Art comes in all shapes and sizes and no matter how strange or unconventional it may seem, it’s always beautiful and inspiring, as long as you know how to look at it. And because in this day and age, only very few masterpieces fit the “oil on canvas” type that we’re all used to, one has to learn to see the magic in more unexpected places.
Good news is, that’s exactly what French artist Sandrine Estrade Boulet does on her everyday walks through Paris. Like all of us, she can’t help but notice that the city, although still gorgeous, is slowly but surely getting old. There are cracks in the walls, while weeds are, in some places, taking over the pavement. The thing is, people aren’t really doing anything to improve the way the city looks either. On the contrary, they’re still dropping litter on the streets, all that while complaining that Paris is no longer as grand, as clean and as magnificent as it used to be.
Let art be our savior
Sandrine, though, has decided to restore the French capital’s old glory, and the ace up her sleeve has never been gentrification, but art itself. Funny, casual, sometimes downright silly doodles, to be more precise. While the most conservative of us would be tempted to dismiss her works as childish and incapable of going down in history in the next decades, there’s one thing we can all agree on. Namely, the fact that this creative woman has come up with a new art genre. She’s no Monet, but she’s not an ordinary graffiti artist either. Her work is much more light-hearted than what we see in museums and a lot less scandalous than what’s sprayed on subway station walls, right? And it’s this balance, along with her humor that makes her art more accessible to people from all walks of life. Under that category fall not only individuals who haven’t maybe had any contact with art of any kind whatsoever, but also those of us who are so busy meeting deadlines, buying groceries and catching crowded buses that we fail to see the beauty surrounding us.
Examples of Boulet’s works
By turning tufts of grass into a cheerleader’s pom-poms, a funny-looking sewer lid into a bottle of Chanel. No. 5 and another one, into a Pac-Man game, a black plastic bag into a giddy rat, a broken umbrella into a awkward but hilarious woman in a polka-dotted dress, a moss-covered rock into a cheeky crocodile, a line of poles into a line of marching soldiers, a pile of leaves into a tough-looking, but gentle lumberjack, Boulet has completely changed the face of her city. [More links to her works can be found at the bottom of the article.]
Original art 101
How exactly does she go about doing what she does ? Sometimes she sets up a scene on spot, making use of paint, paper and cardboard props, but that doesn’t go well with everything, because she also works with historic buildings and monuments from time to time, and quite obviously, there’s no way she can alter those. Same goes for wet surfaces that she can’t draw on or objects that will only be there for a limited time, like the broken umbrella you can see in the photo below. In cases like these, she falls back on her computer, her digital drawing tablet and a simple program that allows her to turn ever the shadiest corners of Paris into genuine slices of cartoon-like Paradise.
As you’ve probably realized, we have offered you only a few samples of Boulet’s wonderful work. For more, you can check out her lovely Facebook page and Instagram or even better, keep your eyes peeled for her creations on your next city break to Paris.
An example to follow
To sum up, we’d like to make you a suggestion that we’ve heard from Sandrine herself: “Look up, down, right, left. Enjoy, contemplate.” Oh, and don’t forget to “:)))))”. Another good idea would be to follow her example and transform your city too into a playground too. Remember, the world is a canvas, and it’s up to you to make the place where you live beautiful.