This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s Arts Review Program, coming to you today from Paris, France.
I’m up on Montmartre hill at the famous Artist’s Market.
The square is swirling with color and movements as visitors mill about the over 300 artists who have their easels set up and are actively painting or talking. The smell of oil paint mixes with good smells from food carts.
As I walk around, I see all the artists are doing variations of familiar Paris scenes. These sell as mementos for tourists— Street art.
But the term “street art” should not be said with a sneer. All 300 artists are licensed by the City of Paris after they have proved artistic ability, and there is a 10 year waiting list for new artists to set up an easel here.
Most artists have one square meter to set up their easel, and they rotate shifts with other artists.
All artwork must be original and painted by the resident artist—no reproductions or dealing of other art. So, yes, it’s street art, and it’s the real deal. Rates differ, but I bought four 9 x 12 inch paintings for $50 each.
So when you visit Paris, don’t be afraid to buy street art that catches your eye and help support the hard-painting street artists of Montmartre.
Besides the art market, Renoir’s home is now a museum. And I definitely get an art tourist’s thrill of visiting the place on the hill that inspired Picasso, Degas, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec and so many others who have painted their way into the hearts of art lovers everywhere.
Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.