Gallery: hearts and skulls on the streets of Paris
When you visit a city regularly, you can make time to explore new areas, as well as revisit favourite corners. And you can look for quirky details to photograph as well as the obvious sights.
That was certainly the case on our recent trip to Paris. And there, as I do wherever I go, I was on the look out for colourful and interesting street art in the different neighbourhoods we explored. Remember, street art doesn’t have to be large and dramatic; sometimes the tiniest pieces can be just as interesting and eye-catching.
As we walked around the city, I noticed a number of very similar pieces. These were not painted onto surfaces but were little objects attached to the walls of buildings, often quite high up. The more I looked for them, the more I found.
So when I came home, I started to sort them into groups and to try to find out something about them, with limited success.
One motif I found in several places, but in particular in Montmartre, was of a heart with an A across it. My research revealed that these are the work of one artist, known as A2. According to the Urbacolours website A2 stands for anarchie and amour (love), but also for anarchy squared. If you look closely at my photos you’ll see each heart marked with A2 near the bottom.
Perhaps less appealingly, another recurrent motif was a small colourful skull. But unlike the hearts, I couldn’t find any info about these online – I’m not even sure if they’re all by the same artist. Some were on their own, others clustered with other little bits and pieces.
Another trend in Parisian street art seemed to be the use of tiny mosaic tiles stuck on to a wall to create a bit of art. You can see one in my Beaubourg heart photo above; here are some more.
I even came across a mosaic design on the ground in Beaubourg, already shared in my post about looking down: Ceilings and floors (and pavements and more)
I also found a number of pieces that were more like collages, with paper images arranged and stuck on the wall. These must be very ephemeral, much more so even than regular street art, and I wasn’t quite sure that some could really be called original creations. After all, even I could cut out a drawing and stick it to a wall! But others seemed more imaginative in their combination of different clippings and drew me to photograph them.
These and all of the photos in this post are shared for the Photographing Public Art challenge which this week is hosted by Cee.
I visit Paris often; these photos are all from my 2021 trip
Very interesting finds.I have only visited Paris once.My best friend and I spent a week in Paris a long time ago. We had so much fun
Thanks Tanja 🙂 Paris has something for everyone I think – young or old, in a couple, alone or with friends 😀
You made quite an effort to get some really nice shots of unusual street art! I like the gatepost one in Montmartre … you just reminded me to look more closely at street art!
Thank you 😀 This is something I’m always on the look out for!
An interesting exploration – I loved the garden post.
Thank you Ruth – that one is a clever bit of work isn’t it?
What a collection of interesting street art you’ve uncovered in Paris this trip. I love them all, especially the hot air balloon, but not sure about the skulls. I wonder if these skulls are just part of the world wide liking for skulls by a certain section of the population. I see a lot of them on my travels, painted, sculpted, on mugs, glasses etc. Maybe something to do with Game of Thrones? I think it’s connected to games of some sort. Glad your trip yielded such good results.
Thank you Mari. I’m not sure about the skulls either and I don’t know enough about GoT to know if there’s a connection, but it seems to me that skulls have been used in street art for longer than that’s been around? Great to have you back with your full identity 😀
So glad you managed to get to Paris. This is such unusual street art and I guess could easily be missed. It makes it fun when you are looking out for certain things, its like a bit of a treasure hunt. Michaela
Thank you Michaela 😊 Yes, I guess you could see this as a treasure hunt. I didn’t set out to look for anything in particular but as these themes started to occur to me I began to look for more examples!
It is wonderful that you were able to capture these tiny details that may have easily been missed. Happy that you can travel again.
Thank you Teresa 🙂 Our travel options are still very limited but this was fun!
I started posting a comment but may have lost the draft … but I was saying that the best part of travel is staying in familiar unfamiliar places and finding things that quick visitors will overlook. Altho you didn’t submit it, I think some of these ‘art’ pieces are found objects. For example the cut-outs pasted on the walls … is it art? Who knows, it’s a creative thought anyways. I like the Garden gate post in Montmarte the best.
Thanks for persisting Sandy 😀 Yes, you’re so right – it was great not to feel any pressure to see specific sights and/or a large number of them. We just took our time walking around and taking photos, plus a lot of chilling in pavement cafes and watching Paris go by!
Good point too about the ‘found’ objects – the paper pieces could certainly qualify as that although it hadn’t occurred to me unfortunately 😏
I think it is always fun to focus on something different in a city you know so well. Apparently there are an awful lot of sundials in Paris.
Ah really? I have one sundial photo from this trip but I don’t recall seeing a lot of them – something for our next visit!
Apparently over 100! I guess they are not all in obvious locations.
You have quite a diverse group here, Sarah. Unique finds.
Thank you Janet 🙂
Haven’t read this post yet, I’m just creeping up on WP as it looks as though it has miraculously adjusted my settings and I can comment again. I’ve done it 3 times tonight and all’s well, so we’ll see what happens here and then I’ll read the post later.
Oh wow yes, all seems back to normal looking at this from my end – hurrah!
What cool art work you found in Paris. 😀 😀 Love the hot air balloon 😀
Thanks Cee, I rather liked that one too 🙂 I have more bigger pieces of street art saved up for a future PPAC post too!