Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageStreet and wall art in Lyon France are quite simply sublime Special

By Michael Cosgrove     Apr 6, 2009 in Entertainment
Lyon calls itself the world capital of wall art, and here’s why. This collection of fourteen pictures shows just a tiny fraction of the huge amount of wonderful talent there is in this French city. You are in for a visual and sensorial feast. Enjoy...
This is article two in a series dedicated to street and wall art in Lyon France.
Just a couple of notes first. I took these pictures with my trusty old Samsung cellphone. Also, almost all of the wall colours, arches, pillars, shop construction and other details here are not real. It’s all what they call “Trompe l’oeil” here. That means “Visual illusion” in this context. You may be able to appreciate them better if you blow them up. It’s worth the effort, believe me.
The lead picture, a picnic, is a detail from the next picture, as are the three which follow it. This wall, at the entrance to a hospital, was bare and uniform a few years ago, but you would have trouble telling the finished work from reality from 100 yards away. Nothing exists for real. The park you see as background is painted. It does not exist. I mean, it does exist, but it's behind the wall...
Wall art. Hospital wall
Wall Painting. Hospital wall
Michael Cosgrove
This woman represents succour.
Wall Painting
Lady of Succour.
Michael Cosgrove
Here are some learned physicians. The painting represents real doctors. They were the medical founders of the hospital.
Wall Painting
Physicians. Wall Painting
Michael Cosgrove
White doves. The significance is obvious in this context.
Wall Painting
Doves. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
I found this in a municipal housing estate, three miles out of the centre of the city. Far out! I love the futuristic building, and the 3D effect is stunning.
Wall Painting
The Future. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
Babel’s Tower. Another municipal housing estate. This speaks for itself.
Wall Painting
The tower of Babel. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
We are now in downtown Lyon. Looks so realistic. Hallucinating. This is dedicated to reading and culture, and was paid for by a federation of local booksellers. Very elegant.
Wall Painting
Bookshop. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
The next two pictures are taken from a fresco called “The wall of Children.” It’s almost two hundred metres long and was painted in honour of all those who work for the rights of children. It’s two miles from downtown. You can thank Adriana Stuijt for the first one, which was taken yesterday. Why? Because there’s a small detail of it in another photo I put up in a recent blog. Adriana wrote me two days ago to ask what the few visible words meant. They are in French. I told her, then I got curious, so I went back and got the full text. Here it is. Thanks Adriana!
The English translation is;
« I work with children because my childhood was stolen…well let’s just say that mine, spent between the red walls of the Warsaw Ghetto, wasn’t what you could call normal..
That is how Stanislas Tomkiewicz explains his commitment to young children and adolescents. A doctor all his life, he worked tirelessly for their rights and a better understanding of the suffering and violence that (abuse of) their rights generates...”
Wall Painting
The Wall of Children Citation. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
Another detail from The wall of Children. I don’t know what it is about it, but I find the composition to be exquisite. Translation? “Every child has the right to a name and a nationality from the moment they are born.”
Wall Painting
Children's basic rights. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
Back downtown. The last four photos here are from “La fresque des Lyonnais.” “Lyonnais” means people from Lyon. It was put onto all three sides of a triangular building. So the whole building is an illusion, including the upper windows! It depicts scenes of everyday life and activity here. Unbelievable...
Here’s one wall. You need to know that half the people here are not real, but you’ll have problems knowing who is who....
Wall Painting
Lyon life. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
A cosy Lyon-style bistro.
Wall Painting
Bistro. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
A lady who went shopping for vegetables walking past a hardware store..
Wall Painting
Woman shopping. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
Wanna read a book? This is my favourite. The detail is so well done that it gives the impression that all you have to do is reach out and pick up a book or a CD from the shelves. But, as usual, none of this is real...
Wall Painting
Bookshop display. Wall Painting.
Michael Cosgrove
Living in this city is like living in any other city. There’s noise, pollution, violence, poverty, all kinds of bad stuff.
But when I think I can just step out there and see this kind of thing it makes me realise that there are so many good people here too. People who try to make life a pleasure. Those people are City Hall, Local Municipalities, companies, tenants’ associations and others. They all sponsor this art form. They are not obliged to do it, there’s no money in it, so it’s just an effort to make their city beautiful.I thank them for their efforts.
But, of course, the people who deserve the biggest round of applause here are the artists themselves. Their work is living testimony to the power of art. The work they have done, and are still doing, for Lyon represents an incalculable improvement in the quality of life here.
So hats off to them, and I hope you enjoyed the show!
(PS. If anyone would like to see more street art from Lyon, it’s available in this recent article.)
More about Art, France, Photography
More news from
Entertainment Video
Latest News
Top News