Stuck in a rut in the early noughties, the Parisian art scene has been regrouping of late. What with more independent galleries, lower rents and an all round up-surge in creative thought, things are beginning to return to their best in the city of lights.
Championing this move toward a world a little less perfect than the streets of St Martin is one Cyprien Gaillard. All out advocate of an artistic kind of vandalism, Gaillard has made a significant mark on the scene after only a few years of professional practice.
Adapting Brutalist techniques of artistic appropriation and a little bit of land art to boot; Galliard white-washes out picture-perfect biscuit-tin oil paintings, invades 17th century Dutch etchings with immaculately drawn modernist tower blocks, and makes films depicting housing estate riots in the style of early medieval battles.
Finding beauty in the lowliest of environs, Gaillard is fascinated by the desecration of the contemporary landscape – even recycling an imploded concrete housing project into a cenotaph for a show in London last year. Bold, effortless and audaciously French, Gaillard’s work transforms banality into beauty with the flick of a well-positioned pencil,