yellow French mailbox.
I keep on following my precious Google Maps. I notice that most of the artworks I see from the station towards the centre of Vitry are from around 2009-2011. I was surprised that the C215 butterfly, which I already saw in 2009, is still there on 82 Avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier. The big bird as painted by ROA also still stands guard on the corner of Avenue Jean Jaurès.
It isn’t until I see the Eglise Saint Germain church when it starts getting interesting and I see art that I haven’t seen before. Artists such as Alice Pasquini, Borondo, Jimmy C, Gaia, Dan23, Stew, Gregos, David Walker, Icy & Sot, Nils Westergard (just to name a few) have all visited and painted Vitry. Nearby the town hall of Vitry-Sur-Seine are a few flat buildings where most of the artworks can be seen. Even though the map will show one marker, it doesn’t mean that you will only see one artwork. Some corners have a bright explosion of art.
I am a big fan of the portrait that Spanish artist Jorge Gerada Rodriguez painted of C215’s daughter Nina. It can be seen on the side of a flat, on the corner of a square where the church is located. Amazingly beautiful. Another set of mural artworks that stand out, and can be seen from a distance, are by Kouka. His artworks are a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela.
Something I already noticed when being in Vitry in 2009 and 2010 was that the residents really appreciate the art. Some give me a thumb up, say something in French or show me an artwork around the corner. “Je ne parles pas français!”, but I do understand the word ‘belle’. Yes, all of the artworks are beautiful. I haven’t been to all spots as located on the map, but when arriving back at the station, I do have a satisfied smile on my face. That is all that matters.
Vitry-Sur-Seine, thanks for the amazing art I have seen in your neighborhood. We will meet again for sure.
A large set of photos can be found on Flickr.
Map of street art in Vitry-Sur-Seine: