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C215, stencils for walls

During a vernissage Le Naaba had the opportunity and the pleasure to meet C215, stencils for walls. It took place at Spacejunk in Grenoble, France.

C215, stencils for walls

Who’s that guy, C215, stencils for walls ?

According to the register office in 1973, the newborn baby was named Christian Guémy. His mother was used to paint but she passed away when the little boy was 5 years old. Se gave birth to C215 when she was 12 and committed suicide a 18. Such events matter.

His grands parents cheer on him to use his mother equipment. This is a trigger, a transmission.

His father was working in printing house and some in his family in the night business. It had no influence in his taste for art. Well, not exactly. An uncle bought him a painting.

C215, stencils for walls told me money mattered. As people say your art is beautiful, you’re happy. But when someone come to you and say “I will pay for it”, you can make it a living. That began in 2007.

Christian Gummy is not a self-taught artist, rather a well educated man. He spent a lot of time at university until thesis, but stopped before the doctorate.

C215, stencils for walls does not like street art label and I guess he does not like labels at all. He is a reserved man, not shy. As he was in the gallery I did not see him and had to as to another artist, AREPO where he was. Today C215 artwork is quite expansive and he is famous around the world. Nevertheless he was available for whoever wants to talk with him. Kindly.

In a very good paper in Le Monde (in French) C215, stencils for walls explains, that recently divorced he wanted to leave a trace to his 3 years old (yet) daughter. Another trigger.

Before becoming C215, stencils for walls, he was an export manager for premium soft furnishing. He was also marketer and art historian specialized in furniture.

C215, stencils for walls

The artist is working old fashion. No computer. He uses heavy paper and a lancet to make his stencils. He may use 10 of them to shape the final image. Later he uses spay for painting. His technique is bold and he use it not only walls as canvas but diverse supports such a books, bills, pieces of metal, etc.

C215, stencils for walls home and artist’s studio are a whole thing. Spray, lancets, artwork, etc. are everywhere. Opposite to his family who worked in night clubs, he wake up as early as hens and goes to bet at sunset. His studio is like a cave where he spends hours, days, weeks. Stencil is time consuming.

C215, stencils for walls themes a strongly influenced by the local context and that can interact with the street. Conversely he thinks street art can concretely change the city and the daily life. Opposite to pop art, he appreciate to paint anonymous people such as a bum. But there is no policy message, no claim. He just want to answer this difficult question “who is he?” Who is this unique person ?

But C215, stencils for walls also use iconic people as well.

He is aware that museum is made to preserve. In the street, everything is passing. He considers interacting with the street as fundamental.

He recognize Ernest Pignon-Ernest as a master and the street artist Bansky supported him.

Currently, C215, stencils for walls works on “Douce France” project, named after Charles Trenet song. It is about people who symbolize France and C215 paint their face on something that is linked to their career, behavior, etc. It is sometimes redundant. But it says something deep to viewer, about what it means to be french, what make people french. It is about identity.

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