Book Review: C215, La Monographie
The La Monographie showcases the work of street artist Christian Guemy, known as C215. It is the most complete collection of his work to date – and among the most beautiful books on street art published this year.is probably one of the most beautiful 2016 book on street art and the most complete one on the work from the street artist Christian Guemy aka C215
About Christian Guémy, C215
Christian Guemy, also know as C215, is a Paris-based street artist. For more than 20 years, he has brought his art to the streets of Paris, London, New York, India, Israel, Brazil, Senegal, and Morocco.
He developed his signature style in 2005. Combining stencils and spray paint, he brings to life evocative illustrations. While stencils can appear flat, C215’s images are rich, colorful, and textured due to his unique use of surfaces and colors.
C215 transforms utilitarian objects into canvases – and, in doing so, transforms the street itself. “I paint in the street to bring happiness to others, that is to say this who appreciate this type of art and the walks that are linked to it” he says. With his touch, walls, doors, electrical boxes, and trashcans become interesting, even beautiful.
|I paint in the street to bring happiness to others, that is to say this who appreciate this type of art and the walks that are linked to it.
Christian Guémy, La Monographie
Faces feature centrally in C215’s work. They loom large, seeming to make eye contact with viewers. While some are recognizable, most portray the homeless, orphans, street kids, and refugees – in his words, “people that society aims at keeping hidden.”
Other common subjects include his daughter, Nina, and animals, especially cats.
In addition to his street art, C215 has created specific works for indoor gallery installations. In 2015, the French CEA (Atomic Energy Commission) commissioned him to paint 35 portraits of scientist on technical installations at a research center in Saclay, France.
About La Monographie
La Monographie is organized like an encyclopedia, detailing each of the major places and themes covered by C215. It’s a perfect retrospective on C215’s work to date – though we hope not the last!
There is an inherent contradiction in books on street art, which La Monographie navigates expertly.
By definition, street art belongs to the open, accessible world of the streets. The daily lives of inhabitants and passers by contextualize the work and contribute its meaning, even as the art disappears with time, weather, and vandalism. By adding access costs, removing context, and creating permanence, a book necessarily alters the essence of street art. Rather than viewing a living piece, we see one photographer’s vision and interpretation, in a specific moment of time.
The strength of La Monographie lies in the photography, much by C215 himself, which expertly captures the spirit, context, and vivacity of each work. We see the pieces in their surroundings, as though we were looking at them from the street itself.
La Monography is a luxury book made for collectors. The binding, paper quality, and cover cutout are truly unique, as is the stencil of a cat – a recurring character in C215’s work – provided in the back of the book. The quality of the reproduction magnifies the colors and light in the art.
As a result, the La Monographie is more than a compilation. It’s an invitation to discover the work of C215. While C215 may not paint your hometown, this book enables you to enjoy his work again and again.
|La Monographie is more than a compilation. It’s an invitation to discover the work of C215.|
How to recognize C215 artwork?
C215 includes his signature on his work, a small cube spelling “C215.”
Want to know more?
Learn more about Christian Guemy by visiting him online. You can discover, share and get news on his work on the following:
Where to buy La Monographie
8,500 copies of La Monographie have been printed. The book is widely available in France, including on Amazon.fr and fnac.fr. It’s also available on Amazon.com but mostly by overseas sellers.
|Author||C215, Foreword by Shepard Fairey aka OBEY|
|Publication date||Fall 2015|
|Pricing indication||50€, $75|
|Pages||304 pages, 300 color photographs|
|Dimensions||30 x 3,5 x 24 cm, 11.8 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches|
|Other||Screen printed & stenciled cover. Detachable stencil|