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.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

132 thoughts on “Paris – Oddly Juxtaposed

  1. Stunning photos ………..Kolkota’s Victoria Memorial, and the ghastly (now iconic?) modern cube structure plonked dead centre inside the classic Parisian Louvre Museum. But with your interest in catching just the right angles & light for the photographs, are you able to find time to soak in the atmosphere too? Sure hope so… This last, BTW, was another Blogger’s observation, when he realized that he had been producing fantastic imagery, while the feel and the appreciation of the places he traveled to see, got lost in translation while capturing the images…..! Not a criticism….just an observation that struck a chord in my mind…!

    1. Oh yes I do. The trick is to allow yourself enough time at each place, rather than blitz through them in a group. You will understand if you read my post on Humayun’s tomb. Appreciate your stopping by Harini.

  2. I have to admit that, at first glance, the natural xtaposition of the mural and the church was much too jarring for my liking. But after reading your post, I got it. While I sure wouldn’t be one to advocate the practice of murals popping up alongside the beautiful, traditional architecture of historic churches, I do like the message this mural tries to impart. Great picture, by the way. It certainly met the guidelines for the weekly challenge!

  3. I love your Paris pictures. You bring me to a place I dreamed of visiting when I was younger. Well, I still do. 🙂

  4. I kind of think it works. It’s tastefully muted “large” and well-done. I suppose it’s inevitable that murals appear on old buildings, and sometimes I think they are an improvement. Knowing the story behind this one makes it interesting. Enjoyed considering the question that you posed here, Madhu.

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