Graffiti à la craie blanche
White chalk graffiti (Some things sound better in English, this title does not.)
On Friday I took a picture of a smirking angel who had added a touch of sweetness to a gray, gloomy day. In that post I promised to do a little sleuthing when next I came upon the angel artist’s work. Well, today I rolled past six of said artist’s works (two of them created just yesterday) so when I got home I went online. I had imagined the artist as a tall skinny, youngish man with long hair. I was right about the male part. The chalk wizard turns out to be Jean-Charles de Castelbajac a 65-year-old, short-haired, fashion designer*.
M. Castelbajac has been gracing Paris (and other cities) with his chalk interventions (not only angels and saints as I’d thought) since the 90’s and in 2012 published a book of 200 of his favorite angels: Des Anges dans la Ville*** (Chene). If you’re reading this in Paris you’re probably not too far from one of M. Castelbajac’s fresh-faced youths. Have a look around.
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Métier : Designer*
Signe : Sagittaire
Date de naissance : lundi 28 novembre 1949 (à Casablanca)
– gala.fr (A biography in French.)
*M Castelbajac has dressed Madonna, Jean-Paul II, Lady Gaga, and Farrah Fawcett
**The name Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) is written in the spot where a street sign once was. For 136 years the street in question was called rue Durouchoux after colonel Pierre Durouchoux. In 2011 the street became rue Pierre-Castagnou, named for Pierre Castagnou (8 September 1940 – 24 February 2009) socialist mayor of the 14th arrondissement.
***Knowing there’s already a book out in the world I won’t feel compelled to document every chalked youth I stumble upon. Fehw!