PARIS – Condemned apartments covered in spray paint have probably never been in such demand.
An entire apartment building in eastern Paris has been turned over to 105 street artists from around the world, giving them a chance to turn each home into its own art installation during the buildings final days.
The artists had seven months to tag Tour Paris 13 – named for the district where its located – coating apartments sometimes still filled with debris, trash and furniture. All their work will vanish by the end of the year, as the nine-story structure is demolished piece by piece after next week.
I really wanted the artist to intervene on a whole space, said Mehdi Ben Cheikh, the gallery owner who initiated the project. I didnt want the spectators to come and look at art. I wanted the spectators to come and enter an artwork, ... which means there are things everywhere – we enter a room, and have to turn around in every direction to understand the surroundings.
The result is a building exhibiting a range of artistic styles. Theres a skull-inspired mural, Arabic calligraphy, a bloody bathroom, and a glow-in-the-dark cow crawling with snakes.
Would-be visitors have lined up for up to eight hours for a one-hour visit, with signs at various points around the block estimating their wait time. Only 49 people are allowed in at one time.
A handful of people are still living in the building and refusing to leave until the bitter end.
We are the new artists. Graffiti art is the worlds biggest art movement, said Mear One, an artist from Los Angeles.