A street can become a museum? The mairie of the Thirteenth arrondissement and Mehdi Ben Cheikh, director of the Galerie Itinerrance, the think. The two men are at the origin of the thirty-two frescoes that surround the boulevard Vincent Auriol. Since 2015, 26 artists from 14 different countries as Separd Fairy, Invader, C215, or Hush have made the monumental paintings that adorn the buildings of the boulevard Vincent Auriol. After the attempts, not always successful to invite the street art in the museum, the project claims to carry officially-the-art in the street.

Boulevard of Paris 13, it is the name of this operation, hopes to one day be part of the museums of the city of Paris. “It is necessary for it to become a territory of artistic expression abounding,” says the Figaro Mehdi Ben Cheikh. Since 2004, when he opens his gallery in the 13th arrondissement, this lover of street art, multiplies the ambitious projects. It was, in particular, to the initiative in 2015 of a work of 4.500m2 painted on an abandoned section of the device, and the sphere suspended beneath the Eiffel tower on the occasion of the COP 21.

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The best view point to see the frescoes of Paris 13, surely, is the line 6 to the skytrain that runs along the Boulevard Vincent Auriol. The journey between the stations Place d’italie and Chevaleret allows you to discover the dreary urban landscape invigorated by these colorful drawings. This visit was also something frustrating. The metro file too fast for the works to allow themselves to admire. Unless you resolve to do several back-and-forth. And yet, in off-peak hours.

works sometimes difficult to admire The “Young graffeuse” of Bom-K seems to escape his painting. Pierre Morel

At the descent of the metro, rideau. We no longer see anything. The “360° view” promised by project officials “at the level of the National station” is visible only at the edge of the train. You can see the first frescoes in the bottom of the stairs of the station. “People often come here in front of the grid to view the works,” says an agent of the subway. But today he must be careful, a man has urinated, it smells pretty bad”.

long legs covered in bandages from the Young graffeuse cover the façade of the building located to the right of the exit of the station. A rat (a reference to Banksy?) is perched on his shoulder. She squeezes one of his gloved hands to a bomb, dripping paint. With her other hand, she seems to grasp the facade on which it is painted in a trompe-l’oeil typing. This painting signed Bom-K is one of the works of the most luxurious Boulevard of Paris 13. What a heart-wrenching not to be able to
contemplate it in detail. Of the floor, the upper part is partially hidden by the foliage of the trees that are next to it.

look too official

later, from the other side of the station, the entrance to the square Luis Say is surrounded by three large frescoes. With her blue hair and her luscious lips, the portrait of a woman style comic monitors passers-by of its look in the corner. It faces the impressive profile of a cat on a blue background, topped with a Marianne painted in tribute to the victims of the attacks on the 13 November. A replica of the painting of muralist Shepard Fairey, who throne at the Elysée palace.

It is a far cry from the reputation of “underground” street art. This aspect official of the frescoes of Boulevard of Paris 13 in contrast to the graffiti spontaneous which abound in the neighborhood of the Butte-aux-Cailles. The monumental works of the boulevard Vincent Auriol in the nature of a lecture. But the latter confiscates the freedom and authenticity that is also the charm of street art.

“Madre secular 2” Inti stands along the boulevard Vincent Auriol. Pierre Morel

These colorful murals brighten, however, a new youth to this neighborhood saturated with bars housing dating from the post-war period. It seduces the couple who takes pictures. “We like a lot. We find that this anime the neighborhood,” says the Parisian thirty-year-old, baseball cap and backpack, which will benefit the residence of his friend in the capital to make him visit the open air museum. It is better to equip themselves for strolls along the boulevard and its adjacent streets on foot. The interactive map posted online by Boulevard Paris 13 allows those willing to walk several kilometres to compose a full itinerary.

After several minutes of walking along a boulevard, we reached three large paintings impressive. La Madre secular 2 of Inti represents a madonna with the layman, the apple Newton in the hand. At his side, two men facing each other on a pink background. Embrace and fight of Conor Harrington leaves it to the viewer to decide whether they are fighting or kissing. The fresco is full of movement Pantonio and birds interspersed overlooking the Carrefour Express.

“this One, it is Don Quixote, I believe,” says one resident. Pierre Morel

“I think it’s great to be able to admire the works every day. I often see people stopping to take pictures,” says the thirty-year-old in flip-flops and a T-shirt, down to his building to show the frescoes to his father. “This one, it is Don Quixote, I believe,” he says, showing this graff of Maye, entitled Étang de Thau , depicting a bearded man who rides a pink flamingo, a long stick in one hand, spray paint in the other.

The ambition of this “gallery” is open to the sky is also to provide an artistic impulse to the district. “So much the better if it attracts other initiatives. The more there are, the better it is,” said Mehdi Ben Cheikh. “A new mural will be inaugurated by the end of the month,” he says, preferring to keep the secret as long as the work is not completed. The goal is to reach fifty frescoes by 2020 and thereby stretch the surface of this museum is not like the others as far as the boulevard Auguste Blanqui, five hundred meters away.