Paris – Oddly Juxtaposed

The integrity and identity of historic urban spaces the world over, is under threat from unbridled growth and global integration.  Especially in third world countries, where cultural heritage takes a back seat to new found aspirations of development & progress, despite the efforts of conservation groups.

Street art in Place Igor Stravinsky - Paris
Street art in Place Igor Stravinsky, Paris

But when managed sensitively, it is the very contradictions and incongruities of changing urban landscapes that define the character of great cities and form the essence of their appeal.
This mural by Jeff ‘Aerosol’ (real name: Jean-Francois Perroy) titled “Chuuuttt!” (Ssshhh!)  is a self portrait that is not as it seems at first sight, an admonition to be silent, but his way of urging  people to stop and look around, to admire the beauty of a historic city, “to listen to the soundtrack of the urban world” that according to him is so much more than the sound of cars and police sirens!  The work that was inaugurated in 2011 took 4 days to complete, used 200 spray cans, 6 artists and covers 350m² of wall space. The red arrow on the cheek is apparently a recurring signature.

Does this juxtaposition work? You tell me.