This summer, the umbrella has become more than a protective measure in the Northeast United States. With three dry days in the entire month of June, people grew attached to their parasols. Gradually, the parasol evolved from a utilitarian device to a chic accessory. From primary colors to print, New Yorkers rocked a fashionable variety of umbrellas. However, none of these creative creations hold a candle to Parapluie and his street art versions.
Born in Saint Denis, Parapluie still loves pasting in Paris and its surrounding suburbs. “It’s near my neighborhood and many people get to see my work,” he says. The umbrella logo stems from his search for an easily recognizable object. “I wanted an image, a logo, or an object of everyday life,” he explains. At first, he spent hours drawing and cutting the stickers by hand.
Over the course of fifteen years, Parapluie perfected his style. Graduating from small stickers to wheatpaste and aerosol, his work grew in scale. “My style itself became increasingly minmalist, kinetic, and fractal,” he adds. Regardless of where he is or what he creates, he feeds off the positive and negative criticism of others.
Sometimes the streets can get crazy for a solo artist. He recalls, “I was painting a logo in a vacant lot in Paris during the daytime. Fifteen police officers stopped me. Later, I was released, but they took my aerosols.” Since that incident, he’s rarely feared the cops.
At other points in his career, he spent time tagging as a Stickopathes member. “We stuck stickers on everything,” he says. “It was cool!” Whether he’s spraying or sticking, Parapluie believes that graffiti and street art are at heart the same thing. “There’s no real difference,” he insists, “because it’s all the same claim: ‘let me express myself!’”
This quest for self-expression drives street artists regardless of the medium. Parapluie, for instance, strives to create “a showcase of art in everyone’s eyes.” While the rules and techniques may change, this motive will never disappear. “The street art scene is in perpetual motion,” he explains. “That’s the great part. It’s always full of change.”
Merci, Parapluie! For more photos and information, visit his website.
Back in CT, folks. If anybody wants to meet up, hit me up! Also, thanks to all the people who showed up for my last night bash. You all made my summer!