Before & After Photos Show The Power Of Art To Transform Entire Buildings.
France is filled with old buildings who have stood the test of time. Many continue to be used as homes, apartment buildings, restaurants, and other businesses. Despite their old age many of these structures need a little TLC on their exterior.
Patrick Commecy has spent the last 40 years giving such buildings a makeover using art. Commecy takes old and plain looking large walls and turns them into his own canvasses. The French artist uses a technique called Trompe-l’œil, a realistic looking painting that can be seen in 3D. This type of art form is believed to have been used in ancient Rome and Greece.
Commecy believes his art does more than just give new life with his colourful and often playful murals. The artist feels what it gives to the communities throughout the country are “identity and proudness.”
Commecy finds his murals imitate life in terms of being transient.
"Nothing stays a long time after death: murals are ephemeral, like life! And I like it like that because speculation on murals is impossible," explains Commecy.
The artist is inspired by many things like music, films, and books.
For this mural he completed for the village of Vaux in Beaujolais, Commecy named his work "Clochemerle," a famous French novel from the 1930's.
Commecy often uses people who lived and were part of the city's history. This is the "The Chamonix guides" in Mont Blanc.
Every person in the "Juliette et les esprits" piece is from members of the Montpellier family that included a botanist, doctor, singer, chemist, actress and singer, and writer.
"L'Arlesienne" is a tribute to the book by the same title from famous French author Alphonse Daudet.
Commecy believes art and architecture complement each other.
"I try every time to design fake architecture with the model of what exists around the wall," says Commecy.
Commecy grew up in Africa and moved to France when he turned 18.
He usually works with a team of 30 or so muralists.
Commecy says it's more than just adding lively characters to life, it's about making local residents happy and proud of the final work.
"Porte de l'amour courtois" is a medieval art blending into the modern world.
Every mural takes anywhere from two to 10 weeks to complete.
"I wanted to practice an art form for people on the street. Not for the galleries, not for collectors but for the people of the street," admits Commecy.
Commecy wants art to be accessible without people having to pay to enjoy it.
After completing the mural, Commecy admits the art is no longer his. It belongs to the community.
Commecy has also worked in Spain, Mexico, and Italy.
In order to start a project, Commecy takes into account the residents, the town's history, famous people, and tourists.
Commecy feels, "walls are citizens' clothes."
Source: Where Cool Things Happen