Episode #4 of the course “Street artists you should know”
Christian Guemy was born in Paris in 1973 and has been one of the most influential and prolific street artists of the past 20 years. He chose the pseudonym “C215” after being imprisoned in a cell with that number. He stated that he liked the anonymity of it and the idea of a manufactured identity, like a person’s serial number.
A talented stencil artist, most of C215’s large street murals are stencils, but he also paints, writes and publishes poetry, and creates commercial and graphic art. He is known for his spray paint techniques, including “spray bombs,” and incorporates bright colors in unexpected ways to catch the viewer’s attention and stir emotions.
C215 is known for his large portraits of social outcasts such as the elderly, beggars, street children, and the homeless. He depicts these everyday people in an attempt to bring art and beauty into everyday life, and also to explore the expressions in the eyes of all types of people. In his graffiti art, C215 feels that the expression in the eyes, the feelings of the viewer, and the story behind the art are the most important elements. He is interested in connecting people with universal emotions, catching them off guard and striking their imagination with images of unexpected beauty.
C215 believes that success for graffiti depends on its perfect location to display its message and communicate its image to a great number of people. Because C215 often paints in unauthorized places, his works are sometimes removed, destroyed, or painted over. In 2014, C215 left a number of murals around Malta painted on MaltaPost postboxes, but MaltaPost removed them in a great scandal.
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