Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday ProFile: Alsacherie

In urban spaces, it's common to see a few tags or stickers dotting the urban landscape. But what if a child's face stared back at you from the side of a building? If you hail from eastern France, though, the charming photographs come as no surprise. Obviously, they're from Alsacherie. Born in Chamonix, Alsacherie moved to Mulhouse and bought a host of influences along with him. According to him, "Everything I see influences me: photos found on the floor, magazines, advertising, the Internet. Nothing escapes me."
As a child, Alsacherie loved drawing and was particularly taken with the art of creating letters. "I love writing for the gesture," he says. "I love the beauty of the capital 'M' and the wind blowing through the lower-case 'f'. Unfortunately, I am also very bad at spelling. However, the result is much more beautiful than the original." Combining graphics and text, Alsacherie's style changes constantly. By working alone, he has the ultimate control. "The great advantage of being alone is that everyone agrees!" he admits. "You're mobile, more stealthy, and stronger with every piece."

Street art can lead to some unique experiences. "I stuck the faces of two unknown children on a building with the consent and finances of the city," he recalled. "When I finished pasting, a lot of people who lived in the building asked, 'Who is this?' I answered truthfully and admitted that I didn't know! People were still happy to see children on their building. Children are the symbol of life and what we are."
Sometimes, law enforcement is less than receptive to his projects. "Once, the French general intelligence though I was a terrorist activist because I made a collage that said, 'Mulhouse, capital of France, BASTA!' The 'basta' was too much, he though I was with the ETA. I was a bit scared." Whenever the police intervene, he always complies with their requests. "I am a pacifist, so I will remove my collages if asked," he says. "I actually prefer people to remember my collage after it's gone that to have them look at it until it becomes trite."
As a full-time artist, Alsacherie constantly pushes the boundaries of what is possible. "The prospect of doing things makes my life wonderful," he insists. "I love getting up in the morning with the desire to stick something in the street that doesn't fit with the normal routine of urban space." In the future, he believes urban spaces will continue to be molded and shaped by the artists that inhabit them. "Too often, the cultural posture of the state or the artist is solely expressed in galleries," he argues. "Street art has the extraordinary power to be practiced by everyone for all the world."

Thanks a million, Alsacherie! For more photos, check out his website. That's all for now. I'm off to run and plan birthday celebrations (tomorrow I turn 24, YIPE!). Have a great weekend and I'll report back on Monday!

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