mercoledì 8 febbraio 2012

Meeting C215

C215 is a French street artist, who spreads around the world his stencil portraits, realized with a unmistakable style and very strong expressive power.
In the last years he reached a huge importance in the International street art world and he exhibited in Italy too: I met him during the event “Meet the artist” organized by Urban Painting in Carugate.

What do your artworks express?
I always try  to express the deeper personality and identity of the subjects, in order to make their stories spring out: they are written and readable on our faces through the wrinkles, that I draw with marked lines.
My subjects are usually the “forgotten” or the homeless, that I began to portrait in a very strong interior crisis moment, when I felt lost and emotionally “home-less”.

Which is the best aspect to be an artist?
My artist job let me be free and completely independent, I can do whatever I want, whenever and wherever I’d like, I can travel a lot, know the world, the people and the different cultures.

What does it mean to be a street artist for you?
When street art born, it did mean rebellion, as you can see in the book “Art of Rebellion”, it was a movement that wanted to shock and go against the laws; today it is not like that, it is in my opinion a positive “revolution”, that enable to make forgotten or unseen places more beautiful through art and unite people.

What is your opinion about Italian street art?
I think today there is more attention to the movement by the public, compared to some years ago; the problem is that a lot of artists have lost their expressive power beginning to exhibit in the official galleries and they don’t longer work in the streets, where their art was born.

What aspects of the artistic context don’t you like?
Often I see artists that began working without a project or original ideas, but they only imitate other artists style: this imitation is really constricting, is a sort of fanaticism, that deprives of stylistic independence and it’s not good. Plus, I’m not interested in fashion or short-lived trends, I try to follow my inspiration, because I think that if an artist is good it will always be, in the present and in the future.

Today the Web is necessary in everyday life: how does it affect street art too?
Nowadays the Web is really basic: I define myself an Internet artist. When I was 15 and began to paint I didn’t think about taking photos because they were useless, on the contrary today the artworks live through the photos on the Web, and it can offer endless possibilities of international visibility, cultural exchange, interaction, participation, works permanence, that should be totally used for a global circulation and to reach everyone. In fact, to me now is more important Facebook than exhibiting my works in galleries, and I really care about being appreciated by “common people” rather than the insiders. 

Can you give any advice to artist that are beginning their career?
In my opinion it is necessary that everyone, artist or not, understand who he is, what he likes to do and what he is able to do and follow his purposes with a non-superficial approach. Artists should find their own style and language, that can come out their experience and their lives: it is useful to get inspired and fascinated by other artists, but avoiding the “copy-cut” effect, that brings to the complete lost of personal expression.

Artist portrait

Name: : Christian Guémy                                 AKA: C215 

Nationality: French, born in Bondy, 1973

Studies: Art History, Université Paris-Sorbonne

Active from: 2005
Technique: stencil
Subjects: common people portraits, street kids, women, homeless, clochards: the “forgotten”
Style: two different stenciling styles: one multilayered and colorful, the other  single layered with one or two colours.
Stencil from photos or drawings combine urban culture with classical education: the portraits are really expressive, the faces are “scratched” by signs and wrinkles, symbols of difficult experiences. The artworks interacts highly with the context and the supports, often “forgotten” or useless too: rusty doors, poles, shoeboxes, cracked walls, bins, every street furniture to which he gives again visibility
Places: Prague, London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Milan, Oslo, Sao Paulo, Brooklyn, L.A, Moscow, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Athens, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Dakar, New Delhi, India, Israel, Brasil, Polland, USA, Senegal, Morocco, Italy..
Special projects:
-Stencil History X that includes : a volume (2007), an International collective exhibitions tour and a Website (
-association C215: promotes Street Art, through collective exhibitions and book publishing
- C215: book full of images of the C215’s artworks around the world, Design&Designer collection, Pyramid edition, 2012 

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