Monsieur Chat

Artforum International, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview

Monsieur Chat


Monsieur Chat--known in the US as, simply, (C)--is a French graffitist and founder of the artists' collective CHAT (Harmonious Community of Taciturn Artists). Since 1997, the group has painted its signature yellow cat on buildings throughout Europe and more recently New York, garnering coverage in numerous publications, including Liberation and Le Monde. The phenomenon is the subject of French filmmaker Chris Marker's 2004 documentary, Chats Perches (The Case of the Grinning Cat), which received its US premiere at New York's Tribeca Film Festival in April and will open across the country this fall.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

1 FRENCH POST-GRAFFITI Personally, I don't really enjoy conventional art spaces. Gallerists tend to treat their artists as novelties at best, so I prefer art in the form of traces of human activity that I find while walking the streets. People have long used urban surfaces as canvases, but today's post-graffitists--most notably the French artists I single out here--utilize stencils, stickers, and other graphic modes to expand the nature of tagging. Culture shouldn't be a matter of education or abstract concepts--I appreciate the simple things.

2 CHRIS MARKER It seems appropriate that I mention Chris Marker, since he has made me his latest subject. But also because the inspiration goes both ways--I've been a fan of Marker's ever since I saw the 1962 classic La Jetee, his film about a man haunted by a violent image from his childhood (which turns out to be a prophetic vision of his own death), not to mention Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys (1995), a postapocalyptic reimagining of Marker's movie.

3 KOURTRAJME This collective--founded in 1995 by directors Kim Chapiron and Romain Gavras--of some 130 young Parisian filmmakers and artists has recently put out a self-titled DVD compilation of short films. The group's collaborative efforts have led to some impressive exposure for its members, including Chapiron, whose debut feature, a horror flick titled Sheitan, was produced by Kourtrajme and was shown in this year's Tribeca Film Festival.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

4 SPACE INVADER The most well-known and most original of France's post-graffiti artists is probably Space Invader. He revolutionized street art with one basic tactic: He zeros in on the characters from the cult video game that inspired his alias and translates their pixels into tiled mosaics. Since 1998 he has unleashed approximately two thousand of these bitmapped creatures across thirty-four cities around the world, and has hit everything from the Hollywood sign to the Jiulong public pier in Hong Kong.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

5 ALEXONE A French-born, Brussels-based graffitist, illustrator, and artist, Alexone has an inimitable style that is always full of humor, whether he is working on city walls or on canvases. In addition to his letter-based tags--created under the name Oedipe and looking like the work of well-known abstract painters--Alexone makes murals of comically grotesque humans and animals engaging in such bizarre activities as fighting jam-packed in a wrestling ring or riding what look like inflatable horses. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Monsieur Chat
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.