The 2013 Tour Paris 13 Contemporary Art Experience

I fished the following pictures of the Paris 13 th district out of my archive.

In October 2013, street artists from all over the world were asked to decorate 36 apartments in a 1960s block of flats due to be demolished in the 13th district of Paris. Immediately after that, Real Estate developers replaced this graceless building with another even more graceless modern glass and concrete shoebox. Nearly 10 years later, I decided to revive this old blog post with a collection of photos no one will ever be able to take any more.

The 2013 Tour Paris 13 Contemporary Art Experience

The experience was amazing and I was one of the happy few who were able to visit the ‘tour’ (i.e. high-riser) for a whole evening and take pictures at my leisure. Others were less lucky and had to wait in line for hours and see nothing.

Paris 13
One of the corridors, entirely redecorated. The door on the left is untouched. There were still people living in that building at the time. The sign on the opposite wall says ‘interactive gallery’ and interactive it was.

At first you’d think that asking street artists to decorate the inside of a building would be a curious thing to do. I found the end result very compelling. Eventually, a great many of these artists were asked to decorate buildings in the vicinity in the following years.

Ghost-like figures were bouncing off the walls. Only the happy few were allowed in. I was very lucky to be able to visit this place and take all these pictures.

Paris 13
The Ghosts From a Different Angle

The designers had painted the whole building from the cellar (too hard to take pictures down there unfortunately) to the top of the building. Here, street artists had decorated a ventilation shaft behind the stairwell.

The green eyes of the purple tiger

Paris 13

Now the creator of the above piece of Art had used a wall covered in mirrors to create this view of a purple tiger. Amazingly clever. It’s sad to think that all those paintings are now gone (Mosko Associés).


The artist used the flowery wallpaper design for this picture. His name is Seth, you can find his painting all over town now.

Paris 13
A Closer Look at the Artwork

One of my favourites, a French artist nicknamed Stew, who created this Nippon-style design. Amazingly inventive. He recreated the interior so as to build a real world within the apartment.

Hard times: chalk on blackboard paint. So clever, and so gloomy too. Very Dickensian (yet Italian)

Paris 13
A more colourful expression. Brazilian I think.

Now, that was clever too: mixing photography and installations, this scene made you believe you had just entered a warehouse; not an apartment. Brilliant!

Paris 13
Drinks anyone?

Perhaps my all-time favourite: this nifty collage was literally jumping off the wall!

This visit was made possible thanks to Jerome Deiss who organised this visit.

Here’s a gallery with all my pictures.

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Yann Gourvennec
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