Le MUR – Promoting Urban Art

At number 107 of Rue Oberkampf in Paris, on the corner with Rue Saint-Maur, a huge panel measuring 24m2 has been presenting live artistic performances promoting urban art since 2007. Le M.U.R (modulable, urbain, reactif) is an association that invites street artists providing gallery exhibition conditions to the streets.

Saturday, May 05, I was there to watch the performance number 120, made by the French artist Alber. For 6 hours I could appreciate all his creative process and also observe how this idea transformed a billboard (as for what the panel used to be use) and brought art to the general public.

Le Mur is an entirely legal association that has been running by 8 volunteers (artists and enthusiastic with urban art). Their work is to promote street and contemporary art, giving the financial and structural support for the artists that will performance on the wall. The organization is sponsored by the city hall, donations (that can be tax deductible) and by selling their own books.

The main idea is to cover the wall with a new art each 15 days. The artists are selected by a process similar to filmmaking, through casting and proposal. Artists from all over the world are welcome to apply and performance at Le Mur.

The artists are paid for the work and also all the material that they need to paint is offered by the organization. Even if the artists don’t have a workspace or are just passing by Paris, they can work “in residence” for a few days on the headquarters of the association.

During the performance by Alber, I enjoyed step by step the spray of his precise curves and edges in his caricatured characters. Everyone is welcome to watch the shows, which some times can last just half an hour or, as Alber’s performance, can last for 6 hours.

It’s beautiful to observe how people, passing by, start to be curious with the movement. In the end of the performance a vernissage happens with free drinks for the public. I also visited the Le Mur studio, with the intention to deeply understand this laudable initiative that is administrated by the association’s president Mr. Bob Jeudy.

I bought a book that was published in 2010 celebrating 3 years of their existence (Le M.U.R The Wall edited by Kitchen 93 27,00 euros). This example can easily be a model for all the world to promote street art. Instead of using the walls for advertisement, talented artists can have the opportunity to show their work.

Below, pictures of the artist Alber painting Le M.U.R performance number 120.

Le Mur studio

Le Mur studio

Wall for artists practice at Le Mur studio

Books edited by Le Mur Organization