Do you know that 20ème arrondissement is a very important arrondissement in Paris in terms of street art ? Different from the 13eme arrondissement where the richness of the street art is driven by a local political strategy, the street art scene in the 20ème is purely created by local artists and it has been so since the 1980’s.
Less than 1km from our place, rue de Retrait is an open air gallery of street art, this street now has an intense artistic life thanks to the Association du Ratrait. Created in 2001, it aims to promote artistic activities and cultural exchanges in the district, around the rue du Retrait. It brings together around 80 artists from all disciplines and creates their own street festival each year, during which local artists open their studios.
The street was also one of the very first playgrounds for French street artists. By the end of the 1980’s, artists like Jérôme Mesnager, Mosko and Nemo, who were living around the rue du Retrait, decided to turn the street walls into a source of infinite rejoicing and lightness. Painting animals from the savannah on the walls, they opened what was to be called the « open-air Ménilmontant Zoo« ! Not much remains of it today though, but they opened the way to many other artists who are now enriching the walls of Paris.
We always love to have a stroll in this street, hunting for the ever evolving art works and feeling the dynamic energy. Positive vibes only!
PS – If you feel inspired and want to come visit Ménilmontant, don’t forget to have a look at our « Tips & Treats in Ménimontant » or even better, follow us on a Discovery Walk of the district!
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