The subconscious education of public taste

I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago and was lucky enough to spot a guy mid ‘paste up’ – in the process of posting art – while hanging out at Centre Pompidou.

It just so happens I’d bumped into Eric Maréchal, the founder of a global art project,  Street Art Without Borders, which connects artists with volunteer ‘pasters’, through the power of social media.

Eric @ work

The idea is simple, using Flickr, Eric  finds artists who he admires, contacts them and offers to paste their work up in whatever city he is in.  They send him the works, he pastes them and posts pictures of it back up on to Flickr.

“The fascinating part of that work is also the exchange with the artist, their story, their unique message to the world.”

Many of the artists, he tells me, have never done any street art before.

Artists that traditionally work on canvas or other mediums, find a new way to express themselves and reach a different audience.

Eric, who goes by the name of ‘urbanhearts‘ online, showed me a work by a Chinese artist who he discovered on Flickr.  It was the first time she had done street art, and experimented with local newspapers to paint on, which aside from being easy to post, look incredible.

If you believe that street art has the power to improve well-being, then you’d agree this is one project using social media for good.

To tear the street away from the grey and dreary monotony of neat rows of buildings; to throw a firework of colours into its midst, joy radiating outwards, to convert walls and basements into surfaces to be decorated, and from this wind-exposed museum to deduce that which reveals a race’s personality, and at the same time, the subconsicious education of public taste.

– Preface to the Jules Cheret (France’s first street poster artist) exhibition catalogue at the Theatre d’Application, 1889 in Paris.

Paris 1889 – Jules Cheret                      Paris 2010 – Zhe155

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