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From Banksy to the Berlin Wall

Gregory Herpe | Klaus Klinger
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French Artist Gregory Herpe Exhibits his Street Art Photos in Paris

Thousands of photos of street art works exist. As soon as a new fresco or an original collage appears on a wall, professional or amateur photographers immortalise it for social networks, a press article or in a book. Always in colour. Because street art is also this abundance of colours in the street.

In full containment, since May 3rd, the French photographer Gregory Herpe has started an exhibition of his street photos containing urban art. Galleries and museums were all closed in France, but when the Paris City Hall proposed an exhibition to Gregory Herpe, he accepted immediately, because it would be open to the public and free entrance.

Nearly 3500 people enter the town hall every day and look at the photos taken in fifteen European countries (France, England, Northern Ireland, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc), with murals and collages by Banksy, Smug One, Jef Aerosol, Visual Waste, ROA, Os Gemeos, D-Face, Dmitry Vrubel, Klaus Klinger, Nils Westergard, Jamie Scanlon JPS, Otto Maja, Zag, C215, Iléa, Cisco and Cané.

Gregory Herpe declares that he did not want to make a report on street art, but street photos:

“I have been passionate about this artistic stream for more than ten years. For me, this art form is complex and rich, because it is social, cultural, political and creative. I travel a lot to make my photographic reports and by walking randomly in the streets, in Bristol, Barcelona, Paris, or Belfast, I started to photograph the works of these so particular artists.”

In black and white, and this is one of the great uniqueness of Gregory Herpe’s work. By removing the colours, he offers us dark and pure images, where only the lines and the looks give us emotion. Strong images full of beauty, melancholy and humour.

“I haven’t changed my way of capturing the things around me: in black and white. First, because there is no reason for me to impose colour on myself, and also because my goal is not to make pictures of other people’s work. No…These pictures are street pictures, and in the street, nowadays, there is street art. This art is part of our lives, our cultures, and I want to show what our world has become. I don’t make a picture of a Banksy collage; I make a picture of a street where there is a Banksy collage. Without the colour, only the lines remain. If a fresco is poorly executed, it shows immediately; there is nothing left. But with good artists, the emotion remains and an alignment works with the rest of the elements of the composition.”

The exhibition lasts two months, until June 30, at the City Hall of the 17th district of Paris and it is in connection with the project of Geoffroy Boulard, Mayor of this Parisian district, who wishes to create a Street Art route in its streets. In the coming months, urban artists will be invited to create gigantic frescoes on the facades of Parisian buildings. A great opportunity for creators from all over the world to show their talent. In the meantime, it is Gregory Herpe who pays tribute to them in a brilliant and original exhibition.

Gregory Herpe

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