Renee and I were having a blast in Paris. I’d taken her there as a graduation gift, and we strayed farther away from most of the usual tourist destinations. We rented an apartment on rue de Belleville through Airbnb (www.airbnb.com), bought wonderful cheeses, bread and wine from neighborhood markets, and wandered mostly around the 19th and 20th arrondissements.
When Renee said that she wanted to see some street art, I knew where one of our stops should be: rue Denoyez.
(there's a great pic and article at http://bit.ly/XB2tEh)
Rue Denoyez is an ever-changing canvas, with artists staking out -- or covering over -- new spaces on the outdoor walls every day. The colorful street is host to graffiti art, sticker art, murals, and anything else in between. As we took photos of the outside of a studio, the artist came out to talk to us. His name was pedrô!, and when he invited us inside we saw murals of Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, Amy Winehouse, and a host of other famous people. The canvases were not in our budget, but pedrô! had paris maps stenciled with Rosa Parks, and we could not pass them up. We’d burned through most of our cash, but we dug deep into our pockets to for every last euro we could find to get those maps, that’s how special they were to us. I don’t know where Renee decided to put hers, but mine hangs proudly in our living room.
(Rosa, before I put her in a frame.)
I later commissioned pedrô! to create the maps with Barack Obama's image on them for PULP, to hang in our store windows.
Later, I licensed a few of his designs, and you can have them, too! They are now available as blank notecards.
(pn001, Rosa Parks Paris Map)
(pn002, Obama Paris Map)
(pn004, Frida on Vinyl)