Artist Stephane Jaspert, living & working in Paris.
Painting on old cobblestones from the street since 1999.
"The highest symbol for the people is the cobblestone.
One walks on it, until it falls on your head" - Victor Hugo
The idea is light
The proposal is to paint well known pictures.
It can be famous paintings, brand marks, logos, personalities, signs...all the images and symbols seen in today's visual culture.This task is endless: there is an infinity of images. The choice of pictures is automatically related to the artist's environment.
The support is heavy
Symbolizing duration, the support is rock. It's picked from the streets of Paris. Ancient pavement stones, cobblestones. Each single rock serves as canvas for a particular representation.
"Le pave" in french also means "the street" and it's toughness. It represents the organised public area in which all the social actors meet in reasonable order, or the chaos when they are used as weapons and barricades in the different revolts.
Only cobblestones that have really been used as such in the streets of Paris are utilized. They are loaded with history.
Generally granite, but also sandstone or porphyry. Often ligth grey with black spots, there is a huge variety of colors from pure white through light yellow, ochre, light blue, light pink, red, brown, dark green, to black. These colors are most visible on rainy days and on the sawed stones. It is a long lasting material, but also intensely vibrating, offering a very rich background.
In Paris there is mainly 3 kinds of cobblestones:
Since 20 years they exist in the sawed version, with one or more plane surfaces.
Mostly these sizes are used :.................(--> Sizes used as support)
The medium is classic
Gouache paint ( or tempera ) with several layers of oil varnish should last a few hundred years on rock.
Installation in progress
Some of these works are inserted back where they belong : among the other cobblestones in street paving. Of course, in those conditions they last only one or two years.
Search engine placement
Like others, the goal of this website is to be found in search engines. When the cobblestone series started out, in 1999, the point was not to show them on the internet. The first website was made by Serge Roze des Ordons in 2003. It appeared that the paintings representing popular images also were demanded subjects in searches, so the rock paintings (with respective keywords) popped up among those searches. It became a logical part of the work. An image is found on Google, painted on a pave and the photo of the rock painting goes back on Google. There are far more people who see pictures of the paintings on the web than people who will actually see them for real.
Make people question their own mythology of images and those related to different cultures.
Make people question about the pertinency and permanency of these symbols reproduced over and over, in relation with very various fields (ex.:advertising)
Offer a joyfull path, a rock painted history, testimony of today's consumption of imagery and growing interest in cultural matter, ready made fossiles for future anthropologists.