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Interview with Speedy Graphito, pioneering the Street Art movement in France

A leading figure of Street Art in France, Speedy Graphito is one of the main artists present at our Street Art auction from April 20 to 25 exclusively on SINGULART. In this interview, Speedy Graphito tells us more about his singular career, the evolution of Street Art since the 1980s and his future projects. Dive into the artistic world of Speedy Graphito.

1. Do you define yourself as a Street Artist ?

I define myself first and foremost as an artist in the general sense of the term. I work on multiple media – canvas, wood, paper, cardboard, wall – and use painting, sculpture, digital and photography as means of expression. At the same time, I paint outside and in the studio, because I believe that these two aspects are complementary. I like to experience painting as both a physical and mental experience.

2. What inspires you to create?

I am mainly guided by my curiosity. My works are in a way the diary of my thoughts. I’m not trying to denounce or polemicize on a social fact, but my inspiration relies on the interpretation I make of the surrounding. My works are like answers to the questions I ask myself.

3. How do you see the evolution of street art today, as you are considered one of the pioneers of the movement?

I started to paint in the street because I had no other space to exhibit my creations. My approach has always been to put art in the street, as opposed to the current trend of putting street art in galleries. What has changed is that today the urban artist has traded in his“vandal” status for that of“star“. At the same time, interest in street art has grown on an international scale. As an artist, I have always wanted to put art at the centre of our lives and I see my wish being fulfilled beyond expectations.

4. Could you tell us about an artistic project you are working on at the moment?

I don’t like to reveal too much about my projects before they come true but I can tell you that museums and other artistic institutions are more and more interested in Street Art productions. Several retrospectives of my work have already been conducted and many exhibitions are in preparation. The attendance rate for urban art exhibitions is exceeding the usual visitor rates, which proves that there is a real interest in the subject. As an artist, museums allow me to hang my work without any sales considerations. More immersive, they offer a didactic approach and a hindsight on the career of the exhibited artist that I personally find interesting.

5. What analysis do you make of the art market’s infatuation with Street Art artists?

Street art has opened up a new art market. The children who used to dream in front of my murals have now become adults and they don’t want to collect the same artworks as their parents. Collectors are looking for art that looks like them. On the other hand, I always find it disappointing that money is still the main driver of the art market. Without the meteoric rise of Banksy I’m not sure that Street Art would have developed so easily. Money fascinates people. In any case, I have learned to live with this fact. I consider that the important thing for an artist is to be able to live from his art and to create without material concerns. I have been lucky enough to be able to make a living from my art for as long as I can remember without ever having to give up my passion. I have a loving and loyal audience that reinforces my belief that art is essential to writing the history of our civilization. Alongside the production of original works, I also develop a lot of publishing. I think it is important to remain accessible to the greatest number of people and to give the desire to a new public to become perhaps one day a collector. For this reason precisely, art must remain forever immortal.