Paris Street Art

The Bright and The Beautiful

My only disappointment about Paris was missing Banksy by one day. The famous British street artist has been in the City of Love lately posting art that mostly jabs at the French government’s treatment of immigrants.

Before Banksy arrived, my daughter and I enjoyed photographing graffiti in Paris, mostly in Le Marais, and the third and fourth arrondissements.  I was intrigued to see not just paint, but also paper collages and plaques used on walls.

Here’s what we found (including a few of Banksy’s latest works captured by photojournalists).




Giant paper collage, perhaps my favorite
Do not dream, fly with your wings
Translation: Don’t dream, fly with your wings
Version 2
Close-up of plaque from previous photo

IMG_3578 (1)

Okay, this isn’t street art, but it was on the bathroom door at Duc des Lombard Jazz Club and the French love American Jazz. Plus, it’s written in English




For 18 years, this portrait of John Hamon has been plastered around Paris. It’s the guy’s actual name and his actual photo, taken when he was 19. A bit of a mystery, his portrait has been projected onto the Eiffel tower, Arche de Triomphe and other famous facades. Essentially, he’s playing around with the idea of art being about promotion, rather than skill. His portrait has found its way around the world, so exposure versus talent is definitely a concept to ponder. The octopus is another common graffiti subject in Paris, but with Mona Lisa’s face, it’s irresistible. Notice any resemblance between John Hamon and Mona Lisa?
Not street art, but interesting theatrical notices
Look at you, you are beautiful
Randomly-placed mirror. Translation: Look at you, you are beautiful. Yes, I’m talking to you!


Banksy Paris - Thomas Samson
Banksy’s tender reminder of last year’s terrorist bombing in Paris. Photographer: Thomas Samson/AFP
Banksy Paris - Thomas Samson 2
Whimsical Banksy. Photographer: Thomas Samson/AFP
180627-banksy-paris-mc-Philippe Lopez
Heart-breaking Banksy. Photographer: Philippe Lopez/AFP
180626-banksy-paris-Philippe Lopez-AFP
Ringing-the-alarm Banksy. Photographer: Philippe Lopez/AFP


  1. Perhaps some people don’t consider it art, but with its messages (whatever they may be), street art can make political and societal statements as bold as its colors. I’m truly intrigued by the paper collaging, like the butterflies on the old stone wall. Soon, enough rain will erase it. But it’s been captured here! Thanks, Susan!


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Cindi Brown


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