“I try to interact with context, so I place in the streets elements and characters that belong especially to the streets. I like to show things and people that society aims at keeping hidden: homeless people, smokers, street kids, bench lovers for example”
Christian Guémy, also known as C215 is a Parisian street artist focused on stencil graffiti. Born in 1973, C215 started spray painting in 2005 and is today one of the finest, and most productive stencil artists on the street art scene.
His striking portraits of local people, children and especially his daughter Nina are expressive and distinctive in style. With his subjects always portrayed as proud and dignified, his images communicate on an universal level and draw attention to those that society has forgotten about. Although C215 has been writing and publishing poetry separately, the artist never adds text to his stencils, in order to give the viewer the full possibility of the interpretation. In his choice of backgrounds, layers of random, yet well selected found objects speak of passing time, with an outcome that is both, aesthetical and meaningful.
His elaborate stencils- if outside a gallery- appear in the streets of various cities all over the globe, such as New Delhi, London, Istanbul, Fes, Rome, Barcelona, and Paris.
Lighting up the urban spaces they decorate, every stencil has a reason to exist in its specific, well thought of place and all his pieces are hand cut and sprayed originals with a mix of found objects.
C215′s favourite topic is portraits, as faces have an universal message that everybody, no matter who, will understand and be moved by. But “In the end, behind the portraits, the question is always freedom and dignity in the face of a capitalist daily life system.”
Photo © Sylvain Lefeuvre